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CMO’s who make consumer closeness a reality not a slogan

This month, like almost every month the Chief Marketing Officers of the Global FMCG companies will visit their offices around the World with the familiar war cry 

“We need to get out there and spend time with our consumers and shoppers”

“I want you to bring the consumer to life, so they jump off the page”

“I want you to be great story tellers”.

So how is this to be achieved?

The logic of this call to action is sound, but by the time these executives are back in the airport lounge, what has really been achieved? What tools have they provided their teams with, to deliver these goals?

In an increasingly challenging trading environment, the budgets for consumer connections and immersions are one of the first to get cut.

Insights teams are getting smaller, but the workloads are increasing. The luxury of even thinking about great story telling is the exception not the norm and long dull power points are still the norm not the exception.

There is an alternative….

What if – You could turn the slogans into a reality?

What if when employees entered reception, the lift or their offices, instead of seeing a loop of your TV commercials or the cricket being played, they could watch and listen to your target consumers?

What if when someone joined the company or switched brands you could say “before you come to the first meeting please go and watch these digital immersions with our target consumers and please come and present for 5 minutes

What you observed about the brand that you expected to see?

What surprised you?

What opportunities you think exist?”

What if every time anyone in the organisation had a presentation, they could search through the contents of their Global Video assets and extract video bites that would bring their data to life in an inspiring way?

What if every Friday you could email a short video to your entire organisation saying “watch this, this is our consumer”?

It is our clients not us who have developed these simple yet effective techniques that bring them closer to consumers and help them bring the consumer to life.

Alternatively, you could of course give them no tools at all. You could simply email your team from the lounge, before you board the flight and tell them that consumer closeness and great story telling are now in their KPIS 🙂