2019 Top 10 Revenue Growth Ideas: Leveraging Insights to Drive Growth

2019 Top 10 Revenue Growth Ideas: Leveraging Insights to Drive Growth

2019 Top 10 Revenue Growth Ideas: Leveraging Insights to Drive Growth

2019 Top 10 Revenue Growth Ideas: Leveraging Insights to Drive Growth

Introduction

As has become tradition, we are sharing our annual top 10 revenue growth ideas with our network. This year we are using our platform to focus specifically on the role that Insights can play in unlocking growth.

We believe that the Insights function has the mandate to play a more transformative role in a company’s growth strategy. Insights should be a growth function, acting as an inspiration generator and conviction creator that empowers teams to make bold decisions.

With that in mind, we are highlighting the top 10 ways to leverage Insights for revenue growth. These concepts span all levels of the growth strategy framework, further reinforcing how Insights should be involved in every step of creating and updating a firm’s demand-generation strategy.

Top 10 Ideas: Growth Strategy Framework

Where to Play

Map for tomorrow
Develop a proprietary, predictive view of where to play that defines the consumer frame of reference, addressable market, and best opportunities to commercialize strategic choices.

Why it Matters:
A common insights foundation guides innovation and brand strategy, allowing brands to stay ahead of tomorrow’s opportunities and anticipate where to play in the future.

Role of Insights:

  • Develop a proprietary consumer definition of the category that combines learnings from leading-edge consumers, emerging trends, and other industries
  • Update and evaluate annually as a key input into annual business/strategic planning

Result:
This forward-looking market map empowers the team to plan ahead and creates the right to win.

Assess your job prospects
Expand thoughtfully by regularly assessing and re-assessing which jobs your brand can win.

Why it Matters:
Breakthrough revenue growth comes when brands successfully expand their reach into new spaces.

Role of Insights:

  • Build a deep understanding of brand resonance and consumer benefits to identify which jobs your brand will be “hired” for
  • Reconcile these potential jobs with the firm’s capacity to support expansion based on category and company dynamics

Result:
An effective insights foundation identifies the brand’s repeatable growth model and enables smart and sustainable expansion.

Create conviction
Know where to play – and just as importantly, where not to play.

Why it Matters:
As organizations grapple with big choices on how to prioritize multiple opportunities, they need the clarity to make difficult decisions, especially when that means challenging convention.

Role of Insights:

  • Actively seek new lenses of insight to inspire different outcomes
  • Arm the organization with these insights to enable teams to make, communicate, and defend difficult decisions
  • Use insight to create the case for change and future-proofing

Result:
Insights-driven decisions that build widespread support for broader organizational direction.

How to Win

Champion your leading edge
Inspire disruptive innovation by learning from the leading-edge consumer—that is, consumers other than your category’s mainstream core consumer.

Why it Matters:
Research based on today’s core results in close-in line extensions and product modifications, not forward-looking innovation that creates the right to win.

Role of Insights:

  • Identify what “leading-edge” means for your business. It may be lapsed users, ultra-heavy shoppers, younger shoppers, or the most informed shoppers
  • Understand how these shoppers use, avoid, or “hack” your focus categories
  • Connect these leading-edge behaviors to unlock growth from mainstream shoppers

Result:
Understanding the leading edge allows the team to disrupt by better meeting unmet or emerging needs.

Embrace omnichannel
Think outside the traditional channel structure when researching or planning go-to-market efforts.

Why it Matters:
The siloed “channel-first” approach fails to account for the increasingly cross-channel nature of shopper journeys. As methods to engage consumers and shoppers become more fragmented, it is critical to understand shopper journeys and key trigger points from an omnichannel perspective.

Role of Insights:

  • Reinforce a “consumer first” mindset, instead of a “channel first” approach
  • Map the end-to-end consumer journey to understand where consumers want to discover, learn and buy
  • Assess the most critical inflection points for reaching your target shopper

Result:
Insights functions can enable organizations to make go-to-market decisions and integrated demand plans through the lens of the consumer.

Spark digital transformation
Reimagine your organization’s approach to digital by placing the consumer and shopper at the center of your strategy.

Why it Matters:
Your shopper’s path to purchase increasingly involves fragmented digital touchpoints, and she expects a seamless brand experience across these points – on her terms.

Role of Insights:

  • Build the fact base and vision required to orient strategy and justify investment in digital transformation
  • Infuse digital and ecommerce perspectives into all research initiatives

Result:
Organizations can transform to align with this new consumer reality, justifying their investment with a solid fact base.

Activate the 4Es
Elevate the value equation from the traditional 4Ps to the new 4Es: Experience, Exchange, Evangelism, and Everywhere.*

Why it Matters:
Today’s consumer has more choices than ever, requiring brands to work harder to win trial and build loyalty. Consumers want to engage with brands on their own terms before “rewarding” them with a purchase.

Role of Insights:

  • Understand the consumer and shopper beyond their interactions with your product.
  • Elevate your brands’ value proposition with broader cultural and lifestyle contexts
  • Spark a mindset shift from “marketing against the 4Ps” to “providing consumer experiences”

*In the digital age, a successful brand must engage consumers through the 4Es. The Product becomes an Experience that delivers memorable moments. Price evolves to an Exchange that goes deeper than a transactional relationship with the consumer, offering value beyond price. Promotion turns into authentic, consumer-led Evangelism. And Placement becomes Everywhere: a consistent product and brand story available everywhere your consumer expects to see it.1

Result:
Mindset shift equips brands to authentically deliver against new growth levers and strengthen consumer loyalty.

How to Action

Prioritize packaging
Reimagine packaging to enable the 4Es and elevate the brand value equation.

Why it Matters:
Packaging is often under-utilized for growth but plays a vital role in unlocking new consumer engagement and distribution opportunities.

Role of Insights:

  • Consider the role of packaging in research initiatives such as leading-edge consumer research and price-pack architecture
  • Understand packaging’s ability to deliver multiple benefits, such as ecological credibility, functional benefits, new need states, superior storage, seamless fulfilment, and badge value

Result:
Full leverage of a critical growth lever.

Leverage e-commerce learning for rapid iteration
Use digital as a learning channel in addition to a sales and marketing channel.

Why it Matters:
The rapid acceleration and “failing fast” needed to win in eCommerce can fuel success in other channels, too; this is a critical part of the challenger brand playbook.

Role of Insights:

  • Use digital learnings to optimize product mix, refine messaging, and more deeply understand the consumer
  • Own coordination of insights and application across the demand landscape

Result:
Better-informed omnichannel planning and successful retail launches.

Unlock the value equation
Drive revenue growth by better elevating the consumer value equation and proactively addressing ecommerce-driven pricing challenges. If not already existent, establish a Strategic Revenue Management leadership function to guide decision-making.

Why it Matters:
Among global top-50 CPGs, two-thirds of revenue growth is driven by pricing and mix, not by volume gains. ecommerce-driven price transparency makes revenue and profit growth even more challenging.2

Role of Insights:

  • Understand consumer jobs, shopper missions, and customer needs to identify incremental opportunities
  • Pair these insights with knowledge of current price-pack architecture to build consumer-driven architecture
  • Offer unique, customer-specific architecture that delivers and captures more value

Result:
Brands can thrive across retail environments even as price transparency issues increase.

We’d love to hear from you! To discuss any of these ideas further, please contact us at info@seuratgroup.com

 

 

1 Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Ogilvy & Mather.

2 BCG: How Net Revenue Management Boosts the Top and Bottom Line.

Future of Packaging:  Re-thinking Plastic  Solutions

Future of Packaging: Re-thinking Plastic Solutions

Future of Packaging: Re-thinking Plastic Solutions

Future of Packaging: Re-thinking Plastic Solutions

Overview

Core to unlocking disruptive growth for manufacturers is identifying new consumer trends and quickly moving to innovate against them. Identifying these trends is often grounded in understanding your leading-edge consumers. For example, Blue Buffalo built a dog food brand that tapped into burgeoning needs of pet parents underserved by established brands. The idea: meat should be the first

ingredient in the ingredient panel. By curating the brand in channels where pet parents relied on store associates for nutritional advice and fueling social media mavens, they were able to accelerate the meat-first trend and disrupt the dog food space – leading to General Mills’ acquisition of the brand last year for $8 billion.

