With Diva Renton-Roderix, Lead Client Success Manager at Cheetah Digital.
Over the past few years, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands big and small have had to embrace new ways of doing business with their customers. With the means in which products could be purchased online growing exponentially, it became even more important for digital marketers working in CPG to develop broader strategies for acquisition, engagement, and loyalty.
If these challenges weren’t complex enough the COVID-19 crisis now needs to be navigated.
In the following Uncaged Wisdom podcast, Diva talks to Julian and Kayla about how some of the world's largest CPG Brands, including AB InBev, Reckitt Benckiser, and Kelloggs, have been responding to COVID-19. Attention is then turned to looking longer term, discussing how CPG brands have been approaching the tasks of acquiring new customers, and better understanding existing ones, through the use of Cheetah Experiences. Tiger King and The Cure also make brief appearances.
In a change to our regular programming, this episode is a bit of an interactive affair so please refer to the "Highlights include" section below for detailed accompanying notes and Experience links you can explore.
0:46 to 5:10 - How can CPG brands still engage and communicate with their customers during COVID-19? How can Experiences support efforts here?
Diva takes us through how the CPG brands she works with are leading the way on some remarkable CSR and community initiatives. First up we see how Kelloggs are enabling their Family Rewards members to exchange loyalty points, some earned through Experiences, for meals for local families in need.
Next, we have AB InBev who has been running a number of COVID-19 related CSR programs that are making a difference. Bud Light is reimagining their product finder — which up until this point identified where Bud Light could be purchased near you — to also list those restaurant businesses that are still open for takeout and delivery. Natural Light is making sure that graduate students around the world have a chance to celebrate as part of an online commencement ceremony, and Busch is encouraging those of us who can to foster a dog. Finally, although not strictly ABInBev — though they would appreciate it, we have also seen our various trivia mechanics put to wonderful use with several brands reimagining the traditional “pub quiz” online. Great respite for captive audiences stuck at home and looking for something a bit different.
Overall many CPG brands are in a fortunate position to be able to help those affected by COVID-19, a position they are taking seriously. Working with their Cheetah Client Success Managers, strategic marketing partners on the CPG brand side have been empowered to deliver reactive ideas, building fully-realized digital campaigns within the platform and getting them live in a matter of hours.
6:25 to 13:48 - Looking longer-term what journey, with regards to data acquisition and data management, are CPG brands currently on?
Diva takes us through the three phases of the first/zero-party data journey that most, if not all, CPG brands were on prior to COVID-19. This is a journey they will certainly be embarking on again after the worst of the current situation passes.
In the past 12-18 months, we have seen a huge number of digital marketers use Cheetah Experiences to help them prepare and strategize for the world beyond third-party cookies. There is a fundamental need here for CPG brands to build direct relationships and better understand their customers. Over the next few years, the cycle of relying on third-party options must be broken and replaced with information willingly shared directly by consumers. This, in turn, will help to drive personalization which is at the heart of emotional loyalty.
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3 Phases of the First/Zero-Party Data Journey:
Phase 1 Acquisition: Clients at the start of this journey are seeing their data acquisition teams look to build up a new database full of first- and zero-party data, data they can manage, analyze, and take action on directly. Some CPG brands like Reckitt Benckiser have been using Experiences to rebuild their database following internal cleanups they have undertaken in order to meet the new standards set by GDPR requirements and other similar legislation.
Phase 2 (Re)Engagement and Advocacy: Encouraging customers to become advocates to tell the brand story on your behalf. For those further down the first/zero-party data maturity model, whilst increasing new records should never subside (it is the #1 secret to smashing your email marketing KPIs after all), more attention is turned towards further (re)engagement of acquired individuals. Converting new customers into brand advocates by keeping the momentum going is key to moving individuals further towards having true emotional loyalty.
Phase 3 Loyalty: The most successful CPG brands have loyalty programs established already, programs that have helped them during the challenging times of COVID-19. These brands, more mature with regards to the three phases of the first/zero-party data journey, are constantly trying to learn more about and truly understand the needs of their most loyal customers. Creating highly refined data sets to form a more rounded, golden record on a person allows for better personalization when it comes to relevant communications on product information and offers. All this work leads to increased sales.
We Feel The Need — The Need For CDP/EDP:
Underpinning the phases above is a consideration that runs throughout — the need for a central data repository. Increasingly CPG brands are looking for the right solution in the CDP space. It is here that Cheetah’s marketing Engagement Data Platform can really make a difference. It allows for a vast amount of information, from multiple sources, to be collected, processed, and turned into actionable insights for optimized cross channel communications, enhanced personalization, and better loyalty programs.
By integrating an existing CDP or including the Engagement Data Platform with Cheetah Experiences we can then help address the following challenges keenly felt by CPG brands.
Reducing data loss: CPG brands have a vast array of products in multiple regions across the globe. Although there is usually a centralized marketing influence and direction often regional teams need to employ local agencies and partners to individually run interactive experiences promoting data collection. Away from the legitimate data privacy concerns, this information is often ending up in a black hole, not getting collected in one place and preventing central teams from gaining insight and building out customer profiles. In the U.S. alone, a challenge for a major CPG brand was keeping track of all the regional efforts of their brand teams within different states. In Europe, this is complicated further with the need for localized versions in different languages.
Efficiency and cost-saving: Of course centralized marketing teams want to be able to create more digital experiences, that are collecting more data, for all their brands in all their regions but without costs spiraling out of control. Often the ideal solution is a platform or tool that can provide high quality builds and empower local teams to have the autonomy to run the promotions they want or repurpose things created and shared centrally.
Cheetah Experiences allows CPG brands to empower their local and regional teams whilst keeping control over data and costs. It allows for the creation of regionalized campaigns that push data centrally. Furthermore, it allows for different brands across different regions to share and repurpose useful ideas and builds whilst a consistent look and feel in keeping with global digital brand guidelines. This is achieved by having parent-child account hierarchies, a unified branded theme being applied within users' accounts, and the ability to create ideas that could then be quickly regionalized in different languages.
David shaves Goliath:
One of the great CPG upstart success stories in recent years came from Dollar Shave Club who proactively applied all the above techniques long before they were a glint in the eyes of traditional CPG brands. They directly engaged with the customers of their larger competitors who may have even taken business for granted. Every single piece of information collected was centralized, analyzed, and used to help determine the next best actions. Dollar Shave Club created frequent and meaningful engagements designed to help them truly understand the audience they were after. This — coupled with a very good product — catapulted them into the big leagues. The lesson for all CPG's here is that if you’re not actively engaging with your audience and trying to nurture emotional loyalty then someone else will be. Keep your brand top of mind, which requires having a fully integrated digital marketing strategy and the right tools at your disposal.
15:20 to 25:28 - Some tangible examples of Cheetah Experiences for your consideration.
To close out this episode of the Uncaged Wisdom podcast Diva, Julian and Kayla further discuss the three phases outlined above, suggesting existing activation types available in the Experiences platform today, examples that can be quickly created and implemented by all.
Phase 1 Acquisition: High volume of data capture experiences, great for big and small CPG brands and suitable for localization. Suggested Experiences include Giveaways or Sweepstakes Instant Win mechanics with custom rewards/coupons — which can also be tied back to on pack code redemption.
THE BIG READ: The Zero-Party Data Playbook
Phase 2 (Re)Engagement & Advocacy: Suggested Experiences include Watch & Win forms, Advocacy Contests and the generation of UGC including through branded meme generators. All of these examples are also excellent candidates for our Progressive Data Capture functionality that helps brands better understand their customers. Diva also talks us through the regional product launch for a new Orange Juice and Michelob Ultra’s "Team Ultra."
Phase 3 Loyalty: Suggested Experiences include Product Pickers, Surveys, Realtime Polls — all designed to further engage and better understand your loyalty members. This in turn will help brands better serve them with content relevant to them throughout their life stages. Kellogg's has really enhanced their loyalty program with the inclusion of Experiences, as has AB In-Bev.
It is essential that CPG brands are collecting their own first and zero-party data, whether Cheetah Experiences is being used or not. For any existing clients interested in Experiences please reach out to your Customer Success Manager to learn about how quickly they can be implemented and used for data acquisition.
There’s a library of experiences at your fingertips.
Julian is the Senior Director of Client & Vertical Content for Cheetah Digital. Prior to this Julian was the Head of Customer Success & Account Management for Experiences in AMER. Over the past 10 years, he has been focused on making strategies and software really work for brands and the digital marketers trying to implement them. Englishman in NYC, Demo DJ, and the line is a dot to him. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