With over 20 years of experience in Fortune 100 consumer goods companies, including Post Consumer Brands and General Mills, Steve Langlois is known for his expertise setting up high-performing category management teams. He's a pioneer at optimizing organizations using retail data and analytics.
“With all of the unprecedented market conditions and inflation we are seeing today, CPGs are in need of timely and actionable data to drive an impact. Steve, you've been a long-standing participant in this conversation well before Datasembly got connected with you. Can you talk a little bit about the market, the volume of available data, and what your process looks like when actioning your data?”
I have been in the CPG business for many, many years, and we've just been through possibly the most dynamic period I’ve ever experienced. We've all got scars. And we are now in a key reset moment in this industry. For a while, we saw very modest inflation and relatively stable markets, and most of us were focused on how to compete in a very Walmart-like world. Fast-forward two or three years and we are now needing to reset the value of almost every product at every store.
We don't really know where the new thresholds are for all of these products. What used to be the typical price threshold for a box of cereal or a can of soup is evolving as we speak. We're going to watch this happen for the next year or two while prices start to stabilize and we start to see less inflation. This change will lead to an incredibly dynamic atmosphere, because all of the retailers that have been competing successfully with some of the bigger competitors, like Walmart and Amazon, are likely going to be back in the game, fighting for market share.
This shift is going to create a new level of competition - a new level of need for data transparency. And this is one of the solutions that Datasembly addresses. I was introduced to Datasembly's CPG analytics six or seven years ago for the very first time, and they have built a platform that allows you to see every price point at every store, literally, every single week. And this is not just a price tracker, but a promotion and distribution tracker as well. I think we're at a pivotal time where the need for this is really going to manifest itself in the marketplace, being that the next year or two could be even more dynamic than the last two years we've been through.
Thirty years ago, I started out with Nielsen and IRI as some of my very first data sets. I've seen the evolution of the retail data space over the last two or three decades. And what has been transformational for me, and the reason that I now work so closely with Datasembly, is that I’ve realized that big data can be truly actionable.
We all have data scientists in our organizations now. Many of us are starting to have conversations about blending and harmonizing huge data sets. Our collective companies are starting to build out that future, and how actionable your data is will play a really critical role. The kind of proprietary, unique, and very transparent data that Datasembly gives you access to - and that you can actually share with your customers - starts to build a kind of iterative, real-time cooperation and partnership with those customers. It's a brand new phase of optimization, when transparency can exist across different retail competitors. Finding the best angle doesn’t have to be a guessing game as much as it was in the past.
I would say all of those elements bode well for us. We now have the big data, the data scientists, clouds, and the ability to funnel this into very useful dashboards and insights. The very first Datasembly platform environment I ever saw kind of blew my mind. The fact that they were able to wrangle this product data, organize it, make it really accessible, and allow you to go in and explore and share what's actually happening in the market is just incredible.
Learn more about Datasembly's 100% transparent, real-time product data, and how CPG leaders like Steve Langlois are using it to battle uncertainty in the market.