The Next Leading-Edge Trend & Why Now?

Listening to leading edge consumers and social media conversations, it is clear to us that the volume around the environmental impact of plastic packaging has turned up a few notches. We believe one of the next leading-edge trends primed to transition into the mainstream is alternative packaging solutions.

Manufacturers tapping into the alternative packaging trend is not a new concept. Water filtration systems (Brita, Pur, etc.) have grown over the last 20 years and were predicted to make bottled water obsolete. Yet, today bottled water remains the fastest growing beverage category in the US at 9%.

We believe this time is different.

The negative impact of plastic among leading-edge consumers is at a tipping point. Consumers are more invested than ever in brands that demonstrate a conscious effort to support sustainability. Social media disseminates this message and connects consumers that share this sentiment like wildfire.

 

At the same time, Big CPG’s efforts to connect with these consumers – and social pressure accelerating around reducing plastic waste entering the oceans – is ushering this concern into the mainstream.

 

Eliminating plastic is quickly becoming a standard, with company after company coming out with their own sustainability pledge.

Plastic Disruption is Already Occurring

Big CPG can only go so fast. Supply chain complexities and profitability concerns require them to pick their spots and manage against longer time horizons. This opens the door for Challenger brands to strike quickly, putting the consumer first. We’re already seeing brands succeed in positioning alternative packaging solutions as a core piece of their consumer value equation:

Lush Cosmetics

 

Boasts minimal, 100% recyclable packaging on all its products; it is one of the fastest-growing beauty retailers in the U.S., with North American sales increasing 25% in 2017 and reaching $550 Mil.

LOLI

Educating consumers that most beauty products are >95% water and use more plastic than necessary is a core focus. The brand minimizes its packaging footprint by removing water from beauty products, using glass and offering consumers a unique “blend it yourself” experience.

Carlsberg

Danish brewing company introduced new pilsner six-packs held together with adhesive rather than plastic rings in a bet that the eco-friendly packaging will attract younger consumers.

We believe the manufacturers that can act quickly and short-circuit the time horizons of big CPG will create advantage by appealing to consumers and customers that desire plastic alternatives.
What to Do

Be truly consumer-first
Core to the DNA of Challenger brands is an understanding of your leading-edge consumers’ values and a commitment to use packaging to better meet their needs. Manufacturers must identify the role packaging plays in consumption occasions and shopping trips and bring to market a solution that makes sense. Lush & Carlsberg represent examples of this in action. Lush defined minimal packaging as a core principle of its brand to connect to its millennial consumer base, while Carlsberg’s desire to attract these same consumers led to a solution to reduce plastic rings as a key component of their packaging.

Get to know your leading edge
Define the key consumer segment that will lead change within the category and identify the triggers to mainstream the experience. Banza commercialized leading edge food value insight in dry pasta to disrupt traditional boxed pasta – millennial moms rely on pasta as a dinner staple for their families, but value the carrier aspect of the meal (fresh vegetables mixed in with tomatoes) and want to replace the starchy carbs. Brands should speak to and learn from their leading-edge consumers, use these insights to fuel their solutions to reduce packaging within their categories and most importantly message how they are participating in this shift.

Map demand occasions more broadly
While the core of your business may be grounded in traditional brick & mortar occasions, there is an opportunity to re-think how demand occasions are mapped for your business. Channels such as foodservice and on-premise offer opportunities to reduce your packaging footprint while still accessing your core consumers. For instance, growth of WeWork locations have increased awareness and consumption in the absence of packaging for Kombucha, while Pepsi’s purchase of SodaStream highlights how brands think about accessing new consumption occasions outside their core plastic package.

Lead the way with eCommerce
Estimates show that roughly 165 billion packages are shipped in the US annually, using cardboard equal to more than 1 billion trees. The tremendous growth of eCommerce will only increase CPG’s contribution to this number. Move beyond transactional goals for ecommerce and use the platform as an insight tool for rapid testing and learning, to refine innovation and the value equation before launching across B&M channels. While packaging changes may require a price increase, test consumer demand online to determine what drives the most value for your consumers while positively impacting the issue of packaging waste online.

