Guest Column | October 19, 2015

Predictive Analytics Helping CPGs Reach Individual Consumers

Bob Sperber

By Bob Sperber, contributing editor

Big Data, cloud computing, mobile technology, the Internet of Things, and related technology standards have made it possible for new-generation advanced data analytics to crack the code of targeting individual consumers.

In the 1980s, scanner data brought the ability to track individual purchases. Retail loyalty programs made it possible to connect that data with the buying habits with individual shoppers via their loyalty card accounts. Today, the standards and conventions of Big Data, cloud computing, mobile technology, the Internet of Things, and always-on connections provide a platform for advanced data analytics to get much closer to targeting each consumer.

For instance, food and beverage manufacturers and retailers continually employ new technology to eke-out incremental gains in the retail supply chain. Distribution figures prominently in their efforts, but even so, it represents just a single-digit percentage of sales.

“Sure, you can squeeze a couple of basis points out of it. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not strategic,” says consultant Nick Hodson, former head of strategy at Safeway Stores and current leader of the North American consumer and retail business practice of Strategy& PwC.

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