Building and managing global Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods (henceforth referred as RCPG) brands has never been so challenging and exciting for global enterprises. As organizations expand to newer geographies, they are implementing marketing programs in challenging business environments, as they deal with the mass migration of consumers from the traditional to the emerging marketing channels. Converting this multi-channel audience into customers and cementing their loyalty is a daunting marketing task. To stay ahead, marketers need innovative ways to understand, collaborate, reach and influence consumers who are fast embracing the emerging channels. Marketers need a robust technology platform that can offer them comprehensive support in planning and executing these operations. This paper outlines the trends that have been shaping the marketing efforts of global RCPG enterprises. By illustrating the big picture of marketing, this paper will focus on the need for RCPG enterprises to deploy a comprehensive digital marketing platform.
Marketing Trends that are Shaping RCPG Enterprises
Global RCPG enterprises are marketing their products in several countries that are culturally diverse, demographically unique and linguistically distinct. This requires marketers to standardize their marketing approach and yet gather location-specific consumer insights for improved business impact.
In addition, as a significant number of consumers migrate from the traditional channels (print, television and radio) to the emerging ones (web, mobile and social media), marketers are looking for tools that can support their decisions and generate better return on their marketing spend.
The above challenges and transformations have led to the following five major marketing trends that have been shaping the RCPG industry's global marketing programs:
- Reduction in time-to-market for worldwide product rollouts
- Heightened risks and increasing stakes in R&D and marketing spends
- A shifting marketing ecosystem
- Acceleration in time-to-reach a critical mass of 100 million users
- Decreasing loyalty and fast changing consumer perceptions
Reduction in Time-to-Market of Worldwide Product Rollouts
RCPG enterprises have been experiencing tremendous pressure to develop and launch their products faster. This is supported by increased consumer demand for quality products across several countries that share similar demographics and collapsed trade barriers.
For instance, Gillette launched its Gillette Sensor razor in October 1989 in the European market and then in the North American 1 market within 2 months .The worldwide product rollout was later completed in about 18 months.A decade later, Gillette completed the launch of its next generation product,the Gillette Mach 3 razor, 2 within 12 months— from July 1998 to June 1999 .
Now consider another innovative and global RCPG enterprise – AppleInc. Apple's iPod, which was winningly marketed as a device that can put “1000 songs in your pocket,” was first launched in the 3 USA in October 2001 .Consumers in the rest of the world had to 4 wait until 2005 to buy them locally .Fast forward to Apple's iPhone launch:the global rollout was completed within 2 years – from June 5 2007 to October 2009 .
From the iPod to the iPhone, the worldwide product rollout was compressed from 4 years to 2 years.And recently,Apple's latest product offering,the iPad 2,was available in 25 countries worldwide 6 within just one month in Mar 2011!
Gillette and Apple are only a few examples that demonstrate how swiftly global RCGP enterprises are responding to consumer demands worldwide. The worldwide product rollouts are fast reducing,from the earlier 'several years' to today's 'a few months.