Understanding the Brand Funnel of FMCG
The online retail marketplace is thriving. Yet, oddly enough, in this thriving marketplace, FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) brands are falling behind. This discrepancy is inexplicable because so many of the world's most recognized brands have come from the FMCG space.
Coca Cola, Kraft, General Mills, Kellogg's, Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, etc. and the list goes on.
Such brands, once the leaders and pioneers of the marketing world, are now finding themselves scrambling to catch up in the ever-growing online retail marketplace.
Food and drink brands are not always the most digitally savvy. Take, for instance, groceries: we’re still very much a nation of in-store shoppers; point-of-sale tactics combined with above-the-line mass awareness is shown to be effective.
But, brands in this sector need to be prepared – while growth in online grocery shopping is slower than other sectors, it IS happening. Also, with media consumption itself increasingly becoming digital, it’s crucial to be present online for this reason alone.
If brands in the FMCG sector step up, let go of the traditional marketing funnel and path to purchase, and embrace the new digital reality fully, they may just find themselves in a position to claim their rightful place at the forefront of the digital retail revolution.
Today, that is still the goal of most other FMCG brand funnels — though they may go by other names.
For instance, the brand love curve, purchase funnel, purchase journey, marketing funnel, the customer journey, conversion funnel, and brand pyramid are just some of the other names used for a brand funnel.
Brand funnels have expanded beyond the sales process to act as a more strategic tool for brands. Brands can use them in a variety of different ways to assess their place in the market, identify problems or opportunities, and determine the tactics they need to use to solve those problems or tap on new opportunities.
The goal of most FMCG brand funnels is to describe the different stages of a customer’s relationship with a brand:
Awareness: Potential customers have heard about or come in contact with a brand.
Consideration: A potential customer develops a deeper relationship with a brand and seeks more information about it.
Purchase: The prospect now becomes a customer trial-ing a product of the brand.
Repeat Purchase or Favourite: The customer likes the brand or product and decides to purchase the brand again.
Loyalty: The customer only purchases that specific brand; so if the brand is unavailable at a store they will seek it out elsewhere.
By investing heavily in the top of the funnel, i.e., awareness, you are ensuring that your FMCG product reaches new users via
• interest and demographic targeting on Facebook, YouTube, and
• the Google Display Network.
At the bottom, we have best practices for driving lower funnel conversions for consumers that show engagement with your brand:
• retargeting on YouTube and Google Display,
• remarketing lists of high converting audiences, and
• Dynamic Product Ads on Facebook.
Let’s Look at 5 Ways FMCG Brands Can Market Better Online
1. Improve customer experience
The FMCG path to purchase, as it currently manifests online, is inconvenient and disruptive to the online user. This results in a poor online experience for your customer.
No matter how well an FMCG brand’s digital display ad is placed, no matter how targeted, relevant, and intriguing it may be, there are pretty slim chances that someone browsing Facebook, or watching a YouTube video is going to interrupt what they are doing to click a link, visit your website, and purchase an FMCG product.
FMCG brands must accept this fact – providing a path to purchase is great, but it will not produce results in and of itself.
FMCG brands need to find a way to make the user experience of purchasing their products online a seamless, easy, and pleasant one. If brands are able to do so, their online marketing funnel design will be more effective.
2. Meet consumers where they live
FMCG Brands which try too hard to be popular can come across as obtuse and nosy, and for many brands the effort simply isn’t necessary at all. When it comes to relevance, it is not so much about what you say, as it is where you say it, i.e., which platform you use to engage with consumers.
Finding out where your target audience is hanging out online is the key, as is finding out how they are going online in the first place. The current trend towards mobile internet use is too important to be ignored, and FMCG brands need to take heed of this fact.
“Right person, right ad, right time” is a concept that isn’t going away any time soon, and the FMCG brands that can figure out how to make sense of their own marketing data will have a leg up on the rest of the field when it comes to maximizing their online footprint through relevance and targeting.
3. Make Ads shoppable
In addition to “right person, right ad, right time”, “right path to purchase” will also grow in importance in the near future.
The race to optimize consumer path to purchase is dominating the digital marketing conversation soon enough.
“Shoppability” is the ability to purchase items directly from online images/videos/advertisements with a click. It will play a huge role in determining which brands win out across the retail landscape. FMCG is not any different.
Fashion retail is currently leading the way in this arena. Recent developments like shoppable images on Instagram are beginning to demonstrate the untapped potential of shoppability as a digital marketing concept.
For FMCG brands, shoppable online advertising represents a potential game-changer. It helps to interact with consumers, especially when it comes to the arduous task of moving consumers toward checkout.
The trend towards shoppable advertising can be expected to spread and develop quickly as promising ROI data begins to trickle in.
4. Maximize brand loyalty
In the FMCG world, brand loyalty is of utmost importance. People are creatures of habit, and their FMCG purchase choices reflect this fact.
FMCG brands which can find their way onto consumers “favourites” lists developing customer lifetime value (CLV) numbers unmatched by those of any other retail sector.
The fact that digital shopping lists are already here and are finding a permanent place on as many of those lists as possible, denotes a veritable coup for any FMCG brand.
5. Collaborate with retailers
In the new FMCG digital retail reality, collaboration between brands and retailers is essential.
Brands can benefit retailers by steering customers and online shopping baskets their way, and retailers can reciprocate by placing brands on customer’s favourites/online shopping lists.
In this way, the marketing efforts of both the retailer and the brand can be beneficial to both at the same time. Brands and retailers which can make the most of this digital symbiosis will be able to position themselves for online marketing success.
The reality for FMCG brands is that they cannot exist without the retailers who move their physical products. If retailers and brands can help consumers to access products more easily and more effortlessly, it’s opportunity abounds for both.
Measuring an FMCG brand funnel consistently means a brand can track their performance based on a variety of factors that are most relevant to them. By evaluating them against competitors in the Indian FMCG sector, a brand can understand their bottlenecks in relation to the market, and what competitors may be focusing on.
According to 1702 Digital, brand funnels are the “status update” into a brands health that guide where efforts should be focused. Used effectively, they can move a brand towards a stronger brand equity—or more value being derived from a brand translating across more products.
Thus, brand funnels are an essential tool in an organization’s toolbox if they want to assess their brand health, growth opportunities or blockers, and when to leverage tactics to address them.
Reach out to us if you’re interested in setting up a strategic funnel design for your brand’s products.