David Rosen, Strategic and Analytic Services Office of the CTO, TIBCO Software
Direct-to-consumer marketing has always been a daunting task for packaged goods marketers. With few exceptions, their customers are their channel – grocery stores, drug stores or warehouses that then sell to consumers. Over time, significant progress has been made with respect to shopper insights at an aggregate level, even down to the measurement of sales lift in micro geographies, but little was actually known by the manufacturers about the explicit behaviors and attitudes of identified consumers. Today, through the use of Fast Data technologies, brands are able to capture and analyze customer interaction in real time to gain instant awareness and take instant action, significantly improving their engagement with consumers.
A few packaged goods manufacturers have been able to build direct connections with consumers using loyalty programs, but these niche examples go further to illustrate the challenge and then prove the point of broad applicability to the scores of supermarket brands that consumers place in their shopping carts each week. P&G’s Pampers Rewards (previously known as “Gifts to Grow”) focuses on the exciting stage in new parents’ lives, from when their children are born to the time they become toddlers. This short period allows P&G to have an engaging relationship with a relatively large number of households that are willing to enter codes on diaper packs in exchange for gifts, coupons and access to proprietary digital content. The technology to achieve a program like Pampers Rewards combines the capture and validation of unique codes (with strong migration to mobile capture and engagement) with loyalty features that track progress and redemption logistics for rewards distribution – both physical and digital.
While Pampers is one example of an older, established program, a global beverage brand is currently setting the bar higher by greatly expanding the means of engagement, the creativity of data capture, the sophistication of consumer experience and the underlying technology stack that manages the membership, interactions and data analytics.