Fast Moving Consumer Good manufacturers (FMCG) are living in a time of change. On the supply side, fierce global competition has resulted in slimmer margins. On the demand side, consumers are cash-strapped and looking for bigger bang for their buck.
But the future isn’t so bleak. FMCGs have new route to transform customer loyalty. This route is on Mobile.
Studies have shown that 25-54 year old consumers (Generation X & Y) differ from their older counterparts because they are far more willing to share personal data and interact with brands via mobile channels, providing they are adequately rewarded. FMCGs have clearly taken note. The Consumer Goods Technology (CGT) Mobile in Consumer Goods” survey revealed that 44% of US FMCGs are developing mobile loyalty plans.
A new wave of loyalty tools and platforms are facilitating this change by allowing manufacturers to directly connect with their customers and leverage detailed customer transaction data.
The biggest challenge is to build lasting and real relationships with customers.
At Reep Rewards based in Ireland, we are growing rapidly by offering FMCG brands a new mobile engagement platform to enable brands to do the following:
At a recent event in New York, listening to Stephanie Swain, head of CPG insights at US-based Aimia, gave me some important insights into how loyalty marketing can transform FMCG brands:
In a world of low margins and high transactions in retail, FMCG brands must optimise the unit economics down to the penny, whilst also finding ways to compete beyond price. Shared loyalty programmes help to improve the economics. Multi-partnership models (like Reep Rewards), which are built around families of brands or particular demographic groups, offer the consumer maximum value. They also offer brands shared costs and robust data sets.
By tracking data points throughout the purchasing cycle – from product awareness through to post-purchase activity – FMCGs can now connect with consumers at every stage of the customer journey. For example, Pamper Rewards has crunched through data points along the motherhood journey to equip expectant and new mothers with educational information and offers so that they can make important purchasing decisions for their families.
FMCGs need to maintain relationships both with consumers and retailers, each of whom have different needs. Loyalty programmes should be designed to satisfy both sides. On the one hand, programmes should deepen existing customer relationships. On the other hand, retailers should also benefit with increased sales at minimal additional cost. There are further gains in the form of data-sharing and joint promotions – benefitting both the retailer and shopper.
FMCGs have been distanced from their customers partly due to poor consumer data. Mobile loyalty programmes remove these barriers by giving brands direct contact with customers as well as transactional data. As a result, brands can then optimise according to permission-based segmentation and customer profiling.
In order to stay on top FMCGs have no time to lose. Brands will need to prioritise localised and personalised content if they want to increase sales in an increasingly multi-channel landscape.
James Lenehan is Founder & CEO of Reep Rewards. Reep is a mobile application that Reep, which reads receipts automatically and rewards consusmers for loyalty to different brands.