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How CP companies' sales organizations use consumer science to win

Consumer products leaders focus on consumer analytics across the organization

Consumer products companies and retailers have long vied for the upper hand in the tug-of-war for shoppers. Now the big retailers are getting even bigger and more powerful. But the more muscle retailers have, the more they tend to squeeze their suppliers.

Fortunately a solution is already within the four walls of the consumer products company. This strength not only helps build better products but stronger relationships with retailers. It enables them to become more efficient, competitive and profitable. The power only needs to be spread from its traditional marketing home. It is the consumer.

IBM’s recent study identified a small group of manufacturers that outperform their peers thanks to three traits: they pay close attention to consumers, collaborate across internal and external borders and use analytics to make smarter decisions.

Putting consumers at the heart of the consumer products industry: Using science to serve individuals

Distinguishing the leaders

The Leaders have much more clout with their retail customers. In fact, they’re nearly three times less concerned about needing a retailer’s approval to execute their plans, and 1.4 times less concerned about delays in their planning processes as a result of retailer involvement. They are also more popular with the capital markets. Between 2009 and 2012, the leading publicly traded consumer products companies in our sample saw their stock prices rise 1.6 times faster than the rest.

“We believe both consumers and customers should have a voice,” a Canadian executive told us. “We have to balance these considerations.”