Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit 2024: Takeaways & Action Items

 Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit 2024: Takeaways & Action Items


From left: Justin Honaman,  head, worldwide retail and consumer goods go-to-market AWS, and Deepak Jose, Deepak Jose, global senior director and head of one demand data and analytics solutions, Mars

From left: Justin Honaman, head, worldwide retail and consumer goods go-to-market AWS, and Deepak Jose, Deepak Jose, global senior director and head of one demand data and analytics solutions, Mars

Opportunity/Pressure Theme: Artificial Intelligence

While regular CGT readers may be well-versed in the rapid ascent of generative AI, the overall sentiment surrounding AI at the Summit was a call for more education and urging initial steps toward action. Justin Honman, head, worldwide retail and consumer goods go-to-market at AWS, noted that it was the first time in many years that technology has taken a bigger and broader seat at the consumer goods table. 

The increase of generative AI is creating some tension within CPG as it improves and organizations determine how to adapt. Honaman pointed to the quickly evolving use cases of marketing creative: “It will only get better, and the tension that will play out is how you, as brands, take the images and use or not use them. Do you tell consumers you’re using them or not? How it will change the marketing and branding part of your business is significant.” 

Mars has implemented training programs for all levels of the organization, from senior executives to associates, shared Deepak Jose, global senior director and head of one demand data and analytics solutions.   

“When it comes to attracting and retaining talent, that’s going to be a game-changer,” he warned. “Large brands, like it or not, do six months of alignment to do six weeks of work. If you have to attract talent and they’re really smart, you need to create an environment to drive innovation and move at speed — and connect their purpose to the purpose of the company as well.” 

And while having your data in order is critical to properly leverage AI, waiting for perfection is not the answer. 

“I don’t get frustrated with the lack of data quality,” shared 84.51˚’s chief data and technology officer Todd James. “I tell my teams that we’re going to go into that area and solve — the idea being if this isn’t the area that has the data laid out the way we want it, we’ve got to create the data. We’ve got to enrich it, and just bake that into the project. What we’re able to do by taking that approach, rather than waiting on perfect, you’re fixing the data as you deliver value.” 

Bottom line: “If we wait for the perfect data for AI, we’ll never do AI,” Jose echoed. “The data space is evolving quite a bit. … Through retail media partnerships, we can get data from our retail partners, and that data is going to enrich brands’ ability to do personalization. It is important to build a connected data foundation.” 



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Fallon Wolken

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