In the last two years, Indian consumers’ behaviour has changed significantly, especially on the back of accelerated digital adoption and increase in options for making purchases. As a result, consumer-packaged goods (CPG) companies have realised the need to interact more with customers and reach them directly. Hence, firms have begun to create robust first-party data which not only helps in understanding consumer needs but is also used to create effective marketing campaigns. “Today, CPG CEOs need a 360-degree view of consumers along with a fit-for-purpose marketing technology stack to deliver the right message, to the right consumer, at the right moment. This has transformed their approach to gathering information and using it to drive hard business goals through effective martech stacks,” Abhinay Bhasin, vice president (Asia Pacific), data and product Solutions, data sciences, Dentsu International, said.
At a moment when personalisation has emerged as one of the key aspects in creating customer experience, the need for advanced and customised marketing agenda has become more prominent for CPG brands. “The new marketing play book requires an enriched understanding of customers with stronger prediction and seamless customer experiences. This has brought to the forefront a need for a strong and holistic martech stack which is capable of enriching and building first party data layered with behavioural insights from various platforms,” Bhasin added.
There are mainly two reasons behind the change in the way CPG brands have approached martech. Firstly, consumers have increasingly shifted towards digital channels for all parts of their purchase journey. “The trend is leading to heavy investments in marketing technologies that enable e-commerce and personalisation,” Mihir Karkare, co-founder and executive vice president, Mirum India, explained. Secondly, with cookies set to be discontinued, CPG brands have upped investment in customer relationship management (CRM) and customer data platform (CDP) technologies. “In previous years, data management platforms (DMPs) had seen a lot of investment, which is now moving towards the CDP space. We believe that these investments will only accelerate in 2022 and beyond,” Karkare added.
Breakfast brand Kellogg’s uses data to tell the story of its cereals. According to Sumit Mathur, director marketing, Kellogg South Asia, martech and the related tools play a critical role in the brand’s full-funnel marketing. For example, at the top of the funnel, first party data helps the brand to optimise hitting the right reach sufficiency and make consumers more aware about its products. “At the middle of the funnel, we utilise first party data gathered at the earlier stage to adopt a storytelling approach effectively, Mathur explained, adding, “This stage further helps us to push the consumer to the bottom of the funnel, that is, purchase consideration. An important factor around this stage is to drive conversion by sharpshooting consumers with the help of e-commerce partners and using analytics to help in predictive selling and ensure stock availability,” Mathur added further.
Although many CPG brands are gradually putting martech at the top of their marketing agenda, they will have to upgrade existing marketing frameworks and technology stacks. For dentsu international’s Bhasin, the first requirement is to layer up these brands’ existing CRM systems, to not just maintain a record of their customers but also ingest behavioural signals to predict customer demand and discover the high valued customers.
In addition, CPG brands have to build advanced analytics to run multiple tests and generate sufficient data to predict what kind of creatives and targeting actually works. “Finally, they need to take advantage of granular customer data and translate this into actionable insights for “smart reach” opportunities to maximise micro segmentation capabilities and enhance efficiency and effectiveness with better brand-audience connect,” Bhasin stated. As CPG brands are already gearing up for the transition to data-driven marketing, the use of martech is significantly increasing, especially at the bottom of the funnel. Hence, experts believe that the allocated budget for martech in the CPG sector will go up in the coming years.