Category Archives: News


The results from the World Economic Forum on the Gender Equality Gap 2020 remind us there’s still a long way to go to true gender parity.

 

99.5 years they estimate.

 

Luckily companies like CPM have been championing equality and diversity for decades.

 

Owned by the Omnicom group, they’ve been a global force in the outsourced field sales and marketing landscape for the last 85 years, now operating within 35 countries across the globe.

 

Creating an inclusive culture is nothing new to the CPM Teams, it’s in their DNA, reflected in the fact that 50% of the group’s senior leadership is female.

 

Step inside this progressive organisation and see how they’re actioning the change we need to see.  

 

CPM has supported #IWD since 1997.

 

Mike Hughes, CPM’s CEO says: “CPM has always been a gender-diverse business but like many things, there is more we can and will do.

 

Supporting IWD allows us to celebrate the achievements of the thousands of women who work for CPM throughout the world and I would like to thank all of you for what you do for CPM, for each other, for our clients and for our and your communities.

 

Through our owners Omnicom, we are fortunate and happy to be able to actively participate in global initiatives such as OPEN and Omniwomen; this makes our company a more diverse, equal and inclusive environment which in turn allows us to do the best job for our clients by reflecting the societies in which we live and work.

 

I really like this year’s IWD theme ‘Choose To Challenge’. A challenged world is an alert world and I would like to think all our colleagues feel able to call out gender bias and inequality and to be treated seriously and with respect when you do, but if you don’t, this is the year for that to change and I would encourage you all to exercise your ability to choose to challenge”.

 

 

 

 

Michelle Tugwell, CPM’s new Chief People Officer says over the coming years they’ll harness a global strategy. Currently, a lot is done at local level albeit with joined-up initiatives through OPEN & Omniwomen and its annual summit.

 

Michelle’s passionate about creating a truly diverse and inclusive culture whilst challenging traditional stereotypes in the workplace.

 

She states how important it is that people feel they can be themselves and benefit from an inclusive, supportive team around them.

 

Having never been overtly ‘ambitious’ and being open about sometimes lacking in confidence herself, she learnt she was capable of doing increasingly more senior jobs from the confidence others (both female and male bosses) had in her.

 

“As a company, we’re big on mentorship. I’ve seen from personal experience when others have confidence in you, you believe you’re capable too”. 

 

Mentoring and leading by example comes naturally to CPM.

 

 

Karen Jackson MD of CPM UK was the first UK female MD in 2014 and in 2021 is co-chair of Omniwomen UK.

Karen says it was CPM’s investment in sponsorship and mentoring that made a big difference to her self-belief.

 

“I was very lucky to have 2 great female sponsors at CPM. They encouraged me, championed me, and gave me the confidence to believe I could take on more senior leadership roles”.

 

She now helps inspire other future female leaders across CPM and its subsidiary companies Hyphen & Cosine.

 

 

Luci Beaufort -Dysart – Director of Hyphen is joining Karen on the Omniwomen committee this year and is excited to help shape the events and 2021 year-long programme. For Luci, investing in a company’s culture is only ever a good thing.

 

“I had a couple of female bosses in my former career who really championed me and taught me how important it is to: treat everyone with respect, not to dwell on the inevitable things that go wrong and to build relationships with people at every level”.  

 

She believes getting along with your colleagues is key to getting the most out of your work.

 

“I’m one of the senior leads on our internal sports and social committee. Driving this forward is something I feel passionately about”. 

 

 

Kirstin Knight –General Manager of Cosine, joined CPM’s subsidiary company just 18 months ago. Whilst she’s keen to point out she’s enjoyed working with inspiring male and female colleagues since joining the CPM family, she says it’s refreshing to be part of a company with so many women in senior roles.

 

“One of the most challenging things for me to overcome as a female leader has been balancing my career with raising my kids; especially as one of my children has special needs.  In my former career, I had to tell a few white lies to attend medical appointments (there were so many!), which I’m ashamed to admit. 

 

Because of my experiences, I want to commit to being as supportive and flexible as I can be so no other parent – male or female feels they can’t cope anymore”. 

 

 

 

 

How brilliant is it to hear this sort of honest dialogue?

 

 

Veronique Motte– CEO, CPM France talks about how she’s been able to be both Presidente and a Mother:

 

“CPM has been a part of my life for 18 years and as CEO of the French Group the last 13 years, there have been challenges. 

 

CPM has become my second family, my second pillar. I’m able to do this role by putting in a lot of work, being tenacious and with thanks to tremendous relationships (both male and female), which enable me to achieve a good balance between personal and professional life, because the time devoted to my two daughters is the most precious to me”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the issue of achieving that elusive balance (family + career), it’s worth talking about flexibility in the workplace. 

CPM is a People business, offering a wide variety of career opportunities in an array of disciplines, some of which are part-time or tactical/project-based. So, there’s always been a degree of flexibility ingrained within their culture.

 

While many commentators have spoken about their hope that the post-pandemic world will begin to reset many of the imbalances in society, CPM are in a brilliant position to catapult off the back of the great work they’ve already done.

 

Michelle says that everyone has adapted so well to working from home, they’re reviewing their working practices to see how elements of this can remain in the future.

 

 

 

Diversity & Flexibility 

Within a world of increasing diversity, accelerated by globalisation and the ability to remote work (thanks COVID), we expect work expectations to change, from both employees and employers alike.

 

CPM are committed to embracing diversity and flexibility.

 

 

Lorraine Butler – MD of CPM Ireland says she wants CPM to challenge themselves to consider the diversity of how family units are created and aligning support for employees around this, as a means to helping create concentrated change. 

 

“At CPM Ireland, we’re currently looking into how we can implement incremental support(s) for families going through fertility treatment, ensuring people have the bandwidth and freedom to go through this challenging experience without the additional challenges of worrying about keeping this hidden from work”.  

 

Lorraine also points out another issue of huge importance here:

 

 “Given people are our greatest asset, we need to be mindful of ageism”. 

 

As far as both diversity and inclusivity go, this couldn’t be more poignant today.

 

The female workforce aged 50-64 has grown 50% in the last 10 years.

 

The outdated view that women of a certain age just want to wander off into a menopausal fog or coast their way into retirement, is completely off the mark.

 

CPM value equality and diversity and develop staff throughout their careers.

 

Gender equality 

CPM works hard to understand the challenges that women face in their careers, not just around family but as the gender more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome (or admit to it anyway), and be judged by their age and the conditions that can accompany these life stages.

 

Veronique says gender equality is part of CPM’s DNA.

 

“Every year we ensure we make changes and one example is with our gender equality index. Last year we increased our score by 9 points (97/100). The fact our Executive committee is 50% female spreads inclusivity into the whole company. This year I’m committing to even more involvement, Co-Chairing Omniwomen France.” 

 

Recruitment and attraction 

With an understanding of the importance of finding new talent, from more diverse backgrounds and via more diverse sources, CPM has established a new recruitment strategy in the UK and are looking at replicating this across the group.

 

They work hard to ensure their advertising and selection process is free from gender bias. By decoding ad copy to eliminate words with unconscious bias and using creative containing more balanced representation from all walks of life. Plus, they’re placing increased emphasis on ‘will versus skill’. Focusing more on behaviours and attitude versus direct experience, they’ve seen an increase in the diversity of applications. 

 

And finally, CPM is choosing to challenge old-fashioned stereotypes common in the workplace. 

Michelle is a huge advocate of being open, honest and genuine.

 

CPM has been focused on supporting employee’s mental wellbeing, making a variety of tools and resources available, and have recently trained a team of Mental Health First Aiders.

 

They also operate a menopause policy, looking to protect their employees’ wellbeing in whatever way they can.

 

By speaking out and encouraging honesty, CPM hope the future of work will alter unconscious behaviours and attitudes for the better.

 

And as Lorraine Butler reminds us, Anita Roddick had some excellent advice:

“If you think you are too small to make an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito”! 

