Build consumer insights with data-driven marketing and merchandising

Consumer Products Industry Solutions Marketing Manager, IBM Analytics, IBM

At the Retail and Consumer Goods Analytics Summit in Chicago, the theme was "Analytics Now." But haven’t consumer goods suppliers and retailers always been data-driven? Certainly they have—but thanks to the eruption of a geyser of valuable external data and the increasing sophistication of analytics capabilities that can be readily delivered to a full range of business users, businesses are finding that they have entered a veritable data democracy.

Just consider the numbers. For example, 71 percent of consumers say that smartphones affect the in-store experience. But do you know who these customers are? Are you engaging them with competitive pricing and relevant product information that drives them to purchase your brands—and to purchase them using their preferred channels? Are you extending to their mobile devices compelling offers that have point-in-time relevance? Are you offering strategic, personalized promotions to get them hooked while they’re already in the purchasing frame of mind?

Brand enthusiasts want to connect with their favorite brands online. Retailers and CPs that cultivate this relationship enjoy the distinct advantage of building long-term brand loyalty. Using social media analytics, businesses can listen to consumer needs, responding in ways that drive the conversation while also offering personalized engagement with individuals. Ask yourself, then: Are you capitalizing on the full power of social, digital and e-commerce at a localized market level?

Historically, two-thirds of promotions don’t break even. But do you know which ones aren’t? Can you predict which ones will, remixing your trade spend investment to boost returns while abandoning poor-performing promotions, pantry-filling, switching and cannibalization? Arming yourself with data up front can remove the guesswork from the trade planning process, enabling precise targeting of consumer-driven promotions and merchandising strategies.

Not surprisingly, more than half of out-of-stocks result from poor price or promotion management. But are you refining price and availability across all channels by not only analyzing downstream demand data but also modeling demand based on known drivers of demand, allowing you to forecast demand with ever greater accuracy?

Thanks to innovations in how businesses can extract insights from data acquired through social media, news, events and weather—as well as from a full spectrum of traditional data sources—you can acquire the capability to readily make intelligent, informed decisions when interacting with a smorgasbord of business users, whether in the sales, marketing, merchandising or supply chain functions.

To learn more about how IBM is helping retailers and CPs around the world become increasingly data-driven, visit IBM’s Consumer Products Industry Solutions Page.