In 2018, there has already been more investment and activity by brand owners to develop rich, accurate and well-managed content — delivered to the right place at the right time.

Consumers no longer have a narrow path to purchase, and have more of a voice than ever before. Never has there been a better time for expanded thinking, enhanced decision-making tools, and news archetypes to be developed and deployed.

Content is the new currency — and that currency can be used to generate relevant experiences. Our role is to help brand owners create, curate and optimize content for points of intersection on the many pathways the consumer may travel. This extends from packaging to marcomm, advertising, POS and social.

The majority of companies today are focusing on digital marketing and eCommerce as growth drivers. This year, digital touch points will in some way affect 51 percent of total US retail sales — amounting to about $1.7 trillion dollars.

Here are three ways to leverage this growth to ensure your brand content connects with consumers in the right moment.

Customer Experience. According to Nielsen, nearly nine out of 10 dollars of FMCG retail growth came from online last year. Because of this, marketers are now looking to win through superior consumer experience (CX), and are aggressively seeking better ways to do so.

READ: What’s Next for the Experience Economy?

Effective marketing delivers individual, tailored conversations with specific consumers in micro-moments. To compete on CX, organizations must become obsessed with the customer journey and build solutions for well-maintained, synchronized product content.

Artificial Intelligence. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), marketers now have so much data, that they machine learning to analyze and act upon it. In the future, AI will drive campaigns. This means we must create the tools and content management infrastructure to support this.

AI

While digital technology is cool, nothing replaces the intimate experience a consumer has with the tangible pack — which leads us to our final way to connect with consumers in a relevant way, at the right moment.

Connected Packaging. The connected pack provides product information and consumer interaction beyond the traditional physical pack. There is projected to be 50 billion connected products in the market by the year 2020, up from 6 billion today. These products may exist in the industries of grocery, retail, beauty, and beyond.

Trends in the consumer world have set the conditions where a more connected approach is required for brand design. Connected experience design recognizes that the consumers’ journeys with brands need to be more connected than ever before and that the key outcome is action — and that action creates engagement that creates return.

“64 percent of consumers are interested in the idea of packaging being connected.” – Packaging News, 2016

By turning packs into an owned media asset at point of sale and point of use, and a gateway into relevant experiences and services, brand owners can expand the value of packaging as a content generator and a launch point for an immersive experience.

The future presents great opportunity for all household products, from laundry detergent and hairspray to tortillas and alcohol, to communicate information and deliver content to the consumer.