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Consumer Goods Digital Marketing: Still Maturing, Still Learning

By Don Scheibenreif | July 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

consumer goods

Digital Marketing is a key topic among our consumer goods and life sciences IT clients. Regardless of their company’s  level of maturity, all are seeking to understand how they as IT professionals can add value to the process and be good partners for their marketing teams and agencies. To help provide insight and trends on the adoption of digital marketing in the consumer goods industry, Gartner conducted a research project in 2Q12 that covered over 140 consumer goods manufacturers in the U.S. and the U.K. The purpose of the research is to understand consumer goods manufacturers’ use of mobility and digital marketing as channels to influence demand before, at and after the shelf — also referred to as the “path to purchase.” Specifically, we wanted to explore their approach to digital marketing along these dimensions: Strategy, Process, Channels,  Technology, and Organization Structure. This is an update to a similar study conducted in 2009. In addition to highlighting future intent, we wanted to show changes in attitudes and intent over time as adoption of digital marketing techniques and technologies continues to transform the nature of consumer marketing and consumer relationships in the consumer goods industry

The three research notes and their areas of focus are as follows:

Survey Shows Consumer Goods Manufacturers Must Embrace Digital Marketing to Maximize Impact  This first research note highlights the importance of direct relationships with consumers. Of particular interest is direct-to-consumer ECommerce. This was seen as the top channel investment priority in 2013.  However, digital marketing adoption challenges and immature organization structures  still persist, even though companies are past the tipping point of knowing how important digital marketing is to a firms’s ability to compete.

Survey Shows Consumer Goods Manufacturers Can Gain Competitive Advantage Through Digital Marketing The second research note focuses on the use of analytic tools in the digital marketing process. While some firms are using social analytics for competitive intelligence for example, there is still room for adoption of more fundamental analytic tools and processes.

Survey Analysis: Digital Marketing Continues to Mature Among Consumer Goods Manufacturers. The third and final note explores organization structure and technology adoption figures to help CIOs benchmark their own company’s digital marketing technology efforts. For example, digital marketing reports to a variety of functions in a CPG company.

Despite many publicized examples, the reality is that digital marketing is still maturing in the consumer goods industry. While leading CPG companies like General Mills, Procter and Gamble, and Coca-Cola  have been using digital marketing for over ten years, their IT  leaders will tell you they are still learning.  This means that if you are a little late to the party, all is not lost. Use this research and Gartner analysts to help you make the most of your digital marketing technology investments.

What are some of your key challenges in the adoption of digital marketing technologies?








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