Price Pack Architecture:
Given today’s omni-channel environment and the realities of radical price transparency (see growth paper), companies are in constant struggle with customer partners to manage their price pack architecture. Leading companies have used reduced packaging solutions and smaller sizes to access unique consumer needs, such as Coke’s introduction of 7.5-ounce mini cans. Not only do these products meet new needs, they also offer manufacturers the opportunity to reduce overall packaging – and margin up – through smaller, opening-price-point items. Consider offering reduced sizes to both participate in this trend and meet consumer needs that may exist for your product portfolio.

Conclusion

We are at a tipping point for alternative packaging solutions. This trend should be an opportunity to reimagine packaging as both an outsized influencer for core consumers and a positive difference-maker on the sustainability front. Manufacturers must evaluate their own brand priorities and consumer set to find areas in which they can participate and lean in to be at the forefront of this change.

As always, we want to hear from you! If you’d like more information on how to re-think packaging, or want to share how your company is addressing this issue, please reach out at info@seuratgroup.com.

Social Communities

Social Communities

Social Communities

Social Communities

3 Reasons Why They’re the Best New Research Method
Introduction

Social communities are market research’s best-kept secret. They allow researchers to tap into natural avenues for communication where people are comfortable: social media.

As a result, consumers are incredibly engaged and eager to offer up rich insight. In a world where emerging CPG
companies are disrupting the industry with their ability to hit

the pavement, learn from consumers quickly, and react strategically, social communities are invaluable.

They give big companies the opportunity to be agile. Not sold yet? Great, we’re going to explore three big reasons why they’re the best new research methodology you’ve never heard of:

Social communities are powerful because they are already ingrained in consumers’ lives (think: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). They’re also painless for participants (unlike traditional communities which require significant behavioral change).

We’ve heard time and time again how much consumers enjoy participating to the point where they are sad to see their community end. Traditional research methods like focus groups, in-home ethnographies, and in-store research, on the other hand, are more arduous for consumers because they require a substantial time commitment (usually in the middle of the day) and take place in artificial environments.

These methods help marketers understand general usage and shopping patterns, but they do not provide the same sense of authentic interaction as social communities. They are planned interviews, no matter how much you emphasize that they should reflect consumers’ “typical behaviors.”

Social communities yield insights that ultimately drive innovation, inform consumer messaging, and help refine shopper strategy.

Take a fictional case of a toothpaste manufacturer, for example. In our scenario, the toothpaste manufacturer leverages social communities to generate a breadth of insights related to the areas above (innovation, consumer messaging, and shopper strategy.) The company’s marketers are able to pick out the best insights and use them as the foundation for action.

Example: Toothpaste Manufacturer

You might be wondering: “If social communities are so great, why don’t we hear more about them in CPG?” The big reason is that they are labor intensive. They take a lot of time to facilitate, require a flexible research plan, and often necessitate extra buy-in from key stakeholders.

Despite the added effort, however, researchers who go the extra mile LOVE social communities because they elevate their qualitative insights. If you are hungering to foster an authentic connection with consumers and generate new, rich insights, you should consider them too.

Researchers LOVE social communities…and you will too!

“At the beginning, I thought ‘boy, this is going to be a long process.’ Now all I’m thinking about is how worth it communities are.”

“I never thought we could get such great data from social media.”

“This is truly a frontier in market research. In all my time in Insights, I’ve not seen qualitative learning this robust.”

To learn more about Social Communities, please contact us at info@seuratgroup.com

Predicting The Future In CPG

Predicting The Future In CPG

Predicting The Future In CPG

Predicting The Future In CPG

“An organization that doesn’t leverage its data in [a predictive] way is like a person with a photographic memory who never bothers to think.” – Eric Siegel, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die

The Power of Predictive

Predictive analytics is as close as an organization can get to peering into a crystal ball. It is the answer to the billion dollar question: “what is going to happen?”

From projecting the effectiveness of door-to-door campaigning during the 2012 presidential election to forecasting the number of high-risk patients for healthcare providers in the US, predictive analytics provides a distinct competitive advantage to those willing to invest. The problem is that few in CPG have realized this potential.

