Understanding Real-Time Consumer Needs Drives Sales

by Charlene Charles, Shopper Sales Director
February 15th, 2016

The world of consumer packaged goods is full of data: demographics, past purchases, what devices you use, the list goes on. Since the creation of the UPC and loyalty cards, it could be argued that CPG manufacturers and retailers have some of the largest consumer databases available. So, what do you do with all that data?

Traditionally, it’s been used to segment shoppers and then target each group with customized messages, which makes sense. New parents shouldn’t have the same content as ‘dual income, no kids’ consumers or even empty-nesters. You push the right content out to the right groups because that’s what worked with the legacy media of print, radio, and TV.

However, digital advertising doesn’t fit in the standard model. You do the same thing, but it doesn’t produce the same results because online shopping is a completely different playing field. Yale Law School professor Yochai Benkler puts it best:

“The Internet is not merely a medium (that is, a channel for distributing content) but a platform that enables millions of individuals to become content producers as well as consumers. Unlike other media, no one owns the Internet, and no one controls it.”

Today’s shoppers initiate their own digital experiences and have many different needs - gift-buying, researching, deal-seeking - wherever they browse online. They shop for shoes while checking their bank account balances and looking at recipes. Because multiple things are on their minds, they can’t be bucketed into the same old segmented shopper groups. They are buying for everyone – family, kids, friends and even pets. Trying to target everyone as part of a predefined audience simply doesn’t make sense anymore: digital consumers live a dynamic life on the web.

As each and every ad dollar is scrutinized for return on investment, don’t you want yours to work smarter for you? You wouldn’t expect to be charged for a pizza that never gets delivered, so why pay for digital shopper advertising that isn’t delivering results? CPG brands and retailers need to be assured that their ads are viewable and will drive guaranteed engagement (clicks).

Essential to achieving these goals is understanding real-time consumer need states. This creates optimal, relevant customer experiences. This is the foundation of intent targeting and why it drives great results. By leveraging the valuable trove of publisher first-party data, intent targeting identifies real-time consumer need states and addresses those moments with relevant messaging. This understanding of real-time needs and context is only possible with the data that can be gleaned and activated in real-time from media consumption, because it is in media where consumers go to have their needs met.

Increasing sales is the number one shopper marketing metric and the number one metric for all advertising. The shopper marketing landscape is evolving, and so should your tactics. Talking to large segmented consumer groups completely misses the fact that the Internet is the first user-initiated medium.  Shopper marketing advertising should capitalize on that and give consumers what they need, when they need it. At each moment consumers are telling you what they need. Listen to them, right now. If you can’t hear them, let us know and we’ll tell you what they need.

Charlene Charles is a Shopper Marketing Sales Director at Yieldbot working out of our Minneapolis office. She works with global brands to understand the needs of their consumers and help them market to those needs in real-time.

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