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Our Consumer Products and Retail Director, Peter Brandt, was featured in Consumer Goods Technology’s “2014 Review and Outlook Report” last month and was asked to look into his crystal ball and tell readers:
“What one initiative must consumer goods companies pursue now in order to compete and grow in the year 2020?”
Similar to the retail industry, the lines between IT and business executives are starting to blur as they realize many of the initiatives they are pursuing require technology in order to compete years from now. Another interesting takeaway from the article is that consumer goods companies face a similar challenge as retailers – the digital world is enabling consumers to have more choices in the ways they engage with brands and shop, making satisfying consumer preferences a daunting task.
Here’s what Peter had to say about sales and marketing trends impacting consumer goods companies (hint – leading retailers are setting industry bar high).
The industry has witnessed a revolutionary change in the way technology has penetrated everyday life. The impact of consumers going digital in a massive way makes marketing investments that better engage the connected consumer a top priority for consumer products companies that want to compete now and for years to come. The ways in which consumers interact with brands has evolved to include conversations on social networks to personalized marketing campaigns and promotions based on individual shopper profiles. Developing a successful strategy is a journey that will evolve over time and require agility and innovation.
Leading retail brands, like Amazon and Burberry, have set the bar high in developing consistent multi-channel strategies and personalized customer experiences. The “Amazon effect” is rapidly becoming the new industry standard as brands explore new ways to connect consumers to products using advanced data and predictive analytics. Burberry has mastered the convergence of in-store and online shopping experiences using digital “clienteling” tactics and in-store technology.
What should consumer products companies be doing now to emulate them?
The first step is to put systems and processes in place to support the customer experience. Connecting the dots with customer data from purchase history, loyalty programs and social helps extend the conversation with the consumer. Integrating core enterprise applications with consumer-facing applications that are intuitive, consumable and accessible over the Web, tablet and mobile device, and on social networks fuels the marketing engine needed to meet the changing demands of the empowered consumer.
You can download the full CGT’ “2014 Review and Outlook Report” here.