DSNTV: Consumer engagement and owning the customer relationship

Even though customers may only buy certain OTC categories a few times a year, for consumer healthcare brands, the opportunities to have a more meaningful relationship in the lives of their consumers has never been greater, Stefan Merlo, director of healthcare strategy, Novartis Consumer Health, told DSNTV in a special edition of DSN Executive Viewpoints.

“That’s largely important not only because it provides us with insights [about our core shopper], but also for our retailer partners. Oftentimes, we identify synergies either with other product categories we have or product categories we don’t have, and we’ll share that information with the retailers and they can use it to activate different points in the store [to target] that individual customer,” Merlo explained.

This kind of customer engagement requires a constant dialogue with the customer that is focused on the relationship versus the next transaction. “We’re not looking to sell products all the time. For example, we have a Facebook page for our Excedrin business and we have regular communication that goes on about headaches. We specialize in headaches, and we talk to [consumers] just about headaches.… And that creates an ongoing relationship — even though they might only be coming into the stores three or four times a year to buy it, we have communicated with them dozens [of times],” he said.

For more, including how Novartis Consumer Health is helping create value in a tough economy and helping retailers navigate challenges from capturing the omnichannel customer to breaking through to consumers in an age of information overload, click above to see the complete video.