By David Moran, Co-Founder of Eversight by Instacart
Dec. 4, 2023

As online grocery continues to grow, and every purchase becomes an “online” purchase in some capacity, better data around promotions — and how they impact consumer behavior — has never been more important for brands looking to win. The convergence of online and offline, as well as the convergence of Sales and Marketing, provides rich opportunity to build a future where powerful insights aren’t just accessible, but an integral part of how brands understand and deliver value to consumers.

In this interview with David Moran, Co-Founder of Eversight by Instacart, CPG leaders will get a map for finding opportunities for change within their organizations, innovating with available technology today, and actions to take now to be poised for success in the future.

Q: The convergence of Sales and Marketing has accelerated growth for many companies, and it has also created opportunities for innovation in how sales and marketing work together. Where do you see the greatest opportunity for innovation?

A: Retail Media. It has the ability to drive activation at the point of connection with a consumer. Upfront marketing has historically been upper funnel — awareness and consideration — and trade spending has been lower funnel: activation and conversion. Ultimately, Retail Media allows you to compress the funnel at the moment when a consumer is most likely to be engaged to do everything — from discovery to conversion — in one seamless way now that the ability to reach individuals (as opposed to reaching general population audiences or segments) exists. Additionally, targeting can be behavioral in nature, especially when linked to commercial incentives such as discounts and promotions. Historically, advertising and sales promotion efforts have been aligned but separated, leaving the consumer experience feeling more disconnected. In an omnichannel shopping environment where your primary vehicle for getting advertising and sales promotions to the consumer is Retail Media, personalization in their environment at point of time is possible — a level of dynamism that previously has not been. Both activation-type activities and more conversion-type activities that would have traditionally been reserved for in-store promotion or coupon can happen in one integrated, scalable, personalized way — and therein lies the opportunity.

Q: With more access to data and insights, what opportunities do RGM leaders, Category Managers, and Sales teams have to accelerate growth? If you were owning RGM at a CPG right now, what would you be thinking about?

A: There is still a lot of inflationary pressure today, but it is slowing. We are seeing some of the highest price elasticity that we’ve seen since before the pandemic started.  If I were a head of RGM at a CPG right now, I would be focused on rising consumer price sensitivity, and increased promotional investment from my competitors. I’d also be considering selectively increasing promotional intensity where there is a clear return, and ideally identifying that clear return by defining success differently. Traditionally, it might have been an incremental lift over baseline, but today, because we know so much more with the convergence of retail media, I would hope the criteria is more nuanced. I would be defining success more by which promotions grow the category, which get users to expand or change behavior on an individual basis and be more targeted and tailored in directing funds towards those more efficient means. To do that requires much more granular data that haven’t previously been available through historical syndicated data regression means and is uniquely available by leveraging Retail Media with all of its rich customer data.

Q: You have a history of thinking outside the box. What questions should CPGs be asking their data right now? If we’re throwing the status quo or the constraints of existing data out the window, what’s actually possible?

A: How might you break down historical investment silos? For example, to take a 360 view of a total investment portfolio, to allocate my marketing and sales investments against the strategic pillars with the best return, etc. That may mean shifting where funds have historically been allocated, and that may also mean changing success criteria to harmonize how success is measured across a number of legacy stakeholders. That means having your sales team think more like a marketer and have your marketing team be focused more on sales.

Q: Any final parting thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

A: Thinking about the rise of digital commerce, the number of consumers who are making digitally informed decisions on their shopping trip. That could involve pulling out their phone to order online when standing in a physical store, going online for price comparison while standing in the store, ordering pick up in-store from a digital asset, or ordering on assets like Instacart or other services owned and operated by retailers or third party digitally connected commerce is the majority of commerce. And that affords an ability to be much more analytical, scientific, and consumer-oriented than the limitations of past analog data. Experimentation is more relevant than ever, dynamism is more possible than ever before, and with the scale of many of these platforms, it can now be achievable (and often more efficient). When combined in a thoughtful way, friction can be reduced in amplifying marketing and sales investments so that they have a more effective delivery in comparison to past efforts, which were often difficult to orchestrate for consistency and impossible for personalization.