For the first time ever, consumer products companies can have a direct relationship with the end users of their products. It also means these companies now face the challenge of engaging in the right way, at the right time to keep up with the ever-changing demands of today’s digital-savvy consumers.

Before social media, there was no easy way for us to share feedback, ask questions, and really get to know the brands we were supporting. Now, that’s all changing. As social platforms continue to gain popularity, consumers become more informed and engaged and more businesses actively participate online. This digital ecosystem presents new opportunities for engagement.

For digital-savvy consumers (like me, and probably you, too), we expect personalized shopping experiences, tailored choices, real-time responses, transparent interactions, and closer connections with the brands we support. Why? Because it empowers us. With plenty of online research, personal recommendations, price comparisons, and customer reviews at our fingertips, we create an interconnected community and chart new paths to purchase.

Just look at the statistics. In recent years:

  • There’s been a 35 percent increase across the U.S. in average time per week spent on social media. (1)
  • 93 percent of surveyed consumers reported using a digital device to browse and research when shopping. (2)
  • 58 percent of U.S. consumers checked social media daily. (3)
  • About 35 percent of surveyed U.S. users* used social media to find out about products and services. (1)
  • Roughly 25 percent of surveyed U.S. users* used social media to support their favorite brands. (1)

Goodbye traditional buying process

With so much information at our disposal, we now lead purchasing journeys that start well before stepping into a company’s store—sometimes even before visiting their website. Then, once we decide to make a purchase, many of us will buy immediately online rather than trekking to the store. And it’s these evolving buying behaviors that present new challenges for consumer products companies.

Hello Consumer Direct

In a digital-first world, consumer products companies should be fast, granular, and connected with customers. In my experience, many consumer products companies struggle with their digital marketing efforts for three main reasons:

  1. Missed moments—sending messages at the wrong time.
  2. Inauthentic messaging—sending the wrong message.
  3. Failing to engage—sending a message through the wrong channels.

What could help overcome these issues is an insight-driven platform capable of providing direct customer engagement with a customizable experience for both corporate-driven campaigns and locally initiated events. That’s where Deloitte Digital’s Consumer Direct solution comes in. Sitting within Deloitte Digital’s broader DigitalMixTM platform, Consumer Direct brings together leading class technologies for multi-brand content management, consumer engagement, and eCommerce and helps drive the personalized touchpoints companies are all after.

Through Deloitte Digital’s ecosystem approach, Consumer Direct is tailored to integrate with most current technology portfolios including:

  • Social media management powered by Sprinklr
  • Multi-brand web content management and digital asset management from Adobe Experience Manager
  • eCommerce through SAP Hybris eCommerce
  • Customer relationship management via Salesforce

Intrigued? If you’re looking for a way to connect with and deliver superior customer experiences, we should talk. You can also learn more about Consumer Direct by clicking here.

Russell McLean is a senior manager within the Advertising, Marketing & Commerce team at Deloitte Digital. His particular area of focus is helping consumer products organizations better identify, acquire, and retain customers through the effective deployment of digital tools and capabilities. He is passionate about how helping organizations adapt to changes in consumer buying habits and is enthusiastic about hearing more from others with the same interest.

(1): 2016 Nielsen Social Media Report
(2): The new digital divide, Deloitte University Press
(3): 2017 Consumer products industry outlook, Deloitte Center for Industry Insights

*Adults in the United States, 18+ years old