Creating a Path forward

Achieving peak performance in 2020 and beyond

As published in CDR TSE2016

Industry consolidation. Channel blurring beyond recognition. Digital disruption. Omni everything. 24/7, on-demand shopping. Ever-changing expectations. Global threats and opportunities.

The rise of the digital age is having a transformative effect on American lifestyles and the way consumers procure goods and services. Disruptive change has already revolutionized major industries such as entertainment, transportation, and lodging. Now the formidable winds of change are buffeting the packaged goods industry as the players race to adapt their organizations and marketing methods to a world in which empowered consumers have a vast array of new options for how, when, and where they shop. With the tipping point of same-day delivery becoming reality, standard rituals like the weekly stock-up trip are giving way to an “always on” approach to shopping. As consumers increasingly disaggregate their purchasing between traditional stores and the Internet, marketing and sales management is left to forecast the pace at which channel shifting will occur and who the retail “winners and losers” will be. While traditional brick-and-mortar retail continues to dominate consumer trips and transactions for packaged goods, manufacturers increasingly understand the need to secure their base business while learning to exploit the growth potential unfolding in the digital world.

Pinnacle 2020: Redefining the 4Ps
The incredible power of digital technology has put life as we know it on steroids and, in order to translate that same impact to the world of marketing, the nearly 50-year-old 4P framework must be revolutionized. While the fundamental principles of the 4Ps remain the same, the e-translation today must capture the power, the potential, and the demands of a new digital world. The new 4Ps of marketing must now become the 4Es in a digitally enabled environment:

  • From Product to Experience.
    Where product used to be king, the focus must now expand to the entire experience of using the brand, from the product itself to the experience of buying, trying, living, and sharing the brand. It’s about carefully creating a 360-degree, immersive experience that inspires, connects, and catalyzes.
  • From Promotion to Engagement.
    No longer a one-way street where the brand message is broadcast through a handful of media vehicles like TV and print, promoting a brand today must be a two-way process that seeks to build an ongoing relationship and dialogue between the brand and consumer. True engagement today continuously seeks to strengthen the trust and deepen the bond, far beyond the purchase occasion itself.
  • From Place to Everywhere. 
    Enabled by digital and mobile technology, the new “place” is everywhere the consumer is, online, on-the-go and, yes, still in stores. Shopping has become a 24/7 activity, and the consumer wants it conveniently available wherever she is — at work, at home, at play, or in the stores.
  • From Price to value Equation.
    In the digital age, it’s not just the price that matters. Consumers are willing to pay for the complete experience as long as it outweighs the total cost of acquisition, including both price and effort. Factors such as ease, convenience, speed, content / information, and social affinity are some of the critical value drivers that alter the equation and level of price sensitivity. For the “digital immigrant,” the new 4Es and digital best practices offered here provide an enduring strategic framework by which to engage, delight, and motivate the new digital consumer. The framework will go a long way to help you work more effectively as a “digital citizen.”

Pinnacle 2020: Reinventing market activation
Manufacturers looking to drive growth and gain competitive advantage in this rapidly evolving new world order must ask themselves these fundamental questions:

  • Which retailers will emerge as important sources of growth over the next five years? Dramatic retailer consolidation over the past decade often led to customer segmentation and strategic prioritization of the highest-volume retailers. As volume increasingly disaggregates and shifts across outlets, how do we ensure that new “pockets of growth” are effectively identified and resourced?
  • Is our sales and marketing organization effectively structured, resourced, and skilled to meet the challenges of an increasingly digital world? Many manufacturers find themselves tethered to structures, processes and skill sets that served them well in the mass market  / mass media environment, but are they moving fast enough to successfully attract the omni-channel consumer and capture the possibilities of e-commerce? A window now exists for forward-thinking manufacturers to reassert themselves in the buyer-seller relationship. Are you ready to seize this opportunity? 
  • Are our promotional resources deployed in a way that effectively delivers the base volume but also maximizes new sources of growth? Marketing and sales tactics can become skewed toward brands, customers and activities geared toward generating the base volume, but those tried-and-true tactics are becoming less effective and offer minimal return on investment. How does management ensure that spending is optimized to secure the base but also to fund the new pockets of growth?
  • How do we manage organizational change in a way that allows our team to operate at peak performance while retooling to meet the changing needs of the market? Developing an organizational roadmap for Pinnacle 2020 that determines the pace and prioritization of change initiatives is a prerequisite for success. Risk management strategies like “test and learn” can be helpful in reshaping an organization without placing present-day business and organizational focus at risk.

Download PDF