How FMCG Brands Go Omnichannel?
Changing consumer preferences and expectations have dramatically altered the ways brands reach their audiences. And FMCG—the fast-moving consumer goods industry—is no exception.
While traditional FMCG sales and fulfillment processes have relied almost completely on third-party retailers, FMCG brands are increasingly engaging prospects and shoppers directly with omnichannel experiences.
In this post, we’ll explore the key challenges FMCG brands face in crafting and executing a successful omnichannel engagement strategy and suggest a couple of ways to integrate new data collection techniques to boost the efforts.
Key challenges for FMCG brands
For decades, the FMCG industry enjoyed continuous growth. By 2010, the sector included 23 of the world’s top 100 brands and had increased total return to shareholders (TRS) almost 15 percent annually for 45 years.
That growth has begun to stagnate. While FMCG TRS growth beat the S&P 500 by six percent per year between 2001 and 2008, it lagged those companies by three percentage points from 2012 to 2017.
The main issue is organic growth, particularly for large companies.
This decline can be attributed in part to the data challenges FMCG brands face. With their data often siloed across channels and retailer networks, FMCG companies find that a huge chunk of extremely valuable data isn’t directly accessible, resulting in an incomplete, fragmented view of the customer.
These fractured insights limit FMCG brands’ ability to effectively connect with today’s consumers and constrain their potential for growth. Younger consumers, particularly Millennials, are restless and savvy, straddling multiple channels and devices with ease.
They are also more inclined to exchange personal information for convenience and tailored offers. They want brand interactions that are seamless and individually relevant, regardless of the time, location, or point of contact.
To interact with consumers on their own turf and to satisfy their ever-growing expectations, FMCG brands have to embrace omnichannel customer engagement. But where to start? What key capabilities must they acquire? Here are two ways to jump start this much-needed evolution.
Focus on connecting online and offline interactions
One of the most challenging aspects of creating an omnichannel customer experience is ensuring a seamless hand-off between online and offline channels.
Many FMCG brands typically use online channels, such as social, to establish brand awareness and collect data about potential customers. When it comes to offline interactions, however, FMCG brands are limited largely to data collected by retailers.
The result? A blinkered and disjointed view of how consumers behave offline, a limited arsenal of communications vehicles, and a serious risk of creating inconsistent customer journeys.
By unifying digital interactions and in-store behavior, brands can measure whether online communications are increasing footfall and sales. Indeed, even before consumers set foot in a physical retail space, seven out of ten have engaged with the brand online.
Having a unified command also helps brands strategize campaigns more effectively. For instance, instead of limiting their solutions to particular touchpoints, it becomes possible to identify pain points and consumer demand in a much more comprehensive manner—and develop campaigns accordingly.
FMCG brands can also leverage audience data harnessed from past engagement to inform follow-up actions. Consolidating channels, old and new, expands the possibilities of how they can enrich existing interactions to capture more data and further personalize communications.
Here’s an example of how this can work in practice.
Leverage B2B2C partnerships for data collection
FMCG have always used the B2B2C model. But with new technology in play, they can usher shoppers into the retailer’s door and learn about them at the same time.
Take the case of the New Year’s campaign Resulticks ran for a skin care brand, which markets its products through both retail boutiques and online. The brand ran a localized promotion campaign, which drove customers to boutique stores in droves.
By targeting and tracking their audience from paid media to the physical locations, we also helped the brand gain access to a valuable cache of audience and behavior data. We were able to individually identify who responded to the promotion, where, and how. The brand finished their beauty marketing campaign well-positioned to roll out even more targeted communications, and of course, more opportunities for growth.
Omnichannel is inevitable; the question for FMCG brands is how to achieve it. Going omnichannel calls for significant changes in how brands collect data, optimize diverse touchpoints, and conceive the customer journey.
But the benefits are well worth the efforts. Driven by a unified, 360° customer view, poised to contextualize every interaction in real time, FMCG brands can expect to delight today’s consumers and drive growth with seamless conversations beyond the shelves, across online/offline channels.
Fortunately, an array of marketing automation solutions and emerging channels are poised to help realize this breakthrough. As they consolidate channels and unlock new opportunities for capturing deeper data insights, FMCG brands can look forward to delivering tangible benefits for not just themselves, but indeed the entire retail ecosystem and their consumers.
Want to learn how Resulticks is powering innovative omnichannel campaigns? Schedule a demo now.