Unlocking Direct-to-Consumer Relationships in CPG/FMCG: Part 3


In Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-piece series, we talked about the four key elements to unlocking direct-to-consumer relationships, how those elements work in relationship marketing, and how Marigold Engage+’s platform can help CPG/FMCG brands drive revenue, create competitively personalized consumer communications, and more. Using relationship marketing and Marigold Engage+, one CPG brand that stands out amongst its competitors is Hill’s Pet. 


Relationship marketing with CPG Hill’s Pet 


As the CPG industry continues to see an increase in sales, even as it did during the pandemic, brands like Hill’s Pet, have been working on large-scale digital transformation to better understand the customers who are buying their products. As a CPG brand that puts the consumer at the heart of their strategy, using a relationship marketing model and Marigold Engage+’s Engagement Data Platform, Hill’s Pet has been working to meet an increased demand for authenticity and personalization from its customers.

Keith Lehman, the Global Digital Strategy Lead at Hill’s Pet, says, “We’re obsessed with this idea of … pulling customers closer to us. And in doing so, we understand the messages that really resonate with them and the mechanics and the life journeys that they’re going through … also our intellectual or emotional intelligence on what message will work the best, and what are people really wanting out of a brand … I think those are the distinct areas that we’re looking at on a day-to-day basis that make up the overall strategy.” 

Selling products in more than 40 countries, and generating roughly £1.91 billion in revenue annually, Hill’s Pet focuses on its two main audiences: pet parents and pet professionals. Focusing on building relationships with these audiences allows Hill’s to tailor messaging and engagement strategies to build meaningful customer interactions.


Three relationship marketing tips from Hill’s


When it comes to relationship marketing, Hill’s core commitment to building that customer-brand relationship drives their business ahead of the saturated market of other CPG competitors. By working to fully understand their consumers, build out a robust loyalty program, and keep connecting with customers on social media, Hill’s is leading the CPG pet market. Check out these three relationship marketing tips from the customer-obsessed CPG Hill’s Pet.  

  1. Develop a complete understanding of your customers: Today’s consumer landscape is markedly different than it was even ten years ago. People are shopping online, using more than social and search to find products, and expecting brands to stand out from each other. CPG brands must also play by these new rules, meaning they cannot rely on Facebook and Google any more for the large, third-party data. To establish a creative way to get in front of customers, Hill’s has been using emotional intelligence, taking advantage of data and information to understand all the who’s, where’s, and why’s of their customers’ journeys.  Hill’s lives pet culture and loves what its audience loves, so they’re portraying their brand in a way that captures the hearts and minds of both marketers and customers. By using data to directionally steer their marketing strategy, they’re creating conversations and understanding the people behind the data.
  2. Lock down a loyalty program: Consumers are looking for consistent value that keeps them coming back, and they want to be rewarded for their loyalty. With a loyalty program, CPG brands can create unique value that helps them stand out from the crowded CPG space. Importantly, loyalty programs should be able to describe how lucrative a relationship with a brand is. A loyalty brand takes inventory of all key elements during the customer journey, using social listening and insights built out of search, to redefine the brand in a way that appeals to returning consumers.
  3. Use social media to your advantage: Connecting on social media is an excellent way to reach customers in the CPG/MFCG space. Being present in a space where you aren’t always selling allows you to collect social data that can help you understand what consumers are looking for. At Hill’s, our audience is very vocal on social media, and for us, it’s all about the cat and dog videos. Sharing great stories is easy, like the transformation story of a dog who was diagnosed with some type of disease, and our nutrition that helped revive them -– those stories are the kind we work on. But, for the most part, having those day-to-day, lucrative and very meaningful, conversations with not only our consumers, but also with vet partners, retailers, and e-commerce giants, helps create a culture of transparency for us. 

CPG brands trust Marigold Engage+


Gathering information about your customers’ journeys shouldn’t be so difficult. In relationship marketing, your customers should willingly provide you with data insights to better enhance their purchasing experience. Having a platform to harness and analyze data insights is key to getting and keeping customers interested in your brand. With Marigold Engage+’s Engagement Data Platform, marketers can bring all their data together in a single, accessible, and actionable view to drive customer engagement and power relationship marketing, enabling end-to-end customer lifecycle management, driving revenue and customer lifetime value. 

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