To Stay Competitive, CPGs Need a Culture Shift Within Their Marketing Teams

By Amy Chisam

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In our webinar, “What’s Next for Data-Driven CMOs in Consumer Goods,” our Pete Reilly sat down with CPG marketing strategy expert Laura Braunecker to discuss the future of CPGs. While at Kimberly-Clark, Newell Rubbermaid, and Georgia-Pacific, Laura held leadership roles in marketing strategy, research and insights, and brand development. So she knows what marketing executives within consumer packaged goods are focused on.

Laura shared the many external challenges CPGs are experiencing – the rise of private labels and start-ups, omni-channel competition, and shifts in the retailer relationships. But she felt that internal challenges were just as pressing.

“Because the pace and the competitive landscape is changing so quickly, the culture of an organization has to shift,” Laura said. “Combatting that whole legacy leadership – here’s how we’ve always done things – [is difficult]. CPG is a lot of times very hierarchical, very siloed.”

She continued: “A bigger organization can’t turn a big ship quickly. That’s challenging for a CMO. How does he harness his entire organization to be more entrepreneurial and compete in this changing marketplace?”

After attending this year’s Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Laura saw augmented analytics as a way for CMOs to gain an edge. It made her think of a shift she had witnessed earlier in her career.

“In CPG, when I first started we had entire departments called competitive intelligence. ‘Hey, go look at this new category. Should we be concerned? What’s going on with it?’,” Laura said. “All of the sudden, Google comes along and I haven’t had a competitive intelligence group in a really long time because my product managers, my category managers, my research managers, they could all do competitive intelligence and they could do it in a few hours.

“So to me, this is very similar. Right now we have data analysts and they crank out the reports and we sit down and look at them every week or every month. And all of a sudden now, all of these different disciplines can ask a question that’s not on that report and they can get the answer immediately and they can be proactive. They don’t have to wait for the monthly report, they don’t have to wait for the data analyst to get back to them.”

For Laura, she saw next-generation, AI-powered solutions as having the potential to transform marketing teams.

In the future, she predicted, “You’re going to have two different types of organizations. You’re going to have one who adopts [tools such as these] but basically makes their data analytics teams more efficient. They can get the answer faster.”

Laura continued: “And you’re going to have other organizations whose leadership really sees what the future could be more quickly. They’re going to see the potential of what it could do to activate their full organization. When you have thousands of minds asking questions versus waiting on a team of 10-15 people, you’re going to be more efficient.”

Watch the replay of our webinar, and request a demo if you’d like to learn more about AnswerRocket’s capabilities.