Readers' Choice 2018: Editors' Picks
The following is a short list of additional solutions providers delivering unique value to the consumer goods industry.
CIERANT/FORESIGHT ROI/ SHOPPERATIONS
This trio of solution providers constitutes what could be its own Readers’ Choice category: Shopper Marketing Management. The need for consumer goods companies to drive better results from retail-focused strategic promotions has become increasingly critical, especially as the industry moves toward more comprehensive planning of all commercial programming.
Cierant’s Instigo software delivers spending transparency and streamlines program execution. The company’s zBudget tool was designed specifically to help shopper marketers effectively implement zero-based budgeting.
Foresight ROI offers proprietary performance measurement tools (and plenty of industry experience) that fuel performance-boosting planning insights. The company also has been instrumental in helping the industry benchmark shopper marketing effectiveness.
Shopperations’ “event lifecycle management” software is designed to drive more effective planning and budgeting. The 3-year-old company’s client list already boasts Conagra Brands, Heineken, Pinnacle Foods and Hormel.
CLAVIS INSIGHT/ONE CLICK RETAIL
The recent merger of Clavis Insight and One Click Retail (via parent Ascential, plc.) creates a noteworthy specialist in e-commerce performance measurement. Enabled by data science and technology, the tandem offers insights into market share, traffic and conversion, search optimization and price analytics. The extensive client roster (10,000 worldwide) includes P&G, Nestle and Hasbro.
Launched in fourth-quarter 2016, Fractal’s Cuddle.ai tool is a “personal analyst” that employs AI and machine learning to automatically integrate and analyze various data sources to deliver advanced, actionable insights in real time. The company has been beefing up its executive ranks along with its capabilities: last June, it acquired analytics-based strategy consultancy 4i.
The marketing services company’s numerous tools for commerce (promotions, remarketing, returns), analytics (promotion, supply chain performance) and engagement (influencer marketing, mobile coupons) now include Prescriptive IQ, a data synthesis platform using AI to inform the selection of relevant social influencers, potential co-op brand partners and relevant marketing content and contexts.
The company's singular goal is to help packaged goods companies develop better ways to provide product transparency for increasingly demanding consumers. The technology goes beyond standard data sets to encompass higher-order attributes delivered via internet-enabled packaging, websites and mobile apps. Recent partnerships with Nielsen and 1WorldSync will, respectively, help clients understand trends in data demand and more easily disseminate their information.
“Selerant has a complete range of capabilities for product development that we are excited to leverage as we move forward with any future product roadmaps,” said Rick Drummond, vice president of R&D at B&G Foods, which went live with the vendor’s PLM DevEx software last December. Other blue chip clients for this NPDI/PLM list staple (SMB Market Leader in 2016) include Nestle, Barilla and Bacardi.
The company’s distinctive technology lets digital ads bypass the typical brand page (or other decision-slowing URL) to let consumers click right through to the shopping cart of a partnering retailer. The idea is to increase conversion by skipping intermediate pages. For the holidays, Del Monte, Campbell’s and French’s teamed to promote a green bean casserole that conveniently put all the necessary ingredients right into the cart.
The newly renamed analytics company (formerly the distinct Symphony Gold and EYC operations) has put together a menu of solutions to drive personalized marketing, merchandising, category management, retail operations, and supply chain planning and replenishment. Launched last fall, “CINDE” (for “conversational insights and decision engine”) is a CPG-specific digital analytics assistant incorporating AI, machine learning, natural-language speech technology and immersive visualization.
TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES
A near constant on the Readers’ Choice Consultant list over the past decade, Tata helps consumer goods companies such as Microsoft and American Greetings develop strategies for supply chain, analytics and sales & marketing. In January, Tata announced plans to open a global development center for Shure, Inc. to help the audio equipment manufacturer build cutting-edge product lines.
Typically a common name on the Readers’ Choice lists for Outsourcing and TPM (in addition to Consulting), Wipro was busy at January’s NRF Show showcasing, among other solutions, a partnership with Harte Hanks in which the marketing services shop’s consumer database will fuel Global Dataview, a new tool that uses 1,600 prescriptive attributes to create deeply personalized shopping experiences. Wipro strengthened the partnership soon after by taking a minority stake in Harte Hanks.