The Yin and Yang between CPG Field Sales and Digital Marketing 

Social media has engulfed itself in every aspect of our lives, from finding the newest restaurant to buying organically sourced toothpaste. More and more CPG brands are tapping into social media and sharing content that resonates with today’s young consumers, from their core values to natural ingredients. All this effort is helping drive brand awareness, offering a fresh perspective on products, and bolsters brands’ sales. So how does digital marketing and social media fit into a successful sales execution strategy?

Consumers Want Information before Entering the Store

Today’s consumers want brands to be more transparent, whether it be about product ingredients, what causes they support, or their sustainability efforts – these are just a few, key components today’s consumers consider when buying a product. Before a shopper even steps foot into the grocery store, they have already been influenced and somewhat informed about the product they’re going to purchase – which can be conscious or subconscious – thanks to social media and the digital world.

How the Big CPG’s Have Embraced & Flourished in the Digital World

Some of today’s biggest CPG brands have taken full advantage of this shift. For example, Dove has used social media participation to help empower and transform women’s self-esteem. Through its social efforts, Dove hopes to lead a real change in how women and society view beauty. Meanwhile, Naked Juice has gone down a different route with the use of fitness bloggers and influencers on Instagram. By using influencers to promote the brand, it is able to highlight the health benefits of drinking the beverage. Lastly, Chobani used the new trend to break its image of being considered strictly a “breakfast” food. It strategically posted on social media at certain times, to change the conversation and show that it fits all occasions.

Geo-Located Messaging: Brand Managers Use Social Media to Monitor Their Key Accounts

Geo-located marketing provides the ability to personalize the content based on the location of consumers, which allows brands to push out actionable discounts and offers around targeted events and locations. This can be a highly effective strategy – Good Push reported that geo-located messages influenced ads to be open 293% higher than generic broadcast messages. Thus, for mega-events such as the Daytona 500 and ACL (Austin City Limits Music Festival), brands are influential in driving shoppers to stores, and retail teams need to ensure shelves are stocked and ready-to-go. Topo Chico, for example, was one of ACL’s main sponsors. They used giveaways on Twitter and at ACL to get more people to try their product and interact with it, hoping that in the end, consumers buy it in stores. Brand managers can add in social media to their selling collateral for key accounts in the weeks leading up to the events so their grocer partners can be ready.

Strategy Is Everything to a Brand’s Digital Success

In order to get maximum engagement with posts on social media, strategy and timing are key. Understanding a consumers’ habits relevant to an industry allows CPG brands to make sure their campaign goes live when the consumer is in a certain frame of mind to act. For example, brands can build awareness by running a campaign targeted around home-cooked meals and scheduling posts to run right before commuting hours. Ultimately, this derives a better ROI for brands’ sales strategies.

How Start-ups Can Use it to Their Advantage

However, this isn’t beneficial to only large, established CPG brands. Young, start-ups now can focus on analytics through their social accounts. Because it’s not only a distribution channel, but a source of raw product data, honest consumer opinions, beta testing, and simply a generalized idea of what the public thinks of a new product. Brands can launch its product on Monday morning, watch the social response throughout the week, and know consumers’ likes and dislikes about the product by Friday afternoon. This allows them to tweak and adjust their messaging around the product faster.

Connecting the Dots Of Retail Sales and Digital Marketing

With technology becoming more and more influential in peoples’ lives, it is best if CPG brands embrace it instead of run from it. When brands create a narrative and push out real, engaging content online, they will ultimately reap the benefits at the shelf!

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Bruce is the founder and CEO of RW3 Technologies. Having spent more than 35 years in the consumer goods and grocer space Bruce has experienced the industry disruption first hand and understands how artificial intelligence, POS data, and mobile technology can transform a good organization into a great one.

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