Consumer Packaged Goods

Consumers are more demanding and are seeking micro-personalized experiences to which CPG companies must adapt.

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Ambeshwar Nath

Business View

Ambeshwar Nath, Vice President & Regional Head, Manufacturing, Retail, CPG & Logistics, Infosys

"As the ecosystem becomes more and more complex and the lines blur between CPG and retail, ecommerce and the physical world – companies must expend their energies on turning an anonymous customer to a known one, to a brand loyalist."


Not too long ago, a FMCG major spent about 90% of their budget on traditional media, and about 10% on digital. Today, that same company spends 40% on digital, and the remaining 60% on traditional media.

This paradigm shift can be attributed to the pervasiveness of mobile devices, which has multiplied the number of customer touch points. In the past, CPG companies interacted with customers in organized spaces inside retail stores or through TV/ print media. Today, there's a possibility of significantly more intimate and personalized interactions digitally. And in all these interactions, customers expect personalized content, customized offers, tailored promotions, and so on.

To make this happen, CPG companies need to have a holistic view of their customer. Only data supported by analytics can make that possible. So, an industry, which until now has thrived on cool campaigns in the traditional sense, must concentrate on gathering customer data from all their touch points, especially digital. As the ecosystem becomes more and more complex and the lines blur between CPG and retail, ecommerce and the physical world – companies must expend their energies on turning an anonymous customer to a known one, to a brand loyalist. Those that are able to transform themselves will survive and prosper!
Mohammed Rafee Tarafdar

Technical View

Mohammed Rafee Tarafdar, Associate Vice President and Unit Technology Officer, Global Delivery, Infosys

"CPG companies must capture and manage four aspects of consumer data – basic profile, interaction, attitudinal & behavioral to better understand and personalize consumer engagement."


Today, CPG companies are able to reach out to the consumers directly and capture a lot of information about them. In order to make the consumer engagements richer, the CPG companies must capture four aspects of consumer data - descriptive data, which refers to the basic details shared by customers; interactive data from campaigns, online commerce, etc.; attitudinal data from social media and online conversations that allows companies to understand consumer preferences, experiences; and behavioral data that takes into account consumer transactions, checkouts, participation/response (and their satisfaction).

To get a holistic 360-degree view of their customers, CPG companies must have access to and manage data from all four categories, which are present in structured, semi-structured and unstructured formats. Investing in a scalable real-time analytics solution in imperative. A hybrid data & web scale architecture is equally important, which helps in managing different kinds of data. Companies should also look at capabilities like machine learning to gain better consumer insights and personalize engagements at the moments of truth. However, it's important for companies to take a phased approach to make the best use of technology and deliver business value incrementally.
Balakrishnan C S

Domain View

Balakrishnan C S, Associate Vice President & Head of Digital Solutions, Retail, CPG & Logistics, Infosys

"It is not enough to simply sell a product – brands/organizations must learn how to sell 'experience', that too personalized."


With the influx of social media and mobility solutions that provide consumers with real-time information, their demands have increased. To keep up, it has become important for CPG companies to really 'know' their customers, and offer them the experience that they seek.

I think the keyword here is 'experience'. It is not enough to simply sell a product – brands/organizations must learn how to sell 'experience', that too personalized. For example, Hot Coffee Club offers six freshly grounded coffee variants delivered by mail every month to customers across the United States. The coffee experience begins with a tasting box, following which customers can select their preferred mix of coffees. There's also Sanitary Owl that provides an online sanitary subscription service in the United Kingdom, where customers can choose the products that meet their personal needs.

By analyzing information from these personalized services, CPG companies can create new products and services tailored to consumer demands. Needless to say, they must make good use of technology. Take virtual reality (VR), for example, which has the potential to disrupt in industries like retail and healthcare. Some companies are already taking heed - Myer, in partnership with eBay, recently launched a fully functioning VR department store, which allows shoppers to browse through more than 12,500 Myer products from home. That's a potential goldmine if adopted by more companies.