Modern society is full of disruptions. Now more than ever, a growing number of entrepreneurs who started in the garage find themselves suddenly turning into prominent business purveyors.
If this sounds like you, you are now smack dab in the middle of the consumer package goods industry.
Congratulations! Now, get ready for a war. To learn how to use content to boost your CPG marketing strategy, read on.
Challenges in the CPG Arena
Today, most brands share two common marketing problems. Those two issues are:
- Problems standing out in a severely crowded marketplace
- Creating demand for new goods
However, there is salvation for struggling brand marketers. The digital domain has revealed a new realm of possibility for brands.
Resultantly, you can now create long-lasting impressions and successfully launch new products with an effective content strategy. Until relatively recently, however, this was not the case for brands that traded in consumer goods.
A Definition of CPG Marketing
CPG is an acronym for consumer packaged goods. These products are relatively affordable commodities.
Consumers use and purchase them often. Typically, manufacturers package CPGs in small quantities. They’re not for long-term use.
CPG marketing is the use of all available channels to convince consumers to choose a specific brand in a highly competitive marketplace.
Many products coexist in the consumer package goods space. For instance, CPG brands manufacture and sell items across industries such as:
- Cleaning supplies
- Food & beverage
- Office supplies
- Paper products
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you a good idea of the expanse of the consumer package goods market.
What Is a CPG Brand?
If you want to understand CPG brands, it’s helpful to understand the difference between consumable goods and durable goods. Consumers use durable goods repeatedly before discarding them. Examples of durable goods are:
Historically, consumers have purchased CPG goods at physical locations, such as retail stores and malls. In this context, the packaging is a critical part of CPG marketing. The appearance of packaging differentiates brands and attracts buyers.
In a pharmacy, grocery store, or big box store, shelf space is limited. Because of this, the competition to land shelf space is fierce.
These stores stock the products that sell the most. As a result, excellent product packaging and design is one of several mission-critical processes for CPG brands.
All of this, however, is changing. Now, CPG brands are embracing the digital domain.
Years ago, this was a fruitless undertaking for manufacturers of CPG. For example, Pets.com was more than the poster boy for the dot-com bubble bust. They became formerly living proof that the digital superhighway does not support CPG marketing and sales – at least not at that time.
Since then, the digital landscape has changed. Engineers have made remarkable advances in mobile technology, machine learning, and data analytics as well as automated marketing and supply chain management.
Now, it’s a whole different ballgame for CPG brands. It’s more than possible to use the internet to sell consumer goods; it’s becoming a part of the new normal.
Today, e-commerce channels can easily support e-commerce for CPG manufacturers. What’s more, retailers are on board.
Even big-box stores, grocery stores, and retailers have embraced e-commerce. The click-and-collect delivery model is here to stay.
It’s a Whole New Ballgame
Now, consumers can pay for CPG products online and receive text updates about the status of their orders, whether they pick it up in-store or have it shipped to their homes.
A perfect example of the click and collect delivery model is Amazon Prime’s service called Prime Pantry. The CPG service allows Amazon Prime subscribers to buy retail groceries and household products. They can then have those products delivered to their homes the very next day.
Amazon is also operating an experimental service called Prime Now. Through the service, consumers can enjoy free two-hour delivery of various goods.
The company is also experimenting with a service called Amazon Dash Replenishment. It works with smartphones, smart appliances, and – of course – Amazon’s Alexa personal digital assistant.
The service makes it easy for consumers to buy goods. It also creates a recurring revenue stream for brands.
Through the program, consumers can use Alexa or their smart devices to reorder goods with a single click or voice command. Indeed, the digital universe is finally starting to send good karma the way of the CPG vertical.
What Is CPG Experience?
The goal of creating a CPG experience is to promote word-of-mouth advertisement. Experience marketing is also called experiential marketing.
Most consumers rely on word-of-mouth recommendations when choosing products. At the same time, consumer faith in advertising is diminishing.
For a range of reasons, they’re relying less on advertisements. Furthermore, a face-to-face word-of-mouth advertisement beats a digital one any day of the week.
This circumstance doesn’t mean that social media influencers are becoming irrelevant. You can raise brand awareness with an effective social media influencer marketing campaign. Still, you’ll need to nurture word-of-mouth marketing to support influencer posts.
By inviting micro-influencers to experience your brand in real life, you can build a substantial digital audience online and off-line. Ideally, you’ll wow them with your offering, and they’ll tell everyone about it. This example highlights the power of experiential marketing for CPG goods.
The Benefits of Effective CPG Marketing
Effective CPG marketing can help you disrupt your vertical. Today, an expertly planned marketing campaign can help you overtake leading brands.
It’s challenging to convince a consumer to switch brands. It is equally as tricky to get them to try something new after they become accustomed to a specific CPG product.
