In today’s fragmented world of media, it is harder to capture a consumer’s attention when she is consuming entertainment and news and buying goods through a variety of formats, in any number of places, at any hour of the day. Therefore, the days of casting a wide net with advertising are over, as noted by Pinterest’s head of vertical strategy Brian Monahan. Even companies known for high profiles campaigns are thinking differently about marketing strategy. Speaking to Summit attendees, Albert Carey, CEO of PepsiCo North America, said not every new launch can be backed with a blockbuster Super Bowl–style spot.
Both Monahan and Carey concurred that the cache of data consumers generate every single second can be a treasure-trove—but only if you know what to do with it. To that end, IRI boasts an ever-growing array of tools that can help clients mine big data down to a granular level which can lead to success.
Just how granular? The PepsiCo CEO, with the help of an analytical minded colleague who joined him on stage, provided the IRI Growth Summit audience assembled inside the Grand Ole Opry with an example. Starting with a massive database of 105 million households, PepsiCo can sift through countless attributes to whittle down to a much more manageable five or six million households that would be most likely to buy one of its new drinks. Through the manipulation of big data and partnerships with the right retailers, PepsiCo can be even more precise in its targeting. For example, when a Millennial in Nashville comes to buy gas at a local c-store, he could be pinged a targeted message about that new beverage that’s inside the shop.
Proponents contend personalization will make it easier for companies to be more successful on many fronts: increased retail sales, greater volume, more successful store-specific retail mixes, and valuable insight into whether or not their marketing messaging works.
New Tools and Alliances
IRI’s Growth Summit offers a mix of education, insightful speakers, networking and hands-on opportunities to explore its tools and services. The Chicago-based organization also used Nashville to unveil new initiatives and capabilities such as Lift for TV, which measures the offline sales impact of TV advertising campaigns faster and more accurately; a new “brand equity measurement and activation solution” called EquityScore, which IRI said connects brand equity to actual purchase behavior, and can measure results on a longitudinal basis over time, providing unprecedented marketing activation opportunities for manufacturers and retailers; and the Revenue Growth Management (RGM) Enterprise Suite, which enables CPG manufacturers to optimize pricing and promotion and accelerate sales and profit.
IRI also announced that BJ’s Wholesale Club has selected it as its provider of POS and consumer panel data, and that it was joining forces with SPINS to help retailers meet shoppers’ demands for health and wellness products and find new growth.
In breakout sessions, IRI and its clients, including household and personal care firms, discussed some of their partnerships.
For example, Jona Mancuso, VP-marketing at Carma Laboratories, explained how working with IRI helped her small firm with decision-making around a new daily care lip care SKU.
“We are a challenger brand. We are an underdog,” she said. IRI’s insight and analysis helped Carma make smart decisions related to flavor profiles and how to best approach retail partners.
Seventh Generation’s Sarah McLaren talked about its position in the category. Although it has racked up years of double digit growth, Seventh Generation’s management recognized that to continue that trajectory, it needed to reach new customers. With 75% of new buyers purchasing Seventh Generation products in traditional food and mass stores, “we need to make sure that we have products right alongside regular products,” noted McLaren, who is brand manager-home care/laundry/paper/trash.
During the Summit, IRI announced that Combe had signed on to use its new Lift TV, and during a breakout session, Jackie Steinberg, Combe’s senior director of global media, told the audience, “The path to purchase is not linear anymore. It is more complex.”
IRI CEO Andrew Appel opened the second day of the Summit by touching on areas such as the continued growth of e-commerce and the potential of “voice” (think Alexa and Siri).
“We have to imagine a world where these services are the next platform,” he said.
Closing out Summit was NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal who provided a humble and humorous look at his career, the “Shaq” brand and how he views his role as a marketing pitchman.
IRI’s next Growth Summit is April 16-18, 2018 in Las Vegas.
• IRI’s Growth Summit featured an inspiring keynote presentation from Mitch Ebeling, founder of Not Impossible Labs and the 2014 recipient of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.
Ebeling and his team at Not Impossible have a mission of changing the world through technology and story-telling. And to Ebeling, nothing is impossible. To prove his theory, he asked the audience to come up with one thing that we use or encounter today that seemed impossible before now. While the iPhone is an easy answer to that question, he rattled off other examples: airplanes, electricity, clothing, fire and shelter—all of which seemed impossible before somebody achieved them.
“Every single thing that surrounds us that is possible today, wasn’t possible at one point,” Ebeling said.
Ebeling is also a believer that if you set out to help one person, you can help many people in the long run.
“If we help that one person, maybe it has the potential to scale,” he told the audience.
Not Impossible’s string of projects follows that path. The project that thrust Not Impossible into the public domain all started when Ebeling set out to donate funds to help a legendary graffiti artist and social activist diagnosed with ALS. In the end, he and a team of hackers created a low-cost, open source DIY device—the Eyewriter— that allowed that artist to create art with his eyes. In Project Daniel, the Not Impossible team helped a Sudanese boy whose arms were blown off during a bombing of his village by making him a prosthetic arm with the help of a 3D printer—and teaching the locals about the process as well.
Additional projects underway at Not Impossible Labs are focused on helping improve access to clean water worldwide, ensuring access to high quality ocular care, developing new technologies to help disabled children walk, finding methods to track landmines in war-torn countries, and using mobile technology to create a network to help reduce hunger among homeless youth in Los Angeles.
“When you see something that has to change from a human perspective, you commit and then you figure it out,” Ebeling told the audience.