Manal Haddad

How FMCG Firms can Utilize Big Data to Get an Edge over the Competitors

The market for big data is maturing around the world. Recent data shows an increased trend in the use of data technology for revamping operations. It is expected that the expense incurred in use of big data by companies will reach $40 billion in 2008. A recent study has revealed that most top FMCG companies are using big data to gain an edge over the rivals. They are using the data to improve their supply chain and to support different marketing initiatives.

FMCG companies such as Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Mondelez, Coca-Cola and others are already using big data to achieve supply chain efficiency. Procter & Gamble, in particular, has invested over $1 billion on data mining technologies. These companies are using data for making improvement in their processes by actions such as improved targeting, introducing innovative products, and exceeding customer satisfaction. The end result is improved productivity and competitive strength of the company.

Why Using Big Data is Important for FMCG Companies

Big data is a term used by experts to refer to a large amount of data pertaining to the customers. The data can be about anything such as customer profile, sales transaction history, and others. Currently, most of the FMCG companies do not lack data. What they are unable to do is to efficiently utilize the data for making improvements in their integral operations. This has placed FMCG companies at a significant disadvantage as compared to firms in other industries, especially banking and finance that know how to link the data to their internal operations.

Proper utilization of big data can enable companies to become more customer-responsive. Retail firms such as Tesco and Walmart are already masters of using data to revamp their operations. Tesco, for instance, has implemented a loyalty card program that is linked to the data about its customers. This has increased the effectiveness of the program making it more relevant and targeted.

Brands that are able to link big data to their promotional activity are able to gain a clear advantage. They are able to measure the ROI and respond more accurately to customer activity. Moreover, linking big data to promotional activity has increased the potential boosting sales without resorting to price discount strategy.

How to Use Big Data to Get an Edge on Competitors

FMCG companies can take a data-driven approach to gain strategic advantage over their rivals. They need to invest in better technologies that allow them to connect with their target market. This requires reexamining the platform that the consumers use the most (such as social media sites) and investing in the technology. They must then use the data to overhauling their operational and marketing strategies that result in maximum customer’s satisfaction.

One company that has successfully employed this tactic is Anchor Butter that has used an intelligent promotional program to mine customer purchase data and reward high purchase clients. By being more responsive and relevant, the company is able to increase its sales by about 74% and led to the company being awarded the IPM Gold Award for long-term customer loyalty.

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