There’s been a major shift in consumer expectations over the past few years. Consumers are more digital, and they’re communicating with brands across a number of channels and even through social platforms. But this isn’t anything new – brands just aren’t adapting or responding as well as they should be. There’s a disconnect between what consumers want and how companies are meeting those needs, and the bridge between the two is consumer engagement. A consumer engagement strategy is a critical imperative for CPG companies today; it’s how they’ll compete and remain relevant moving forward.
Consumer Engagement Strategy
Consumer engagement goes well beyond consumer satisfaction or content development. It’s the effort of a brand or business to build meaningful relationships with its consumers through intentional interactions and establish deeper loyalty. It’s about putting the consumer at the forefront of your overall strategy to understand their needs, adapt to evolving preferences, and drive competitive advantage.
For CPG companies, it’s imperative that your consumer engagement strategy connects the dots to your overall brand and product strategies and aligns with the tactics deployed in your consumer marketing and shopper marketing programs. Consumer engagement is cross-functional by nature and impacts your entire organization. As such, it’s important that it’s viewed holistically across your sales, marketing, product development, insights, and supply chain teams to ensure seamless connectivity with your consumers.
When building your consumer engagement strategy, you should keep these four key components in mind:
- Cross-channel: Consumers are crossing channels to shop, research, and engage with brands. The consumer’s needs in each of these channels may look different, and brands must understand these differences to most effectively connect and engage with consumers and meet them where they are.
- Personalization: Consumers expect brands to connect with them in a more personalized way. Companies must understand the consumer’s unique needs while also maintaining a certain balance of personalization and privacy.
- Emotional Connection: Consumers want to feel a connection to the brands they’re purchasing from and using in an authentic way. It’s more than just messaging. Inspiring emotional responses from consumers toward your brand and products is key to the relationship component of consumer engagement.
- Activation: Consumers can help to activate your brand beyond just purchasing the product. Companies should provide opportunities for consumers to tap into their desires to be influencers and ambassadors for the brand even after the purchase.
You can download and listen to Building an Effective Consumer Engagement Strategy: Taking Stock with Amy L. and Idoia H. here.
In this podcast series, Clarkston Consulting Partner Steve Rosenstock sits down with experts and thought leaders from both within Clarkston and throughout its consumer products, life sciences, and retail client base, covering a range of topics from industry trends and consumer dynamics to organizational governance and business strategy. Steve provides you access to the passions of the guests and allows you to benefit from their stories, knowledge, and deep expertise.