 

With CPM #ChooseToChallenge and taking action week in week out, it might be less than 99.5 years until gender parity is in touching distance.

Watch this CPM space

Follow us on social to see the changes we action this year and all that happens at Omniwomen2021

 

#ChooseToChallenge

#IWD2021

#CPMChooseToChallenge

 

Sales force outsourcing as a strategic model for agile businesses:  the collaboration between FRoSTA and CPM Italy

 

The speed required to respond to events has made companies more flexible, leading them to adopt more agile, rapid and dynamic approaches. In this landscape the sales outsourcing represents a strategic solution, as it allows businesses to establish, manage and monitor the direct relationship between costs and results in a flexible, scalable way.

 

Daniele Castagnini, National Sales Director at FRoSTA and Pierpaolo Bertocco, Managing Director at CPM Italy speak to MarkUP Magazine about the collaboration that brought to the development of an agile organisational model focusing on objectives and results, to achieve greater presence and wider product range and increase FMCG channel monitoring

 

Watch our video to see how CPM Italy has increased product availability in monitored retail outlets by over 30% in the first year. Working in collaboration at a strategic level to deliver growth plans across Europe, using an agile market and an in-house and outsourced retail field sales force.

 

The added value of a qualified sales force in an agile business model: the collaboration between Fitbit and CPM Italy

 

Everything changes and evolves. In a world where companies must adopt an increased flexible approach -both on the structure and on the business strategy- and consumers are well-informed and more demanding than ever, it is necessary to have a strong field team made up of qualified professionals with a high commitment on delivering excellent results. It is also essential for companies to be able to provide regular, comprehensive training to in-store sales staff on a range of constantly evolving topics in order to better represent the brand and communicate effectively its value.

 

With over 80 years of successful outsourced sales experience, CPM is the world leader in delivering and managing B2B and B2C Outsourced Sales Force Teams across multiple markets, sectors and product portfolios. In the video below, Giovanni Bergamaschi, Regional Director Southern Europe at Fitbit and Pierpaolo Bertocco, Managing Director at CPM Italy, talk about the many benefits that an outsourced field team can bring to brands.

 

Watch the video below to see what Fitbit had to say about the results achieved through their partnership with CPM Italy.

 

If you would like to find out more about how CPM can help you to drive sales for your brand and products, contact us at info@cpmire.com.

 

On behalf of the whole business, I am delighted to announce that after a rigorous multi- stage tender process, CPM UK has been awarded an exciting new contract working with Samsung Electronics UK.

 

The contract includes the Television Audio Visual and Digital Appliances field and training teams.   CPM are thrilled and proud to have been awarded such a prestigious contract and to be working with this innovative brand that is truly leading the way in consumer electronics.   This award further strengthens CPM’s position as the number one sales agency across the globe.

 

The tender process gave CPM a  great opportunity to showcase our ideas, data analytics capability, innovation and above all our award winning talent programmes.   The contract includes the transfer of over 350 employees who will support the Samsung brand in 2020 and beyond, and we can’t wait to get started!  Our mission for Samsung is clear – to drive sales of the Samsung Electronics brand through amazing, personalised consumer experiences and retail staff training.

 

We are excited to be working with a premium field, training and promoter team and look forward to transferring and welcoming  new employees to our business in 2020.  Samsung joins a portfolio of many leading brands across a broad range of sectors including Technology, FMCG, Retail, DIY, Telco and many more.   At the heart of our success is our People and our continuous focus on acquiring, developing and retaining the very best talent in the industry.  For further information on how we do this and what our people think about CPM then please click here or you can visit www.cpmjobs.co.uk for more information on what it’s like working for us.

 

 

Karen Jackson

Managing Director, CPM UK

 

Balance for Better

October, 22nd 2019 – Barcelona

 

CPM Barcelona takes home Gold Team of the Year Award and Silver Business Change & Transformation Award at UK Customer Experience Awards 2019

 

 

We are thrilled to announce that CPM’s International Contact Centre in Barcelona took home Gold in the Team of the Year Award category and Silver in Business Change & Transformation Award category at the UK Customer Experience Awards (CXA).

