As we all know, Covid-19 accelerated digitalization by years like never before. The urge to keep brands relevant in a contactless world pushed companies to look for data-driven ways to reach customers. This behavioral shift became the key factor for CEOs in changing how they perceived CMOs.
According to Deloitte’s Marketing trends, the CMO role has gained tremendous momentum over the last 20 months. At the beginning of that period, only 46% of CMOs said they had a significant impact in C-suite conversations relating to marketing strategy. Now, this number is double at 81%.
One of the reasons CMOs are becoming a much more essential piece across different departments is their direct access to data. The CMO’s day-to-day involves obtaining data, analyzing it, and coming up with innovative solutions across the customer journey. These actions are a necessary support to other company areas.
Let’s take sales, for example. Before the pandemic, the sales team usually dealt with their customers face-to-face. Now, sales has to lean on the marketing team to generate leads across the digital platforms and create strategies that generate higher profits and strengthen relationships with users.
One of the many successful examples was Coty’s Live Beauty Event with People Magazine; A 3-day event where different influencers and makeup artists from the beauty industry live-streamed tutorials, tips, and trends. During the event users were able to buy the products from the brands’ Ecomm platforms and access exclusive content afterward. This campaign was one way for sales and marketing to join forces and turn social media into an accessible experience for customers.
CMOs and marketing leaders have also become critical players in predicting the future of a company according to the demands of today’s world. However, as the industry’s environment is constantly changing, CMOs must go a step further by becoming top strategists with a global vision and having the ability to implement a cultural shift across every area of their companies with the help of the available data.
CMOs have to be the ultimate professionals delivering the right content to their over-saturated users. A skilled CMO has the power to use traditional channels intelligently to create much more relevant, compelling, and actionable content for customers in a much more agile way than other departments. Fernando Machado, CMO of Activision Blizzard, suggests, “If you continue to play safe unless you have an outrageous amount of budget, people aren’t even going to notice,” meaning that creativity is, and will always be, an essential asset for brands. It’s the window for creating relevant solutions.
Learn more on how CPG CMOs are changing the game to win 2022 in our White Paper. Download it for FREE here:
COVID-19 gave people time to rethink what they want in life, to test what works for them, and even to change careers. One of the main reasons is because they are in search of flexibility. The days where it was normal to work 40+ hours in the office are disappearing. Now, 63% of college-educated employees are working remotely. This trend also gives companies, especially CPGs, a chance to integrate work methods based on diverse thinking, insightful strategies, collaboration, and flexibility.
These recent changes have driven the need for companies to provide a flexible, hybrid alternative, and to offer a more enriching environment and support system. Companies are being pushed toward valuing more than just the work. Bill Beck, CMO of health insurance company Anthem, redesigned a creative platform that reminded people of the importance of being together since face-to-face collaboration is a critical part of the creative process. His team came together to think through the execution of the forum as a turning point in the project’s development, where markets work towards a common goal to unlock creative potential.
The new hiring
As data is becoming the central pillar of customer strategy, marketers are demanding more analytical profiles that take the data available and turn it into opportunities to deliver brand messages at the right moment in a user’s life.
Data even helps brands to push their purpose forward. Data scientists show marketers that they too can be a source of creativity because they can create connections between the vast amount of data available, and create a solution that will work for users and brands.
This change of behavior does not mean that creatives are no longer needed. In fact, CPGs are creating collaborative models where different talents, from technical to analytical, come together for creative and strategic purposes. CPGs know and value what each talent can bring to the table working together and creating solutions for the greater good of their brands.
More platforms, more partners
The adoption of digital platforms, the surge of e-commerce, and the latest consumer trends are encouraging companies to lean on a vast network of cost-efficient talent and providers. Companies are also looking for innovative solutions and fresher ideas using contests and crowdsourcing, which help marketers and C-suites reach their commercial objectives.
A global and agile hub
It can be challenging and frustrating to find the proper talent structure, especially if a company is not fulfilling its commercial objectives. Instead of redesigning an entire organization, CPGs are going smaller, First, they work to understand what is happening inside the customer journey. Then, flaws are identified, which reveal opportunities in each touchpoint. Finally, they make suitable acquisitions and find the right partner who will work toward fulfilling an objective.
Discover more strategies and what CPGs are doing to win 2022 in our latest white paper, where we share our expertise from working with our CPG clients for more than 18 years. Put your brand on top of its game. Download it for free here: https://121corp.com/white-paper
Influencers are proving throughout all platforms that they are becoming necessary for brands that want to connect in a more authentic and more profound level with their audiences; this is why just recently released figures show that the value of the industry has more than doubled since 2019, growing from $6.5 billion to $13.8 billion in only three years.
