How To Boost Consumer Engagement For The Digital Economy

Don Gordon

In a new video, IDC analyst Simon Ellis predicts that 90% of growth in the consumer products industry over the next decade will go to companies that engage more deeply with consumers. How do you engage consumers more deeply in a digital economy? It requires digital transformation.

Sales and marketing teams at consumer products companies may be tempted to tune out the idea of digital transformation. After all, that’s IT stuff, right?

Not really. At its core, the idea of digital transformation is a response to an evolving and fundamentally important business challenge: the changing consumer.

Time to catch up

Here’s the new reality: Today’s consumers are mobile, connected, and always on. Through social media, they are socially empowered and hyper-informed. They know that they can buy virtually whatever they want from almost anyone, anytime and anywhere. They also drive the conversation – choosing how, when, and where to interact.

Today’s consumers, in other words, have already undergone digital transformation. For the people in charge of sales and marketing at consumer product companies, it’s time to catch up – time to engage more effectively with consumers. Failure to do so puts you at risk of losing your customers.

Put the consumer at the center of it all

Start with the premise that the job of sales and marketing teams is to put the consumer at the center of all their activities. This means directly connecting with consumers on their terms, in the moment.

Acting from a relative position of power, and with so many options to choose from, today’s consumers value positive experiences above almost all else. If interacting with your brand results in outcomes that consumers value, you’re on the right track.

What’s needed?

What you need is insight into consumer needs and wants – and the ability to sense these at the moment of opportunity and to respond with the right offers. This requires Big Data and real-time analytics for insight, geolocation, or social media monitoring to detect the opportunity in the moment, and flexible billing and fulfilment processes to follow through in ways that meet the consumers’ expectations. And if building relationships that last is your goal, you’ll also need omnichannel capabilities. These help ensure a consistent experience – whether consumers are interacting with your brand online, in person, over the phone, or through social media.

Insight. Speed. The ability to execute. These are all necessary for consumer product companies to succeed in the digital economy. And this is why digital transformation is important for sales and marketing teams everywhere.

Learn what Simon Ellis has to say on this subject here.

Discover how SAP for consumer products can help your business Run Live.

About Don Gordon

Don Gordon leads global Consumer Products industry marketing for SAP. Previously he led global Retail industry marketing for IBM. He lives in Philadelphia, considered by many to be the finest city on earth.