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Strengthening your brand loyalty in the digital era

Consumer Products Industry Solutions Marketing Manager, IBM Analytics, IBM

As CP companies continue to evolve strategies on driving brand loyalty and market differentiation, not only do they need to leverage the proliferation of consumer data, advances in analytics and digital marketing technology to engage consumers with greater relevance and timeliness, they also need to consider how the consumer and the household landscape is evolving and the opportunities that presents.

Families are changing

JWT Worldwide reports that there are five new trends in the changing family structure:

  • The new nuclear family: The traditional nuclear family—a husband and wife, plus kids—is no longer the norm, and even families that fit this classic definition look different today as gender dynamics change. Also consideration must be given to same-sex families, the growing inclination to forego children and even the family pet’s new role.
     
  • Solo living: In tandem with the decline of traditional nuclear families, living alone is on the rise as more people postpone couple hood, eschew it altogether, divorce or even “live apart together.”
     
  • Multigenerational families: Multigenerational households are becoming more common as people seek to cut living costs, as generational gaps narrow and as life spans lengthen. While multigenerational homes have always been the norm in many parts of the world, they’re proliferating more widely, notably in the U.S.
     
  • Silver families: More than ever, family is in flux among older generations. As people enjoy longer, healthier lives, they’re more motivated to leave behind unhappy situations and forge new families.
     
  • Friends as family: Constantly connected to social networks but often physically distant from their families, urbanites are increasingly weaving together families out of friends.

The report spotlights “examples of how marketers are recognizing and affirming these types of families and looks at what the trends mean for brands. 'Brands must rethink their assumptions about families, and while some are doing so quite well, many aren’t yet portraying the reality of today’s family or speaking to its changing needs.'"

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The importance of an integrated digital strategy

Despite the fact that we’re now in an era of the uber-connected, empowered consumer, some 75 percent of consumer products CxOs admit they do not currently have an integrated digital and physical strategy. Organizations are still not prepared to face the full implications of a radically different, digitally-charged future.

So what are we seeing in strategies to differentiate the brand experience and drive consumer loyalty, given this level of connectedness and diversity in individual and family makeup? 

If we look at actions underway by various consumer products companies currently transforming how they connect with their consumers, we see they are taking some very specific actions as it relates to shoring up their consumer data and driving an analytics-centric culture:

  • Planning to increase their level of consumer understanding by more than twofold in the next three to five years
  • Building out ever richer and more comprehensive consumer data, aggregating from traditional disparate data silos and third party data providers
  • Leveraging more comprehensive and trusted consumer data to develop ever more granular consumer micro-segments to enable marketing with more precision
  • Enriching consumer attribute data with an emphasis on social media and engaging with the consumer through the execution of seamless, personalized and omni-channel communications
  • Integrating more intelligence from analytics with their systems of engagement to drive toward more personalized communications, real-time offers and greater precision in marketing tactics and performance measures

To learn more about our consumer and customer focused strategies, and the enabling technologies that are driving massive transformation in the era of the digital market place, please join us at the IBM Insight 2014 conference, October 26 through 30 in Las Vegas.