In the following years, marketers are reporting to use almost 20% of their budget for influencer marketing, an ever-increasing number never seen before; this might be related to the fact that during the pandemics, people stay more time at home, connected to their devices, and discovering more content that relates to them. This behavior hasn’t changed; in fact, it’s stronger than ever, only this time, many are turning to micro-influencers rather than the big huge celebrities we see on the internet.
When it comes to marketing and brand managers, micro-influencers are becoming the spotlight on their strategies, but before showing you the many benefits of hiring them in your next campaign, let’s know a bit about them.
A micro-influencer has a follower count from 5k to 50k.
Their focus of the content is to create a mega loyal, relatable, influential niche audience.
They have the flexibility to manage their content and connect with their followers more directly.
They are experts in making creative, unique content that generates higher engagement rates than macro-influencers and celebrities.
Their message is peer-to-peer, not peer to an admirer, and this is because a micro-influencer also lives the life of their followers; they try new food, go to new places, work a typical job, and are more transparent.
So how can they be beneficial for your brand?
Brand loyalty is facing an all-time low for many brands, and one-off campaigns cannot raise numbers alone, so establishing always-on influencer marketing with micro-influencers can help ensure that your brand stays on top of mind. The idea here is to let influencers create constant content that will appear in consumers’ feeds and stories during their moments of need (but without sounding too promo or organic storytelling).
Micro-influencers are a low-cost solution for brands and show a higher ROI and reach of business because of the trust they build with their followers. It’s better to hire a couple of micro-influencers that will help connect to loyal audiences and will help deliver the right message for different segmentations, rather than a big celebrity that will mostly speak to everyone but will not create any strong bond.
More Top-of-funnel Traffic and sales.
Micro-influencers are becoming effective partners for any type of business. Their originality and relatability have helped drive top-of-funnel traffic and sales, so having a close relationship with them, sharing your brand story, listening to what they offer, and trusting in their content ideas will only make your revenue grow.
Brand advocacy and audience insights.
As we mentioned before, micro-influencers are skilled to reach users with the same share of values and personal points of view linked to their followers’ passions. Therefore, aligning your goals while leaving a space that will allow the micro-influencer to create a strategy to maximize your results and ask for feedback from their audience will enrich you with real insights for your future campaigns.
How can you find the right Micro-influencer for you?
Brands need to look through their followers on social media and find if there’s a micro-influencer that could be potential. If their content aligns with your brand objectives and it’s interested in sharing their lifestyle with your brand.
Once you find them, appreciate their content, follow them, and engage them through direct messages, they will likely respond quickly and be available for you, even if they are an ongoing campaign.
You can find more insights and strategies that CPGs apply to win the market in 2022 in our latest white paper. You can download it for free here: https://121corp.com/white-paper
According to the 2021 Gartner CIO Survey, 63% of retailers (including CPGs) expect to spend more of their marketing budget on business intelligence solutions and data analytics, as well as 35% more on artificial intelligence solutions. This number is predicted to continue growing in the near and distant future. The cause for this uptick is due to the recognition by company owners of strong data strategies having a positive impact on customer relationships.
Approaching a data-driven strategy with the help of creativity and storytelling will help crack the codes for a more targeted and engaging interaction, enabling companies to allocate their online budgets smartly. Here are some examples of how a data-driven mindset helps companies invest in relevant experiences and platforms for their customers.
Integrate new and engaging touchpoints – On International Friendship Day, Coca-Cola boosted its presence with its first-ever NFT (Non-Fungible Token) collectibles, auctioned as a single “loot box” through the OpenSea online marketplace. This is an example of how studying the culture, working collectively with AI, and being there in real-time helps brands create engaging and new experiences that customers will value.
Relevant content for the right time – Having a deep knowledge of the trends that everybody knows and the moments where consumers search for solutions for their everyday lives helps you create relevant content that will help build a more solid relationship with users. A great example is Unilever’s cleanipedia.com, a site that provides customers with tips, tricks, and advice for cleaning homes and keeping families safe. At the same time, users can access exclusive benefits and discounts from their favorite brands. This action had attracted more than 28 million visitors to date and was relevant during Covid-19.
Having a new Ecomm platform– We all know Amazon is the king of online retailing. Nonetheless, Covid-19 has boosted online sales up to 70%. This is an opportunity for brands to play across different channels where potential consumers will be, like marketplaces, and create new DTC sites. One example of this is Pepsico’s PantryShop.com, offering exclusive bundles and snacks according to the user’s daily moments at home.
