Walmart, P&G, Kraft Share Sales & Marketing Tactics
June 8, 2011 - More than 200 consumer goods executives convened this week for the kickoff of the 2011 Consumer Goods Sales & Marketing Summit
at The Roosevelt Hotel in NYC. In its eighth year, the event continued to deliver on its legacy of providing attendees with more insight into hot topics, like effective retail partnerships, brand penetration, social and mobile marketing, and more with a thought-provoking agenda and abundant networking opportunities.
Here is a recap of the event's many highlights:
--In an opening keynote presentation, attendees heard from Walmart Stores' Senior Vice President of Merchandise Execution Michelle Gloeckler on how collaboration with key suppliers has led to many win-win situations for trading partners and end consumers. Gloeckler provided insights into what Walmart is doing to understand shoppers around the world and how supplier partners can help. "We have so much learning
from around the globe as we enter new formats in
the United States," she said before previewing Walmart's first small format, Walmart Express, which opened in Arkansas last week. She talked about Walmart's EDLP strategy and also discussed areas where things haven't gone so well, such as assortment
reduction. "We learned that we cannot choose the assortment for our customers. The customer selects what they want to buy," affirmed Gloeckler. "We need to offer the broadest assortment in the industry, and we have since added back over 8,500 items to store shelves, many because you (the suppliers) helped us see the opportunity to meet the demands of our customers." In addition to her leadership role at Walmart, Michelle serves as the Board Chair for Network of Executive Women, NEW
, which is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to attract, advance and retain women in the retail and consumer packaged goods industry.
--Mobile is on track to be the most pervasive media channel in the world. Always on and always connected -- even more than the TV and Web -- the mobile channel provides brands with the unique ability to connect with their consumers like never before, building a meaningful dialogue of engagement between the brand and the consumer. Greg Stuart, Global CEO, Mobile Marketing Association, addressed what mobile marketing is, what the best practices are for brands using mobile marketing, how consumer goods brands and marketers are maximizing the channel to engage consumers around new product ideas, and how brands and marketers are gauging their success / ROI with mobile marketing. "Mobile is becoming the next communication channel to consumers on a massive scale," said Stuart. "In ways, mobile is the connective tissue for all media."
--A handful of companies have moved beyond the basics of TPM to elevate promotional activities into strategic opportunities. Two executives from Kimberly-Clark Corporation -- James Affeldt, sr. ITS business partner, Consumer Trade Promotion, and Deb Gilles, director, Trade Promotion and Retail Data Strategy -- shared their company's approach and journey to this more sophisticated view of managing promotions. "When it comes to trade promotions, there is no need to be 100 percent accurate on everything," said Affeldt. "Instead, let's try to better manage variability, not eliminate it all together."
--During a second day keynote presentation, attendees gained perspective from Kraft Foods executives Donald King and Tom O'Keefe on how Kraft Foods has been working with suppliers and retailers to enhance the consumer retail experience with the use of self-service technology, while simultaneously optimizing many of Kraft's internal business functions. With its new "Meal Planning Center" solution as the basis for the presentation, they shared key insights into how Kraft Foods is charting a new path to engage consumers, shoppers and customers to solve problems for all involved. "Our focus is on using new technologies coming down the pipe to connect with not only our consumers, but shoppers in the retail store," said O'Keefe. "Our concept is all about turning 'what if' into 'what is'."
--When P&G decided to invest in virtual reality, it impacted consumers and retailers around the globe. In a general session, Bernard Eloy, director of Virtual Solutions, P&G, explained how the company is enabling designers to collaborate virtually with both retailers and consumers to deliver a more effective store presence and improve the shopper experience. "One of the key benefits of virtualization is that we are gathering key data and insights, which we can pull together to create new products and new brand experiences," said Eloy. Critical areas include Virtual Shopping Simulation, collaboration with business partners, and the P&G product design process.