 

The 10th edition of the CXA recognised those inspiring organisations who enhance their customer experience in many innovative ways and achieve tangible results from the initiatives that have been implemented. Winners were announced at an awards dinner soiree and ceremony held at Wembley, London on the 10th October.

 

Following  gruelling finalist presentations,  competing against 7 other shortlisted agencies; CPM were announced winners as Team of the Year category in recognition of our Talent & Development team’s outstanding commitment, passion and focus in bringing to life CPM values of Freedom, Innovation, Excellence, Respect and Integrity by encouraging our people to challenge themselves and broaden their experiences.

 

I am delighted that our Talent & Development team’s passion and the proven best practice approach they have created has been commended by industry experts.  Congratulations to the entire team for the ongoing hard work and dedication said Annette John, Business Unit Director at CPM Barcelona.

 

Likewise, CPM Airbnb Team won silver in the Business Change & Transformation Award category, beating 8 other nominated competitors. This recognition highlights the brilliant job of our Transformation Team in changing the future by building on our past and by empowering our smartest people and letting them shine, achieving an impressive 650% Airbnb campaign growth in 6 years, and transforming the way we empower out people to grow and develop.

 

I am very proud of my talented Transformation Team; our innovative and creative approach to transforming core working processes has been recognized by both our partner Airbnb and by top industry professionals. A heartfelt thank you to the Airbnb Transformation Team, “ said Tom Johnston, Business Unit Director at CPM Barcelona.

 

CPM is committed to continuous innovation in consumer engagement and driving operational excellence in Customer Experience (CX) and Sales. These awards acknowledge the amazing success of our teams and their innovative approach to CX. I would like to congratulate all of our short-listed and winning teams and commend their unwavering focus on delivering customer experience excellence,” says Fiona Whelan, Managing Director, CPM Barcelona

 

About UK Customer Experience Awards

The UK Customer Experience Awards has grown exponentially to become the biggest CX event of its kind in the world. This year the awards are bigger and better than ever as the event is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The awards are unique in that the finalists also present their entry live on the day of the finals to a panel of independent judges, ensuring the fairest and most transparent scoring process possible. The UKCXA has been accredited with the prestigious Gold Awards Trust Mark from the Independent Awards Standards Council.

 

About CPM International Contact Centre – Barcelona

CPM Barcelona, as part of CPM Group and a member of the Omnicom Group, is an international contact centre delivering outsourced customer experience and sales solutions on an EMEA-wide basis.  CPM specialises in the delivery of omnichannel customer engagement solutions for global clients spanning High Tech, Consumer Electronics, FMCG, Automotive, Retail and Travel industries and currently covers 26 languages across 71 markets.

 

For further information, contact:

Rachel Doyle | M: +34 638 140 620 | E: Rachel.doyle@es.cpm-int.com |W: http://www.cpm-int.com/icc/

At CPM we are delighted to share with you the latest feature of Lorraine Butler, CPM Ireland Managing Director, in Image Magazine.

 

The October edition of this prestigious magazine includes a piece on Lorraine’s work to empower women in the retail industry. Lorraine Butler is a founding member of TWIG (Today’s Women in Grocery), an empowering organization which was created as a supporting branch of the IGBF (Irish Grocers Benevolent Fund) to support women to network and develop their careers in the Retail sector. CPM have sponsored for fourth year in a row the Women’s Networking Business Lunch for TWIG and, in May 2019, we were also proud to be the founding sponsor of their Mentoring Programme, where CPM Ireland initiated, coordinated and sponsored the opening session of the mentoring initiative under the TWIG umbrella.

