In my humble opinion the five main pillars of a complete digital transformation for a CPG brand are e-commerce, digital marketing, digital media, innovation and services.

My job as a marketer is to strategize, scale and accelerate the transformation for the brands I work with.

Consumers in digital are buying more online, which is why the first pillar should be e-commerce.

CMO’s are challenged to reinvent the existing marketing model to create more of a balance between precision marketing, streamlining content production and influencer strategy and reinforcing the digital consumer experience by incorporating new innovations like AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) when applicable.

These five pillars should be adapted to every market you are seeking to serve, but the strategy should always remain the same.

A Digital transformation occurs in stages. Since we are marketing in a digital age the purpose is for a brand to be able to put digital first. Part of this process is to enable your team to be super-agile to see new trends, connecting with new ideas and integrating new technology into the consumer experience wherever it makes sense.

The use of first-party data is a critical element of transformation because it helps marketers understand their consumer audience better. Most direct-to-consumer websites and the media connected to the brand cultivate a lot of data, all of which is a proxy for consumer knowledge. Marketers also get data from services like apps for example that allow for activities like virtual testing or for tracking progress like losing weight or stages in pregnancy. Marketers also need to partner with media companies, publishers and retailers for access to relevant second-party data. By timing your message in step with life milestone events like recently engaged, recently married, the birth of a child, purchase of a new home can serve as a catalyst for conversions for a CPG brand.

Another aspect of a digital transformation is the movement away from the open web to the use of platforms. All marketing teams must make use of platforms that give access to retargeting and lookalike audiences. Platforms like Outbrain, Facebook, Snap and Alibaba and Tencent in China help marketers reach a consumer in a more personalized setting based on personal interests and habits of mind.

Personalization is key when you are trying to connect with your audience. For example I was recently targeted in my Facebook feed by a unique company SOLO. The team at solostove.com developed this amazing camping stove that requires no fuel to cook with. The marketing team targeted me based on my profile history and in the process connected with me the consumer on a personal level. Whenever I travel to participate in an outdoor adventure overseas the issue of finding gas canisters when I arrive that fit for my stove is always major problem and their product solved it instantly. I clicked the creative and watched the demo video. They had me and I purchased the product that day. It just goes to show that when you keep your finger on the pulse of your audience and understand their pain you can steer them ultimately down the road to conversion.

If you are selling a product online and you are interested in learning more about how to better position your brand digitally please feel free to contact ChrisWaters@YouConnex.com