One of my favorite quotes was from Rory Sutherland, who said, "There was never a recession in consumers' use of the Internet". Yet arguably two decades on, when we see digital penetration at effectively 100 percent in mature markets (if you exclude the very young and the very old, the majority of whom will move online or to another place), we are only now starting to see the largest advertisers, the packaged goods companies, begin to follow their consumers into the digital world.
Now there is a simple reason for this, reach is still incredibly important to fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) marketers, something that is immediately apparent when you look at two of the most extreme examples of both traditional advertising and online marketing, namely Super Bowl and Evian Roller Babies. The Evian campaign was credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the most watched online advertisement with over 25.6 million views back in August 2009, a figure that jumped to over 45 million a mere three months later and today stands at well over 100 million. Now whilst Evian has been an undoubted viral sensation, compare two years to get to over 100 million with what can be achieved by the placement of one 30-second TVC at Super Bowl. Over 111 million Americans watched the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburg Steelers. For packaged goods marketers and their media agencies, these numbers are gospel, hence the reason the insertion rates are the most expensive of their type, roughly five times that of one of the highest-rated shows in the U.S., the seemingly eternal American Idol.
But what FMCG marketers seem to be finally waking up to are a couple of salient points:
Now the packaged goods marketers certainly aren't stupid. They have the largest budgets, have access to some of the most bleeding edge research around consumer behaviour and have the opportunity to pick from best in class agencies, technology vendors and infrastructure/media providers to reach their consumers. So why haven't they embraced digital more aggressively in the past? Simply because they haven't had to.
Paul Keating, the former Australian Prime Minister famously talked about the "recession Australia had to have" and if there was some good to come out of the global financial crisis (apart from a level of humility from the banking community) it is that it forced marketers to reevaluate and get more creative with their more limited spend. The result is we have seen some exceptional results from marketers following some simple approaches to digital:
In closing, it has taken them way too long to arrive. The budgets are still minuscule and innovation is still relatively silo'ed but digital marketing is going to get a lot more interesting now the packaged goods marketers are in the digital space. To quote Keith Weed, CMO, Unilever, "I'm a believer in experimenting, innovating and ensuring that we are a step ahead of the consumer - so when they get there we are already there".
See what's on the Agenda!
Mar 31 - Apr 3 - ClickZ Live is a brand new global conference series kicking off in New York City. Learn how to improve customer engagement and attain maximum ROI, and gain invaluable digital marketing and advertising take-aways.
Find out more ››
*Super Saver Rates expire Jan 24.
As chief digital officer, Andrew is responsible for driving the digital agenda for Euro RSCG across Asia Pacific, from pursuing the agency's digital opportunities to working across teams and clients, including recent global digital wins, Unilever and IBM. Based in Singapore, he's also responsible for recruiting and training the best digital talent in the region while working closely with regional and global teams. Prior to joining Euro RSCG, Andrew was VP of marketing for Asia-Pacific at enterprise cloud computing leader, Salesforce.com, where he defined the go-to market strategy in the region; managing teams spanning strategy, digital, PR, events, and field marketing. Prior to that, he spent eight years at Ogilvy, in a variety of regional management roles, in particular running OgilvyOne for North Asia. In this role he spent much of his time in China and Korea establishing the One operations in those markets. While in China, Andrew was instrumental in setting up Audi's first direct customer acquisition programme, which subsequently evolved into their pan-regional customer loyalty program. With over 20 years of industry experience, Knott has worked with brands such as IBM, Unilever, J&J, