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Enabling a Seamless Commerce Strategy

Posted 4 November 2015 9:00 AM by Justin Honaman @MoxieUSA, @jhonaman

In part one of this two-part blog series, we reviewed the trends and pain points that emerge when consumers engage directly with consumer product manufacturers. We also explored the concept of “seamless” commerce — meaning personalized, relevant consumer engagement across interaction channels (in store, mobile, Web, social, etc.). 
Now let’s explore the ways that consumer goods manufacturers can enable a seamless commerce strategy.

The ROI Solution
According to a leading analyst firm, by 2016 companies that develop an integrated marketing management strategy to meet customers’ expectations will deliver a 50% higher return on marketing investment than those that don’t. Because their social media and digital marketing efforts are not fully integrated and optimized, it should be no surprise that many brands are not yet seeing the sales gains they might expect. Developing an integrated approach consists of three important steps:

1. Be aware of the online and offline data sources that affect a manufacturer’s brands and products. That includes individual identity data, behavioral data (location, purchase history, call-center transcripts, etc.), derived data (credit scores, personas, influence scores, etc.) and self-identified data (purchase intent, social media likes, user-generated content, etc.).
2. Analyze gathered information with big data techniques and tools. Forrester Research says more than 45% of current big data deployments are for marketing, and marketers are expected to spend 60% more on analytics solutions in the next three years. The goal is to understand how the different channels interact and then put it all together to build an accurate and complete picture of current consumer behavior.
3. Drive action from the data analysis. With data-driven marketing, manufacturers can join the conversation when consumers talk about their brands, their products and their industries. These kinds of personalized dialogues can help capture consumer mindshare, spurring them to action and converting them into loyal shoppers and brand champions. More broadly, it enables making coordinated business decisions to boost marketing effectiveness, customer satisfaction and ultimately, sales.

The New World of Consumer Goods
In an industry plagued by slow growth, private-label competition, increased commodity costs and a lack of innovation, consumer goods manufacturers must rethink the definition of successful marketing. In the old days, 80% of purchase decisions could be influenced in stores. But not anymore. Despite a huge increase in trade promotion expenses, consumers are now estimated to be 80% confident in their shopping lists before they even step foot in the store.

Getting on that list starts well before the first moment of truth — i.e., the instant when a shopper traditionally makes his or her purchase while standing in the store aisle. Savvy manufacturers who want to get on those lists need to own what Google calls the “zero moment of truth,” when consumers make their choices online before venturing out to the store. To achieve this aim, they’re adding email campaigns, brand websites, text-message promotions, mobile applications and social media to marketing mainstays such as coupons, packaging, shelf position, end-caps, freestanding inserts, and television and print advertising.

But making all that work at scale requires a unified, consumer-centric approach to creating and nurturing individual relationships. That means executing dialogue strategies, not just sending out isolated mailings. Optimizing a dialogue strategy requires coordinating all the touch points, as follows, to create and send personalized messaging that accounts for multiple consumer situations and responses:

• Consumers entering the campaign at different times
• Consumers progressing through the dialogue at their own pace via different routes, based on their particular needs and preferences
• Consumers responding to each step, not in waves determined by pre-programming

By capturing and analyzing the millions of consumer interactions that would not otherwise become part of the manufacturer’s institutional knowledge, manufacturers now have the opportunity to take advantage of game-changing integrated consumer insights to affect individual consumer outcomes.

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