Catalina’s 2021 Guide for Advertising and Media Agencies: The Ins and Outs of CPG Data and Marketing Analytics

Our essential guide is designed to help advertising and media clients focus on and fast-track solutions for the top challenges facing the CPG industry today.

Extraordinary new CPG purchasing habits are emerging in 2021. CNBC reports grocery shopping may be among the pandemic’s stickiest habit changes as we’ve embraced technology that allows us to work, play and learn from anywhere. While we’ve returned to ballparks, concerts and movie theaters, entertaining at home is likely to continue its renaissance with seven in 10 saying they will continue cooking from home this year, according to FoodDive.

What's in the Fridge?

Foot traffic is on par with pre-pandemic levels but how we stock the fridge and pantry is shifting. Catalina data shows new preferences for healthier and more convenient make-at-home meals, but as we head back to bars and restaurants, sales have slowed for home-cooking core ingredients. We’ve traded in scratch baking for easier baking mixes (+35%) and made hand sanitizers a staple (+44%) versus 2019.

How we shop has also changed. Tens of millions of U.S. consumers bought groceries online for the first time in 2020, and they’re not stopping. According to eMarketer, online grocery sales grew by 54%, accounting for a 12% share of total U.S. ecommerce sales.

Binging Content & Shoppable Media

Additionally, media consumption shifts accelerated in 2020. Shoppers developed an insatiable desire for on-demand content that requires seamless plays across channels that reach beyond linear TV and print.

According to Statista, digital ad spend is up 54% and rising, driven by the increased flexibility of Over the Top (OTT) and Connected TV. Brands have seemingly endless new ways to connect digitally. In addition to audio and digital out-of-home (OOH), shoppable media has entered the mix. It gives customers the ability to purchase products directly from livestreams, social commerce, virtual consultations, and shoppable ad formats. The Interactive Advertising Bureau's 2021 Brand Disruption Report cites this as the fastest-growing advertising category for the foreseeable future.

To thrive in what McKinsey & Company calls the “Next Normal,” CPG marketers expect their advertising and media partners to shift into data-powered overdrive. What will they need to deliver?

Challenge #1

Making Sure Your Data has Reach, Depth and Actionability

DATA THAT FITS. In a late 2019 CMO Council Study on real-time marketing, 95% of CMOs said they did not have the depth of data required to understand shoppers fully and engage future brands now. Now, real-time data and insights have become a top priority as CPG brands realize their value in this ever-changing consumer landscape. With more sophisticated, granular data and guidance from an experienced partner, agencies can take full advantage of the brand, audience, and measurement insights available to them.

Agencies need to understand how to capitalize on the breadth of data without drowning in it. The key is not always the most data, but the right amount. For example, why should your agency organize and pay for massive breadth when your client’s most important KPI can be found using focused data based on immediate insights about where its products are sold? Or data that shows who is buying the competition instead.

Breadth of data alone won’t solve for the personalization shoppers have come to expect. Drill into the depth of data. Learn how and when to use granular, brand or category data. Instead of relying on data modeling from a smaller pool of consumers, work with 1:1 deterministic, third-party enriched data built on sales performance. That way, brands can quickly tap into proven insights that a traditional panel can’t. Without the right sample size of a new flavor or item in a category, it will take weeks to reach the scale needed to make smart decisions."

By using more than demographic data, agencies can build more actionable creative messaging and more effective media buys. In addition, they should focus on identifying and targeting key shopper and lifestyle behaviors, from immune booster seekers to gluten-avoiders to brand switchers. After all, not all 18- to 34-year-old singles have the same needs. With this breadth, depth, and actionability of data, agencies can solve for their clients’ in-market shifts in real time.

Challenge #2

How to Move from Annual
to Real-Time Planning

PLAN SMARTER. This year’s upfront season is expected to be strong. There will always be a need for brands to get big reach. But the annual ritual of evaluating this year’s progress to determine the next year’s media mix is evolving. The erosion of network TV GRPs creates new challenges as agencies are forced to scramble across new platforms to meet a client’s reach and frequency goals. This media complexity and fragmentation — without a way to measure effectiveness in a unified way — only adds to the challenge.

