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Consumer Goods: Economist Intelligence Unit on Honing a Cross-Channel Approach to Consumer Marketing

In a recently published report, the Economist Intelligence Unit finds that consumer goods manufacturers have key lessons to learn from their retail counterparts as they move into new channels such as social media and mobile.

Though consumer goods (CG) manufacturers are aggressively exploring ways to integrate new channels such as social media and mobile, many are "not ready to abandon traditional approaches to consumer marketing," the report's authors write.

"To attract and engage the consumer, CG manufacturers are increasingly exploring ways to integrate new channels such as mobile and social media into their marketing mix," said Cassandra Moren, senior director, consumer goods industry marketing, Oracle. "Direct to consumer interaction is growing, as evidenced by the research, and it is critical in today's highly-competitive global economy that CG companies take advantage of every touch point with the consumer. As the EIU report shows, this now involves a combination of physical and digital environments, including social media and mobile platforms."

The report, New Directions: Consumer Goods Companies Hone a Cross-Channel Approach to Consumer Marketing, is sponsored by Oracle and draws on a survey of 221 CG executives across the globe, as well as in-depth interviews with corporate leaders.

Adapting to the New, Nonlinear Buying Process
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, it is not sufficient to push traditional media through new media channels.

"An increasingly complex, nonlinear buying process requires a different, cross-channel approach—one that puts brands wherever consumers are, in a way that encourages participation, not passive consumption of marketing messages," the authors write.

One key tool for successfully meeting consumers where they are is social media, which is reported as growing in importance as a tool to increase consumer loyalty. Thirty-three percent of respondents say social media will become a top priority in the next 12 months versus the 17 percent that cite it today. Respondents report plans to utilize it for activities such as
  • Product promotion (73 percent)
  • Capturing consumer feedback (63 percent)
  • Customer service (62 percent)
Other key findings include
  • The importance of big data. "In the era of big data, CG companies need to identify which data provides the best insights into consumer behaviors and interactions with their brand or the product categories in which they compete," the authors write.

  • New measures for success. "Measurement models will need to change as marketers focus on advanced metrics and analytics that measure not just exposure to ads, but also engagement with the brand across multiple channels," conclude the authors. "Marketers will also have to translate engagement metrics into tangible business benefits, including customer loyalty, and ultimately, increased sales."

  • Working with retailers. "CG companies must carefully manage existing relationships with their retail partners—even as they experiment with their own online/social sales models," the authors write.

  • Two-way relationship. CG manufacturers are experimenting with new ways to establish and enhance direct, two-way relationships with their target consumers across multiple channels.
Read the full report, and find out how Oracle can help you hone a cross-channel approach to consumer marketing.

Dig deeper into this edition to learn more about Oracle’s strategy for cross-channel cohesion.
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