Coming Back To Life - FMCG Trends In 2021

Internally, the focus needs to be on possibilities and resilience; FMCG industry will be a key component of economic revival as well

FMCG was certain that it had the right marketing strategies, technology and understanding to reach and guide customers, no matter where they were and under any circumstance. No one could have predicted that the second decade of the 21st century would begin with a pandemic. This situation changed how marketing teams were communicating with customers. However, on a more optimistic note, the explosion of media consumption around the globe had huge implications for the future of every business sector.

Today, people are spending more and more time absorbing digital content, online marketing has become more lucrative than ever before. As India prepares to enter 2021, marketers need to be optimistic to overcome any difficulties, challenges and crises. The focus needs to be on possibilities and resilience to undertake responsibility for revival of the brand and we foresee that, FMCG industry will be a key component of economic revival as well.

Digital Media & Adopting 5G A Priority

We will see a significant rise in spends fueled by the likely introduction of 5G services in 2021. The advent of 4G along with the low-cost barrier of smartphones led to seamless streaming and networking through digital mediums. This also gave rise to digital transformation which will attract great investments with 5G over the next three years. 5G is going to lead the change as far as overall media marketing and consumption is concerned. Marketers have been pushed beyond to think creatively and utilize social media or digital platforms to attain consumer loyalty towards brands.

Augmented reality, focus on innovation and sustainability strategies will be included in 2021 business models and frameworks. For example, Instagram AR was a huge success to drive brand purpose in 2020. Digital analysis based marketing approach will lead to building authenticity and credibility in the way we engage, whether it is through products, people or partnerships.

Rise In OTT Consumption

OTT platforms gained the maximum traction as consumers found content on-demand while significantly increasing the screen time in both rural and metro-cities. Since, branded content has made its way to video streaming platforms, the growing trend of branded storytelling incorporates products and brands within narratives of shows by the food industry on homegrown streaming platforms. This will help consumer brands to create a smooth bridge between advertisers and viewers.

Remarkable Shift To Rural

Viewership of advertisement on television and digital media is now being driven by non-metro markets as consumption in smaller and rural markets continue to grow faster compared to urban India. Hence, companies are expected to spend more on distribution outreach, consumer promotions and products in rural India than in urban markets. Companies will expand their product basket in the

rural market by way of newer affordable packs across categories to feed these markets and push demand growth. Along with that, to reach out to new-age consumers in regional markets, customized strategies in these markets and leveraging local insights will help drive strong engagement. Personalization is going to be a major driver for brands.

Mindful Purchases & Higher Demand For LUP (Low Unit Price) Items

With gradual economic recovery, the drift towards LUP products will generate higher demand among consumers. Corporates will favour smaller packs as consumers will find it more valuable and affordable. The high demand for LUP items will dominate the market in the upcoming months while consumers would prefer mindful purchases since they may not have disposable income as before.

Rise In Influencer Marketing

The increased dependence on influencer marketing has become a go-to strategy for many brands. However, it isn't relevant for every sector. It is also vital that brands invest in due-diligence before onboarding influencers as it is important for the brand to match its value with the influencers and forge long term associations. Data and measurement are equally important to gauge whether the influencer engagement is providing the right RoI.

Spurt In E-commerce

Shift in consumer behavior this year has led to a remodeled approach to buying. Brands have now restructured their approach to reach their customers enabled by digital tools and e-commerce like Amazon, Flipkart and JioMart to name a few. They also had to ensure that their supply chain was highly agile to manage the rise in demand. Offline advertising and marketing has taken a backseat with brands constantly thinking of optimizing their spending on digital platforms to stay on top of consumer’s mind leading to hyper-personalized content.

Immunity, Health & Hygiene

The changing consumer patterns which are more inclined towards health and hygiene, are due to mounting awareness about immunity-boosting products and those deemed safe, against the backdrop of coronavirus concerns. Marketers will focus on the same and bring around products that help with an increase in immunity and health of the consumers. Accordingly, companies would need to tweak their product portfolios and distribution strategies.

Rolling Out The Change

Things will never go back to the way they were. The pandemic not only accelerated remote capabilities, it advanced digital transformation of businesses by months that would have taken years under normal circumstances. So to strengthen bonds with consumers, there is a need to be where consumers are present, and not just be there but also analyze their digital behavior. Marketing today requires emotional intelligence — i.e., empathetic messaging that recognizes what customers are facing, along with appreciation to those who choose to do business with them during these times.

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