These times call for agencies to respond to new shopper behaviors and current events with even more agility and flexibility. Instead of locking up a large portion of your client’s media budget on upfront buys, leverage real-time data and insights to pivot quickly with messaging tailored to engage consumers better, on shorter planning and production cycles.

Capitalize on planning tools that provide insights across media channels and audiences. Agencies can now look for ways to “test-drive” audiences before one media dollar is spent so they'll know how to best meet a client’s reach and frequency goals to increase conversion. With the right data and analytics tools, you can unlock not only how to increase your client’s sales from loyal shoppers, but also connect with lapsed or new buyers to the category.

“Audience planning tools are most useful as we enter planning for 2022 to help answer key business questions. This allows us to be influential further down the chain with our Investment Planning and Programmatic teams.”

Global Media Agency Director
of Insights & Data Strategy

Challenge #3

How to Measure Cross-Media Sales Impact

OPTIMIZE FASTER. In a world of zero-based budgeting, measurement is the key to defending your marketing dollars. As shopping behaviors shift faster, so must media spending decisions. The challenge is to collect data across multiple locations, house it in one place that’s easy to operationalize, and act on the metrics that lead to better campaign results.

We are yearning for a consistent way to measure and optimize campaign performance in-flight across new channels with the same specificity available from traditional linear TV and print. But attribution tracking of advertising will remain a complicated work-in-progress as new players and platforms emerge and 1st- and 3rd-party cookie data becomes more limited.

Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) has been the gold standard, but those results are only available after the fact, based on the previous year’s data. After 2020, using MMM as a primary source for next year’s spending challenges credibility, there are no benchmarks to compare to pandemic times. Your clients want to know what their return on ad spend is today and what to do about it tomorrow.

You need real-time, 1:1 deterministic shopper data intelligence now to quickly identify and optimize the levers that are driving conversion. Many channels are still operating in silos with walled gardens making it harder to integrate them into measurement. But as more channels are brought together, data-driven tools can give a more holistic picture. Marketers can shift the performance metric to impact versus impressions delivered. And we can all know in-flight how media is driving sales impact — plain and simple.

Catalina HUB360 helps you collaborate to improve insights, measurement and actionability.

Proactively demonstrate your agility and flexibility by working with a partner that will enhance your ability to respond to brand needs with real-time planning, actionable data and always-on measurement. With Catalina’s all-in-one HUB360 solution, agencies can use real-time data and insights to plan smarter, target better and optimize faster with tools designed to improve your clients’ brand performance. It puts all of Catalina’s purchase-based insights in one, easy-to-use portal:

  • HUB360 Brand Insights provides instant access to data that identifies early trends on which to build a strategy and activate faster. See trial and repeat insights. Track brand-level performance and uncover brand affinities and demographics.
  • HUB360 Audience Insights creates a way to test-drive target segments to confirm they meet your objectives before activating on them. Discover new audiences. Inform creative development and personalization. Influence media efficiency and effectiveness with this media-agnostic tool across 1600+ audience and lifestyle segments.
  • HUB360 Measurement Insights calculates brand performance in-flight and post-campaign across multiple media channels. With it, agencies can optimize faster based on buyer conversion and sales incrementality.

About logo-catalina

Catalina is a leader in shopper intelligence and highly targeted in-store, TV, radio and digital media that personalizes the shopper journey. Powered by the world’s richest, real-time shopper database, Catalina helps CPG brands, retailers and agencies optimize every stage of media planning, execution and measurement to deliver $6.1 billion in consumer value annually. Catalina has no higher priority than ensuring the privacy and security of the data entrusted to the company and maintaining consumer trust. Catalina has operations in the United States, Costa Rica, Europe and Japan.

To learn more, please visit www.catalina.com or follow us on Twitter @Catalina.

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