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Eliminating guesswork in marketing

A senior global marketing VP at Unilever made a really interesting comment at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA), Masters of Measurement Conference:

“Making smarter use of data and analytics can increasingly help brands take the “guesswork” out of marketing”

It’s encouraging to see big global brands like Unilever taking active steps to create one-to-one connections with consumers. That does not mean they’ll be opening retail stores anytime soon. Following a year of hard truths for ad-tech, it sounds like Unilever are challenging the current convention on how they communicate their products with their customers.

Until now most CPG brands have relied on programmatic advertising because they know little/nothing about the identity of their customers. But the identity/profile of the user is not the only solution, consumers’ intent is much more valuable. Intent is currently signalled through search but there are a number of personal information management services (PIMS) that are likely to make an impact here. PIMS help consumers buy (rather than brands sell) and connect consumer intent with a brand’s products and services. Using PIMS to speak to consumers about their product offering will provide faster and much more reliable outcomes. They will also make Unilever’s vision for rapid, live testing a reality:

“Pre-testing and post-testing … are going away fast. Why would I pre-test if I can test something in real time in a week? Post-testing happens the next day”

The fact that CPG brands rarely have customer data (like retailers) makes them all the more innovative in how they adapt their customer relationships to the information age. Excited to see how this will evolve in 2016.

Image: Emily Morter

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