Product innovations – A data-driven strategy also leads to product innovations or rethinking packaging that delights the online shopper and remains cost-effective across the supply chain. For example, P&G’s Tide created the Eco-Box, an ultra-concentrated formula is delivered in a compact cardboard box. Once peeled, there’s a dosing cup, a no-drip twist cap, and even pull-out legs for flat surfaces!
Nowadays, there’s so much data available that it’s not about how much data a company has, but how they will use it to create a deeper relationship with their customers. It’s constant learning and updating of processes that require agility, new collaborative, and flexible work methods. But, most importantly, a company owner needs to have an open mindset that embraces technology and uses it for the benefit of its users, their company, and their purpose. Discover in our newest White Paper the latest work models that CPGs are adapting and what tools they are applying for the 2022 marketing challenges. Read for FREE here: https://121corp.com/white-paper
If you want to get started with immersive experiences for your brand, it is essential to know your product or service’s purpose and integrate it holistically into your target customer’s daily life.
The way customers see technology is changing dramatically. They are ready to embrace new tech products and services in their daily lives, not because they are considered “cool,” but because they can creatively solve challenges faced every day at work, in school, and at home.
AI, 3D, and immersive experiences are excellent tools for improving eCommerce KPIs. It’s why every day we see CPGs and the biggest brands in the industry investing in immersive innovations. For example, IKEA’s implementation of Augmented Reality in its App IKEA Place, allows users to virtually test their products and furnishings at home and buy the products in the App. This experience had led to an eCommerce sales boost of 43 percent this year.
If you want to increase your company’s conversion, try using AI to educate and demonstrate to your customer the product which suits their needs. For example, Nike developed “The Nike Maker Experience,” which, with the help of AI, lets users customize and create a pair of Nikes and have them ready in only a few hours! Exceeding customers’ expectations in innovative ways leads to better engagement rates and shareability.
AI also helps reduce bounce rates. Social media and over-exposition have decreased human attention spans to as little as eight seconds; a short time for your brand to highlight your products, and even worse if there are unlimited amounts of information and content that can overshadow your brand. Still, when it comes to AR experiences, 50 percent of users spend more than two minutes of interaction. Using AR in rich media or on your website will win you time to show more about your brand and product, and if your experience is engaging, you can get potential customers from existing customers through “word of mouth,” turning more leads into even greater sales.
Immersive technologies are now considered new interfaces and are the perfect tools for brands to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences that resonate with customers. Discover the latest information in our White Paper, “How Giant CPGs Will Handle Marketing Challenges in 2022” Inside, you will discover a variety of experiences and ideas CPGs are applying to their marketing strategies to win in 2022. Read it for FREE here: (https://121corp.com/white-paper ).
The year 2021 is coming to an end, and marketers, as well as industry leaders, are still facing a disruptive landscape and continually transforming customer behavior. It is no longer simply good enough to tell customers what they should do or show them how good a product or service is, but rather, it is crucial to build a valuable relationship with customers. Creating relevant content that connects, building trust through availability, providing exceptional customer service, and carrying a purpose greater than the number of sales, are among the many actions a brand can make to win their customers’ hearts.
Sounds like a lot to do, doesn’t it?
Yes, but before giving up on connecting with customers, we have some cost-efficient tips from a few of our successful CPGs clients to help you save resources and valuable time.
Create a Center of Excellence – Consider hiring new providers for innovative, upcoming projects. When hiring new providers, make sure they have the same objectives as your business and a strong drive to make your brand shine.
Apply In-House or Outsourcing – Doing so offers expertise in many areas and provides additional speed for your daily marketing needs.
Try Gigs – Look for innovative ideas from people and startups by creating talent contests and leveraging crowdsourcing.
Automate Your Processes – Using the latest technology will help you avoid repetitive tasks and optimize the best data for your strategies.
A new year, loaded with new challenges, new customers, and innovations is ahead. While it may sound a bit overwhelming, once you take a step back and a long look, you can find inspiration from the big players in the industry to accomplish your marketing challenges on time and within your budget.
We invite you to discover more strategies and trends the thriving CPGs are applying in our latest white paper “How will Giant CPGs handle marketing challenges in 2022?”. Read it FREE here.
Twenty-five years ago, a magic tool called cookies that changed digital advertising was born.
Thanks to them, marketers could identify, build a profile based on interactions, and activate engagement through a series of messages. Cookies were also helpful for insight and brand impact. Relying on them seemed like a perfect strategy for gaining customers’ data, but these good old days are over now. The end of cookies is coming in 2022, and brands need to build trust and create unique experiences for their users to gather relevant data organically and under their consent.
