Winning and retaining the digital consumer

Winning the digital consumer is an enterprise-wide responsibility, requiring contributions from all functions across a consumer packaged goods company.

Overview

Accenture recommends that winning the digital consumer is an enterprise-wide responsibility, requiring contributions from all functions across a consumer packaged goods (CPG) company.

Consumers today are using digital channels to make more informed decisions and purchasing through multiple channels. Their experiences with Amazon, Google and iTunes have led to expectations that CPG companies too will use the gigabytes of personal data surrendered to curate and deliver targeted offers. Frankly, today’s digital consumers are baffled by, if not frustrated with, fragmented cross-channel efforts and irrelevant offers and campaigns.

Given what we know about consumers and how they use digital channels, how can CPG companies prioritize their investments to attract, engage, sell to and retain digital consumers?

This point of view identifies several leading practices to adopt as well as investments to consider in order to win digital consumers’ loyalty and business.

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Background

Tech-savvy, on-the-go consumers who use a mix of digital channels to just browse or make a purchase present both opportunities and challenges to CPG companies. Websites, e-coupons, social networks and mobile applications provide more opportunities than ever to learn about, engage with and deliver the goods to consumers.

Yet, the expanding number of touchpoints and channels increases the difficulty of finding the right combination to serve them efficiently and consistently, and multiplies the complexity of both managing marketing tactics and allocating budgets to generate positive returns.

Analysis
Digital consumers present CPG companies with more information, opportunities to connect and challenges than ever before. With loyalty and sales on the line, companies need to be strategic in how they invest in building their understanding of and relationships with consumers.

Companies that meet the rising consumer expectations will remain relevant, and win sales in the short term and the loyalty of digital consumers in the long run.

Recommendations

Accenture recommends some practices and capabilities that could make investments pay off—both for the companies themselves and the consumers they hope to convert to customers.

  • Think and operate with multichannel in mind: Put in place the organizational units, processes and tools to effectively integrate multiple channels.

  • Employ data analytics to move through the marketing and sales cycle with consumers: Develop a cross-functional, integrated analytics vision and invest in the technology, processes and talent needed to target consumer segments, and customize marketing and sales strategies and offers.

  • Put the “social” back in social platforms: Improve e-CRM and dialogue marketing capabilities.

  • Use e-commerce websites as a field-tested path to higher sales: Enhance websites and optimize content to make it easier for consumers to find products, and streamline navigation and click-to-buy processes.

  • Do not underestimate the value of digital coupons: Use digital coupons to gain greater control over brands and target consumers based on where they are in the path-to-purchase funnel.

  • Embrace the small screens and the mobile consumers attached to them: Develop an effective mobile strategy that combines analytics and personalization techniques.

  • Integrate digital marketing platform and services more tightly: Combine marketing channels and operations more effectively for financial and competitive benefits, and to deliver consistent experiences to consumers.

  • Recognize that “winning the digital consumer” is an enterprise responsibility: Collaborate and share information among cross-functional teams, not just in obvious commercial functions such as marketing and sales, but also in HR, finance, supply chain and analytics.