CPGs, Can You Handle the Truth? Meeting the SCV Challenge

CPGs, Can You Handle the Truth? Meeting the SCV Challenge

CPGs, Can You Handle the Truth? Meeting the SCV Challenge

No one doubts the importance for brands to truly know and understand their consumers. But knowing how best to do this is easier said than done. Plus, it’s often difficult to face the marketing problems associated with insufficient or sketchy data, so the underlying problem is sometimes ignored. This week, we will look at how consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies use data to better understand consumers to drive greater relevance and loyalty. Hint: It involves four steps to achieving something we’ve discussed here before: getting a Single Customer View (SCV).

360-degree View, Meet Single Customer View

For years, marketers have sought the Holy Grail of branding—a complete 360-degree view of the consumer. And with more pervasive data collection capabilities, many brands have gotten closer to this goal. Today, the 360-degree view of the consumer has become known as an SCV—Single Customer View. Having an SCV means integration of consumer data across two dimensions.

The first dimension is the data itself. You need to collect and manage ALL of the data related to the consumer across all of your brand channels and touch points—both physical and digital. You will also be capturing their emotional state, when possible, so you can better understand and predict their behaviors.

Finally, you will also want to understand and manage the consumer’s consent information. As we discussed in a previous blog, the key to a trusted relationship with consumers is having a secure and transparent data management and privacy policy, so this is an important piece of data to integrate into the consumer’s profile. The bottom line is to think about consumer data beyond the basic demographic information that is traditionally the bulk of an SCV.

The second dimension is to look across the silos of your organization—marketing, shopper marketing, new product development, customer call center, DTC (Direct to Consumer) website, etc. Do each of these departments or groups have their own consumer databases? If so, they need to be brought together to provide the “single” part of SCV. The reason for this is not only so that there are economies of scale and IT efficiencies but more importantly to ensure that your entire enterprise has the same view of the consumer and is interacting and engaging with them in a consistent voice. Disconnected communication will erode consumer loyalty and provide an impression that you truly don’t know the consumer!

4 Steps to Achieving a Single Customer View

It can be difficult to achieve an SCV. Last week, we mentioned that in late 2019 Gartner predicted that by 2025 80% of marketers will abandon personalization efforts. One of the key reasons driving their prediction was the difficulty of data management; in fact, 27% of marketers stated that data is the key obstacle to personalization. So what is required from a data management perspective to get to “SCV Nirvana”?

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From my perspective, there are several key components:

  1. Data integration and data enrichment. As we discussed earlier, SCV is much, much more than demographic data about a consumer and this data exists in different systems and is sourced from both inside and outside of your organization. So the ability to quickly and easily connect to these different data sources is critical. As an example, Treasure Data has over 170 pre-built integrations to allow for the rapid ingestion of data. In addition, you need to combine these data sources with second- and third-party data to provide an enriched profile of the consumer.
  2. Identity resolution. Identity resolution provides the ability to recognize an individual via different data attributes (such as email addresses and device IDs) across disparate data sets. Consumers will be interacting with your brand through different devices and across different channels and it is imperative that you are able to recognize those touch points as all coming from the same individual. The value of this is twofold—first, it provides you with the most complete set of information and attributes to enrich your understanding of the consumer. Second, it also ensures that you are providing a consistent set of messaging and engagement with the individual.
  3. Real-time interaction management. We have discussed in previous blogs the importance of timing your engagement strategy across the consumer journey. Toru Hiruma, Director of the Digital Communications Development Team at Lion Corporation (one of Treasure Data’s CPG customers) summed it up like this: “The future of communication is not about the amount of reach, but accurately reaching target audience, penetrating the message and empathizing with the product concept. We aim to deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right target, in the right way.”
  4. Data security. Consumers expect you to respect their data privacy. Managing users’ data consent across all platforms, and being able to update consent settings as requested by the consumer, is critical. This could be one of the most important capabilities going forward as consumers’ perceptions and behaviors concerning data privacy evolve.

As a CPG brand owner, of course there is the dreaded elephant in the room—the scarcity of consumer-level information. If you are a brand without direct-to-consumer (DTC) capabilities or some sort of loyalty program that allows you to collect first-party data, what are your options?

The first thing to consider is that you may have more data than you think you do. Think about all the customer call centers, social media, early consumer-product trials, etc., that could be seeds for growing a consumer-level database of information. Additionally, even with a small set of consumer information, you can scale that data set into larger segments using techniques such as look-alike modeling.

Of course, you still need to make sure you leverage that data as intelligently as possible, always remaining aware of the time element of engagement. Even the most personalized and relevant message falls flat and is considered no more than an annoying interruption if delivered at the wrong time. We’ll explore this more in next week’s blog.

But if you have the data and can leverage it well, it adds enormous value to your brand. Revisiting Mr. Hiruma’s experience at Lion Corporation: “Fragmentary data on its own cannot capture deep consumer insights. But by combining them and repeating a variety of analytical trials and errors, the facts about people’s lives can be discovered. From there, we can derive lifestyle behaviors, customer journeys, and target strategies.” For Lion, this has been a game-changer. Could having a single customer view change your game as well?

See you next week, and in the meantime, check out Episode 14 of CPG Bytes, where we talk about the importance of data privacy to CPG companies.

David McCarty
David McCarty
David McCarty has over 30 years of experience in the CPG industry. He consults with CPG and retail clients to develop and implement strategic, digital transformation initiatives. David’s areas of focus include marketing, trade promotion, ecommerce, new product innovation, and supply chain. His passion and motivation are driven by helping his clients leverage innovative technology to drive profitable growth.
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