 

Have a look at the full article of Lorraine in the latest edition of the Image Magazine:

 

Lorraine Butler Image Magazine 2“I joined CPM in 2015 as the first female MD in a male-dominated workforce and client base. I experienced a lot of pushback and hesitation in my ability to do the role, and struggled to get certain clients to engage in those early months. I have great relationships with all of them now, but I had to graft really hard to show that I could do the job. Myself and a group of women conducted some analysis and found that 62 per cent of the retail population were women, but less than six per cent were in a board position. I met Sharon Yourell Lawlor through a friend and we formed TWIG – Today’s Women in Grocery, in 2016, creating a network environment for women to come together to see how we can share experiences and help one another. I think everyone should have a coach and a mentor. A coach and look at your past, a mentor is looking at your future. Find a mentor who is outside of your organisation to give a fresh perspective, who can step back and say, “The world is very different in a different company.”

August, 20th 2019 – Barcelona

CPM Barcelona shortlisted for 4 ECCCSA

 

CPM is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted in four categories of the 19th  European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSA); recognising industry leaders and innovators in the fields of Customer Experience and Contact Centres.

 

Under the Operational Effectiveness category; CPM has been shortlisted for Best Outsource Partnership with our partner, Agilent Technologies and Most Effective Improvement Programme in partnership with Airbnb.

 

In addition, our Airbnb Quality Management Team have been selected as finalists for Best Quality Team and CPM’s inhouse Talent and Development Team are finalists under Best Contact Centre Support Team category.

 

CPM is thrilled be to be shortlisted for 4 awards at the ECCCSA 2019; recognising our continued commitment to deliver operational excellence and innovation in CX and Sales. We are extremely proud of our strategic client partnerships and are excited to be have reached finalist stage with our clients, Agilent Technologies and Airbnb. I would like to wish all teams the very best of luck for the finalist stage,” says Fiona Whelan, Managing Director.

 

Winners will be announced on Tuesday 26th November 2019 at the ceremony taking place at Evolution venue at Battersea Park in London. Fiona Bruce, journalist and TV presenter, will be holding the evening that will host the most CX talented professionals.

 

Original finalist shortlist available here.

 

About the ECCCSA

As the longest running and largest awards programme in the customer contact industry, the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSAs) recognise organisations across Europe that are leading the way in delivering exceptional service to customers.

 

Highly regarded for its robust judging process, the ECCCSAs award organisations that value their people, continually innovate to improve the customer experience, and operate efficiently and effectively.

Being an ECCCSA winner is a prestigious accolade that has proven to raise the profile of the contact centre operation, its capabilities and its stars.

 

Now in their 19th year, the programme is seeing incredible growth with 19 countries participating in 2018 and over 1,200 people attended the awards evening representing the most senior customer experience professionals in Europe, as well as key industry influencers on customer contact.

 

About CPM International Contact Centre – Barcelona

CPM Barcelona, as part of CPM Group and a member of the Omnicom Group, is an international contact centre delivering outsourced customer experience and sales solutions on an EMEA-wide basis.  CPM specialises in the delivery of omnichannel customer engagement solutions for global clients spanning High Tech, Consumer Electronics, FMCG, Retail and Travel industries and currently covers 22+ languages across 65 markets.

 

 

 

For further information, contact:

Rachel Doyle | M: +34 638 140 620 | E: Rachel.doyle@es.cpm-int.com |W: http://www.cpm-int.com/icc/

Huge congratulations to CPM France for being winners once again at the POPAI Awards Paris 2019 , in Paris for Merchandising

 

The merchandising department of CPM France received a Bronze Award for the 2019 edition of POPAI Awards Paris.

 

Popai Awards Bronze Cewe

 

The project presented by CPM France and CEWE was selected by the jury in the « Commercial performance of a merchandising operation » category, part of « Merchandising Concept Roll-out ».

 

For the 2019 edition of POPAI Awards Paris, CPM chose to present a major merchandising operation for a new client, CEWE, who faced a notoriety issue in 2018. Following this merchandising concept roll-out made by CPM France, CEWE’s turnover has increased by 7%!

 

Two years ago, for the first edition of « Merchandising concept roll0out », CPM France has won the silver award for the Imagine programme at Bricomarché.

 

This article is also available in French!

