How CPG Brands Can Improve Marketing ROI

/ Thoughtspace - Strategy, Targeting

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) – a massive category with a lot to consider. Some goods are purchased daily, while others have a longer life cycle ranging from months to years. 

The goal? Build brand affinity to gain a lifelong customer, regardless of the frequency of purchase. 

Achieving brand affinity can result in substantial customer lifetime value, even influencing generations of consumers as parents pass on their preferences to their children. However, if brand affinity is not achieved, there is a low consumer switching cost, and competitors can swoop in and take your customers. There will almost always be MANY other choices and consumers are becoming less loyal

So how can CPG marketers improve marketing ROI by driving brand loyalty and ultimately creating repeat purchasers?

  1. Become consumer obsessed.

  2. Invest in outstanding creative assets.

How to Become Consumer Obsessed

If you don’t understand and deeply care about your target consumer, you will lose their attention every time. That’s why it’s critical for brands, both emerging and established, to do extensive research on who their best customers are –  building a robust targeting strategy that not only finds other consumers like them, but also nurtures your relationship with them. For new brands who do not yet have an established customer base, this requires a lot of upfront work that may at times feel tedious, but will ultimately yield dividends once the brand is in market. 

Understanding consumers’ pain points is a key first step in this learning phase – what challenges will your product solve for? How will it make the consumer’s life better or easier? Make sure you are acknowledging their frustrations as you are in product development and building a go-to-market strategy. 

What motivates these individuals? Are they parents who strive to create a safe home environment? Are they executives who seek products that insinuate prestige? Are they athletes who seek products that enhance their healthy lifestyle?

Investigating where your target audience spends their time also helps improve efficacy and improves marketing ROI by decreasing media waste.

What are your desired consumers’ hobbies and interests?

Where do they most commonly shop?

What websites and social media platforms do they visit?

What publications or streaming services do they subscribe to?

Understanding these behaviors will allow your brand to show up during foundational times of introducing your brand and also influence their thoughts during key decision making moments. 

It’s important to think of these individuals in more than a demographic capacity, building out knowledge that shows 360 degree thinking and makes the consumer feel seen and heard. And this learning phase should never end. As your brand grows and learnings evolve, continually recalibrate and gather feedback to ensure your product remains relevant.

In order to achieve a high customer lifetime value, you must invest in a lifelong relationship and not just massive reach. 

Why It’s Important to Invest in Outstanding Creatives

Once you understand your target audience, you have to work on cultivating a memorable brand image and voice. All of the audience research in the world will not reach its full potential unless there are creative assets to allow that robust understanding to come to life in the consumer’s day-to-day engagement.

Furthermore, media performance will likely struggle if this is not a priority, resulting in reduced cost efficiency and, more importantly, fewer purchases. Global vice president of consumer experience at Mondelez International says it best – “One way to drive efficiency is actually the creative excellence.” Marketing Dive’s article goes on to say “…if Ritz and Oreo activated on the same platform, targeting the same audiences in the same time frames, Oreo would ultimately pay lower rates due to its ‘higher creative excellence.’”

So how do you achieve creative excellence? Well, that of course goes back to point number one – know your customers and what keeps them coming back. Keep your brand top of mind through an understanding of general purchase cadence and purchase motivators. Realize your customers will require segmentation to achieve effective personalization – you shouldn’t speak to the safety-focused mother the same way you speak to the influence-focused executive. 

This can get very expensive, very quickly if not done strategically. That means your brand does not need to show up on EVERY channel. That means your brand should likely start with flexible digital placements where you can derive quick learnings before buying the expensive TV spot or billboard. That means you start small and build scale once you have done the analysis to understand what works and what doesn’t. 

CPG marketers have an exciting opportunity to identify ways to drive marketing ROI for their brand by straying away from early mass media investment and instead prioritizing smart learnings that are audience-focused and creative excellence obsessed.

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