Consolidate and personalize: A winning data strategy for CPG brands

Consumer packaged goods brands should consolidate their data to deliver more personalized campaigns. This was the conclusion made by Tristan Silhol, Senior Manager, Consulting for Artefact US, part of the global data services company, at the recent MarTech conference.

CPG companies have unique challenges in meeting consumer demands for personalization, according to Silhol. Because of the nature of their business, their audience is broad, which requires a particularly robust data strategy.

“[They] have to be able to go from broad-brush, mass-market targeting to targeting the right consumers at the right time with the right message,” he stated.

From broad brush to personalized campaigns

“In typical strategic marketing, teams are focused on assumption-based marketing,” said Silhol. “So essentially, they’re building media campaigns and personalization based on external factors such as consumer surveys, brand knowledge, national demographic data, statistical data and, of course, consumption data.”

He added, “And it’s great to build broad campaigns, such as TV campaigns, but it might not be sufficient when current customers expect a lot of personalization and a certain level of relationship with the brands today.”

This is why CPG businesses especially have to innovate with more data-driven practices not just based on research but integrating customer data into their strategies.


“This essentially means consolidating three types of data,” Silhol said. “First-party data, for example, includes your website’s transactional data, CRM data and other digital assets that you may own as a company.”

When this data is centralized, it can be merged with second-party data partners. For CPGs, this means retailers, especially those with a solid e-commerce presence.

Beyond that, third-party data can be leveraged in digital campaigns through programmatic partners.

“This data-driven marketing piece represents a very large piece of the untapped opportunities for brands, and it requires quite a lot of capabilities and innovation to be able to reach that,” said Silhol.

CPG brand challenges

“CPG companies specifically are facing quite a few challenges because they are less consumer-facing on the digital front than other retail companies,” Silhol explained.

Segmentation. CPG brands tend to find difficulty in translating traditional segmentation into addressable audiences, according to Silhol. 

“What happens is very often those companies end up arbitrarily targeting segments online and having this disconnect between what is available digitally in terms of addressable audiences and their marketing segmentation,” he said.

Systematic approach. Brands don’t usually have a tailored approach that is systematic enough to balance between precision and reach. “Very often, even companies that do succeed in developing sophisticated methodologies for audience building come hit this wall of having very little scale and having very small audiences,” Silhol said. “And it’s not very easy to migrate those digital capabilities into actual actionable audiences.”

Privacy. The deprecation of the cookie and increasing privacy concerns means that traditional third-party-based audiences are becoming less effective and relevant to marketers.


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Walled gardens. “The dominance of walled gardens is making it very complicated to merge data between different platforms, and so it’s going to be more difficult for CPG marketers to drive holistic insights and consolidate that data,” said Silhol. 

Measurement. Great audiences may be hard to identify because of a lack of granular and advanced measurement methodologies that report on actual sales versus relying on proxies or media-based KPIs, according to Silhol.

Given these challenges, it makes data consolidation for customer data a high priority for these brands, so that they can scale and also meet the high standard of personalization that consumers expect in the current digital marketplace.

See the full video from our MarTech conference here (free registration required).

About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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