Data Analytics in FMCG goes beyond Advertising

Let me start by stating the obvious, data analytics is still a mystery for many mass FMCG brands.

Yet, the space is drawing more interest year on year.

Check out the number of searches going up over the last 5 years.

Data Analytics Search Query Growth

Data Analytics Search Query Growth

Everyone is bullish about Digital for FMCG


According to Google-BCG report, 40% of FMCG consumption in India will be driven digitally, translating to a value of $45 billion by 2020.

A lot of that bullish sentiment for FMCG in digital is courtesy de-monetisation and the boost in the digital payment ecosystem that followed. (see below)

According to another BCG report:

60% of digital payments value would be driven by local kirana stores.

Growth in Digital Payments

Growth in Digital Payments

While the growth in digital payments at the POS would work wonders for the FMCG industry, digital advertising may not offer the same level of returns.


Is Digital Fit For FMCG Advertising?


As a category, mass FMCG is completely dependent on push based digital advertising, without much clarity around its real purpose or efficacy.

While some of the brands have been successful in grabbing attention with millions of views & fans on their social channels.

But that’s just “Advertising Success”.

Growth in Ad Blockers


A lot of 3rd party reports hide or under play in their summary, is that the audience is consuming more “digital content” and not “digital advertising”.

In fact, they are increasingly using ad-blockers to block advertising and are willing to pay for “quality digital content”. ( see below )

Ad Blockers usage is growing

Ad Blockers usage is growing y-o-y

Audience Screen Sizes Are Shrinking


India is almost on the verge of becoming a “mobile only” marketplace.

Mobile Time Spent as percentage of Total Digital Minutes

India Becoming Mobile Only Marketplace (source:comScore)

Does that change anything for FMCG?


Ad spends Growth Rate in Media for FMCG

For years, FMCG has been the major spender on Television ads (see above).

Hence, it was natural for the FMCG sector to pour millions of dollars in Mobile Marketing (especially Mobile video).

And reports like this one added fuel to the fire.

To counter such fake reports, here’s what Harvard Business Review said:

These balky, Lilliputian ads represent the state of the art in mobile advertising—and they don’t work. Few people click on them. In surveys, four out of five people report disliking them.

Audience is willing to pay to get rid of ads


Till few years back, I thought it is just a passing hype.

I mean who pays for content in the age of piracy?

But the subscriber growth numbers of various OTT platforms proved me wrong.

According to latest Frost & Sullivan report:

There are 66 million unique & connected video viewers in India, of which 1.3 million are paid subscribers.

Recently, Hotstar India leveraged the much awaited HBO series of Game of Thrones – Season 7, to maximise their paid subscribers in the country.

But, can we really leverage digital beyond the realms of paid media?



There are enough trends which indicate that current digital audience respond to pull based marketing.

Understanding digital data can also help mass FMCG brands to deep dive into their audience customer journey and identify their buying triggers, their search habits, continuously changing media behaviour and create real time interventions to build brand consideration.

Below are few simple but meaningful applications of data analytics for any mass FMCG brand.

Also read : Understanding Digital data types in Data Analytics

Using Social Listening To Map Audience Interests


Social Media is the hub of all digital consumption.

Audience Reach of Top social media platforms in india

According to the latest Comscore Mobile Metrix report (see above):

Audience Reach of WhatsApp & Facebook is 80% & 25% respectively in the Indian Digital space.

Now with such a high consumption happening on social platforms, there is enormous amount of audience behavioural learning to be mined in the form of data.

Social Media Data  offers rich pool of real time audience insights based on rapidly changing customer preferences and allows any mass FMCG brand to take faster marketing decisions.

Using Search Marketing Data To Map Digital Customer Journey


For FMCG, Search marketing is beyond getting their SERPs and keyword rank.

eCommerce is altering the customer journey of digital consumer

eCommerce is altering the customer journey of digital consumer

According to comScore’s latest Mobile Metrix report, Amazon app is ahead of Google Search in terms of user’s preference.

Clearly, this has altered the FMCG customer journey for all categories. This could well cut down stages of decision making for a lot of product categories.

However, search data is still a big piece in the product discovery.

Search trends also help us understand the impact of our ATL brand campaign in shifting audience preference.

