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CPG marketing leaders can find new power in digital

CPG marketers who fully embrace digital transformation can use this channel to build stronger connections with consumers.

CPG companies have embraced the digital channel. But the rewards aren’t in channel mastery—they are in using digital to deliver relevant and seamless experiences that delight customers and drive superior business outcomes.

Now more than ever, chief marketing officers (CMOs) are envisioning a digital transformation that bridges the entire consumer experience, including product, sales and service. Such seamless experiences are increasingly important in a world where tech-savvy consumers own multiple devices and expect brands to reach them consistently across all channels.

But even though CPG marketers want to engage consumers, influence perceptions and earn consumer loyalty through digital, performance is lagging. Accenture research shows that while 85 percent of B2B2C marketing leaders believe it is important to deliver an effective consumer experience, only 46 percent think they are successfully delivering one.

Investing in digital
Accenture surveyed 600 senior marketing executives from 11 countries (including 81 in the CPG industry) to find out whether CMOs are working as catalysts in enabling digital transformation. We found that CMOs are placing marketing dollars in areas that will foster digital connections with consumers. For example, 45 percent of CPG CMOs expect their digital budgets will account for more than 75 percent of their marketing budget in the next five years, and 38 percent believe that mobile will account for 50 percent of that investment.

Operating like a digital business
The data confirms that the desire for digital is there. Yet 26 percent of CPG CMOs think their company lacks critical technology or tools to transform into a digital business. How can CPG companies move from an analog business with low consumer touch, to a flexible, scalable and agile digital business that is highly connected to consumers? The transformation calls for a mix of the right technology, talent and leadership. When consumers are seeing products in one place, and buying them in another, CPG leaders must build digital capabilities that will bridge that gap. For example, agile technology that is nonstop—just like today’s consumer—allows CPG companies to react to consumer demands in real time. CPG talent should be skilled in analytics, mobile and digital and know how to integrate the three to improve the consumer experience. And leadership must be relentlessly focused on delighting customers. CMOs can take a front and center role in prioritizing the consumer experience around digital, and aligning the organization, its processes and technology to power that experience.