At IDC Manufacturing Insights, we're taking another look at sales and marketing for consumer products manufacturers. We know that sales and marketing organizations are continually adapting how they engage with consumers and serve their retail customers. This is the 6th year we've done this research and once again, we'll present the results at Consumer Goods Technology's June Sales and Marketing conference in NYC. Sometimes, change is slow, but so many changes have occurred since 2010, the first year we published the report. As in years past, we've based our analysis in this report on ongoing conversations and research with IDC Manufacturing Insights clients, IT and vertical industry business priority and spending data, and our 2015 IDC-CGT Sales & Marketing survey.
If you're a consumer products manufacturer, we hope you'll take our very brief Sales & Marketing survey (less than 5 minutes!) about trade promotions, downstream data, and direct to consumer.
Join us in a conversation about some of the most discussed challenges in the industry – trade promotions, downstream data, consumer engagement, and S&OP. We'll examine how IT is an enabler for sales and marketing, and how companies apply technology in their organizations for business value, because that's what really matters. We're also going to spotlight sales and marketing analytics and 3d printing and its connection to new product development and introduction.
Back to Basics - Productivity, Cost Reduction, Increasing Revenue
As usual, we're going to begin by considering what's new this year and the top business priorities for consumer products manufacturers. For starters, we do see some signs of conservative behavior, perhaps in response to the recurring stops and starts of the economy. For example, they tell us that their top 3 business initiatives are increasing productivity, reducing costs, and increasing revenue. These are absolutely fundamental goals, and in years past, we've seen some more confident responses at the top, such as expanding their geographic reach, improving customer acquisition and retention, and introducing new products and services.
CRM, Social Media, and Mobile Applications
In sales and marketing, increasing spend effectiveness and productivity is absolutely critical, and we think it can be the result of smart investments in people, process, and technology. Some investments will be customer relationship management (CRM) application spend, which shows strong growth continuing through 2018 – over 6% CAGR. We also expect some sales and marketing spend to go toward options that are the result of consumer's access to social media and mobile applications.
The Value for Manufacturers in The Consumer Experience
Consider my colleague Jerry Silva; he uses a mobile application Untappd to document the beer he drinks everywhere he goes. He jokes that he's motivated by the badges he wins for recording his drinking experiences, and he's proud of the fact that he's at Level 3 for one of the categories. For Jerry, it's about his experience. But the larger collection of data generated from many Untappd users is incredibly valuable to the brewery that wants to analyze consumer trends at a granularity that often can't be found in POS data.
A New Year of Possibilities
From applications like these and the data they generate, from process improvements throughout sales and marketing, and from new technologies, we believe it's a new year of possibilities for sales and marketing. Let us know how you'll be investing in 2015 by commenting here on our IDC Community or by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. SurveyOr continue the conversation with us at the CGT conference.