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CPG heads of sales say digital collaboration with retailers will amplify sales

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Digital collaboration between retailers and consumer packaged goods companies will help amplify sales by driving the availability of products and making the best use of shelf space and trade promotion funds, according to a new Accenture research study released Thursday. CPG heads of sales cited several additional potential benefits, including reducing the cost of servicing customers, increasing the chances of consumers trading up and boosting sales through targeted email with personalized content and offers and with consumer care services (cited by 50%, 46%, 57% and 51% respectively).
 
“The vast number of opportunities being created by digital technologies continues to have a profound effect on the CPG sales and trade marketing processes, with the potential for improved sales performance,” said Koen Van Bockstaele, managing director, consumer goods and services, Accenture. “However, to unlock the true potential of digital technologies that CPG executives have committed to, companies should ensure that their investments go beyond the efficiencies created by the digitization of processes and channels, and enable them to become fully digital organizations. To achieve their growth targets, CPG brands need to deliver and market a consistent,  personalized consumer experience across multiple sales channels to reach target consumers around the world and appeal to their anytime, anywhere shopping expectations.”
 
The study shows that digital technology has the potential to help consumer brands pool actionable insights to increase consumer loyalty, share of wallet and the lifetime value of their products. However, a large majority (70%) of CPG heads of sales believe this potential may not be realized because there is a lack of consistent, shared consumer data to improve decision making. Six-in-10 of these respondents find it too difficult to deliver relevant and personalized content to engage consumers effectively through digital channels.
 
Two-thirds of CPG companies can identify online the stores that normally stock their merchandise, and half can confirm current availability by store using digital channels, according to sales leaders. However, just 16% of companies currently use digital technologies to maintain the in-store and online relationship with the consumer to drive repeat purchases in the store. Furthermore, only 38% of all survey respondents say their companies use digital channels to drive planogram compliance, and just 30% say their companies use digital channels to drive perfect order and perfect delivery programs with retail partners.
 
“Although most CPG companies acknowledge that the primary value of analytics revolves around obtaining a better view of the shopper to optimize assortment, pricing and promotions, they continue to struggle with the quality and consistency of the data available,” Van Bockstaele said. “Investing in the right tools and the talent to extract analytic insights that allow companies to take action at the shelf and consistently applying analytics to sales and customer processes and decisions across the company — from the boardroom to sales force — represents the greatest opportunity for improving market performance.”
 
Data from the study showed that CPG heads of sales and CPG account directors are acutely aware of changes in the commercial environment that are creating both threats and opportunities to their sales approach. For example, the executives surveyed believe store infrastructure will evolve too slowly to adequately reach an expected one billion new new middle-class consumers in emerging markets. They identified cost (54%), development of suitable product offerings (54%), and fulfillment (51%) as the three main challenges.
 
While digital engagement and direct selling can offer CPG companies an easier path to consumers in new markets, 77% of heads of sales strongly agree, or agree, that restrictions for selling online in certain markets present a barrier to reaching consumers through digital channels. And more than two-thirds (68%) strongly agree or agree that local privacy and promotion legislation makes it challenging to sell directly to consumers through digital channels.
 
“In this new digital era, the reality is there is no one-size-fits-all solution CPG companies can use to tackle issues in every type of market, nor is it economically viable for them to tailor their sales and marketing structures and IT systems for each one,” Van Bockstaele said. “By transcending geography, consumer companies can go to market according to the commercial models of each of the countries they sell into, to cost effectively deploy fit-for-purpose capabilities in emerging and developed markets and help drive profitable growth.”
 
The study, CPG Sales Leaders Go Multichannel; A Guide To CPG Sales And Channel Management In A Digital World, was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Accenture, and is based on the responses from heads of sales and account directors. 

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Yes to Inc. names Plum Organics CEO to board

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN FRANCISCO — Yes to Inc., a maker of natural skin and hair care, announced that Neil Grimmer — cofounder and CEO of Plum Organics, an organic kids nutrition company — has been appointed to its board of directors.

“Neil will be an incredibly valuable addition to Yes to's board and we are thrilled to have him as part of the team,” stated Joy Chen, CEO of Yes to, Inc. “His impressive background leading Plum to become the nation's No. 1 organic baby food company, and establishing them as a socially responsible brand that gives back to our nation’s youth, aligns perfectly with the core values and mission of Yes to.”

Grimmer has led the launch of 150-plus innovative products, including the spouted pouch for baby, a format that has revolutionized the category. Former VP of innovation at Clif Bar and senior designer at IDEO, Grimmer has been a pioneer in design and consumer products industries for more than a decade.

Under Grimmer’s leadership, Plum became one of the first companies to reincorporate as a Public Benefit Corporation in Delaware in July 2013, reinforcing its mission to help combat child hunger and conduct business responsibly. Grimmer also launched Plum’s social impact program The Full Effect, dedicated to nourishing children in need across America.

Yes to’s formulations are over 95% natural and are free of parabens, petroleum and SLS. It offers seven unique collections, including products for face, body, hair, lips and babies.
 

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Maybelline New York taps Gigi Hadid as newest spokesperson

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Maybelline New York has announced that model Gigi Hadid is its newest spokesperson, debuting in advertising campaigns later this year.  

Hadid will join a lineup of spokeswomen, which includes Christy Turlington, Adriana Lima, Jourdan Dunn, Emily DiDonato, Marloes Horst, Kemp Muhl and a host of others. 

‎"We are thrilled to welcome Gigi Hadid to Maybelline New York," stated Jerome Bruhat, global brand president. "As the fashion industry's newest 'it' girl, Gigi is known for her confident, fun, seductive spirit. She reflects our brand values and represents Maybelline New York women all over the world who are smart, sexy, optimistic and full of life."

At only 19, Hadid has graced the runways of Marc Jacobs, Giles, Sonia Rykiel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jeremy Scott and Chanel. She landed the cover of the fourth installment of Carine Roitfeld's CR Fashion Book in 2014, and the December 2014 cover of Harper's Bazaar in Malaysia.

Her modeling career began at a young age when she was discovered by Guess cofounder Paul Marciano. She would go on to model for Baby Guess, Guess Kids, then graduating to Guess. Campaigns with Tom Ford, Sports Illustrated, and a spot in the 2015 Pirelli calendar have followed.

A Malibu native, Hadid now calls the streets of New York City home. Entering 2015 on a high note, Hadid has a striking international social media presence, clocking in at more than 1.4 million Instagram followers and 193,000 Twitter devotees. In 2014, she landed on Models.com's Top 50 Models list, Models.com's Top Sexiest Models list, Sports Illustrated's 12 Rookies Who Rocked 2014, and Rolling Stone's 25 Hottest Sex Symbols of 2014.
 

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