However, it’s almost as hard for them to turn down a free sample. Herein lies your opportunity to get a consumer to try something new – with some convincing.
If you do it right, you can convince a growing audience to try, like, and recommend your goods. Furthermore, these experiences can spark online searches for your product.
In turn, the searches will help boost your SEO score. If you can pull all this off successfully, you may find that you can compete with the leaders in your vertical.
To pull off a successful brand coup, you must position your goods so that it becomes socially relevant. In other words, you need to change consumers’ perception of your offering. Ultimately, you need your product to become a part of their everyday life.
When this happens, they’ll buy your product no matter where they shop – online or off-line. Consumers won’t think about buying your product; they’ll just do it.
Fine-Tuning Your CPG Marketing Initiative
When developing a CPG experiential marketing strategy, you should focus on the feel-good moments relative to your audience when they use your product. You must ask yourself questions, such as:
- Does our packaging affect user sentiment?
- Does our content marketing initiative create a bond among our audience?
- Is there a way to engage consumers after they use our products?
It’s also essential that you understand the role that the short lifecycle of your product plays in marketing. Once someone consumes your good, it’s gone.
Resultantly, you must remind your audience about your offering repeatedly. You must commit to engage your audience across every imaginable touchpoint.
Developing a CPG Marketing Strategy
It’s an exciting time for CPG marketers. Brands are no longer constrained to brick-and-mortar stores and print advertisements.
Now, they have access to the digital domain in a relevant way. This access has created fascinating possibilities.
However, CPG marketers continue to struggle to find their place in a newly emerging distribution chain. If a brand decides to sell directly to consumers, they must first think about how that action will affect their existing retail relationships.
Despite the new opportunities made possible by the digital domain, brands can’t afford to dissolve their relationships with retailers. Most brands aren’t in the business of distribution, and they’re not prepared to get into it.
Also, the buyer’s journey is changing. Historically, it was easy to trace consumers’ steps throughout the buying process.
Now, the buyer’s journey is more of a freewheeling, free-for-all. Thanks to personalization, a consumer may decide to try or buy a good in any number of ways.
Brands must create a personal experience thousands of times a day at scale. Tracking that activity is a monumental task.
Across the country and the globe, consumers may buy an individual brand millions of times. Retailers do record this information, but it’s not possible to analyze it without technological assistance.
As a result, more brands are investing in technologies such as real-time analytics. This cutting-edge technology is helping to create a more robust feedback loop across marketing, product development and other mission-critical business units.
Data, Data Everywhere
Now, you can analyze how content marketing performs across any number of social media channels. You can use that information to develop deep insights into marketing strategies for your unique products.
This data will help your brand to appeal to different audiences across various platforms. Specifically, you must collect critical information such as buyers’ ages and the inclination to shop online as opposed to buying things in physical stores.
You can no longer rely on your instincts to guide your brand marketing initiatives. Data is your savior. Analysis is particularly critical when it comes to evaluating the four P’s – product, price, place and promotion.
Using data analysis to evaluate the performance of the P’s can help you position your brand for growth. Data is your key to taking a more proactive, rather than reactive stance.
Thinking Forward: Planning for the Future of Your CPG Brand
The consumer package goods industry is massive and well-represented. Analysts forecast that CPG brands will surpass $720 billion in revenue in 2020.
Retailers pack store shelves to the limit with brands. Whether you’re a startup or a well-established brand, you must understand content growth strategies to ensure that your offering remains relevant among consumers. Today, an omnichannel marketing strategy is the way to go.
Increasingly, consumers can purchase goods in a seemingly unlimited number of ways. As a result, you cannot afford to provide your goods through a single channel.
In retail stores, you can use traditional CPG marketing methods to win over consumers who prefer to continue to shop in-store. Online, you can capture the loyalty of customers who prefer newer shopping methods such as Amazon Prime Pantry. Either way, you must optimize your omnichannel strategy by collecting data.
Data will tell you how often consumers buy your goods, where they buy them, and how they buy them. It will also tell you how many different ways consumers like to buy products.
Accordingly, you must enhance your social listening skills and develop content that your audience craves. If you’re a new or maturing brand, you can benefit greatly by collaborating with the retail partner.
An established retail partner can give you a solid foundation for growth. Even if you’re a well-established brand, a retail partnership can prove highly beneficial.
Take Advantage of CPG marketing Expertise to Power up Your Brand
The Wagner Agency can help you find a balance between real-life in digital CPG marketing strategy in a new frontier. Today, consumers live in the digital domain. However, you must create a human connection to make your brand tangible in the eyes of buyers.
We can help your CPG brand succeed by showing you how to balance real-world interaction with technology to create a seamless consumer experience. Contact us today to find out how to balance empathy, technology and self-service to make your brand come out on top.