Preparing for the future of CPG marketing

The recipe for successful marketing in the future has five ingredients, which consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers need to combine at scale.

Most CEOs now look to marketers to drive growth in a digitally turbocharged CPG marketing landscape. Success will require a blend of AI-powered consumer insights, ability to deliver relevant content with pinpoint accuracy and perfect timing, a martech-enabled, consumer-centric strategy, agile ways of working, and world-class talent, culture, and infrastructure.

During a recent webinar, Gary Briggs, former CMO of Facebook; Victor Fabius, partner at McKinsey & Company; Rebecca Messina, former CMO of Uber, CMO of Beam Suntory, and SVP of Marketing and Innovation at Coca-Cola; and Ed See, partner at McKinsey & Company, discussed the changes, challenges, and opportunities faced by CPG marketers and the following five ingredients for success.

AI to mine crucial consumer insights

While the art of marketing remains important, today’s marketers need to master the technological tools used to create great art. The deepest possible consumer insights come from applying AI and powerful analytical capabilities. These data-fueled engines can guide impactful decisions by looking across the customer journey to uncover previously unseen pockets of opportunity.

Compelling creative delivered at the right time to the right audience

Great creative is useless in a vacuum; it must be relevant to the market, the segment, and most importantly, the individual consumer. Modern CPG marketers must develop the capability to deliver that creative at the right moment, with the right content and the right offer, to the right consumer. With advanced analytics, marketers can respond to consumer signals in real time, harness the power of personalization, and do it at the scale needed by a CPG company.

A consumer-centric strategy with fit-for-purpose data and martech

For exploiting the power of AI and advanced analytics and responding to consumer signals in real time, marketers require a fit-for-purpose martech stack and an ecosystem capable of driving a consumer-centric strategy. Marketing leaders should target a defined set of customer outcomes and the use cases that support them. Then, working back from the desired outcomes, they should build a data and martech road map and link the martech stack to business needs for data, design, decisioning, distribution, and measurement.

Agile ways of working

For all these ingredients to work together, the organization needs an effective operating model based on agile ways of working. Such a model employs cross-functional teams that include marketing, products, analytics, and technology and work swiftly to drive value. But the purpose is not just to do things faster; it’s about doing things differently—working virtually with agency partners, tech partners, and consulting partners, striving toward a common goal, and changing direction rapidly as that goal changes.

World-class talent, culture, and infrastructure

The ongoing Great Attrition amplifies the need to ensure that your company is a place where people actually want to work. For companies to attract and retain world-class talent, they must create a world-class culture people want to join, contribute to, and drive. To scale impact, they also need top-shelf infrastructure to support that talent and that culture. Marketers can maximize in-house talent by assessing capabilities, prioritizing capabilities that allow for quick upskilling, and building a long-term program to acquire the capabilities needed on all marketing teams.