 

For more information on the services we provide and how we can help you sell more to your customers click here

Welcome to our latest edition of Expert Speak ‘Balance for Better’ from Karen Jackson, MD, CPM UK to support #IWD2019 

 

Did you know?……….

 

RETURN ON EQUITY

On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 53%

RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL

On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 66%

RETURN ON SALES

On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 42%

Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry mediansIn the UK greater gender diversity on the senior-executive team corresponded to the highest performance uplift in our data set; for every 10% increase in gender diversity, EBIT rose by 3.5%

Source: McKinsey, Catalyst

 

This years theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter.

 

The aim is to build a gender-balanced world.

 

“Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage …Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.”

 

www.internationalwomensday.com

 

The gender ratio for the entire world population is 102 males to 100 females – a very gender balanced world I think!

 

It is also a fact that there is not a problem with female achievement and women now out-perform men in terms of educational attainment.  In addition, as women we are also “leaning in” and asking for promotions and negotiating salaries at the same rates as men and, contrary to conventional wisdom, we are now staying in the workforce – again at the same rate as men.

 

Therefore, to my very logical brain, it would make reasonable sense that the business world would be made up of a balanced number of equally paid males and females at every level within organisations.

 

So why are there only 30 women in full time executive roles at FTSE 250 companies (down from 38 last year), which amounts to just 6.4% of the total?  And why does the national Gender Pay Gap between males and females currently stand at 18.4%? (OfNS April 18).

 

I recognise that this is not an overnight fix and actually business and government are more committed than ever to balancing the gender equation.

 

Therefore, we need to push the agenda even harder and overall companies need to take more decisive action. We all need to start treating gender balance with as much importance as our other key business priorities like business growth and customer satisfaction.

 

This means holding our leaders and managers accountable for results, identifying and  closing gender gaps for both new hires but also for all promotions across the business. This certainly does not mean introducing any form of quota system but by first and foremost, having a talent attraction strategy that actively encourages and attracts gender balanced candidates for all roles within your business. Your recruitment process should be merit based, free from unconscious bias and should create excitement, foster confidence and bring out the very best in each and every candidate.

 

It also means creating an all-inclusive culture, where everyone feels supported, encouraged and given the confidence to progress their careers and achieve beyond what they thought they were capable of – I know I did!

 

At CPM we are committed to championing a Gender balanced workplace and recognise and understand that inclusion and diversity leads to greater business success. In our UK business, I am very proud to have a gender split of 42% Male, 58% Female and our UK board is split 50% female and 50% male. This is particularly pleasing for a sales organisation where typically “Women in Sales” usually account for less than 30%.

 

Having a diverse workforce based on opportunity and meritocracy is something that is deeply important to me and to CPM. As someone who has progressed through the business, I am passionate about creating development opportunities for anyone who wants them, whilst at the same time providing support programmes that give everyone – especially women – the confidence to progress their careers if they choose.

 

We work closely with our female employees to encourage and support the challenges they face with balancing their career & families, and to also build the confidence they sometimes lack to progress their careers. Our flexible working practices, part time roles, mentoring, support and sponsorship programmes, have not only driven positive gender balance across all roles within our business, but have also brought tangible benefits to both our Female and Male colleagues.

 

Whilst I recognise that there is always work to do to continually improve our business performance, culture and the diversity of our team, I am hugely proud of our progress to date and the engagement, passion, hard work and commitment from the CPM team.

 

Balance for Better

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Jackson,

MD, CPM UK

Balance for Better

#IWD2019 #BalanceforBetter

The Checkout Conference was held on February 5th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin. The event gathered 8 speakers and a discussion panel, who offered valuable insights on “Rising the Challenges” in the retail industry. The conference is considered a must-attend event for senior executives in the trade and this year the conference is celebrating their 40th anniversary.

 

Retail experts and analysts from Ireland and overseas revealed the latest developments of the sector, as well as sharing tips and tricks that have helped them find success in a continually turbulent industry for retailers and FMCG brands.

