True Omni-channel Is The Only Avenue For CPGs

The winning focus for any consumer packaged goods brand is stated in its name — the consumer. These brands, more than any other, are faced with the challenge of ensuring their consumers have an effective and seamless marketing experience. In light of this focus, the CPG brands that will reign supreme in the marketing landscape are those that move away from a multi-channel approach and begin directing their marketing power towards true omni-channel tactics. 

You’d have to be living under a rock and taken a vow to remain technology-free to be planning your marketing strategy around a single-channel approach. Those who use multi-channel marketing are one-step ahead, but still lack the complex strategic thinking used by omni-channel marketers. The days of driving to the store with a product in mind, then blindly picking it out based on that day’s available selection and pricing are over. Consumers are now bouncing among their tablets, computers and smartphones to optimize their buying experience. 



Digital channels are the first line of shopping intelligence for the lion’s share of a brand’s consumer base, but the way they are using the digital channels continue to evolve. What were once desktop searches a few years ago are now mobile, push notifications and app-based searches. Voice command is just around the corner.

It is no surprise that programmatic tools are also evolving as these new formats gain traction and experience lends to smarter ad buying decisions. Prior, programmatic campaigns had been measured against ad-based KPIs like views and clickthroughs. However, brands are increasingly driving campaigns on brand awareness goals that facilitate conversions in-store — and an omni-channel programmatic campaign is perfect for that.

To harness this new, consumer journey, marketers need to stay in lock step with their consumer’s cross-channel behavior. Ad placements need to be real-time, based on each consumer’s prior engagement with both a brand and channel. These seamlessly integrated campaigns allow for more positive brand engagement through the use of audience targeting tactics like frequency capping and ad sequencing and the ability to deliver an ad in the necessary format, on the necessary screen, for that particular consumer’s position within the marketing funnel.

While both omni-channel and multi-channel marketing have the ability to incorporate all channels, their approach in doing so is where they differ. Omni-channel marketing centers it’s efforts around the audience, seeing each channel as a piece of the puzzle that must work together to produce a more holistic marketing strategy. Omni-channel marketing not only takes into account that consumers explore various channels, but also how they move across each channel. While still incorporating a diverse group of channels, multi-channel marketing takes a channel-centric approach aiming to maximize each channel’s individual performance.

CPG brands need to gear up for omni-channel marketing. The most innovative CPG brands are already taking advantage of this audience-centric approach. Brands and agencies should not let perceived agency/team dynamic or attribution challenges stand in the way of this implementation. Instead, ensure that you’re working with the right team, one that will guide you and your omni-channel strategy to success. 

The many brands that already have a multi-channel approach set in place are not far off from true omni-channel planning. To reach that goal, reconsider broader planning. CPG brands should make omni-channel consumer profiles that are actionable and in-real time. They should also test and trial omni-channel solutions. Only then can CPG brands set a new level of standards for measurement and attribution that we will need for the future.

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