Integrated Data Among Top Challenges P&G, Kraft and Others Face in Tapping Gartner’s “The Power of Me”

November 23, 2011
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At first glance, the title of a Gartner research paper released a few days ago can be misleading.

At first glance, the title of a Gartner research paper released a few days ago can be misleading. Titled, “How Manufacturers Can Harness the Power of Tech-Savvy Consumers,” by Analyst Don Scheibenreif, the label “tech-savvy consumer” suggests a focus on a segment of the larger population. Fact is, these consumers increasingly represent the entire addressable market, a point raised later in the paper:

“Recent economic conditions have changed shopping behaviors of almost all consumers, regardless of income bracket. Consumers are doing more research, using more incentives (both online and coupons) and expecting to find the “daily deal” — some kind of savings program at the market.”

No matter your view of Connected Consumer pervasiveness, you cannot ignore the impact their behavior can have on sales, loyalty and brand reputation, as pointed out in my last post. Don’t just take my word for it though. According to Gartner:

“Manufacturers clearly have the opportunity to have an unprecedented connection to the consumer and shopper never seen before, and the ones that do get connected will enjoy significant advantages over those that don’t.”

This advantage is summed up by Gartner as “The Power of Me,” or ““…the personal power that each consumer has in terms of shopping for and buying products,” due to their adoption of mobile, social media and online communities. The paper describes how several top Consumer Goods companies are doing it right, or are moving in the right direction, including P&G, Kraft and Pepsi.

Manufacturers possess the “building blocks” to leverage consumer connectedness for competitive advantage according to Gartner, but “…many companies are not reaping the full value of their marketing technology investments due to a lack of integration of the different technologies and organizational silos…”

Although agencies are not mentioned, they are behind many of the “building blocks” Gartner cite which offer Consumer Goods makers the opportunity to “to engage consumers in a two-way dialogue that drives revenue and engagement.” These “blocks” include mobile and social channels, and the programs agencies execute within them – such as promotions, campaigns and coupons, to smartphone applications and mobile websites.

For both single and multi-brands, many of these activities occur outside the four walls of the business and have limited lives. This places much of the resulting data and insights beyond the grasp of the manufacturer’s institutional memory — absolutely critical if Consumer Goods companies hope to compete for what is sure to become a land grab for Connected Consumer attention and mindshare. Where consumer, customer (retail) and operational data silos and data come together to inform Connected Consumer strategy and execution is where Consumer Goods companies should focus their attention.

Gib Bassett