Consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have all but perfected the art of gathering consumer data. Search data, point-of-purchase data, data that comes from social media and website visits, and third-party data from retailers’ loyalty programs all inform brands’ pictures of their consumers. Programmatic ad buying, which powers more targeted ad buys, gives them the opportunity to put that data to work, according to a new eMarketer report, “CPG and Programmatic: The Biggest Ad Spenders Look to Automate Buys, but on Their Own Terms.”
“Clients are asking, ‘What data is valuable?’” said Jeff Dow, global executive digital vice president of digital, data and analytics at Starcom MediaVest Group. “There are a number of sources, and there are a lot of challenges to be solved around what data to use to support programmatic.”
Despite challenges with data, the opportunities for CPG loom large. Erika Lamoreaux, associate director of digital media strategy at The Clorox Company, said: “The opportunities for layering on the data to understand who is interacting with our brands and when is not only helping us reach our targets, but redefining them,” she said. “That will lead to opportunities to do more with the creative—to have more tailored messaging in a real-time media environment.”
“Using first-party data to inform decisions is absolutely something that you want,” said Tamara Bousquet, senior vice president of media and head of programmatic activation at digital ad agency Digitas LBi. “The programmatic layer allows us to take advantage of real-time insight and make decisions based on actual data vs. a panel that looks back 90 days. It allows us to make sure we’re able to have a one-to-one conversation at mass scale, because we’re dynamic in our creative and our targeting choices.”
Acquiring the expertise to understand the data is another challenge for brands. A May 2014 survey of global business executives by Edelman Berland for GE found that, on average, 44% of companies had increased their ability to understand large sets of data. Fast moving consumer goods companies—at 41%—were slightly under that average, but are exhibiting the desire to step up to the challenge of using data to create more targeted campaigns.