Why Understanding and Activating the Shopper s Journey is Vital to Driving Growth

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1 Why Understanding and Activating the Shopper s Journey is Vital to Driving Growth

2 How CPG Manufacturers Can Harness the Power of Predictive Analytics to Build Their Brands and Win The consumer packaged goods market is at a crossroads. While the industry experienced marginal growth along with the economy in recent years, sales have slowed even with the recovery. For many companies, revenue growth has only come through pricing changes. Part of this is a result of how CPG companies pursue their marketing efforts. In the past, marketing data were limited to information that only came out a few days after the month closed. Likewise, most shopper data historically were defined by panel-type surveys that have numerous limitations. While these data points are certainly useful, their applications are becoming less and less practical. In today s digital age, agility is vital to stay on top of shopping trends, especially as shoppers increasingly make their purchase decisions through numerous social media and engagement portals along with e-commerce sites. need to rethink how they both understand and activate today's shopper. The PwC report noted that in 2013, 40 percent more CPG companies are looking to sell directly to consumers, which is up from just 24 percent in The emergence of e-commerce will play a major role in helping CPG companies appeal directly to shoppers, but in order for online sales to grow, businesses are going to need to pursue new marketing strategies as well. At the same time CPG manufacturers and retailers need to transform both how they share information and work together to add value to the shopper something that should be advantageous to all parties involved. This stagnant CPG growth was recently identified by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The firm's Growth Strategies: Unlocking the Power of the Consumer report noted that while the food, beverage and household goods markets were able to post growth of 7 percent, 5.5 percent and 3.2 percent respectively during 2012, CPG companies across the board experienced a slowdown in net sales growth. If CPG manufacturers want to reverse this trend, they are going to 40 percent more CPG companies are looking to sell directly to consumers 01

3 Emergence of Big Data For a long time, CPG manufacturers were limited when it came to market and shopper data. Much of the information (POS) was static and did not truly reflect a holistic approach to how shoppers actually made purchasing decisions. As brands continue to expand their marketing efforts digitally, a wealth of information begins to present itself. Shoppers are now interacting with brands in ways they haven t before. Be it a like on Facebook, a follow on Twitter or pin on Pinterest, each of these actions can provide direct insight into individual consumers and their specific wants and needs. This increase in shopper magnification along with new capabilities in predictive analytics sets the stage to drive much more profitable growth within an otherwise stagnant consumer products industry. But big data itself is not a panacea for CPG marketers. A recent study by KPMG asked CFOs and CIOs around the world about how marketers were using big data to enhance growth. While nearly 50 percent of respondents said they were increasing their capacity to analyze this information, only 25 percent were able to put the insights from these efforts into timely and actionable solutions. This poses a major problem in many companies big data strategies. The challenge is being able to use this data to produce actionable results. Because much of it is disaggregated, CPG manufacturers need to embrace new advances in prescriptive and CPG manufacturers need to embrace new advances in prescriptive and predictive analytics capabilities to enhance their shopper magnification predictive analytics capabilities to enhance their shopper magnification. Rather than addressing single isolated trends, taking a holistic data approach can help CPG companies understand and integrate the perspective of the consumer, and in doing so, drive sales growth. CPG marketers should look at three major elements to gain a better understanding of the shopper s journey: what is being sold, how it is being sold and where it is being sold. Each of these elements can be addressed through predictive brand, marketing and channel analytics, respectively. By magnifying the shopper in such a way, CPG companies can unravel the shopper s journey and transform the complicated mass of information that is big data and turn them into actionable results. Ultimately, this is really what activating the shopper s journey is all about. 02

4 What is sold Depending on the product that a shopper is looking to purchase, there are different value elements that he or she examines. Some qualities are more intrinsic, or inherent in the product such as the ingredients in a tomato sauce, while others are extrinsic, such as the label on the jar that reminds us of dinner at grandma s and time with the family. The brand is all about what is being sold to the shopper. By using both survey analytics and brand growth analytics, CPG manufacturers can better focus in on what shoppers are seeking to buy when they make their purchasing decisions. While the contents of the jar may be quite similar, this distinction could play a massive role in the decision that a shopper makes. People treat the brands that they purchase as a sort of personal badge. They want what they purchase to reflect how they see themselves. So how can predictive analytics help? By understanding how people perceive a brand, a CPG company can gain better insight into what sort of badge a shopper is wearing when they make a purchase. Predictive analytics can help define a future state brand health assessment that examines brand growth and perception. If a shopper posts on Facebook or Twitter about a specific company or product, the way he or she does so says a lot about how that particular brand is perceived. Not only this, but it reveals how the shopper positions him or herself in the context of that brand. People treat the brands that they purchase as a sort of personal badge. 03

