CPG Analytics: A Quick-start Guide

CPG Analytics: A Quick-start Guide

How Global Companies Bridge the CPG Data Gap

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies face unique challenges in becoming more data-driven. They have long been forced to rely on retail partners and other scattered, siloed data sources to supply customer data, usually with mixed results that depend on how forthcoming those partners might be.

But now, some companies are turning to martech to better understand consumer behavior and desires: CPG data analytics, sometimes just called “CPG analytics.” The pandemic has accelerated both this trend and digital transformation, as millions of people had to change their buying habits and preferences literally overnight in some places.

Companies that can keep up with—or anticipate—such rapidly changing consumer trends will have a competitive advantage in 2022 and beyond. And for that, they’re turning to CPG analytics—AI and machine learning solutions that yield accurate insights to improve both product concepts and design, and the marketing of those products as well.

CPG analytics provide critical insights into:

  • Sales trends for individual products, product categories, or the industry as a whole
  • Pricing changes and promotion success
  • Emerging consumer trends
  • Future forecasts

How CPG Data Analytics Help Global Companies Bridge the CPG Data Gap

For example, Anheuser-Busch InBev is using a customer data platform (CDP) and it’s built-in functions for CPG analytics to understand its beverage customers—despite a “wall of separation” representing the lack of communication and data flow through retail channels.

“Before we went with a CDP and CPG analytics, the data was sitting with agencies, or with the brands directly. We didn’t have a single place to store our data, or capture insights, or use this first-party data effectively, because there were data silos everywhere. That’s one of the reasons we chose Treasure Data CDP, to get rid of the silos,” says Luiz Gama, senior global martech manager for AB InBev.

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Today, says Gama, the insights gained from CDP-enabled CPG analytics have become “our center of marketing…our key to how we’ll live in a cookieless world, in an even more digital environment, and still connect with our consumers.”

AB InBev is not alone in its use of CPG analytics and CDPs. For instance, Treasure Data customer Lion Corp has been in business since the late 1800s and uses its Treasure Data CDP to keep up with current trends and anticipate future demand. Rather than scrambling to react, Lion aimed to proactively meet “unspoken needs” in the marketplace.

As Toru Hiruma of Lion Corp puts it, “The future of communication is not about the amount of reach, but about accurately reaching the target audience, getting through with the right 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.”

Mr. Hiruma explains why having a single customer view (SCV) is so vital to success: “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 that can be used in brand communication.”

Lion’s CDP solution extracted and unified fragmented data from online and offline sources. Their deeper understanding of consumer data resulted in more successful marketing campaigns, unified data for better segmentation, and more insight into consumer preferences and behaviors.

But how do CPG data analytics work? Let’s look at the features of this powerful martech.

Achieving Data-driven Success with CPG Data Analytics

CPG data analytics is the collection, consolidation, and analysis of customer data from sales and marketing. CPG analytics generate valuable insights into trends and changes in customer behavior. They help CPG marketers deal with the fact that data shared by retailers is generally incomplete or spotty, and help to determine the demographics, behavior, and motivations of individual customers. Most importantly, they help to combine and manage data from many different sources, to achieve a single customer view of each customer, for better understanding of customer behavior and needs.

A customer data platform (CDP) is a purpose-built software solution that serves as the data engine for CPG analytics. CDPs are able to integrate and centralize data from a wide variety of sources, internal and external, on and offline. Consolidation helps bring together CPG data about each customer into one single source of truth, filling in data gaps and eliminating repetition. CDPs consolidate, clean, update, validate, and maintain data on an ongoing basis. Integrated data is made available to the entire organization, in near real time, to keep all initiatives on track.

Consolidated CPG Data Helps Build a Single Customer View of Every Consumer

Once all of the available data is consolidated, the next step is to create a SCV of each customer. SCVs are complete pictures of the behavior, preferences, demographics, and engagement of individual customers, and CDPs use AI and machine learning to accomplish this at scale, even if there are millions of consumers and records to sort out.

According to CPG Industry Executive Consultant David McCarty, SCVs are the result of four CDP features operating on CPG data streams and data sets:

  • Data Integration and Data Enrichment: Data about individual customers comes from sources both inside and outside your company and is housed in multiple systems. Data integration and enrichment joins the separate data sources to create a complete view.
  • Identity Resolution: Identity resolution unites single user data from different profiles, devices, and data sets. Identity resolution allows your messaging and interactions to remain consistent for the customer across multiple channels.
  • Real-time Interaction Management: Interaction management guides engagement across the entire customer journey and keeps up with changes.
  • Data Security: CDPs manage and maintain security and privacy preferences at all points of the customer journey to keep the customer experience seamless and secure.

With CPG Analytics, Your Business Can Be More Data-driven

With the right tools, rich consumer-level data is finally within reach for CPG companies. Intelligent analytics with a comprehensive CDP solution can keep your business on top of important trends—now and in the future.

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Lisa Stapleton
Lisa Stapleton
Lisa Stapleton is a former editorial director at IDG and former senior editor for InfoWorld and InformationWeek. She has written extensively about enterprise IT, business and environmental topics, and now serves as a senior marketing content manager for Treasure Data. She holds an MBA from Santa Clara, an Applied Math undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, and an MA in journalism from Mizzou. She also enjoys being a Toastmaster.
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