3 Ways Modern CPGs Can Breathe Life Back Into Their Marketing Organization

Historically, consumer goods companies have achieved economies of scale by developing mass products for physical outlets. The rules have changed, largely driven by digitally-born, smaller players who are disrupting and outperforming their traditional counterparts in generating growth. 

We are seeing the smaller brands offer a unique proposition, establish a direct connection with the consumer and find ways to quickly build the capabilities required to meet consumers’ evolving needs. For the incumbents, the challenge remains: how can brands reclaim growth through marketing? 

To breathe new life into the organization, marketing needs to be adaptive, real-time and consumer-centric. It needs to offer quick, simple and seamless solutions, harnessing the power of the ecosystem in which brands, channels and consumers exist. 

We call it “living marketing.” Here are three ways to make it happen: 



1. Redefine relationships with consumers and lead with experiences   

When today’s consumers buy, they are looking for more than just convenience; they desire deep and authentic connections. For brands, this means building an acute understanding of consumers and being more innovative in their approach to developing and sustaining relationships. It comes down to giving consumers the power to shape their experiences, and co-create the intimacy that underpins loyalty and trust. 

Let us look at a few examples:

  • Halo Top cultivates faithful followers by bringing consumers right into the heart of product design, encouraging them to provide suggestions for new flavors.
  • Glossier quickly became one of the beauty industry’s biggest disruptors by catering to customers with individualized experiences. The direct-to-consumer operation is content-drivenand draws on its strong digital community and feedback loop to involve consumers in entirely new ways. The results speak for themselves. In 2016, Glossier’s growth topped 600% and two of its products have 10,000-person waiting lists.

2. Tap into the ecosystem

Living marketing calls for brands’ marketing organizations to step up — with relevant skills, a purposeful culture and optimized ways of working. Now is the time to break down functional silos, and orchestrate marketing, advertising, IT and business services as if they were a single living organism. 

Brands should become orchestrators of their ecosystems, keeping core capabilities in-house while plugging in to the array of services and partners that create a multiplier effect and benefit all parties.

3. Focus on mastering data fluency

Companies that deliver hyper-relevant customer experiences have moved beyond descriptive analytics and traditional sources of customer information such as purchase history, loyalty card transactions and demographics. Instead, they invest in predictive analytics. The key is to invest in capabilities that will enable you to create real-time snapshots of every consumer and mine data in new ways, often from channels and touch points that extend beyond the typical customer journey.

Move to become a modern CPG marketing machine 

The path to becoming a successful, modern CPG means joining the dots between the commercial and promotional sections of the business, utilizing social and emerging technologies like AI and blockchain to define new and faster approaches to innovation.  It means investing in and building strong data-led strategic and market activation capabilities that will give consumer goods companies the agility to capture real growth opportunities.

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