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Digital transformation in FMCG ‘slow’

DigitalTheir goods may be fast-moving, but the pace of digital transformation in FMCG companies hasn’t quite matched the speed of customer demand.

Digital technologies are reshaping both consumer demand and competitive dynamics in the consumer goods marketplace, irreversibly changing how people shop and how they decide what to buy.

An independent survey by Loudhouse, commissioned by Progress in 2016, polled IT and marketing decision makers and found that while digital transformation is viewed by many FMCG companies as critical, their strategy, planning and implementation is slower than desired. 60 per cent of those polled openly admitted that their organisation is still largely in denial about the need to transform digitally.

This is both surprising and worrying, as we know with the rise of the sharing economy and the global e-commerce market, consumer’s expectations and demands won’t wait for competitors to catch-up.

While the marketers who responded to the survey expressed concern around their ability to execute, many claimed to have confidence in having the right tools and technology to be able to meet the changing demands of the consumer.

Here are three key steps FMCG businesses can take to close this gap:

  1. It’s a mobile world

According to Deloitte Research, collectively Australians look at their smartphones more than 440 million times a day.

Innovative FMCG brands can utilise custom mobile apps and open the door for their brand to connect one-to-one. Domino’s new Zero Click pizza delivery app epitomizes a mobile-first mindset. Customers simply open the app on their phone; wait for a 10-second countdown and the app will then place your favorite order and deliver to your location, via GPS.

The best thing about the mobile channel is that it gives FMCG brands the potential to engage with their customers in real-time, by location and complete with profile information.

  1. Break down silos

A key initiative that should be employed across often large and disparate FMCG organisations is a policy to break down the silo’s that exist between different departments.

The structure of businesses’ silos often seems to work against the interests of customers.

Crucial to success is staying close to the customer of your product or service and learning how you are missing, meeting or exceeding their expectations.

To do this, FMCG organisations must bring people together so they begin to understand the inter-dependencies between departments and the impact it has on customers

  1. Find the right digital transformation partner

Innovative FMCGs like Coke and Nestle are leading the way, with impressive digital cross-platform campaigns, committing serious spend to digital channels. But, few organisations are fully equipped to match their effectiveness.

FMCG marketing professionals need help to meet the complex and constantly changing landscape. They must first define where and how partners add value, and establish lean, yet effective governance to ensure they get what they are paying for.

The Age of the Customer is a powerful shift as consumers embrace new digital touchpoints. The opportunity has never been greater, and every FMCG business needs to innovate and transform in order to succeed.

Craig Law is Managing Director, ANZ for Progress. Visit www.progress.com.

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