Indispensable Consumer Relationships at the Heart of Consumer Goods Strategy

By | December 6, 2011

You don’t maintain a leadership position without continually out-innovating your competition. For Procter & Gamble, this means embracing all things digital across its business. From marketing to retail relationships and production, P&G is leveraging the latest technologies to advance its purpose to “touch and improve lives,” according to CEO Robert McDonald in this November McKinsey Quarterly interview (registration required).


The interview begins with a bold statement by Mr. McDonald that should have all Consumer Goods makers evaluating their approach to brand management, marketing and retail collaboration:

“With digital technology, it’s now possible to have a one-on-one relationship with every consumer in the world. The more intimate the relationship, the more indispensable it becomes. We want to be the company that creates those indispensable relationships with our brands, and digital technology enables this.”

One of the ways P&G does this today is via something called “Consumer Pulse,” which applies analytics to data generated in the blogosphere, social media and other sources to uncover the real time conversations which can impact sales and brand value. For perhaps the most recent example of where this capability applies, consider this past week’s news around Coca Cola’s holiday packaging reversal.

At a time of unprecedented consumer participation in social media and adoption of mobile technology, consumer relationship development should be a key initiative for all Consumer Goods makers. Not only because of the opportunity to reach consumers, but the fact consumers are today targeted by all businesses, in all industries. Only those wise enough to create, nurture and develop direct relationships with these Connected Consumers are certain to be heard above the noise.


We’re seeing fewer Consumer Goods marketing teams delegate digital efforts to third parties for many reasons, but all which relate back to more effective marketing, relevant communication, and results with a focus on demonstrating return on investment. Even fractions of a percent in sales can be affected by these proven methods, more than paying for the investment.


The quite literally “federated” approach to consumer marketing that has yielded multiple agency relationships, dozens if not hundreds of websites, mobile applications and opt-in email/SMS text message lists, places data, insights and ultimate value beyond the grasp of most Consumer Goods marketers. Only by integrating and reconciling these sources, and melding them with increasingly available retail purchase data and production/forecasting, can the best and most competitive results be attained.


Teradata is an ideal platform for such a solution, that both speeds time to integration while also offering a best in class platform for consumer relationship creation and development (called Aprimo Relationship Manager).


With P&G setting the pace for the entire Consumer Products industry, other manufacturers should consider embracing consumer relationships in the same way they do other facets of their business.

Gib Bassett 

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