A Competitive Advantage Brand Executives Need to Exploit Quickly
5 minute read
November 26, 2018
Consumer Product Brands are in survival mode, in a constant state of reaction and uncertainty. A future proof competitive advantage to change consumers perception of consumer brands and connect online search presence with their in-store channels.
We have had the internet in our house since 1991, which was two years before Yahoo was ever a thing. In fact in 1995, I received a BIG FAT ‘F’ on a speech I gave on “What is the Internet.”
My classmates and teacher couldn’t conceptualize this radical thing that would allow them to transmit text and images, around the world, over telephone lines. How and why would you want to transmit images through your phone?
In 1998, most people were saying, “This internet thing is never going to catch on.” Turns out the internet was not only here to stay but the catalyst to the information age.
Why should a busy leader like yourself care?
Because what I am about to explain is the future of how consumers find your products on Google and most major search engines. Like the the internet, those who ignore this massive change, or wait too long, will lose marketshare.
In-Store Shopping Relies on Digital Devices
84% of consumer's foot traffic use digital before or during their in-store shopping experience.
40% higher conversion rate with consumers using a digital device during shopping journey.
22% of consumers spend more in-store as a result of using a digital device, half spend 25% more than they had intended.
Massive Challenges Facing Consumer Product Brands
1. Rapidly Changing Consumer Preferences
Consumers now associate large brands with unhealthy preservatives and unsustainable business practices. Large CGs (consumer goods) are working quickly to change their ways, but still struggle change the hearts and minds of consumers.
As baby boomers retire with fixed incomes and millennials are saddled with college debt, they are stretching their budgets by purchasing value brands and private labels.
2. Increased Competition from Private Label and Emerging Brands
Never in our history, has competition been so immense. The Internet has been the great equalizer. Allowing emerging brands to pop up out of nowhere and commoditizing everything in its path.
Plus retailers are getting hip and giving preferences to their private label brand, like Walmarts Great value, premium self space.
According to PwC's 2017 Consumer Packaged Goods Trends, small to medium sized brands (less than $1B annual sales) are outperforming their competition and contributed to 70% of the sector growth in 2017 in 18 of 25 top retail categories.
3. A Strong SEO and Paid Search Strategy is not enough Anymore
Getting attention on the web is harder and harder but has become more important than ever, even for brands that don't have a strong eCommerce presence.
Consumer behavior is evolving at such an alarming rate. Consumers continue to block and tune out ads. In addition, advertising costs are increasing while reach is diminishing. Meaning brands are paying more to reach fewer "less interested" consumers.
Consumer Product Brands are in survival mode. In a constant state of reaction and uncertainty. Forward thinking brands are agile, innovative, and are future-proofing their consumer's path to purchase with Schema Markup.
A future-proof competitive advantage to win against private label brands.
Solution: Schema Markup
If you haven’t heard of it...Good! That's one reason it's a competitive advantage.
Schema Markup may seem like the future of all search, online, assisted, voice and beyond but it is the present for forward thinking, innovative brands.
Google is a business. It's business is to deliver a personalized experience with the best content possible. Think of Schema Markup like SEO on steroids. Simply stated, it's the foundation to help the consumers find the best answer faster. Schema Markup is programming that all search engines use to better understand your content.
SEO and Google are Co-workers
They need each other to get a job done. They don’t always understand each others intent but do their best to work together.
Schema and Google are Best Friends
They have a Deeper Connection and Relationship. They understand each other, and have context to inside jokes.
Schema makes it easy for the right consumers. with the intent to buy. to find your brand more often online.
You have probably already seen Schema in action and didn't even realize it. Think of a Google search where you found your answer (and much more) displayed at the top of the page with rich images and content.
Your search answers were presented as a rich experience that entices the you to interact with the content.
Consumers want the right answer now without having to go down a rabbit hole of links. Google understands consumer behavior and is always improving the search results to display useful content on the users search page.
When Schema is done well, brands can experience organic increases in click-through-rates and higher page interactions, which means more conversions to sale for your product and solutions.
Organic Search & Engagement Results
People need and want your products. To help them find them, start thinking about what problems does your product solve. With a well executed Schema strategy, brands have experienced the results below WITHOUT touching the content on a single webpage.
20%-82% Increased Organic CTR
1.5x More Time Spent on Page
3.6x Higher Page Interaction
This results in more organic traffic from the right consumer, and often times, resulted in a decreased CPC on paid advertising with Google.
How Consumer Product Brands Use Schema Markup as a Competitive Advantage
Winning the Hearts, Minds, and Wallets of Consumers
Brands are working at a rapid pace to modernize their product offerings and build more sustainable business practices. None of this matters if consumers don't know about it or still associate a brand with negative perceptions.
Most brands that are using Schema, are only using it to highlight features of their product. This is an incomplete strategy and a poor approach.
Instead, use Schema to inspire consumers to care about your brand and products. Why should consumers care about your product over your competitor?
Product features get brands a transaction.
Brand purpose wins customer loyalty.
Your future customers are already in Google searching for your solution. They just need to know why you and why they should care. Use Schema to organically amplify your message and start changing the hearts and mind of consumers. Do this and I guarantee the life time value will dramatically increase.
Influence the Path to Purchase Organically
The goal is to be THE best answer based on the consumers personalized preferences and their intent.
The path to purchase has more touch-points, cross platform and device interactions, and behavioral triggers then a person's brain can possibly comprehend. Our Marketing strategies are constantly evolving to keep up with it all.
If your brand can understand and validate, not assume, what problem your product solves and use Schema to tell Google what consumer intent your brand's content answers, then, you will outperform your competition organically.
Be the Leader, Not the Follower
Stop the cycle of constantly being a reactionary state. Schema is a future-proof strategy. It's the foundation of how consumers will interact with the online search, voice, assistants/chatbots, and AI/machines.
Unlike the 10 blue lines seen on the first page of Google search, there is only one winner in voice and AI assistants. By starting now, not only do you reap instant benefits of influencing what consumers see, higher CTR, and engagement but you enable Google and your organization to begin to (machine) learn the consumer's preferences with your brand and products.
Imagine knowing that the family sized package sells better when combined with a specific search intent or problem vs the smaller packaged sizes. Or knowing that consumers that discover your brand during the product research phase, need to have 4 specific brand experiences to convert them to a customer.
The days of making your best assumption or guess about consumer behavior could be over!
A Winning Schema Strategy
It all starts with the right strategy!
Our approach to Schema is significantly different to the best Search or SEO Agencies.
We start by understanding your ideal consumers’ intent (not demographics) and aligning your business goals to develop a customized schema strategy that gets results in as little as 8 weeks.
With over 84% of all consumer product research starting with search, your chance to differentiate starts in search. If they don't understand why they should care when they are online researching, they certainly won't remember when they are faced with hundreds of options in store.
Not only will Schema help you influence the consumer's path to purchase, but also amplified your distribution channels.
Final Important Thoughts
Today, there are very few Consumer Product brands that have properly implemented Schema.
This is a rare opportunity that translates into a significant first-mover competitive advantage for your top and bottom line.
There can only be ONE best answer to fulfill your consumer's intent. Schema increases your brand's chances for owning your customer's intent and being THE answer to solve their problems and it begins to future-proof your brand in online organic search and prepares for what's coming next with voice and assisted search.
Looking for a competitive advantage of over your competitors?
Learn how to leverage emerging technologies like Schema and Voice search to stand out online.