The Power Of Coordinated Teamwork Across The Consumer Products Ecosystem

Don Gordon

Part 4 of the “Consumer Products and the Crossover Effect” series

Consumers are more curious, demanding, and impatient than ever before. Empowered by mobile devices, consumers are navigating the crowded consumer goods market to find precisely what they want at the right place with little effort and instant gratification. And all it takes is a micromoment to convince them to abandon their shopping cart or become a loyal brand advocate for life.

Consumer experiences – whether through social media, an e-commerce site, or an in-store visit – cannot be predicted, manufactured, stocked, or distributed. Instead, consumer product companies need to operate a unified ecosystem of channels, retail partners, distributors, and online networks to create and deliver the right interactions at the precise moment they are needed.

How to coordinate, curate, and protect a brand as a single ecosystem

Consumer goods companies that are known for delivering great buying experiences are the ones that run with simplicity, agility, and focused customer-centricity. By coordinating all sales and marketing efforts throughout the business network, brands and their in-house representatives, retailers, and distributors can see how they and their promotions impact each other; influence buying decisions; and affect short- and long-term profitability, revenue, and growth. Plus, connecting these operations provide insights that can uncover new opportunities early-on and help mitigate emerging risks proactively.

With a single connected view of sales, service, marketing, commerce, and beyond, brands can place consumers at the heart of their business – opening up a range of groundbreaking business models. Here’s a small glimpse into two of these go-to-market strategies: catering to the segment of one and monetizing premium services based on data-driven insight.

Strategy #1: The segment of one

From Flipz and Turtles in the United States, to Ülker in Turkey and the Middle East, and McVitie’s and
Godiva around the world, pladis is “promising happiness to the world with every bite” with consumer insight. Access to real-time information about consumer preferences, needs, and demand patterns is helping the global snacking giant ensure its portfolio of product lines is within reach anytime, anywhere the consumer wants it.

pladis is redefining its operating model with a cloud-based, next-generation ERP suite that standardizes processes and provides real-time insights. Within weeks of launching the new platform, the company gained in-depth insight into sales patterns, demand, and profitability by brand and by channel. More importantly, the brand is furthering its ability to deliver the perfect treat for all consumers by co-innovating with partners and customers on a platform of intelligent technologies including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics.

Strategy #2: Premium services based on data-driven insights

For over 120 years, Royal Cup has become known for maintaining close relationships with its customers – and that means making every customer interaction valuable. But to continue its trajectory of business growth and rising loyalty, the world-class coffee and tea business knew that it needed innovative technologies that empower its salespeople to work as efficiently, productively, and responsively as possible.

Royal Cup chose to move to the cloud to record and share customer data and enable mobile access to insights. Now, the company is improving everything from business planning and order fulfillment to delivery of the very best coffee and tea experience available. Furthermore, this investment is setting the stage for an expected 30%–40% growth in revenue and an estimated 100% increase in sales opportunities tracked in the pipeline.

Game-winning plays require smart, dynamic moves

When pursuing ambitious growth strategies, consumer goods companies must build their operations for efficiency, scale, and flexibility to anticipate every minute change in consumer behavior and demand – online and in the store. Doing so allows them to create and deliver business models and processes that can potentially redefine the entire product category with personalized products and services that consumers want without additional cost and complexity.

Get your consumer products business on a trajectory of accelerated growth without tipping off your competitors. Read our industry point of view “The Crossover Effect: Positioning Consumer Products Companies on the Growth Path.”

 Check out the entire blog series by visiting “Consumer Products and the Crossover Effect.”

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.