How FMCG brands can unlock the potential of digital: five top tips

Here are five powerful ways that the FMCG brands can unlock value through the opportunities that digital presents:

1. Have a direct, continuous, two-way dialogue with consumers
FMCG Brands are traditionally built using mass TV advertising to drive retail sales, supported by promotional marketing. Digital enables ongoing connection using a range of channels and platforms – via social and CRM, and useful services and utilities delivered on mobile. This enables personalised dialogue across multiple subject areas, bridging audience passion points with the business objectives.

2. Drive engagement and sales in retail
Through innovation in point of sale systems, mobile and marketing platforms there are now opportunities to drive engagement and conversion in the shopper/retail environment. Working in partnership with retail partners, or via established payment or couponing platforms (such as the UK’s Paypoint), we can deliver discounts and offers in real time, direct to the consumer, for immediate one-time redemption through retailers. This also enables shopper centric utility delivering inspiration and information in the shopper journey.

3. Get data on consumer preferences and purchasing behaviour
Extend the conversation to be continuous and into the retail environment on digital platforms. This generates a huge amount of data about how consumers choose and buy products – insights previously at the fingertips of retailers and kept at a distance from brands. These are valuable for product development, the ongoing development of the consumer experience and in trading negotiations with retailers.

4. Feedback, R&D
A two-way conversation provides feedback on current products and services, enabling propositions to be adjusted and optimised on a continuous basis. It’s also possible to use the audience (or just the passionate) for R&D – crowdsourcing product and service ideas and trialing prototype product in discrete groups. Such groups also become powerful transmitters of social buzz.

5. Creating connected customer experiences
Consumers increasingly have limited mental capacity and time, so brands need to earn their right to have a role in peoples’ lives. Create propositions which are broader than the core product essence, and distributed through a range of touch points. A great example is ice cream brand PaddlePop, which drove significant consideration and share in India through a brand landscape consisting of a multi-part movie on Cartoon Network, experiential roadshows, online games and conventional media.