As challenging and uncertain as this sounds for the industry, we are on the verge of a new year, and it’s the perfect time for brands to reassess their strategies, let go of depending on one third-party resource for data and strengthen their client relationships.
Inbound is a philosophy based on helping people and building relationships with them by guiding them throughout their journey. An inbound practice is built under three pillars (attract, engage, delight). It can be adapted into your funnel into many techniques, such as offering educational and resourceful content that consumers can use or creating platforms or bots to provide excellent customer service for people. Positive inbound can lead to a share of data under the user’s consent, so it’s essential to keep in mind to be as human as possible in your strategy, be empathetic with users through mindful research, have a constant conversation with customers and standardize your communication for consistency.
Trust influencer marketing
Today, shoppers live on social media an average of 144 minutes a day. They enjoy browsing, discovering, and purchasing from an ad or influencers.
50% of Gen Z shops after seeing an influencer recommendation because they bring a deep sense of connection, and credibility to their audience. Investing in influencer marketing creates a bridge to purchase, so try having them not only for awareness but also across your customer journey and providing them with call-to-actions to direct their users to your shopping basket and gather first-party data.
If you have a problem picking which influencers are the right ones, try including AI in your practices. Machine learning can help identify content in a way humans can’t, monitor each influencer activity, and help you optimize your budget.
Give them control.
Don’t think that you will no longer cooperate with Google or Facebook; they accommodate your objectives, so it’s essential to learn to work with them efficiently. Find strategies that can help gather email addresses and even phone numbers. These data can be shared within these platforms and help create a custom audience within these first-party data ecosystems. Design a Customer Data Platform or Data Management, or acquire them from a vendor and offer ethical, reliable customer-centric experiences that empower users and give them control over their data.
The road for marketers is still under construction, with many challenges ahead. It’s essential that during these changes, such as the elimination of cookies, you can count on a partner that can make your strategies become a reality in a cost-efficient manner. AT 121, thanks to our Speed Philosophy, we can work with our clients and deliver projects in record time without compromising their budgets. So give us a call, and together we will find the right strategy and tools to make you shine across your 2022 marketing journey.
Brand purpose is vital because it demonstrates to your customers that you are more than your products, services, or advertising efforts. You have a goal that is larger than merely making a profit. A new generation of customers wants businesses to stand for something broader than the items they sell. They want businesses to represent an inspirational ethos, have a strong point of view, and take action to influence the world positively. So check out if your brand has the guidelines to earn a check on the purpose section.
Examine your own brand’s purpose as well as the brand you represent
A brand mission is a brand’s reason for existence other than to make money. It’s the ‘Why?’ behind the brand, the spirit of your company — it connects with customers on an emotional level via shared ideals, solved challenges, and distilled meaning. It propels business, helps individuals, and improves society: Is your brand’s motivation for a purpose other than to make money?
Think of your brand purpose manifests itself positively in the eyes of others? Is it capable of fostering emotional attachments and connections? After all, we are all in the same boat, so ask yourself if your brand is improving business, people, and society; most importantly, how do these responses relate to your company’s or product’s brand?
Difference between brand purpose and brand vision, mission, and values
So far, we’ve discussed the brand purpose, but it’s equally critical to define what a brand’s mission isn’t. Your brand’s purpose is not the same as its vision, mission, or values. They are interconnected; each builds on the other. However, if your brand’s vision, mission, and values are the building bricks, consider your brand’s purpose of being the foundation.
Where you are heading is defined by your brand vision. Your mission will determine how you will get there. And your values will determine how you act along the way. They are all inward-looking. They represent you when discussing your brand. They are crucial to identify, but none are as potent as your purpose.
Your purpose—or Big Audacious Meaning—is the overarching explanation for why you do what you do. It should be placed above the vision, purpose, and values to educate and guide them. It is priceless because it is outward-looking, defining the change you will make in a person’s life, a community, or perhaps the planet. Clarifying your mission helps consumers understand how your brand benefits them and their world.
Purpose that sells
The concept of brand purpose is especially crucial when marketing to millennials, who favor businesses that generate social and environmental change, according to 71% of them. A groundbreaking global study analyzing the value of brands with a well-defined “Purpose” shows that consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from those brands, as a Forbes article reveals.
In many circumstances, the contemporary customer is seeking a relationship rather than a product. They do not need to be sold; instead, they must be inspired. What emotions does the brand elicit in them? Is it consistent with their fundamental values and beliefs? As consumers’ interests shift, marketers must interact with social audiences deeper, more personal level than ever before.
To build a strong relationship with your brand, you can apply Keller’s brand equity model and boost your brand’s equity. This tool outlines four actions you can take to create and manage a brand that your consumers will support. Overall Purpose-Driven Marketing is at the core of a previous strategy to achieve more significant customer connections.