Search trends are now offering minute by minute, real-time information from more than 100 million searches monthly. It’s in the hands of the marketers now to evaluate the search trend during different times or on some special events like Oscar occasion, IPL match, FIFA, World Cup. You can choose any period of time to get minute by minute reports.

Keyword planner tool in Google Adwords is great way to do in-depth research.


Using Website Analytics To Decode Brand Engagement


With the rise of social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, audience consumption of content shifted from websites to social media.

FMCG marketers & digital agencies are well aware of this changing digital trend.

However, a lot of FMCG brands who have a long term perspective on their digital strategy are still committed to investing in owned assets.

Arguably, there is a tremendous merit in building brand loyalty through website.

Tools like Google analytics offers deep insights to FMCG brands into their digital communication strategy.

Also read : Google Analytics Visitor Segmentation: Users, Sequences, Cohorts!

Features like audience reports and custom segmentation helps the FMCG brands to visualise their marketing metrics in a meaningful way.

Adopting an integrated data analytics approach can truly transform the way FMCG marketing is leveraging digital.

Role of Data Analytics in Digital Marketing

There is a lot of misunderstanding over role of digital data analytics in modern day marketing.

Most of the people in digital industry (especially the agencies), put the data, ahead of the consumers and audience.

While the data analytics tools have made rapid advancements in the last 5 years, understanding different data types in marketing, and how do we use those data types for making real business decisions, is something which gets sidelined .

‘How can we use the data for marketing?

As David Porter, VP of Media AAR for Unilever, says in one of his interviews:

Consumers are after all people, not numbers. These aren’t just hands that need washing or stomachs that need feeding. These are real people who need real communications. Data is just the way to help us get there.


Data analytics FOR simplifyING DIGITAL STRATeGY


Too much of data can really complicate the matters for the brand.

According to a Google Insights Report:

61% of marketing decision makers said they struggled to access or integrate the data they needed last year.


The report also mentioned, that the issue of data integration isn’t going away, as the amount of data being created continues to grow.

What’s the point of capturing and collecting so much data which makes us lose our focus?

A clear strategy around managing your data analytics systems is the most fundamental aspect in every digital strategy.

But alas, the idea is not as obvious to many people in our industry (that includes the clients and digital agencies)



We live in divided times, both politically and commercially. You either believe in the power of digital metrics or you don’t. Sitting on the fence is no longer an option.

With so many different platforms, marketing channels and complex ad-tech systems, understanding or selecting the right metric has become a never ending nightmare.

For beginners, even before you choose metrics, you must create a measurement plan matching your business requirement.

In a world, where there is infinite data sets available at our fingertips, it can be tempting to go crazy and analyse the whole lot, but fine-tuning and being precise is vital to ensuring that ROI remains high and time is not wasted.

Data Analytics For FINDING MARKETING Insights


Neither data, nor analytics can be called sexy.

For a marketer, the sexy side of data analytics is called ‘the insights’.

Also read : Difference between Data, Analytics & Insights

No wonder the presentations are not done on Microsoft Excel.

Needless to say, marketing teams love insights.

And not just any insight, insights which are actionable.

Hence, role of data analytics is not just to spot trends but convert them into meaningful insights.



Data Analytics for Customer Journey Optimisation

According to a study conducted by MarTech company Signal, just 6% Of marketers have a single view of the customer (see above graphic).

With so many marketing channels influencing the purchase decision, customer journey is no longer linear.

Thanks to social media channels, customers can connect and interact with the brands in real time.

More often than not, Marketers have to deal with a moving puzzle due to lack of inter-operatability between various digital marketing platforms.

Role of data analytics is also to track & optimise marketing communication at every touch point and provide best possible channel attribution for maximising ROI.

Understanding Data Types in Data Analytics

Year 2005 was arguably the most important year for data analytics.

In November 2005, Google launched their analytics service, after acquiring Urchin in April 2005.

Since then, data analytics has transformed the perspective of marketers around the globe.

Every time advertising ROI was discussed, below statement was quoted:

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”


Marketing cloud players like Oracle, Adobe & IBM are positioning their data analytics platforms just to address the above problem.

With data impacting every aspect of business, CMO’s believe their role is no longer restricted to brand marketing.

(Also Read: RIP CMO, VIVA CDO )

To understand this  further, we must know the types of data sets relevant in digital marketing.

