Consumer Marketing Mix for Growth in a Mature CPG Category

by Aman Nanda

A successful new CPG product and marketing innovation can breathe new life into a category and brand. Dannon saw this when it dramatically altered marketing for its Oikos brand of Greek yogurt in 2014. Pfizer saw this when it launched its Rx-to-OTC Nexium 24HR last year. As brands eventually mature and penetration starts to slow, which is typical for many brands, companies must begin to take a much closer look at what – and who – is driving their current brand and category sales.

Some brands want and need to find and target new customers to spur growth. But, with consumer personalization becoming more of a necessity in marketing (yes, even with fast-moving consumer goods), it can also be easier and more efficient to try to better understand and market to your current customer base. So how do you go about it?

The first step in doing this is identifying all your consumers and how to communicate with them. For example, it’s quite possible that there are some important differences between your brand’s retained buyers and potential new consumers. If many of your brand’s customers are different than the typical shoppers in the category, typical marketing programs may not work. However, that also presents unique opportunities!

By measuring marketing effectiveness at the consumer level, you can more effectively target high-value and high-opportunity consumer segments. You do this by quantifying specific consumer segments’ responses to trade promotions, coupons and advertising. This helps you:

  • leverage disaggregate transaction-level data that provides granular insights into consumer behavior
  • optimize marketing execution to align with consumer segments with the highest growth opportunity
  • evaluate the effectiveness of targeted marketing programs
  • refine marketing messages and vehicles to better hit the target audience

Consumer marketing mix is essentially the next level of marketing mix. It maps household panel data and any consumer data that’s tracked. If you know what your consumers purchased and when they purchased it, you can determine how your consumer segments are responding to marketing. 

Also, by using consumer marketing mix, you can not only look across different marketing platforms but also different shopper groups. For instance, Dannon looked beyond its retained buyers (predominantly female) to an untapped segment of new buyers (mostly male) for fresh growth for the brand and the category. The mix told them to reach out to this new audience in a different manner than before. 

When the category and/or distribution changes, it becomes even more important to deeply analyze marketing effectiveness. Companies that succeed are those who can identify the differences between their various buyer segments and determine how those buyers respond to marketing levers, including TV and trade promotion. This effort can result in better targeting as well as an increase in efficiency, budget savings and incremental profit.

Based on in-store activity and your penetration in different markets, you can also use consumer marketing mix to determine your trade strategy. Combining the timing of campaigns with trade tactics can also help maximize targeting opportunities.

As the days of mass marketing fade, getting more granular with your data so that you have the ability to target and activate one consumer at a time is the future. This improved consumer focus leads to more efficient marketing investments and better marketing outcomes. And who doesn’t want that?

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