There are two often conflicting points of views in the effort to build consumer loyalty: "How do I get the most amount of revenue out of my consumer," queried Imteaz Ahamed, director of performance marketing for baby formula maker Reckitt, "and deliver the products they actually need?"
Earning both maximum revenue and lifelong loyalty from customers is no longer a tricky and often conflicting balancing act, but in this new era of data-driven product development, branding, and marketing, is now the expected result for all brands, according to Ahamed and his fellow panelists on the The Art and Science of Consumer Loyalty panel during CGT's Consumer Goods Sales & Marketing Summit.
All the panelists acknowledged that success is no longer measured by individual products and sales, or about collecting, analyzing, and exploiting consumer data, but the need to provide a 360-degree view of both products and experiences that keep consumers returning to a brand, to not only create loyal customers but brand evangelists.
What’s more, building modern brand and marketing strategies to create loyal consumers requires marrying the arts of product development, branding, and marketing brand strategies to the sciences of consumer data, and panelists agreed that understanding the corporate goals, business opportunities, and the consumer takes priority over building the technological and corporate ecosystems.
Listen to More View from Edmonson on Consumer Loyalty
Ravi Parmeswar, VP and chief analytics officer for Johnson & Johnson, cited how John Deere transformed itself from just a tractor seller to a solutions provider for farmers. "It's about providing the total solution in this space that I called the life sphere. Companies need to own that space, and that's the game that you're going after. It's not product, it's not services."
"We talk a lot about consumer experiences for driving loyalty, but part of the consumer experience is the biggest space, giving them a much more holistic view and then empowering them to make a decision that goes beyond your product services," he added.
Understanding the end consumer is not easy for CPG companies that don't sell direct to consumer. But, "if you don't have a direct-to-consumer side understanding, how would you be able to collect data? How will you be able to get to know that consumer deeply?" rhetorically asked Mark Edmonson, CMO of Materne North America, Gogo SqueeZ.