Colgate-Palmolive Exec: Company Behind In Mobile Marketing

Jack-HaberLike many companies, Colgate-Palmolive’s mobile marketing strategy isn’t where it should be, given consumers’ rapidly growing usage of mobile platforms, says Jack Haber, C-P’s vice president, global advertising and digital.

It will take some time to get mobile “fully woven into the fabric” of the company’s marketing activities, he added, speaking at the GroupM What’s Next conference Wednesday. One obstacle was resistance to change both within the company and within the larger advertising and marketing community.

Haber likened the company’s attitude toward mobile today to skeptical attitudes that many inside the company held about the Internet as it was emerging and had not yet become a consumer utility. “We need to get past that,” he said. Research that demonstrates the medium’s return on investment would help internally, he said. C-P still spends roughly 80% of its advertising budget on TV, which he acknowledged was probably out of sync with the shifting media habits of consumers.

“We’re all behind,” he said. “The industry is not as focused as it should be, especially among the creative ranks” at advertising agencies that for the most part remain fixated on TV, he said. “People talk about integration, but it’s still TV first” at many ad shops. “We need to change that.”

“The consumers are setting the pace,” said Haber, and they have embraced mobile devices far faster than the industry anticipated. “We’re trying to catch up,” he said, noting that C-P has made developing and implementing a cohesive and integrated mobile strategy one of its top-10 global marketing priorities.

Mobile is critical in countries like the U.S. and the U.K., Haber said, because of rapidly escalating consumer usage rates. He agreed with others at the conference that marketers and agencies should begin looking at mobile as “the first screen in a lot of ways. It’s the first thing we touch in the morning and throughout the day.”

In some parts of many important overseas markets like China and India, mobile is not just the first screen, it’s the only screen. Given the personal nature of mobile devices, Haber added, “it’s the closest you can get to people as a marketer.”

That said, Haber added that marketers have to be sensitive to the personalized nature of mobile and ask themselves if their consumers “want ads on this screen” -- and if so, “how to interact with them. We have not figured it out yet.”

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14 comments about "Colgate-Palmolive Exec: Company Behind In Mobile Marketing".
  1. Caitlin Reader from Mojo Ad , October 28, 2012 at 12:44 a.m.
    C-P execs are right that companies that have yet to fully integrate mobile marketing into their advertising strategy need to do so-and FAST! Especially those companies trying to market specifically to the YAYA or Youth and Young Adult demographic, as its our primary screen. Research has even proven that as YAYAs we want to see advertisements on all of our screens, but only if those ads are well-targeted specifically to us. It lets us be a little lazy and show us options that we didn't originally know about. Come connect with us on our phones, most of us want you there! Caitlin Reader Copy Editor, Mojo Ad www.mojo-ad.com
  2. Anthony Robinson from M&C Saatchi Mobile , October 29, 2012 at 7:37 a.m.
    Mobile marketing is a whole different kettle of fish compared to normal advertising on the web. Simply replicating what you do on websites more often than not won't work for mobile.
  3. John Ernst from Snap Lab Media , October 29, 2012 at 11:54 p.m.
    The key here is to bring value directly to the consumer exactly when they need it. For example, help the customer make a buying decision right at the shelf by providing information, video or coupons that help the consumer overcome buying obstacles before they move on to other purchases or leave the store empty handed. Being able to modify mobile content quickly with an easy solution like a Mobile Content Management System makes managing this task easy for Marketing departments and agency managers to do it in house themselves. This is the exactly the market we serve best. http://www.snaplabmedia.com
  4. Adam Shore from Totally Communications , November 9, 2012 at 10:32 a.m.
    I agree with what John said about bringing value directly to the consumer. Just because a company wants to make a quick payday doesn't they should take advantage of the mobile platform and bombard users with ads.
  5. Jane Peterson from Teliqo , November 9, 2012 at 11:12 a.m.
    Getting bombarded with ads is very off putting. We deal with many large companies implimenting business telephone systems, with many switching from other VoIP providers whose apps were littered with obtrusive ads. Not a good look.
  6. J K from fufufufu , January 2, 2014 at 4:02 a.m.
    I think aiming to bombard people with ads is absolutely the wrong approach. Good advertising should be helpful to users and non-intrusive. Mobile is definitely the future though. The majority of internet activity will occur on hand held devices rather than desktops, laptops etc. Looking to attack this space is most definitely the right move. Consumers should be allowed the choice to have ads or not, however.
  7. J K from fufufufu , January 2, 2014 at 4:06 a.m.
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  8. Ry Bart from WEB27 , January 14, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.
    Across some of my websites I am seeing mobile browsers taking up around a 25-30% share mark and so there is no doubt that this mobile trend is growing and will continue moving forward. I have never personally liked to use mobile phones for web browsing. I can understand the desktop falling behind laptops over time, but browsing around on a tiny display screen isn't my idea of fun. Thanks for sharing Steve. All the best, Ryan.
  9. Sadie Marshall from O&S Media , February 4, 2014 at 3:35 p.m.
    I also work in the payday lending market and I have noticed significant growth in applications for short term loans from the mobile platform. It is going to be difficult for companies to work out how to implement advertising without detracting from the users experience.Good luck!
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