How CG Manufacturers Are Using MDM to Create a Recipe for Customer Success

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How CG Manufacturers Are Using MDM to Create a Recipe for Customer Success

By Todd Callen, Stibo Systems - 10/28/2015
Every industry and every company has unique challenges when it comes to managing data. Some struggle with getting products to market, others try to determine the relationships between their products and customers, while even more are simply trying to gain a single view of information across the enterprise. Consumer Goods (CG) manufacturers, however, grapple with all three as they seek to achieve, manage and retain their brand while meeting the evolving needs of its customers and partners.
 
So while all manufacturers hope to gain the instant recognition of the elite mega-brands, the reality is that achieving that status often depends on the company’s ability to acquire, manage and publish accurate information and how they use it to expand their digital presence.Take the Amazon Top 100 FastMovers report, which is a best-selling Product Benchmark Report that analyzes a products’ performance over specific time periods to produce a cumulative ranking of best-selling products. According to the April 2015 Profitero Amazon FastMovers US Grocery & Gourmet Food report, almost half of the companies monitored were on the best sellers list every day in April 2015. With an average of 2,258 customer reviews, Grocery & Gourmet Food products had more reviews than 83 percent of high-level categories studied. Also, Grocery best sellers had, on average, 5.8 images per product page, compared to 3.3 images across all categories studied.
 
In fact, what many of these leaders have in common is a desire and commitment to ensure product information is accurate, up-to-date, transparent, and synchronized across all online and offline channels, regions and partners. As digital continues to outpace traditional channels, manufacturers must ensure that all the touchpoints a consumer uses to research nutrition information, compare brands and decide when, where, and even if they are going to make a purchase has the richest information available and that all channels provide a consistent customer experience. With the evolution of mobility, online comparisons, and digital shopping, consumer behavior has undergone a monumental transformation which is presenting new obstacles as well as opportunities. One thing is clear, data and intelligence is a critical component of success.

In an effort to make data sharing among customers and channels easier, many organizations are leveraging Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) solutions to ensure that the information they share with customers and consumers is both reliable and accurate.
 
By combining processes, governance, policies, standards and tools that work together to provide a single point of reference, MDM continually defines and manages critical product information such as products, customers, suppliers, assets and their location across the enterprise. This reference point also provides consistency, maintains control, and oversees how information is utilized to ensure that an organization does not use inconsistent versions of the same data in different parts of its business.
 
How One Megabrand Cooked Up Authoritative Product Information
 
The Kraft Heinz Company, with annual revenues over $29.1B and more than 200 brands, is the world’s fifth largest food and beverage company. Kraft Heinz has eight powerhouse brands that contribute more than $1 billion each in revenue. The Company sought to achieve a single source of approved product information and make it available internally and externally to their customers and consumers. However, they realized they had no way to merge their marketing data, digital assets, and manufacturing and science nutrition data together in one system in order to achieve these goals.

As a result, Kraft Heinz implemented Stibo Systems’ Master Data Management solution STEP, so customers and consumers could have full access to the rich, detailed product and nutrition information they need to make confident business and purchasing decisions. STEP brings their nutrition information, product material and package hierarchy master, product attributes and marketing information together in a single platform and product hub. The information is then coupled together with imagery and published to internal business systems and to their own external websites such as www.kraftrecipes.com.
 
How Publishing Accurate Data Can Push the Proverbial Needle
 
Let’s face it, product information and marketing content plays a significant role in the consumer purchasing process. Content drives initial awareness at every stage, from initial discovery to post-purchase. Consumers seek product information at multiple touch points in an effort to make an informed purchase decision, and any miscommunication can erode confidence that can significantly impact a brand.

Product descriptions should inspire, while supporting digital content should evoke an emotional connection with consumers. Additional managed content such as consumer-targeted photography, videos, and contextual or educational content such as recipes or how-to guides should be centrally managed for quick and easy retrieval. Incorporating user-generated content such as ratings and reviews, as well as customer-generated photos and videos shared on social media has proven extremely effective to increasing brand adoption and create a social connection. However, regardless of whether content production happens internally or externally, once created it is essential that it is easily accessible and managed. This is where a MDM/PIM solution comes into play.

Streamlining processes around a centralized solution and ensuring tight integration with digital channels, eCommerce and other platforms in the ecosystem will help ensure that the right content is distributed to the right place at the right time throughout the buying lifecycle. Today, CG Manufacturers are using MDM technology to create a trusted product hub that brings together nutrition information, product material and package hierarchy master, product attributes and marketing information all together in a single platform. The information is then mapped to the appropriate imagery and published to internal business systems and channels. 

Meeting the Ever-Changing Data Needs of Today’s CG Manufacturer

Retaining customers and improving the over-all experience may be key to driving revenue growth, but it is also one of the biggest challenges that food and beverage executives face today. Other challenges include recognizing and responding to customer trends and synchronizing information across all sales channels and retail customers.

Retail behemoths like Amazon, Walmart, Target and others also want access to accurate product information and the associated digital assets in order to meet the demands of their shoppers. MDM solutions address this need by allowing manufacturers to publish eCommerce ready information to their customers and in some cases update data instantly via a simple export.

As customers continue to demand more information and greater transparency for nutrition, pricing, availability, and sourcing, manufacturers struggle to provide greater amounts of product information across a multitude of unique channels. MDM solutions help CG manufacturers apply practices that the FastMovers are using with great success. Using a combination of social, product, digital and even location data, CG manufacturers can increase customer loyalty by giving them greater visibility into the products they love, while helping to ensure ongoing trust and transparency with the food they have come to trust.


Todd Callen is the executive vice president of sales and marketing for Stibo Systems, the global leader in multidomain Master Data Management (MDM) solutions. With over 20 years of sales management experience, his expertise in multidomain MDM has been applied by numerous Fortune 500 companies. Todd has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands implement solutions and achieve greater insight into their businesses by adopting a comprehensive MDM strategy. For more information, please contact Todd at [email protected] or visit the company website at http://www.stibosystems.com