Consumer products (CP) manufacturers invest significantly in understanding what the retail customer and the end consumer want and need through sales and marketing efforts. IDC Manufacturing Insights recently collaborated with CGT on the 2013 Sales & Marketing Report and associated conference, and I'd like to share some highlights from the report, with examples of how CP manufacturers are investing in sales and marketing and for what benefit
Consumers are increasingly influencing manufacturers, even for manufacturers that operate in more of a B2B rather than B2C world. Granted, many manufacturers don't have to make dramatic 180-degree changes to respond to the sometimes unpredictable whims of the end consumer, but all manufacturers do have to understand their customers' customers and what makes their products so valuable to their direct customers. Consumer products (CP) manufacturers invest significantly in understanding what the retail customer and the end consumer want and need through sales and marketing efforts. As a result, they act as an incubator, to some extent, of what all manufacturers can do to drive sales and marketing excellence. IDC Manufacturing Insights recently collaborated with CGT on the 2013 Sales & Marketing Report and associated conference, and I'd like to share some highlights from the report, with examples of how CP manufacturers are investing in sales and marketing and for what benefit. In upcoming research, I'll also highlight the conference panel I moderated with representatives from Hallmark, Johnson & Johnson, and Kellogg.
For consumer products (CP) manufacturers, increasing the effectiveness and productivity of sales and marketing in today's market is partly the result of investments in customer relationship management (CRM) applications. Application spend and CRM spend specifically show healthy growth from 2012 to 2015 - in the 8+% range. These investments should ultimately bring to sales and marketing greater automation, more consistent processes, and easier access to relevant information.
We also expect investment in enabling technologies such as big data and analytics, cloud, mobile, and social software to play an important role in improving sales and marketing's productivity as well. While each of these technologies separately can bring value, focusing on the intersection of these technologies yields some combinations that deliver even greater value to the business. In our Figure, we highlight just a few ways these technologies can work together.
Some of the areas in which CP manufacturers are evaluating how these technologies can improve their sales and marketing capabilities include:
- Where opportunities exist for CG manufacturers to continue their progress with Trade Promotion Management to increase the level of optimization;
- How complementing Downstream Data with other data and big data analytics can drive demand visibility and customer service improvements;
- How Direct-to-Consumer initiatives emphasize personalization and the consumer experience by leveraging social and mobile;
- Where Retail Execution is playing a critical role in aligning brand expectations and mobile;
- How integrated planning capabilities for Sales & Operations Planning better represent the perspective of sales and supply chain;
- Where sales and marketing efforts can have the greatest impact in emerging markets.
We expect to see continuing progress in all of these areas as they are among the key initiatives that we believe will enable future sale growth, improved customer service performance, and greater productivity through sales and marketing. And those are benefits that all manufacturers need. If you're investing in IT to improve your sales and marketing productivity, I'd like to know. Please send me an email at email@example.com or add a comment to our IDC Insights Community.