CPG marketing teams are facing their fair share of challenges.

CPG resources are stretched by the increasing complexity of the customer journey, while consumers are piling pressure on brands to produce sustainably-packaged goods, triggering a rethink of the production process for many.

And that only scratches the surface.

Our latest research yields eye-opening insights into consumer attitudes and behaviors, allowing CPG brands to ride out this turbulence by looking into the minds of the people they’re targeting.

Here’s what you need to know.

The insight: environmental focus

53% of consumers in the U.S. and UK have reduced the amount of disposable plastic they use in the last 12 months.

What this means: Consumers are placing greater importance on the sustainable attributes of the products they purchase. This extends beyond packaging to the values of the brands they buy from.

What to do: Focusing on reducing the environmental impact of your products may increase your revenue as our data shows consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.

Also, ensuring your brand is transparent about its mission creates an opportunity for new dialogue with the customer.

Read our full packaging report here.

The insight: online purchasing

75% of consumers purchased a product online last month.

What this means: It’s now imperative CPG marketers ensure their brand has a well-rounded online presence, as consumers increasingly turn to the internet to purchase products.

What to do: With access to a granular data source, CPG marketing efforts should focus most on where consumers spend their time online, and how to divide budget and resource. You can then create a streamlined, effective strategy and communicate with consumers where and when it matters.

The insight: gender trends

64% of female consumers have the main responsibility for grocery shopping in their household.

What this means: Women are 12% more likely than the average internet user to be in charge of family grocery shopping, a figure that has remained steady over recent years.

What to do: While this gives a good indication of which gender skew to opt for, CPG brands need to dig a lot deeper into the relevant micro-audiences.

One way of achieving this is through audience targeting validation, which takes into account wider attributes of the consumer to ensure they’re targeting the right segment, shaping their messaging, ad placement and products.

The insight: brand discovery

38% discover brands via search engines, and 37% via ads on TV.

What this means: Despite the steady growth of online brand discovery, product research and purchasing, consumers still discover brands via TV ads.

This form of traditional advertising continues to work, and CPG marketers should expand their reach and explore both of these routes for maximum impact.

What to do: While online advertising and SEO is crucial, it would be a mistake to assume the more traditional avenues are no longer worth the investment.

Knowing an equal number of consumers are likely to discover your brand via TV ads means it needs to be a key part of your advertising strategy.

The insight: word of mouth

32% rely on word of mouth to discover brands.

What this means: In the digital world, a positive brand image is vital. Going from discovery to loyalty, a recent study reveals “brand loyalty is positively related to word of mouth for CPG products, however, they also indicate that this is less the case for eWOM (online word of mouth) than for in-person WOM.”

What to do: With a third of consumers discovering brands via offline word of mouth, it pays to know how to turn customers into advocates. There are many ways to do this, some of which are:

  • Provide exclusive content.
  • Endorse and encourage user-generated content.
  • Offer rewards and incentives like free delivery.
  • Share relevant, tailored content on social media.

The insight: free delivery

58% say free delivery is their main online purchase driver.

What this means: Free delivery is clearly key to driving purchase and advocacy among consumers, rated well above coupons and discounts, consumer reviews and next-day delivery.

This shows how modern consumers value convenience at a low price.

What to do: If you don’t already offer free delivery, look into the options of incorporating it into your business.

If you already offer this service, ensure you’re highlighting it effectively across your marketing, calling it out as a key selling-point.

The insight: advocacy drivers

49% say high-quality products would most motivate them to promote their favorite brand online.

What this means: In order to drive brand advocacy, your product offering needs to meet the standards of the consumers you’re targeting.

Almost half of consumers would promote a brand online in return for high-quality products.

What to do: Make sure quality plays a central role in your strategy and call it out in your advertising, consistently and clearly highlighting it as a USP for your brand.

The insight: product research

Consumers like to research CPG products before making a purchase.

  • 8% of consumers have researched online before purchasing snack foods.
  • 7% have researched health foods
  • 6% have researched coffee.
  • 6% have researched chocolate.
  • 7% have researched laundry detergent.

What this means: A significant portion of consumers head online to research CPG products before deciding what to purchase.

This means it’s crucial for brands in this sector to not only have a solid online presence, but to incite brand advocacy and recommendations in order to stand out from the crowd.

What to do: CPG marketing teams looking to expand and optimize their brand’s online presence need to adapt their in-store product placement strategy to an online environment. Here’s how to do it:

  • Ensure your SEO is up-to-scratch as search is where many consumers will turn to research your brand, products or services.
  • Use storytelling and content marketing to engage consumers.
  • Keep an eye on your brand reputation and word of mouth to ensure your brand is viewed positively.
  • Offer a seamless online shopping experience, as well as all the information they need to know they want to purchase your products over your competitors’.

Key considerations

The state of play has changed, and adapting to this transition relies on a more robust CPG marketing strategy.

It takes creativity for CPG brands to form a message that engages, but deeper consumer understanding to strike a chord that truly resonates.

Formulating a clear picture of who your audience is, not just what they do, is the cornerstone of a CPG marketing strategy designed to make the fickle and disparate modern consumer stop and listen.

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