Oracle Data Cloud Blog

  • CPG
    May 11, 2016

How to overcome top 5 challenges facing CPG marketers

We checked in with Mike Merna, Senior Director, Brand Strategy, Oracle Data Cloud on what’s top of mind for retail marketers this season.

Here are his top 5 challenges for CPG marketers as we head into 2017 planning this summer:

Challenge 1:

It’s really interesting to note how consumer health requirements have changed in the last 5 years. For example, gluten free, no GMO's, natural & organic, less additives and ingredients – these are top of mind for many consumers now.

Because customers are sharpening their health considerations, this has equally become a priority for CPG brands. For example, many CPG brands are reformulating their recipes to be more natural or organic, and/or acquiring natural or organic brands to become part of their company portfolio.

But not every consumer is on the natural bandwagon, so marketers are also asking how data can help them better target consumers with specific buying preferences. It’s not enough anymore to just pick a demographic and go from there – purchase data and on-line behavioral data can really help brands find the right audiences for their product and reduce wasted ad spend.

Challenge 2:

I mentioned changes in the ingredients and types of products that customers are purchasing. But demographics and cultural shifts have also been changing – and challenging – traditional marketing norms.

The reality is that modern-day life stages and need states have shifted or have been postponed compared to earlier generations. The playbook has changed and brands have to now understand their customers in a whole new way. Oracle Data Cloud is able to help marketers understand who is actually buying a brand or category vs. who they believe is buying it. We often see a great disconnect between the two and miss opportunities as a result.

Challenge 3:

There are now so many consumer touch points along the path to purchase, which increases difficulty in attribution for marketers. Which marketing levers do you choose to really drive brand growth?

It’s extremely confusing for marketers today, who are trying to figure out how to spend wisely in a budget. Which creative is working? Which platform? Video vs. display? Which audience is driving growth? The key is to learn how to make those tough choices by measuring the actual impact on sales and household penetration and optimizing the marketing mix next time for even better results.

Mike Merna CPG Marketers Challenge 4:

You may have heard that the traditional purchase funnel is no longer relevant, being replaced with a “buyer’s journey,” – and you’d be right. Though CPG is affected less by this than perhaps other industries, it remains a challenge.

Ideally, a marketer wants to map out their customers’ journey to understand the “trigger points.” These trigger points can represent the instance that takes a light buyer to a heavy buyer, for example. Certain health and wellness concerns can change a customer’s buying pattern, as can having a family, or getting a new job. Trying to figure out what all those trigger points are is certainly important for CPG marketers right now.

Challenge 5:

A challenge that marketers sometimes face is that certain brands and categories mainly appeal to consumers with higher incomes. This can be limiting since the median income for a family of four in this country is $67k. Categories such as natural and organic products, like we previously discussed, tend to fall into this scenario.

But there are sizeable numbers of consumers who are of average wealth who do buy these categories because they prioritize their health and wellness. They trade down or out of other categories in order to afford the higher prices of natural and organic. A combination of purchase and income data can find all the right consumers most likely to be buyers and eliminate the waste associated with less targeted marketing.

CPG marketers are facing many new challenges today, but with data there’s a whole new world of solutions.

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Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
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