Cross-Channel Engagement: The Next Big Thing In CPG

As consumers have transitioned from television and newspaper to connected devices, so also have the big consumer products goods brands that will spend an estimated $5 billion on digital advertising this year.

Within that digital presence, social media has been a game changer, creating unprecedented opportunities for CPG brands to reach and build very personal and invested relationships with consumers. Now there can be direct conversation between consumer and brand in an environment where shoppers actively research purchase decisions, from baby formula to household cleaning supplies. Consumers check reviews, they ask friends and those in their social networks for advice, and they can directly connect with a brand in an instant. And given the power of a single review or comment, they also wield more influence than ever.

Global foods giant Goya creates emotional connections by leveraging paid and earned media via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest in an intuitive way that is mindful of this audience’s Hispanic heritage. For example, the brand promotes quick recipes around family-oriented holidays such as Easter and Mother’s Day, posting YouTube videos showing how to prepare basic Latin dishes. It also uses Facebook comments to gather new product ideas.



Starbucks puts convenience and loyalty at the heart of its social strategy. Customers can reload their Starbucks cards on Facebook, and the transaction is subsequently posted on its customers’ walls and in friends’ news feeds—creating extra organic reach for the brand.

So what’s next?Growing digital conversation and conversion across channels.

Even more impactful than social campaigns that live within the walled gardens of the major social sites are those brands that have the foresight to plan for cross-channel media activation—offline, video, display, mobile and more.

These additional channels are extending the influential power of social marketing and creating new opportunities for CPG brands to become a part of online and offline moments throughout the customer’s journey and to stay top of mind. One of the essential questions a marketer must ask is: “How can social media be used as part of a cross-channel marketing initiative to turn customers into brand advocates and positively impact sales performance?”

Mondelez, the maker of Sour Patch Kids, has nearly 4 million “likes” on Facebook. The brand awareness it has raised on social media is largely because of what its doing in the real world. Recently, the brand established free places for up-and-coming musicians to stay while on the road. In return for the rent-free accommodations, the brand asked musicians to create social posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat using the hashtags #BrooklynPatch or #AustinPatch that the brand then re-posted on its Tumblr page.

The opportunity that cross-channel marketing provides is the unique ability for brands like Sour Patch Kids to be a part of the customer path to purchase and to amplify that experience in as many relevant places as possible that increases affinity and positive associations.

According to McKinsey research, “companies with greater digital capabilities were able to convert sales at a rate 2.5 times greater than companies at the lower level did.”

Clorox developed a multi-channel phenomenon with its “bleachable moments” campaign. Among the campaign’s irreverent elements were suggestive fill-in-the-blank taxi-top and billboard ads across Las Vegas that fans were asked to complete and submit online, Mad Libs-style.

Its brand strategy also included TV advertising during ABC’s “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” programs, which is geared towards the brand’s primary target audience of females. To make the most of the shows’ contestants’ “bleachable moments” content, Clorox leveraged cross-channel paid and earned social campaigns, as well as pre-roll video and display advertising for increased brand awareness and fan engagement.

Kimberly Clark’s Kleenex brand takes a more serious approach with its multi-channel summer campaign, “Time for a Change.” The campaign kicked off with a TV spot featuring a little girl who is bullied and then reassured by a little boy. The campaign continued online with documentary-style, viral-ready videos on Facebook and YouTube that demonstrated Kleenex’s role in consumer moments defined by care and concern.

Next-generation CPG brands are giving their marketing extra shelf life by using cross-channel strategies to not only bring more consumers into the social sphere of influence, but also to spark and fuel brand impact across the devices that directly influence shopping behavior.

1 comment about "Cross-Channel Engagement: The Next Big Thing In CPG".
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  1. Scott Allan from Pure Oxygen Labs, September 14, 2015 at 8:55 a.m.

    One area where brands, agencies and marketers will get much smarter is when and how to check for (and open) a mobile app (brand apps and social apps) vs. simpy sending shoppers to a corresponding mobile web site. For example, if I click a link to a CPG product on Facebook why am I being asked to login when I have the Facebook app on my smartphone? Currently there's a huge missed opportunity today among customers that abandon in this use case regardless of the marketing channel (paid search, email, display, affiliate).  Learn more at:

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