The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry has been in flux. Changes in customer demographics, increases in online product research, and uncertainties about retail shelf space are all affecting the relationship between CPG companies and consumers. A trend of missed connections and opportunities is definitely present in this sector.

As the CPG industry and its customer base evolve, maintaining strong relationships with consumers and collecting the right metrics are imperative. To make informed decisions in the current market, consumer goods brands must adapt their communication and customer care strategies. And, today, social intelligence is an invaluable tool for gathering market insights, helping to improve customer engagement activities and marketing objectives.

Some CPG brands have already found success in implementing social data into their digital strategies, yet the majority have yet to include social into their marketing and research mixes. Yet they need to, and soon.

Formulating a social plan from scratch is a daunting task and may prove inefficient if the focus is misguided or if KPIs aren't clearly outlined at the outset. However, done right, social intelligence can add value by strengthening customer relationships, obtaining valuable insights, and allowing business professionals to make better decisions across the organization.

Beyond Content Distribution

Too often, CPG companies consider social media solely a channel for content distribution, and fail to recognize the role social intelligence can play in their marketing and business strategies.

In reality, social media can and should be used for so much more than content distribution. Social media is a vehicle to converse directly with customers and build personal relationships. It's also a helpful resource to gather consumer and market insights (CMI).

Moreover, brands should avoid keeping social media efforts in a silo. They need to explore the myriad ways social insights can provide value across the organization, in departments as varied as inventory planning, customer support, and campaign management.

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Alex Jones is content researcher at social intelligence company Brandwatch.

LinkedIn: Alexandra Jones