Definition:
Predictive Analytics: The logical answer to the “what is likely to happen?” question. It is the practice of analyzing current and historical data to logically forecast future outcomes, trends, and behavior patterns.

Application: 
Predictive analytics enables companies to transform from reactive followers to proactive leaders.

Realizing the Predictive Potential

CPG retailers and manufacturers have mastered the art of descriptive historical analysis, which is valuable in its own right – for maximizing performance, reducing inefficiencies, and understanding how to better deliver against consumer and shopper needs.

Delivering against yesterday’s needs, however, fails to help these companies win in an ever-changing “world of tomorrow.” It skips the most important step in a powerful three-pronged approach1 to data analysis: prediction.

Predictive analytics has exploded across industries this decade. In fact, the use of predictive analytics more than tripled during the five years following the end of the recession, becoming a key strategy for unlocking growth.

Amazon is one company famous for its investment in predictive analytics, most notably to power its recommendation engine. Amazon’s predictive model is so effective that sales from recommendations account for more than 1/3 of total revenues.

The company is now turning its attention to a new predictive application: an anticipatory shipping model that cuts delivery times by shipping products to consumers, or in their direction, before they order them – all based on purchase predictions.

Spice manufacturer McCormick has also reaped the benefits of predictive analytics through its personalized recipe recommendation engine, FlavorPrint.

FlavorPrint initially gauges consumer taste preferences using a 20-question online quiz, and continually refines profiles by analyzing rated recipes and variables like weekday versus weekend patterns. It predicts which recipe recommendations consumers are likely to choose and when they are likely to choose them.

Thanks to predictive analytics, McCormick has captured a valuable competitive advantage in the digital engagement space. The company boasts 6 times more pages per visit to its website and an average website stay of 7 minutes5 – a number unheard of for most manufacturer websites.

It is programs like this that have made McCormick a proactive leader in CPG, contributing to the company nearly doubling its stock price over the past 5 years.6 There is a clear opportunity for other manufacturers to follow suit and invest in predictive analytics so that they too can transform from reactive followers to proactive leaders.

Applying Predictive Analytics in CPG

It’s clear that predictive analytics is a burgeoning game changer in CPG – the cornerstone capability for unlocking future growth.

Through years of helping clients leverage predictive analytics, we have identified 4 valuable applications across the industry:

Applications

2015 Examples

By leveraging predictive analytics to identify future consumer trends, a leading regional grocer optimized its portfolio of 20+ private brands down to 6 platforms well-aligned to current and future shopper need states.

End result: a strategic portfolio of brands that played well across all shopper segments.

The Clorox Company introduced a cold & flu Twitter conversation tracker that predicts flu incidence throughout the year based on volume of social engagement.

With this capability, Clorox can pinpoint peak flu season more effectively, and thus market cleaning products when and where consumers need them most.

A mid-sized manufacturer used predictive trigger analysis to identify factors that lead to the highest category spending.

This future-looking insight provided a more robust fact base beyond the usual category management metrics, and ultimately helped the company persuade retail partners to adopt its proposed guidelines – gaining share of shelf that exceeded share of sales.

A leading produce manufacturer built its long-term strategy based on forecasted purchase behavior. Using predictive analytics, it developed a future-looking decision hierarchy (PDH) that helped orient the business around a category-view of the behaviors predicted to unlock the greatest volume.

Conclusion

Tomorrow’s leaders will adopt predictive analytics as part of their foundational insight capabilities. It will take patience, careful planning, and a comprehensive strategic plan.

Despite these extra efforts, retailers and manufacturers that take strides to master the power of prediction will no longer act as passive followers, but rather proactive leaders capable of dictating the future. Companies that invest in predictive analytics will stay ahead of trends and drive growth, entering category whitespace before competitors get the chance to identify the same opportunities. They will be tomorrow’s leaders.

For more information on how predictive analytics can impact your business, contact the Seurat Group (info@seuratgroup.com).

MyClickstream: Connecting The Dots in Your Omnichannel World

MyClickstream: Connecting The Dots in Your Omnichannel World

MyClickstream: Connecting The Dots in Your Omnichannel World

MyClickstream: Connecting The Dots in Your Omnichannel World

Omnichannel Missing Link

Today, only about 1% of Consumer Packaged Goods sales are online. By 2018, that number is estimated to be 5%, with a full one-half of CPG growth estimated to be from online purchases.