Marketing Data TYPES


Data Analytics - Marketing Data Types

Marketing Data Types in Data Analytics


Usually, it needs an understanding of your customer journey, but most of the above data sets are common for various customer journeys.

For simplification, I have divided it into 2 broad segments:

Audience Data Analytics or Advertising Data


This data is usually acquired through multiple marketing touch points and it is also the most complex of all to interpret.

Most of this data is used for making better & faster marketing decisions.

You can divide audience data into following:

Market Research Data / Survey Data 


This data is acquired using primary and secondary sources to understand:

  • market competition analysis
  • audience behaviour in a category
  • offline communication effectiveness

It is extremely valuable for designing your brand communication.

Social Media Analytics Data


As more adults acquire smartphones, they’re spending an increasing amount of their time on social media.

Also Read : Time Spent on Social Media – By Nielsen

Social Analytics Tools

Social data analytics tools offers a deep insights about the life and preferences of modern day digital audience in the form of following data sets:

  • Audience Interest – what are their likings and dis-likings etc.
  • Affinity / Behavioural Data – Content consumption behaviour
  • Category Conversations – what are they talking about or discussing?
  • Brand Sentiment – benchmarking sentiment against different competitors.
Search Analytics Data or Intent Data


While social data helps us to understand their content consumption behaviour, search data helps us understand current market trends and brand preference.

First, to fully understand search data and its impact, one must know how to use Google Trends (see below)

Second, SEO data can be obtained from either the google webmaster tool or your own Google Analytics account.

This data further helps you to find out:

  • Key audience searches in your category
  • Competition brand preference
  • Content ideas for blog and social media
Website Analytics Data


If planned well (Read this post by Avinash Kaushik) , this data type can offer the most in-depth amount of insights to any marketing team.

Any website analytics tool (like Google Analytics or Kiss Metrics) allows you to find out:

  • Quality of your assets (like blog) and content (videos)
  • Quality of your landing pages ( UI and UX )
  • Audience customer journeys
  • Conversion Attribution (if you are generating lead or e-commerce)
  • Digital Marketing Campaign Effectiveness
  • Key Traffic sources
  • Return on marketing Investment

Customer Data or CRM Data


This data is extremely sensitive from a digital privacy standpoint.

It is very important to capture this data in the right format and keep it updated & consistent.

Top CRM Tools

Top CRM Tools

The customer data is often stored inside a CRM tools ( see above  )

Modern CRM tools can captures and store the following information in an actionable manner:

  • Customer PII ( Personal Identifiable Information like Name, Gender, Email, Contact etc )
  • Purchase Data – Details of all the products / service purchased
  • Loyalty Data – contains details connected to any customer loyalty program customer has subscribed to.

Digital data analytics can offer very deep insights, but only if you plan your data priorities in advance and also choose the matching tools at each stage of your marketing.

Razorfish Announces COSMOS™ Data Intelligence Platform

Razorfish, the world leader in helping global brands drive customer obsessed business transformation, has launched a new data intelligence platform, COSMOS™. COSMOS is the first-of-its-kind offering that uniquely combines cognitive algorithms, data intelligence and machine learning to create timely, relevant and seamless brand experiences across all touch points.

The data intelligence platform was debuted during Razorfish’s main stage seminar, titled “Cracking the Code of Creativity,” at the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Monday, June 20. In partnership with Contagious Communications, the agency was given exclusive access to a 15-year archive of Cannes Lions awards submission data, which they analysed using COSMOS to devise a formula for creativity and demystify commonalities in award-winning work.

Powered by patent-pending artificial intelligence algorithms, COSMOS data intelligence solves the challenge of fragmented audiences, disparate customer data sources and siloed brand experiences. By mining behavioural data, and in turn predicting the needs, wants, and motivations across the entire customer journey, marketers are able to unlock new streams of revenue and create business impact.

“New business models are changing old paradigms and companies must now adapt to connect with consumers who are more empowered than previous generations, with more touch points than ever before,” said Shannon Denton, chief executive officer, Razorfish. “With COSMOS, we can now harness intelligence from online and offline data to create a single view of the customer, while at the same time creating experiences that will not only disrupt and drive growth for businesses but also improve the lives of their customers.”