At 121, we aim to help you achieve your brand’s objective, not to compete against your creative, strategic, or In-House agencies. We adapt and implement your global campaigns to suit and comply with your outlets’ requirements while also aligned with your brand’s equity and helping you build a clear purpose.
From Social & E-comm content, graphic design, digital implementation to integrated production, 121 will work with you to grow your brand while giving you peace of mind. We genuinely believe that we can play a significant role in your success, for us, the Fastest day-to-day Design and Content Studio for many global Fortune 500 companies.
We are just a few months away from the beginning of 2022, and the changes in consumer behavior and expectations that changed during the global pandemic crisis have made something very clear to companies worldwide, and that is that these behaviors are here to stay.
This has pushed the CPG industry to be the ambassadors of change and the innovators of the industry, through strategies that integrate seamlessly the offline and online, and this is because nowadays we live in a hyper-connected world, where convenience is what drives consumers to seek unique and fast experiences aligned not only to their shopping purposes, but also to their personal ones. In the recent “State of the Connected Customer” study by Salesforce, it was found that 80% of consumers believe that their experience with a brand is just as important as the quality of services and products, and that this experience is key to increasing loyalty and therefore long-term profit. In addition, 88% felt that brands that listen to their needs are seen as better-quality brands.
To create this profit, and not fall behind, CPGs have opted for vital strategies to meet the expectations of their consumers. From buying DTC companies, to giving consumers the ability to create their own product according to their needs. We will highlight some of these strategies and trends that are redefining the future of the industry.
Bye bye middle man
We are seeing more and more 100% online brands and startups that are eliminating the different logistics channels and bridging the gap with their consumers by offering niche products, focused on sustainability, personalization and a premium experience. This has created a wake-up call for industry giants, and in order to not be left behind this momentum, they have started to buy many of these brands to create a new experience with their consumers. And this buying doesn’t just start from the pandemic, Unilever, for example, bought several, including Dollar Shave Club in 2016 and Schmidt’s Naturals in 2017.
Other brands such as Pepsi announced that they will create online stores for their consumers to buy their products directly, with 0 intermediaries, this with the objective of helping to develop skills and value through E-comm in the long term. Although it is a risky move, due to factors such as distance between the factory and the consumer, not doing so would imply a much greater risk as consumers are increasingly looking for a more personal treatment with their preferred brands.
The evolution of the value chain
It´s time to let go the traditional. Technology has come to impact the entire value chain, by creating more automated and disruptive processes to reach the consumer in a more unique and faster ways. In marketing, for example, advanced analytics are to generate promotions, product assortment and even pricing. Today, marketing teams from different CPGs work together with Data Scientists, integrating, consolidating and generating insights that positively affect marketing strategies and budget allocations. In sales, machine learning algorithms help create a more specific sales plan with key actions to ensure optimal negotiations and in the supply chain, experts are seeing how to convert business objectives and supplies into digital projects focused on more convenient and fast solutions.
As we mentioned earlier, consumers are looking for experiences, and brands have to move to create them. According to a McKinsey study, almost 26% of purchases are based on product recommendations and reviews. For CPGs this percentage rises, with 65% in cosmetics and 55% in soaps. Using social networks, not only for the simple fact of being present, but also to listen to insights and understand them, can become a key point to create a better positioning through relevant promotions, allocation of targets, and even innovation and development of products.
Another way to personalize is by creating interest through exclusivity across different E-Commerce platforms. Walmart, for example, offers L’Oreal hydration kits exclusively on walmart.com. Another German company even allows its online users to create their favorite type of muesli using more than 80 ingredients, and it is delivered to its consumers instantly.
But let’s not just stick to E-Comm. Augmented Reality (AR) is an incredible opportunity for CPGs to make experiences from the package. With the help of Smartphones, people can discover more about what they are buying, immerse themselves in the production experience and even find out which product is right for their needs, thus connecting the digital world to the offline world, and optimizing the collection of customer data in a more organic and optimal way.
We have to start acting and fast. Today is the time where we have to understand that markets and industries are moving at the speed of light and we have to captivate consumers right away. At 121 Corp, we move at the same speed as the world. We work hand in hand with our clients, and together we create innovative strategies and product design in record time across their value chain and consumer touchpoints. We know that in this year and the new years to come, we will not only need to have the perfect product with the same promotions and campaigns as always, but we will have to put ourselves in the consumers’ shoes. Understanding their tastes, needs, values and purposes, in order to create experiences that excite them and make them fall in love with a brand.