A distiller of alcoholic beverages wants to leverage mobility for improving sales. The company decides to issue mobile coupons to their registered app users aged above 21 years. In a highly regulated industry, with tight restrictions on advertising, mobile devices seem to be the ideal channel for customized selling.
The consumer goods (CG) space is witnessing tremendous flux thanks to innovative technologies and altering consumer behavior. A few companies have acclimated to the changing scenario and even benefited from it, but most of them are still going around in circles, clueless on how to harness technology and unable to integrate their consumer-wooing efforts. For instance, the recent CGT survey commissioned by Wipro found that the mobile channel was driving only nine percent of CG company revenues. I also see companies in the sector resorting to quick-fix solutions like standalone small applications. This tactic may work well in the short term but is bound to fail because the solutions are not in alignment with the company’s long-term vision.
Another challenge CG company’s face is the lack of direct access to consumers. Most of them depend on retailers for consumer insights and perceptions. The ubiquitous mobile can enable the companies to directly connect with the consumers through appropriate mobile apps. However, the caveat that this medium is quite different from the traditional print and TV media has to be borne in mind. Marketing needs to take a back step with content in the forefront. Take the case of a baby food company that has designed what it thinks is a killer app. The download numbers are however telling a different story. I would suggest they tweak their mobile marketing strategy: market passively, say by posting blogs on baby care, weaving the product details into the content. Companies can collect real-time information from consumers through the mobile channel as well. They can also leverage mobility to sell directly to consumers, for instance, through e-commerce sites.
Some industries in the CG space such as apparel, footwear and luxury goods, have already harnessed mobility for one-on-one marketing. The others need to catch up quickly. The B2C space could also do with some innovation. Competition is intense and consumer minds fickle; a delay in implementing mobility solutions for connecting with the consumer will only mean loss of business.
So what is the ideal B2C mobility solution? I would say a mobile website, apps that enable CG companies to push relevant, real-time, location based offers; contain product related information; support loyalty programs; and facilitate social media engagement as well as consumer feedback. Such a solution in combination with retailer data collected through B2B solutions would provide CG companies a 360° view of consumers, shoppers and households.
I would like to hear your ideas on using mobility to strike a direct connect with consumers.