 

At CPM we have gathered the main highlights of the day:

 

Kari Daniels - Checkout ConferenceThe opening speaker of the Conference was Kari Daniels, CEO of Tesco Ireland. In one of her first public appearances to the Irish grocery retail market since her appointment in September 2018, Daniels highlighted that retailers need to understand consumers and listen carefully to what they actually want from their retailers. Today’s consumers are time poor and tend to shop little and often, with a major focus on healthy eating while becoming more and more environmentally aware. They expect stores not only to deliver a great experience but also offer convenience and home shopping capabilities.

 

The concept of value is being redefined and technology is changing how retailers serve their customers, with important improvements being made in AI. For Tesco, the “scan as you shop” technology has been a key cost-saving initiative. Daniels also discussed topics such as single-use plastic, environment awareness and food waste, highlighting Tesco’s main contributions in this area.

 

 

Mike Watkins - Checkout ConferenceMike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight at Nielsen, examined the macro-trends in the retail market across Ireland and Europe. Watkins addressed three specific challenges facing retailers and FMCG brands: firstly, consumers are shopping and spending differently; secondly, there has been an increase in online grocery and food delivery; and lastly, the rise of the Sustainable Shopper.

 

Today’s consumer journey is getting more personal, with noticeable shifts on how shoppers discover new products, embrace the shopping experience and ultimately explore with new channels, new missions and new products. According to Watkins, last year shoppers experimented with their shopping, trying new channels and seeking new experiences, such as online shopping, as opposed to shopping missions. The retail landscape continues to evolve with some key trends: consumers continue to spend (in 2018 Irish shoppers spent €16.9 billion on FMCG products) but are uncertain about Brexit; Confectionery, soft drinks and BWS are among the fastest growing categories and Discounters continue to grow market share.

 

Online grocery expectations are changing and the top reasons for online shopping are the ability to choose when groceries will be delivered, as well as a quicker and more convenient service. Watkins anticipates that the growth in online will accelerate as fast and convenient delivery/ collection allows retailers to cater to different shopping missions and gives the end user the possibility to customise and personalise their experience. It’s crucial for retailers to use new technologies to remain relevant and offer a seamless experience to customers.

 

As we are witnessing the rise of the sustainable shopper, Watkins suggested that products that are fresh, natural, local or craft products, with smaller serve packs and which are perceived as better for the environment, will drive retail growth. In Ireland we are seeing that shoppers are environmentally conscious with clear expectations of sustainability: 46% of consumers are seeking loose products with no packaging. Also, 91% of consumers believe retailers should do more to reduce the amount of plastic packaging.

 

 

Griffin Checkout ConferenceSeamus Griffin, Chief Executive of Griffin Retail Group, offered a very inspiring talk as he walked the audience through the story of how the retail group grow with a mindset of “a failure is never an option on the way to success”. Griffin Retail Group started with a shop in 1950 and now they run 15 stores in Dublin, employing 400 people. Griffin explored the challenges that brick and mortar retailers are facing in today’s open and hyper-competitive marketplace, agreeing that the key to overcoming them is to provide a great customer experience at any point. He also talked about the threat of spiralling insurance and labour costs for retailers.

 

Griffin shared the experience the group has had with the concession model and how it is transforming convenience retailing, creating one-stop shops for a variety of local services and food offerings. The introduction of the Subway concession to the retail chain was key to drive additional footfall and turnover. When looking ahead Griffin estimates that the average consumer will ‘dashboard dine’ at least four times during the week, with a surge of consumers eating in the car on the way to work, giving a major opportunity to the grab and go sector.

 

 

Lord Mark Price Checkout ConferenceLord Mark Price, former Managing Director at Waitrose, believes the real challenge facing retailers and brands is how they prepare their staff to cope with the new technological age. For him, the importance of workplace happiness is crucial for achieving great results: profit and productivity increases in 20% when employees are engaged with their companies, which also reduces waste, staff turnover and sick absences.

 

In order to achieve employee engagement companies must reward and recognise their staff upon success, empower and trust them as well as keep them well informed. It is also advisable to guarantee a good life-work balance, create in employees a sense of pride and guarantee job satisfaction levels are always optimum.

