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Creating Consumer Connections

Posted by Vince Cavasin at 9:00 AM

Recently, Infosys hosted a dinner event in New York on the topic "Creating New Consumer Connections: The Digital Way," which looked at how to drive brand advantage through innovative digital marketing.

The guest speakers were Rob Brosnan, Senior Analyst, Forrester, and Markell Bridges, Director, Information Systems, Global Marketing, Mondel─ôz International (formerly Kraft Global).

Seventeen executives from leading Consumer Packaged Goods and Life Sciences organizations were in attendance. The agenda included presentations from Rob and Markell, dinner, and a lively roundtable discussion moderated by Peter Sieyes, Head of Consumer Marketing and Innovation--Retail, CPG, Logistics, and Life Sciences, Infosys Europe.

The roundtable discussion yielded some fascinating insights into the worlds of CPG and Pharmaceutical marketing--and significant overlap in the opportunities and challenges being addressed by both groups. Some of the more interesting industry-agnostic discussion points included:

  • The growth of mobile channels globally, the emergence of the tablet channel as distinct from the mobile channel, the proliferation of possibilities for leveraging various kinds of mobile devices for customer engagement--even in emerging economies, and the untapped value that these channels hold
  • The opportunities created by the proliferation of digital channels, the new customer interaction models they facilitate, and the increasing quantity and specificity of customer data they provide--along with, of course, the challenges associated with making sense of that customer data
  • The rapidly--and radically--evolving structure of the digital marketing organization. Perhaps the topic the group spent the most time discussing, this covered:
  • The increasing prevalence of cross-functional digital marketing teams which blend strategy, technology, and channel-specific competencies that have historically been organizationally separate
  • The specific example  of Mondelez's International Front Office organization which brings together marketing and IT expertise to drive top-line revenue growth.
  • The need for marketing-related IT groups to evolve away from focusing on process management and cost reduction, toward  promoting ideas that drive agility and improving readiness to meet the business's constant, often unpredictable innovation needs--and ultimately to become innovation partners with the business
  • Some ideas on how IT organizations can respond to the emerging challenges of the digital world

CPG companies are specifically interested in the increasing opportunities offered by emerging digital channels and technologies to facilitate a better view of the customer, to distinguish between consumers and shoppers, and to more accurately (and profitably) target customers based on their position in the purchase path.

Over the next few posts we will be exploring each of the above points in more depth, by looking both at more of the details discussed during the dinner, and other sources of current thinking on the topics. Please stay tuned.

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