Emron Pratt: Deconstructing the Digital Agenda in Consumer Products

Three years ago, consumer goods companies focused their digital efforts on marketing and getting the right talent in the door, but that's no longer enough to succeed. Emron Pratt, a partner in Bain's Consumer Products practice, shares four ways companies can expand their agendas to compete in the digital world.

Read the Bain Brief: Deconstructing the Digital Agenda in Consumer Products

Read the transcript below.

EMRON PRATT: Many consumer goods companies today are expanding their digital agendas. But that expansion isn't necessarily translating into top-line or bottom-line improvements. Three years ago, consumer products companies were focused on digital marketing and getting digitally enabled talent in the door. And today that activity has expanded to include digital operations, a broader view of e-commerce and even digitized products. That's also made enablers very important.

Talent's still number one, but data science capabilities, flexible technology platforms and shifting the culture more broadly are what executive teams are focused on. Our research at Bain has shown that the gap between the leaders and the laggards is actually widening. And accumulated digital experience, rather than industry scale, is what's driving the difference. So as a company, how do you move from experimentation to a clear digital strategy? We focus on the same four areas that the digital leaders are today.

First is digital marketing. Less than one third of companies integrate their digital and traditional marketing campaigns. Second, digital commerce. Identify the categories and products that you want to target and tailor them to digital. Next is digital operations. Success here will come as a result of in-house capabilities that you develop as well as strong partnerships with best-in-class third-party providers.

Finally, digitized products. Here, use agile innovation to develop products that disrupt before you're disrupted. The companies that are working against these four digital areas in a coordinated way are positioning themselves to win in the market.

Read the Bain Brief: Deconstructing the Digital Agenda in Consumer Products