COSMOS is modular, allowing organisations to either deploy the platform at scale or purchase need-based solutions that can be integrated with existing marketing and technology platforms. COSMOS learns, reasons and activates deep customer insights by introducing cognitive optimisations that drive loyalty, customer retention and experiences in a never-before-seen level of personalisation.

COSMOS includes the following modules:

  • COSMOS™ Consumer 360
  • COSMOS™ Audience Intelligence Hub
  • COSMOS™ Cognitive Intelligence-as-Service
  • COSMOS™ Universal Graph ID

“Relevance has always been key in marketing. The opportunities to be highly relevant have increased tremendously with the omniscience of mobile and programmatic media. By the same token, the difficulty in finding the right moment of interaction has also increased. Our digitally connected economy is forcing brands to fundamentally redefine the way in which they interact with consumers,” said Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategist, Publicis Groupe. “COSMOS helps solve this problem, unlocking moment marketing opportunities by quickly delivering data and insights that can be activated in real time across channels.”

The COSMOS intellectual property was developed and is led by Razorfish Chief Intelligence Officer Samih Fadli and is fueled by more than 1,500 data consultants and 6,000 delivery resources across 21 countries globally.

For more information on COSMOS, contact or watch the COSMOS video.

(Credits: above article was published in PR Newswire)

Digital Analytics – The Highway to Digital Intelligence

The success of any digital analytics hinges on the marketer’s understanding of his or her customers. Sounds familiar, right? But as marketers, we need to be aware of the fact that technology landscape has significantly altered in the last 5 years.

The way brands interact with their customers has changed and the ability to understand customers across digital channels requires a new approaches within digital analytics.

Digital Analytics

Traditional web tracking techniques were not designed for the breadth of channels, devices and speed that fuel today’s digital interactions.

Take Google Analytics for example, most of you would choose to believe Google Analytics is the ultimate platform for all your analytics needs, but actually that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Though it may be providing you huge amount of data related to the visitors on your website & mobile site, that’ll help you optimise your content & UI effectively, but it still offers a very limited approach if you want to scale your business operations in a growing market.

The basic DNA of the Digital medium is its state of constant change, and marketers need to look beyond the traditional analytics platforms and move towards more sophisticated Digital Intelligence systems which can provide you a much wider view including the competition, customer segments, social analytics, future trends, data across multiple devices including smartphones, tablets, wearables etc.

According to IMRI :

 Digital marketing intelligence is a process to identify prospects online, building reach and retain customers by leveraging the largest sample of online consumer behaviour with timely and actionable insights to drive ROI
The only point to which I disagree is that Digital Intelligence can’t be restricted to online data, we are living in a globalised environment where every 5th mobile purchased is a smart phone or a smart device and soon this number will outpace the growth of online. Online data sources like Comscore or Nielsen would have little impact to our marketing metrics and forecasts.
Incidentally, Compete is one of the very few companies who has already started working & providing such intelligence to brands globally. I understand that this research is not possible with pure digital analytics, which means at some point of time, we have to look out of the digital domain and merge data from offline sources as well.

Google Digital Intelligence

Larry Page, Chief Executive Officer of Google Inc, the biggest custodian of internet data on the planet, believes that the next few years would belong to Artificial Intelligence & related tech. In one of the ted talks (watch below video) he also talked about his core purpose behind acquiring Deepmind ( Founded by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman, deepmind was one of the AI Startups in the UK until it was acquired by Google.

Facebook Digital Intelligence

Today, almost all the Internet & technology enterprise companies have an AI research lab or have acquired some startup in the space. Facebook has a complete division called Facebook AI Research that covers the full spectrum of topics related to AI, and to deriving knowledge from data: theory, algorithms, applications, software infrastructure and hardware infrastructure.

Microsoft Digital Intelligence

Microsoft Academic Research has got an illustrious research panel on Artificial Intelligence from top global universities including Oxford, Standford & MIT.

Cisco Digital Intelligence

In 2013, Cisco took their first steps into the future security solutions by acquiring COSE (Cognitive Security) in order to offer advanced security services to their customers that can detect complex network threats in advance and take preventive action of its own.

2015 could well be the beginning of the new age of Big Data & AI  that would change our perception as marketers forever. The question is, is your brand ready for it?