 

Malachy OConnor Checkout ConferenceMalachy O’Connor, founder at Food First Consulting, and partner at International Private Label Consult summarised the current market dynamics and demonstrated how these trends pose major challenges for brands such as discounter market share growth, the growing price differential and changing promotional strategies. To set the scene, O’Connor talked about the current volatility of the market and discussed the success discounters had when establishing in Ireland and how the other retailers responded.

 

In Ireland, it is estimated that there is one discounter shop per 15,000 people (this is 5,000 in Germany and 25,000 in the UK), which exposes the major potential for discounters to continue driving store growth. Another area which has big potential is private labels as there is currently low market penetration in some categories. The Irish consumer has an affinity with brands and premium private labels. There is also a big opportunity for delivering true innovation, especially in the areas of health and sustainability. However, it all boils down to delivering consistent quality. Brands should never compromise in quality.

 

 

Peter Stedman Checkout ConferencePeter Stedman, Managing Director, at Salvus Food Consulting, explained what sustainability means in the Irish context and how the Irish Grocery retail sector compares to its European counterparts. Stedman believes that governments need to set rules to get all the industry to act and more sustainably. In the meantime, it’s crucial for businesses to design and implement a sustainability plan. Some of the upcoming trends are spreading global legislation, designing good enough products that can be repaired when breaking down as well as healthy sustainable diets.

 

 

Adam Smith Checkout ConferenceAdam Smith, Head of Media Strategy at the dunnhumby UK, presented some research around the increasing debate between a mass marketing approach vs a data-led approach. Smith analysed if different categories behave similarly to the Pareto law (80/20) or to Sharp’s law (50/20). The key results showed that even though categories can behave very differently, it seems that the 80/20 view of sales to top customers appeared to be more accurate than the 50/20 view, as the heaviest 20% of brand buyers are typically responsible for 65-80% of a brand’s sales. This will also depend on the category dynamics, as emotional brands behave differently than functional ones. Also, the smaller the brand, the higher the proportion of sales to the top 20% of consumers. In order to maximise the marketing and media budgets, Smith recommended a tailored category and brand strategy.

 

 

Zana Busby Checkout ConferenceLast but not least, Zana Busby, Business and Consumer Psychologist at Retail Reflections, shared what, how and why people buy. As human beings, 80% of our actions are emotion driven and 20% are rational and logical. According to Busby, most of consumer spending happens on the subconscious level. Whether we shop online or offline, our emotions play a major role when purchasing a product. It’s very important that brands have access to emotionally driven insights in order to cultivate positive emotions and memories of their customers. The happier the emotion and experience that the brands generate on the customer, the more engaged the buyer will be.

 

Busby also addressed the different shopping patterns between men and women. For men, shopping is considered a mission, and even though emotions also play an important role they are driven by data. On the other hand, women see shopping as a journey and they have more hedonic and emotional responses to the act of shopping.  It is important not to underestimate the buying power of women, as they addressed 80% of discretionary spending.

 

She also explained that humans tend to link the senses with emotion (either positive or negative), so it is crucial for brands to engage their customers with the 5 senses in order to drive positive emotions, wonderful experiences and great relationships.

 

 

Leaders panel Checkout conferenceThe Conference concluded with the Leaders Panel, which consisted of John McCambridge, Head of Sales at Heineken Ireland; Stephen Dillon, Head of Planning at Mondelez and Malachy O’Connor, all joined by Panel Chair, Conor Morris, Managing Director of the Executive Institute. The panel discussed the different initiatives and views around sustainability, packaging and plastic reduction, how to engage and communicate with the customer, and how technology is being by their brands.

 

At CPM our Mission is to grow our clients’ business using insight to create influence and drive sales. CPM works as a strategic partner with all of our clients. We work closely with them to ensure that we are constantly reviewing the emerging trends in the market and in turn growing and evolving. If you would like to talk to someone at CPM about how your brand can rise to the challenges in retail, please contact us on 01 7080300, email info@cpmire.com or visit www.cpmire.com



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