Is your CPG micro-marketing strategy working as hard as it should?

Science & Technology Writer

Consumer product marketing teams are spending large amounts of money to reach consumers and increase sales. But in many cases, their efforts are falling short. While the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry has traditionally focused on mass marketing, consumers now demand extremely high levels of personalization.

To meet this demand, CPG companies must develop a micro-marketing strategy that divides customer segments into narrower filters.

The big micro-marketing idea

A successful micro-marketing strategy requires more than customer names, email addresses and website behavior. According to Marketing Land, brands should make use of all the following data:

  • In-store and online purchase habits.
  • User preferences.
  • Mobile app behavior.
  • Social media data.
  • Real-time and historical location data.
  • Loyalty card usage.
  • Demographics.

All these factors must be correlated across channels. While the digital channel is often the richest source of customer data, the relationship may start in-store for some CPG brands.

For example, luxury beauty brand NUDE set up a branded skincare bar at Selfridges London, according to BouncePad. Sales clerks helped customers identify their skin types and gave product recommendations using a mobile tablet. NUDE also gathered customers' email addresses to send them personalized skincare guides. All of this data formed the basis of a rich, segmented customer profile.

To take this to the next level, CPG brands can supplement the information they collect with social media and other third-party data, which will give the company insight into consumers' interests and sentiment toward the brand. Armed with this detailed information about customers, CPG brands will have the ability to execute hyper-personalized marketing campaigns.

However, there are a number of important, often-overlooked elements that can make an efficient micro-marketing strategy even more successful.

Customer location

Location data can help CPG brands improve the success of their marketing campaigns in certain stores. CPG companies are using third-party purchasing data to target the shoppers within a store who are most likely to buy the product, according to Verve Mobile. For example, a paper towel brand combined census data, minivan registrations and mobile device information to identify Hispanic moms who frequent Kroger. Sending mobile coupons including maps to the nearest Kroger made recipients 2.7 times more likely to go to the store.

Social media activity

Social media lets consumers and brands speak directly to each other. Frito-Lay took one-to-one messaging to the extreme during its Do Us a Flavor campaign, which asked consumers to submit ideas for new potato chip flavors. Lay's agency, Deep Focus, used social listening tools to identify interesting ideas on Twitter and then produced video responses that were posted in just a couple of hours, according to Adweek. Lay's also used analytics to power a "flavor heat map" showing the most popular flavors in different areas of the country. Deep Focus used data analytics to help the chip maker measure the value of the campaign beyond counting tweets and likes.

Local weather

The Internet of Things can add useful data to increase the relevance of marketing. For example, Starbucks kicked off promotions for its Pumpkin Spice Latte while parts of the country were having a heat wave. A solid micro-marketing strategy would have featured an iced latte in sweltering locales like San Diego and New York City. Mobile ad platforms that tap into external data sources, such as temperatures across the country, let advertisers set rules and triggers that send the appropriate messaging to the right people.

The bottom line is that consumers are more demanding than ever, and their loyalty toward CPG brands is at an all-time low. With CPG companies spending almost $59 billion on digital advertising alone in 2015, according to eMarketer, the industry needs to utilize more effective marketing strategies. Big data can provide the key to opening consumers' hearts and wallets.

Don't miss the opportunity of leveraging your structured and unstructured data. Connect with data professionals via IBM's Consumer Products Industry Solutions Page.