5 How it s sold Another element of the shopper s journey emerges from the interaction between the shopper and the brand. Marketing efforts are, in essence, how the brand is being sold. There are more avenues today than ever to market to shoppers. For instance, millennial shoppers (those between 18-34) often use social media to make their purchasing decisions and then share the experience later. According to a recent survey on the ways millennial consumers shop, 85 percent of respondents noted that they are driven to make a purchase when they see it on one of their social networks. CPG manufacturers, marketers and retailers have allocated significant assets to social media marketing efforts, but they may not be getting the kinds of returns they would like to see. Predictive marketing analytics can be a major boost to these activities, producing greater ROI and generating more productive sales growth in the process. By using information collected from portfolio gap analysis, market surveys and e-commerce data, CPG companies can gain better insights into their marketing mix, media optimization and price analytics. Even if a brand is well perceived, these perceptions may not be translating into more sales. Predictive analytics can maximize ROI on marketing and promotional spending by finding which messages and mediums resonate the most with a specific customer base, like millennials. These insights can then be used to cater marketing efforts to reflect consumer sentiments. Predictive analytics can maximize ROI on marketing and promotional spending by finding which messages and mediums resonate 04

6 Where it s sold At the end of the day, a shopper makes his or her purchase in a specific location, be it the store or through an e-commerce site, meaning that where a product is sold plays a major role in the decision making process. While a retailer will shelve similar products near each other, websites like Amazon group various products together based on what previous shoppers also purchased - in essence creating virtual baskets. When shoppers set out to purchase something, they have a mental list of the products (and brands) they consider. Brand and marketing predictive analytics help put a CPG brand on the list, but it is the store/channel predictive analytics that helps CPGs and retailers convert these efforts into sales. Store benchmarking, predictive merchandising analytics and trade optimization, all magnify the role that inside the four walls plays into converting sales. card program with predictive analytics, Tesco can now plan its inventory down to a specific scenario. For instance, the retailer can stock based on a weekend weather forecast. Using predictive shopper analytics has generated more than 100 million in operational cost savings for Tesco, while also catering specifically to the shopper. Retailers and CPG manufacturers alike can generate better growth by understanding the total shopper journey and magnifying their understanding of the way shoppers make decisions once they are in the store. Predictive analytics puts the purchase decision under the microscope, allowing CPGs to deeply analyze their marketing activities and turn them into actionable results. Because there are so many different channels that shoppers can now use to make their purchases, predictive analytics can be the difference between one product or brand winning over another. Accenture looked at the British grocer Tesco, which has always played close attention to customer purchasing trends. By leveraging the data gathered from its customer loyalty Retailers and CPG manufacturers alike can generate better growth by understanding the total shopper journey 05

7 Taking a holistic approach Each of these phases of the shopper journey allows CPG manufacturers to magnify the shopper s behaviors, needs and attitudes. But, in isolation, predictive analytics can only go so far. While there are numerous big data companies out there that can analyze specific segments of data, there are far fewer that can provide insights through each part of the full shopper s journey. At the end of the day, the shopper s journey is much more fluid than the three phases outlined above. CPG manufacturers need to be able to take a democratized analytics approach so that they can truly understand and activate the shopper s journey. This democratized approach to the shopper s journey means getting the right information to the right person, in the form they need it, when they need it. New advances in Demand Signal Repositories (DSR) are allowing this to happen more readily and effectively than ever before. Given all of these data analytics and management innovations, CPG manufacturers and their retail partners can now create and implement powerful new collaboration models that mobilize shoppers, especially through digital and mobile platforms. Working with their retailers, CPG companies can collect order transaction data from mobile devices and buyer geolocation, along with the standard data points like product and amount. The shopper data universe is exploding, with information about social computing, web history, phone call history, and demographic information, now becom- By having a comprehensive big data strategy that meets their specific needs, CPG companies can discover the Holy Grail of activating today s shopper. ing a massive opportunity and challenge for CPG manufacturers and retailers alike. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the best strategy for big data deployment. But, make no mistake about it, big data is here to stay. New technologies, such as Revolution R Enterprise are capable of parallel external-memory algorithms while data streaming allows companies to generate analytics results in real time. In-Hadoop analytics can eliminate data movement latency and provides a speed model development to turnover analytics faster, and make data easier to understand. By having a comprehensive big data strategy that meets their specific needs, CPG companies can discover the Holy Grail of activating today s shopper. And that means increased sales and greater profits. 06

8 Conclusion: Activating the shopper requires a clear strategy CPG marketers today find themselves at a critical inflection point. In order to reverse the anemic (and even negative) growth trend of the past several years, CPG companies will need to embrace a more comprehensive marketing approach that involves building a direct and robust relationship between their brands and the shopper. That requires having a fully integrated activation strategy founded on actionable insights about the shopper s needs, desires and behaviors. The old point-to-point strategy based on already outdated shopper data just won t cut it in today s highly dynamic business environment. We believe the strategic imperative for CPG companies today is to use predictive analytics and sophisticated information management technologies to truly understand, and then activate, the shopper during each critical step of the shopping journey. This really is the road back to increased sales, sustained growth and marketplace leadership. Author Kirk W. Wheeler Executive Vice President & General Manager CPG Practice, Manthan Systems Phone About Manthan Manthan serves as the Chief Analytics Officer for global consumer industries. Manthan s comprehensive portfolio of analytics products and services enable CPG manufacturers and their retail partners to understand and activate the shopper s journey. Architected with deep industry expertise, Manthan s solutions combine advanced predictive analytics, actionable insights and unmatched shopper knowledge to help customers identify and drive incremental growth opportunities. Manthan has provided its business-building analytics solutions to over 120 leading retail and CPG organizations across 19 countries. Visit Manthan at 07

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