Trend Spotting: CPG and Direct Digital Marketing

Josh GordonE-Marketer released an interesting report this week entitled, CPG Marketers Go Digital at Point of Sale. Normally this concept would not find its way onto the menu of topics at The Lunch Pail given our focus on direct digital marketing and its primary channels of email, Web, and mobile. However, the last of the communications channels in that list - mobile - presents a real opportunity for CPG marketers to take the most effective existing marketing programs and seek opportunities to extend the conversation to new channels. Mobile presents a substantial opportunity.

One interesting survey result from the several surveys in the report is the consumer’s reaction to what the report identifies as “in-store factors that influence US consumer when making CPG brand purchasing decisions.” The result is of note because the influential factor is shopper loyalty discounts. While the discounts part of the equation is no doubt important – especially in our current economic climate – the loyalty part cannot be discounted. Flyers, packaging, and signs and displays in-store or at the point of purchase are also considered, but the loyalty is primary – the one element that is not tangible.

The importance of loyalty drives two of the trends the report identifies as significant for CPG marketers.

The first trend of note is the increasing use of RFID technology by marketers in-store for “shelf-level communication.” Scanning a QR code or MS Tag to get product information that is not featured on the package created loyalty through education and access. CPG shoppers, the study also reports, are inclined to respond favorably to more information. In short, the more information, the better. RFID technologies empower shoppers with more information than ever before. The stores that allow this technology, and the brands and manufacturers that are early on the adoption curve, will have a significant leg up on competition when it comes to building customer loyalty – and, of course, increasing sales.

A second trend identified by the report that also includes the mobile channel is how point of sale screens can be used to drive bi-directional SMS based interaction. In other words, rotating three different coupons for three different products with three different short codes on a digital display makes sense. The ability to provide discounts in real time with the mobile channel is important. This trend is important for grocers and manufacturers. Grocers – who operate on razor-thin margins – are able monetize shelf space and in-store promotions better. Manufacturers are able to create new pathways to in-store brand awareness and deliver incentives to customers in real-time. It’s a win-win.

Both trends are important as more businesses and brands find ways to leverage the real-time effectiveness of the mobile channel. The marketers who create the most value for consumers – i.e. good incentives or valuable content – will increase loyalty in the long run, and sales immediately.

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