An Introduction To CPG Marketing: What is CPG and How You Can Succeed In This Space

In today’s fast-paced global marketplace, consumers are driven by brand loyalty, demand, and effective marketing strategies. For certain product sectors — mattresses, cars, appliances, and furniture to name a few — consumers may make a purchase every few years. On the other side of the spectrum, there are perishable products that consumers need to buy on a much more frequent basis, in some cases daily or weekly. That’s where Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) come into the picture.

Consumer Packaged Goods are products that consumers need to replenish often. Food, beverages, makeup, household products, toiletries, and over-the-counter drugs are all examples of consumer packaged goods.

For the CPG industry, regardless of seasonality or the state of the economy, demand remains relatively consistent as consumers need these products for daily habits and routines. Because these products are an essential part of everyday life, you may be wondering why CPG marketing is considered necessary or even worth the investment?

You need CPG marketing because this space is a highly saturated market with steep competition. CPG consumers have thousands of brands to choose from, and all of them offer relatively low prices, so there are very few factors to drive brand loyalty. Your marketing program is the only long-lasting advantage you have to make your brand stand out in this crowded space.

In this introductory guide, we will explore how your brand can implement successful and effective marketing strategies for the CPG space, examine a few case studies of CPG brands, and dive into some upcoming topics you’ll be able to learn more about on our blog in the weeks to come. So, let’s get started!

Effective CPG Marketing Strategies

CPG marketing has changed and evolved dramatically over the past five, ten, and twenty years. Most recently, digital marketing has become the forefront of the space, as consumers are greatly influenced by their digital behaviors, shopping habits, and what ads they see on their social channels. But to be effective at CPG marketing, you also need to think about your audience, your messaging, and the goals of your entire program.

Here are some examples of effective 2021 marketing strategies for CPG brands:
Know your target audience: Before you identify your budget or KPIs, you need to know who your key customers are that drive the most revenue for your business.
Determine your unique selling propositions: What are the biggest advantages of buying your product that differentiate you from your competitors? Define and clarify key messages and re-assert them in all of your marketing ads and campaigns.
Set measurable goals: To know if your marketing tactics are working, you need to start by setting clear, easily trackable goals from the jump. Measuring how your key performance indicators or KPIs are performing is crucial to building a solid marketing program.

Now let’s dive into a few examples of CPG brands who have leveled up their marketing program in recent years by knowing their target audience and bringing them to the center of their brand, demonstrating their unique selling proposition as part of their brand’s mission.

Case Study: Coca-Cola

In this example, we’ll review a memorable and powerful campaign that placed this brand’s customers front and center to make them feel instantly connected and part of the brand experience. In 2011, Coca-Cola first developed the idea to “Share A Coke.” This concept would replace the iconic Coke can label with a message to “Share A Coke” with popular names from across the country.

This marketing initiative was an instant hit, causing Coke to roll out the concept to over 70 countries and include over 500,000 names. The campaign’s social footprint was massive: Facebook traffic increased by 870%, over 170,000 tweets were shared, the #ShareACoke became a global trending topic and it generated 1 billion impressions.

The key takeaway of this campaign: drive new connections with your customers. Think about what your customers want to see and explore how you can make them feel connected to and seen by your brand. You don’t need to do an entire brand refresh, but you can make small, subtle changes to make your customers feel heard and part of your brand’s vision. Running a photo contest on social media, sending out a customer survey, or hosting a live stream are just a few examples of small things you can do to make your customers feel more connected to your brand.

Case Study: Fenty Beauty

In 2017, global pop superstar Rihanna entered the CPG space with her makeup line Fenty Beauty. She instantly made an impact by breaking barriers in the beauty industry with an inclusive, authentic marketing campaign. 

Fenty’s tagline of “Beauty for All” went beyond a catchy slogan. Launching with over 40 different, unique foundation shades was a revolutionary concept for women of color who were not used to seeing their skin tone represented in a major marketing campaign. The campaign resonated with women of all ages and ethnicities and became the biggest beauty brand YouTube launch in history. The campaign did more than resonate with consumers, it also became a wake-up call for the makeup industry to do more for inclusivity and expand their products to include women of all skin types.

The main lesson of Fenty Beauty’s campaign is to demonstrate your unique selling propositions in every aspect of your brand’s marketing. Fenty made a concentrated effort to center inclusivity and diversity at the heart of their brand. When you recognize and bring to the forefront what is the true value of your brand that sets you apart from your competition, consumers will respond and give you their brand loyalty. And if you aren’t incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into your brand’s values, you are not going to be as successful as brands that have a clear message of inclusivity.

CPG Marketing: What’s Next?

Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring in-depth several topics so you can learn even more about CPG marketing. We’ll discover digital marketing strategies for CPG and how you can implement different paid media channels in your marketing program. We will weigh the factors you need to consider when selecting a digital marketing agency for CPG marketing and how your KPIs play a role. And, we will look at the big picture of CPG marketing, reviewing what’s next for this competitive industry and how you can stay on the cutting edge of the latest trends and market changes.

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