I feel another wave coming in the Digital Marketing world. As you probably have guessed, I read quite a bit of digital marketing related news. So when I start to see multiple articles from totally different sources which are touching upon the same topic my instinct tells me that there is a wave coming so tighten your belts because it’s going to get bumpy.

For those of you who are not familiar with the CPG space, it has historically lead the pack in terms of data-driven marketing. Using grocery data and Nielsen in-home shopper panels, CPG Brand Managers are probably the best in the world at using multiple types of market research to drive their extremely large advertising budgets.

In the age of the Internet, however, they have not used their own web data to any great degree to inform their marketing programs. It makes sense because why would anyone want to click on a CPG brand ad?

CPG has been held back by the very metrics that have driven Digital Marketing for other industries. But you already knew all of this.

Based on what I’m reading recently I’m convinced that CPG is about to invest heavily in digital measurement and given their background in grocery store scanner data, predictive modeling and all other forms of qualitative and quantitative market research, the digital measurement industry is going to get a great big shove from these demanding and astute marketing people. I envision a number of start-ups taking advantage of this wave and a number of incumbent measurement leaders will either have to turn their focus to CPG functionality requirements or face extinction because where CPG ends up going, the rest of the digital marketing professional world will follow.  Quite simply they are the best trained marketers in the world.

Here are some quotes from articles that support my theory. I know this hypothesis has been propogated many times before, but instinct tells me that the time is really coming soon. My guess is that by 2013 companies will start to hear the new requirement requests and by 2014 new start-ups and existing incumbents will be actively working on building that functionality. Here are some quotes from recent articles that lead me to believe that the time has come.

P&G’s New Approach to Digital
Publisher:  Digiday By:  Giselle Abramovich Publishers:  March 13, 2012

According to Marc Pritchard, global marketing and brand building officer of P&G, “The power of everyday people is driving monumental change and people power favors brands like ours. We have trusted brands that are part of everyday life. We genuinely care about serving people with superior benefits and doing good.” Also noted in the article, P&G’s Facebook page has about 71,000 followers which is a pretty unimpressive number which underscores how little CPG has really utilized the Digital Marketing thus far.

Study Finds Marketers Don’t Practice ROI They Preach.
More Than Half Don’t Use ROI Metrics to Plan Budgets; 28% Rely on Gut Instinct

Publisher:  AdAge By: Published: March 12, 2012

“To address the discrepancies and move toward marketing-effectiveness measures that might gain broad acceptance, MASB is preparing to launch a Brand Investment and Valuation Pilot study as soon as next month. The intent of the study, to be concluded by 2014, is to develop a widely accepted methodology that marketers can use to value their brands and guide their investment decisions. It will include an analysis of a Kimberly-Clark Corp. brand, among others, Ms. Blair said. ”

Consumer Packaged Goods:  Invest in Shopper Marketing
Publisher:  Strategy + Business By:  by Matt Egol, J. Neely, and Richard Rawlinson Published:  February 17, 2012

This article makes the point that shopper marketing for CPG is changing and the combination of mobile and digital marketing opportunities are still wide open.

“No consumer company has yet figured out all the ramifications of shopper marketing or created the capabilities required to fully exploit it, especially when combined with digital media.”

Expect mobile to be the pivot point for CPG in the digital marketing world.  They have to figure it out because engagement is the new marketing aspiration.

Note:  Shopper marketing is a term given to efforts to engage with and influence consumers at the time of purchase.