Social media has grown in importance to CPG brands and, as a result, is now gaining significant support in the form of larger budgets. In fact, companies like Mondelez are increasingly moving their media budgets to digital channels as they look to connect engaged social media consumers with their growing house-files. Illustrating the degree to which this transition is happening, it was recently reported that Mondelez, a $35 billion company, will spend 50% of its ad dollars on digital.
Bigger budgets mean more accountability and as a result, it’s imperative that CPG brands on Facebook assess their level of marketing integration. In an admittedly unscientific survey of the top dozen CPG brands on Facebook, only two of the top twelve featured promotions that captured email addresses and neither of them (nor the remaining 10 for that matter) asked in any way to connect a social profile with an email address. This is a missed opportunity.
While consumers are increasingly going direct to CPG social properties and websites to collect coupons and participate in contests – or even to find recipes to use with their favorite products – a great deal of information could be gained by activating social consumers and collecting social handles as well.
For years, consumers went direct to retail for CPG products and product information. The rise of the end-cap, in-store samples, and coupons that were found in the local newspaper are all relics of this period of time.
While these tactics may still work, consumers are increasingly going straight to the Internet for samples, coupons, and additional product information. Because the paths they take are varied (Facebook, mommy bloggers, the.com, mobile apps, etc.) brands need to cleverly connect the dots between marketing channels to ensure continuity of the brand experience.
One way to do this is to leverage a tactic that B2B marketers have used for years: a CRM database. By collecting some basic, personally identifiable information, including email address, social handle and zip code, marketers have a whole new world open to them for digital marketing.
Brands are beginning to think about the relationship between social and CRM and are testing ways to convert consumers within social and mobile. These brands have a leg up on creating intelligent and social consumer databases that can lead to direct revenue and a profitable lifetime value. Add in some personal details or likes/dislikes and you have yourself a nice database that you can begin marketing to in a targeted way (e.g., has kids, likes organic, etc.).
During the Grammys, Oreo launched a cross-channel product sampling campaign by featuring a call-to-action in a prime-time TV commercial. It offered customers first access to a new product flavor by adding the hashtag #SendMeOreo at the end of the TV spot. By activating a TV commercial within social media, Oreo was able to bridge their traditional media with social while collecting data from users who already showed interest in their products.
With strategies such as these, CPG companies are able to create continuity in marketing message between channels – whether they be digital or traditional – and use social media as a point of connection with customers that can go far beyond many brands’ focus on social media community management.
By combining brand marketing and direct marketing activities, food marketers can drive programs that contribute to specific business goals and continue to pay dividends as they collect more and more information about not just consumers – but the best, most activated consumers.