It’s no surprise that in today’s world, how we buy products is drastically changing.
What once was normal walking up and down your local grocery store aisle to select your favorite products now seems like a strange concept. The new norm is sitting patiently in your car, parked in the curbside pickup spot, as a retail worker loads your trunk with your new groceries that someone else hand-picked for you.
If how we buy our products is constantly evolving, so should our marketing approach. However, many CPG brands have been slow to respond, and thus, are behind the eight ball.
What’s to blame? Failure to focus, segment and personalize.
Today’s customers are demanding and will settle for nothing less than an exceptional brand experience when searching for and purchasing a product. And with everything conveniently at their fingertips, their attention span is shorter than ever, and in a blink of an eye they’re onto the next brand.
So how do you focus on your core audience, segment your most valuable customers, and personalize your message? Follow these steps:
1. Leverage (and trust) first-party data.
The most successful marketing campaigns are rooted in first-party data — and have a team that understands and leverages the information to make informed decisions. From collecting email addresses to assessing intricate behavioral data online, first-party data can be any information you can gather about your audience via owned, earned and paid media.
According to a study conducted by Advertiser Perceptions and MightyHive, less than 5% of marketers say they’ve yet to realize 80% or more of the potential of their first-party data. Is your CPG brand one of them?
To earn the highest ROI from your marketing programs, start with data. Gather, curate, organize and enable the data to better understand your customers’ behaviors. Once you discover those data insights, allow them to guide you in your decision-making going forward.
2. Blend that data with creativity.
Once you discover and assess the data, it’s time to put it to work. How? Let it inform your creative strategy.
Many people may think that data can limit creativity, but when they are blended, data can improve and inspire storytelling, while ultimately transforming business outcomes.
We all know content marketing is important, but data-driven content marketing is impactful. Interpreting the data will allow you to understand your audience better. To do that, use the data to develop audience personas along their consumer decision journey. Figure out what drives consideration and purchase. Once uncovered, use those insights to inform the basis of your creative.
From there, creating content will be easier than ever before. You’ll be able to discover your brand’s underlying truth — what your audience can relate to and engage with most in your brand’s story — which will allow the creative juices to run wild.
3. Create a holistic omni-channel strategy.
You’ve trusted the data, understood your customer, and developed a data- and audience-driven content framework based on those insights. It’s now time to implement.
From your data and insights, you learned your customers’ journey and that there are multiple touchpoints in the decision-making process. With this in mind, it’s important — especially for CPG companies — to be there for customers across multiple channels.
To drive business performance, you must develop an omni-channel strategy that places your brand when, where and how your audience expects you to be throughout their journey. Does your target customer primarily use Facebook? Do they spend the majority of their day in a car with the radio playing? Are they spending more time at home in front of the TV screen? All of these questions and more need answered and will impact the channels in which you develop a media plan.
The best advice for an omni-channel approach? Be agile. Test, learn and optimize your creative and media channels to determine what’s most effective. Because behaviors — especially in this day and age — change so quickly and suddenly, it’s important to stay nimble and be ready to adapt.
Navigating your brand through culture shifts and ever-changing consumer demands is difficult, but by following these strategic best practices, your brand will not only survive, but thrive.