Posts Tagged ‘Catalina market research’
Even with all the lip service given over the last decade to focusing “like a laser” on fostering customer loyalty, consumer packaged goods marketing managers still struggle to generate good outcomes against that goal, for some very basic reasons.
CPG managers are told by the entire marketing industry to get serious about engagement and foster loyalty. The very day I sat down to write this I received a fresh example of this from Aberdeen Research:
“In order to truly offer a positive shopping experience, retailers must get insight into the mindshare of their customers and prospective customers. The shopping experience today goes far beyond simply walking into a store and selecting a product. Customer experience management begins with the use of customer intelligence and insights as a means for enhanced customer engagement. Engaging customers at all points in the shopping journey to better service, provide information, and ease of purchasing, is the key to customer-centricity.”
That said, here is some evidence that whatever CPG managers are trying, customer loyalty for CPG products is proving tough to hang on to.
Marketing “tenets” hold that keeping a customer is 6-10 times cheaper than finding a new one, but that might not be the case when it comes to CPGs. Boiling the challenge down to the essence: The company is not standing in the aisle with the customer at the moment of decision, when the packaging and pricing of their product is just one of a number of competitors on the shelf. Even with a coupon in hand designed to block out the competitive options, the consumer may check pricing, see specials and decide to try something else.
Plus, the CPG manager hardly ever learns who that customer is, and so cannot reach out to him or her on a personalized basis. At what point can the company ask for an opted-in e-mail address? They can promote their social media communities on their packaging, and in their mass marketing, but only a small percentage of the total customers they need will raise their electronic hands and connect.
As a result, it is still far easier for a CPG marketing manager to work on big demand-building projects that involve mass media, direct mail and other such tools than it is to forge connections with each individual buyer of their product. Social media and other community building are a growing part of the mix, but are not yet game-changing, move-the-profit-needle initiatives.
What to do? I wish I had a magic wand on this one, because the answer is “keep at it:”
- Create active online communities
- Explore e-commerce options that could lock-in customers and keep them out of the retail aisle
- Advertise all your community options on your packaging
- Make those communities about the customer in interesting and inspiring ways
- Keep building demand through mass media (targeting to a preferred profile, of course!)
- Get better at working with retailers and gaining access to all their scanned data to improve your profiling
Loyalty is a tougher nut to crack for product peddlers who are not present when consumers make up their minds, but consumers are willing to listen, and the consistent quality of product does make an impression once trial (or re-trial) is induced.