Small brands are winning disproportionately online, gaining shoppers and engagement that can be parlayed into an in-store threat. For example, of the top 5 shampoos on Amazon.com, only 2 are available in brick & mortar retailers.

Winning online requires understanding the shopper’s full path-to-purchase in the increasingly omnichannel environment that shoppers are living in today.

Do you know how your shoppers are behaving online? Do you know whether those searches end up as purchases online or offline? What retailer they end up purchasing from and why? Is it better to invest in images, product detail content or in search? How does this differ between Amazon.com, Target.com, and Walgreens.com?

Manufacturers and retailers have expended significant resources toward understanding how shoppers are behaving and navigating in-store, but that same effort has lagged online.

This is because information on how to do this is limited, and manufacturers are hesitant to invest when approach and outcome are unclear.

Nevertheless, the time to understand omnichannel behavior and develop a winning strategy is now, before smaller, challenger brands take a permanent lead.

Limited Options Today

Few solutions exist today to fully understand and take targeted action against shopper behavior in order to grow brands online.

Current options rely on getting data from ecommerce platform owners, buying historical metrics from an online panel company, or conducting your own primary research by asking shoppers to recall purchase behavior and decisions.

Each one of these approaches comes with drawbacks around accessibility, flexibility, or accuracy. As a result, brands still lack the ability to develop a 360o view of their shoppers’ paths to purchase online and turn that into a truly differentiated omnichannel growth strategy.

The time is right to close this gap and begin to truly understand and anticipate shoppers’ changing needs. Doing so will provide the information needed to:

With the limited resource environment that most brands are living in, it’s critical to understand which elements online are driving shoppers to your brand.

Are they searching for your name or for your category? Are shoppers reading product content or reviews? What behaviors mark someone who buys your brand versus your competitors?

With the limited resource environment that most brands are living in, it’s critical to understand which elements online are driving shoppers to your brand.

Are they searching for your name or for your category? Are shoppers reading product content or reviews? What behaviors mark someone who buys your brand versus your competitors?

 

Find out what shoppers are searching for online and what they are browsing for that they can’t find or how they are being satisfied by your competitors.

 

Understand what shoppers react to positively and negatively online, and what marketing levers are more likely to lead to conversion or trade-up.

How to Connect the Dots in Your Omnichannel World

Closing these gaps requires the right custom data and approach to capture both what shoppers are doing in a specific category and why they are doing it.

Seurat’s myClickstream methodology gathers and integrates disaggregated data across the entire path to purchase. With this capability, we are able to answer a dizzying array of questions about shopper actions and motivations, ultimately allowing you to influence shoppers at the point of purchase by offering them the right solution in the right place at the right time.

Each of the three complementary data sets plays a unique role in understanding the shopper:

Shoppers download an app to their computer, tablet or phone, which captures every URL they click on.

These same shoppers in a panel share their purchase receipts in brick & mortar and/or online with us.

Shoppers take an attitudinal survey, allowing us to understand motivators: why they behave in the ways exhibited from passive tracking and/or purchasing data.

Through these three steps, we are able to understand
shopping missions and retailers chosen, navigation and trip missions, purchase decisions, and drivers/motivations to purchase across brick & mortar and ecommerce.

Being able to link this data at the household level enables deeper understanding of how online behaviors convert into purchases on and offline and can be used to generate actionable insights that will trigger desired shopper behaviors.  Additionally, this dataset is owned by you, enabling greater depth and flexibility of learnings.

This engine can be continuously mined to dig deeply to uncover new, compelling insights as new questions and needs arise. This ownership and deep level of detail enables you to engage in a highly customized way with your categories, your customers, and your shoppers.

The breadth of learnings achievable through myClickstream can be used to derive custom insights from the data to
arm the entire demand plan, ranging from customer and category planning to omnichannel leadership to capability development and marketing activation.

Contact us at info@seuratgroup.com or (203) 774-4900 to learn more about including MyClickstream to build your business online.