The halcyon days of advertising as portrayed in the iconic Mad Men TV show are well and truly gone. The digital age is here to stay, and brands are increasingly threatened by the rapidly evolving retail environment.
Consider the digital disruptors; online shopping, click and collect, even unstaffed stores and drones. These are all are part of a trend where the “lines between the physical and the digital worlds are blurring” (Alison Martin, Kantar Worldpanel).
Add this to the threat of discounters and own-brand products and you can see how the implications for brands are immense.
The challenge for FMCG is to retain consumer mindshare and spend in this disruptive landscape. But how can this sector fight back and disrupt the disruptors?
In this article we’re going to see how mobile promotions can help FMCGs do just that.
But first, let’s take a closer look at what’s happening in FMCG and Retail…
FMCG and Retail: Trends
Savvy retailers are already disrupting shopping habits by leveraging in-store, mobile and online technology to enhance the shopping experience and meet consumers’ evolving desires (PWC Ireland: “Retailers and the Age of Disruption”).
Mobile marketing is a key strategy for many retailers who are investing in e-commerce, apps, email and SMS communications. The aim is simple, to foster their relationship with their customers and maintain their loyalty.
Meanwhile in the FMCG arena technology is also redefining what it means to “go” grocery or convenience shopping;
“Shoppers are growing accustomed to the benefits of digital in other retail settings and are beginning to expect them in grocery as well” (Nielson).
The Uberisation of FMCG
A recent report from Kantar Worldpanel looks at the rankings of the most chosen brands last year. In it, director Alison Martin talks about the “Uberisation” of FMCG. E-commerce FMCG sales are increasing relative to in-store purchases – they were up by 15% globally in 2015 and Asian countries – particularly South Korea – are leading the charge.
However, overall the in-store experience is still predominant with 80% of Western Europeans still choosing to shop in retail stores (Guardian).
Whether a brand is a winner or loser in this complex environment depends on a variety of factors; not all of which are under the brand’s control, as Alison Martin of Kantar goes on to suggest;
“No matter how successful you are at attracting new buyers, be aware that around half of them will not buy your brand the following year. Sometimes this is conscious rejection but is more often circumstance. You weren’t listed in the store they visited. You were out of stock. You weren’t on promotion. You simply weren’t top of mind” (Alison Martin, Kantar Worldpanel)
So how can local and global brands take back control and maintain market share?
Here are some smart mobile marketing strategies to help…
FMCG Promotions: 6 Ways to Think Mobile
When coming up with your mobile marketing campaign it’s essential to consider it from all angles – not just the creative and prizes but also the data and future communications.
Here are some of our pointers for making your mobile promotions a success;
- Think inbound not “broadcast”: Whilst communicating the message is important, you should also use every opportunity to invite active inbound engagement from consumers.
- Think local: When consumers are taking part in your promotion, it can make a big difference if rewards or prizes can be earned and redeemed locally. This on-pack promotion from Bulmers allowed consumers to immediately redeem their free drink in a local pub of their choice.
- Think multi-channel: Campaigns can include a mix of SMS, social, web and online. This Deep River Rock promotion used SMS to engage consumers and a web-based prize claim system to reward them. Apps, social media and vouchers can also be part of the mix.
- Think intelligent marketing: Personalisation is key, and it needs to be combined with an omnichannel approach; “The ability to vary your marketing messages based on the number of times a customer has encountered your brand’s advertising across the entire online ecosystem, and on any device, can help deliver an entirely personalised form of marketing” (marketingweek.com)
- Think data collection: Intelligent marketing is all about data, so when a consumer engages with you, their data is golddust and every single digital touchpoint is valuable. According to this article it can take between six and eight touchpoints to generate genuine customer interest.
- Think ongoing communications: Once you’ve collected the data make sure to continue engaging with the consumer. A mobile promotion shouldn’t be a one hit wonder but part of a continuous communications schedule.
Looking Beyond Mobile Marketing
We’ve explored elsewhere in this blog how customer user experience within the service sector must be viewed from a cross-departmental perspective. Why should FMCG be any different?
As the authors of this marketing trends round-up from Think With Google aptly suggest;
“In 2017, make mobile everyone’s role, not one person’s role”
The complex requirements of “intelligent” mobile marketing promotions will continue to push brands to look beyond their own marketing teams and team up with mobile promotions and loyalty specialists. This approach will enable the brand to deliver a seamless digital promotion from discovery to engagement, reward and retention.
To bring us back to our original point, brands can leverage “smart mobile promotions” to disrupt the disruptors, retain shelf space and consumer mindshare.
If done right, these mobile promotions can be an indispensable platform for consumer engagement and retention, and become a cornerstone of your brand’s growth.