CPG Brands Struggle To Engage Online Audiences

Among all sectors, CPG brands have had the most trouble engaging online audiences over the past two years, new research shows.
Typifying the category’s digital failings, beer brand Michelob Ultra fared the worst with a net traffic loss of 94%, according to a report slated for release on Thursday by social media software provider Livefyre, in partnership with organizers of the Pivot Conference.
A spokesperson for Michelob Ultra parent Anheuser-Busch was not available for comment by press time.
Standing apart from its poorly performing CPG peers, Oreo saw a staggering increase in Web traffic of 7,244% this past year, according to Livefyre, which relied on Compete.com for its unique visitor data.
Thanks in large part to 360i -- Oreo’s digital agency since 2010 -- the cookie brand has recently experienced tremendous traction across online and mobile channels. The “dunk in the dark” tweet that the Oreo brand sent out during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII ranks among the most innovative and successful ad executions of 2013.

Livefyre CEO Jordan Kretchmer cited social media as key to improving a brand’s digital popularity. “The study shows that those industries which successfully integrated social experiences into their Web sites have seen the greatest return in traffic,” Kretchmer said Wednesday.
“The key takeaway here is that consumer behavior is evolving faster than it ever has before and in order to sustain growth, brands need to evolve their communication strategies just as quickly,” Kretchmer added.
Earning Livefyre’s “rookie of the year” award, Pop Chips also stood apart from other CPG brands with a 279% jump in Web traffic over the past year -- albeit on a relatively small base.
Cosmetic companies like Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Revlon, Maybelline, and CoverGirl all lost Web traffic in 2012 and 2013, according to Livefyre. As for other beauty brands, one-time digital darlings like Dove and Axe both suffered losses in Web traffic over the past year, by Livefyre’s measure. Standouts included Gillette Venus and Burt’s Bees, the latter of which saw a 280% increase in Web traffic from 2012 through 2013.
In the household product aisle, eco-friendly brand Seventh Generation stood out by growing from a 65% loss in Web traffic from 2011-to-2012 to a 488% gain from 2012-to-2013.
The study analyzed 500 global mainstream brands across 16 different industries, looking at the growth and loss patterns of unique visitors from 2011 through 2013.
Unique visitor data was pulled from Compete.com’s Web analytics platform, which was then compiled into lists of average unique change over each annual period covered. The data was then used to benchmark the change in growth of branded sites across the Web in order to give a broader view of Web traffic trends.
Social measures for Facebook and Twitter were gleaned using Unmetric and other social measurement services, and then compared to Web traffic patters in an effort to unearth relevant correlations.
2 comments about "CPG Brands Struggle To Engage Online Audiences".
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  1. William Sears from [x+1], October 24, 2013 at 10:29 a.m.

    I've seen this in the market for more than a year. CPG set the bar for customer marketing, led loyalty efforts with retail partners, but has been slow to adopt Digital Marketing Technology. Let's hope an integrated DMP that connects data and decisions to provide relevant customer experiences is on the shopping list of every CPG marketer.

  2. Abraham Snyder from Traction, October 24, 2013 at 12:46 p.m.

    If we are measuring how engaging brands are online by unique web visitors, we have more problems than I thought. While everyone certainly wants to increase traffic, if all those unique visitors came once and never returned or showed a very high bounce rate would we still consider that an engaging experience?

    As long as we talk this way our industry will have a hard time advancing. Technology and data is very important for CPG and I'm happy to have been part of a team that helped get the technology and data wheels turning at one of the biggest CPG companies out there. Now we all need to pitch in and elevate the level of discourse on this subject so we can stop dealing with goals of "increase unique visitors".

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