Preparing for the future of retail with customer data platforms

Consumer packaged goods companies and retailers are reinventing ways to serve consumers in a digital world.

What a year 2020 has been so far! Nobody could have predicted some of the incredible change we have seen. Yet despite all of this change, exceptional customer experiences remain just as important to the success of a brand as ever before.

Unified data, connected experiences

Just take your consumer goods business. You are already collecting customer data from many different sources. From marketing campaigns to online purchases, and everything in between. But far too often, this data ends up in silos and isn’t used to its full potential. That is why Microsoft is partnering with leading brands like Campari Group to build customer data platforms that enable brands to truly understand customer behavior and intent. And ultimately, deliver more personalized and meaningful customer experiences.

Campari Group is a leading beverage and spirits manufacturer, with more than 60 brands including Campari, Aperol, Wild Turkey, Skyy, Grand Marnier, and many others. A multigenerational, family-owned business, Campari Group has been passionate about delivering great brand experiences for the consumers who enjoy its products, the bartenders who serve them, the restaurants, bars, and pubs that sell them, and the distributors that keep shelves stocked. They have grown rapidly through acquisitions, each bringing in another IT landscape to assimilate including more than seven martech vendors. And the company works with more than 200 creative and digital agencies that use a variety of different software systems. To gain a 360-degree customer view and enhance the personalization of its marketing, sales, and customer service efforts, Campari Group deployed Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing.

I had the pleasure of recently sitting down with Chad Niemuth, Vice President, Global IT – Marketing and Sales, to learn more about Campari Group’s impressive digital journey and how they are getting the most value from Microsoft’s customer data platform across the customer journey. Here is an excerpt from our fireside chat:

Shelley: Campari has made several acquisitions over the years. I can only imagine that is incredibly exciting, but also comes with its own challenges of all the silos from bringing new companies in. So maybe share how this has impacted the business and some of the challenges you have overcome.

Chad: I would say that the acceleration that occurs as a result of acquisitions is around building scalable approaches that are supported. That includes technology, as well as process. When you consider your intellectual property as your data—how your data is managed and where it is managed—and the type of platform that enables that data to be extendable is critical. For us, that is where a great deal of our strategies are focused—how do we leverage Microsoft Azure? How do we leverage the Dynamics 365 portfolio including Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Dynamics 365 Marketing? As a result of COVID, how do we accelerate opportunities for our global markets? We are currently distributed in 190 countries. We have 21 direct in-market companies, and 22 manufacturing plants globally. So there is a great deal of information that needs to be spread and silos that need to be broken down in order to deliver a consistent experience for our consumers. And that is our focus: how to move the right data to the right place, at the right time, to make the right decision.

Shelley: It is obviously a very competitive industry, consumer goods, beers, wines, and spirits. What is top of mind for you, especially given industry trends and especially in this COVID-19 context?

Chad: During COVID, it has definitely been a dramatic shift in how we manage our relationships. You have got the fact that so many on-premise bars and restaurants have been shuttered, locked out, and locked down as a result of COVID. It is a huge part of our strategy to empower the bartenders to be ambassadors for our brands. Those bartenders being displaced is a huge, huge opportunity for us to help them, to connect them to our stories. So that coming out of lockdown, they have the ability to drive great experiences not only for our consumers, but in their professional lives as well. So, it’s more than just the brands. It is also giving them the opportunity to hone their craft, and to expand their trade opportunities. So COVID has really impacted us there.

Shelley: We’ve learned a lot along the way with you on the single integrated platform that you have with Dynamics 365 that really connects your customer data and your marketing automation. Can you talk a little bit about the value there?

Chad: For us in our organization, we took a crawl, walk, run approach. And we are still in that crawl phase. We have integrated approximately seven different data sources. Those seven different data sources provide us valuable information on our consumers, and it helps us build that relationship and strengthen it, our brand champions, our brand loyalists. The value that we have started to identify is opportunities as simple as, what is the email open rate? What is the total acquisition that we’re acquiring in consumers, in bartenders? What is their engagement level? These are all baseline value metrics that we have going into this and we are learning and growing and expanding.

Though Campari Group is still in the early stage of their data integration journey, their future roadmap includes connecting to a greater number of customer data sets across markets and new touchpoints such as website interactions. The move from physical to digital engagement enabled by Dynamics 365 Customer Insights has helped Campari Group be more agile and responsive to market changes. They have been able to maintain engagement and respond with timely communications to customers even with some of their traditional channels hugely disrupted due to the pandemic. Watch the full fireside chat here:

A future built on strong trust

Today’s customers do not buy just products or services. More and more, their purchase decisions revolve around the experience. In the last year and a half, we’ve established ourselves as a trusted partner to some of the world’s largest brands and retailers including Land O’Lakes, PepsiCo, WalmartKroger, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, among others. What these companies have in common is their commitment to delivering compelling experiences for their customers and ability to embrace data to help connect with customers. As we look to the future, with changes in consumer goods and retail, customer data platforms are becoming even more vital for brands and retailers that wish to strengthen their customer relationships. Learn more about Campari Group’s success story and Dynamics 365 Customer Insights.