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A Connected System for an Increasingly Fragmented World

Across the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, growth has slowed, and it likely won’t speed up anytime soon. Our forecasts show growth remaining around 1%-2% for the next few years. In addition, shoppers are fragmenting across retail options—from e-commerce and meal kits to out of home choices, including restaurants. And this change won’t be slowing down anytime soon. There will likely be as much transformation across FMCG in next five years as last 25 years.

To help our clients identify opportunities for success quickly in this rapidly changing world, we unveiled the FMCG industry’s first truly open, cloud-based and highly scalable technology platform at CoNEXTions, a Consumer 360 conference, in Los Angeles today. The Nielsen Connected System is designed with and for decision-makers across FMCG and retail companies to foster collaboration and align organizations to achieve sustained, profitable growth in today’s ever-evolving industries.

At the event, Chris Morley, President, U.S. FMCG and Retail, Nielsen, explained what we believe to be the biggest challenge retailers and manufacturers are currently facing: “It’s not a data and technology problem. It’s a data and technology alignment problem.”

Across FMCG, brands and retailers are hard at work adapting to today’s evolving marketplace, and many have devoted specialized teams to the problem. But this approach creates siloed groups all investing in the latest data and technology but finding it hard to determine the wider business impact. External fragmentation is turning into internal fragmentation.

The Connected System breaks down these barriers by delivering actionable, coordinated decision making, aligning organizations around what’s happening with their business, pinpointing the drivers of performance, and identifying actions to drive growth. It encompasses the widest range of data, analytics and role-based applications from Nielsen and a rapidly expanding group of Connected Partners.

“Openness is one of our key principles,” said Chris. “Aligning technology and data is a key part of the Connected System, but, importantly, we’re also enabling collaboration across your business and partners to allow you to work where, when, and with whom you want to work—seamlessly—with one true source of data.”

After Chris introduced the platform on the mainstage at CoNEXTions, Karen Fichuk, President, Strategic Initiatives, Nielsen, sat down with Michael Terpkosh, Vice President of Store Services at SUPERVALU, one of five charter clients with the Nielsen Connected System.

For Michael, knowing today’s consumer—understanding what drives individuals to spend dollars the way they do—is essential to success. But to do so, you need to bring the puzzle pieces together.  

“The Connected System is the next generation of bringing the different sources of Nielsen data and partners together, creating huge opportunities to streamline faster,” Michael explained. “It will allow us to be more nimble, to get decisions faster and create tighter working relationships with our vendor and broker partners.”

Still, he noted one big problem his team—and the industry as a whole—is facing: attracting quality talent. “Young talent doesn’t want to spend time crunching data and spreadsheets. They want to use tools and apps to enable collaboration,” Michael said. The Connected System is making analytics cool again.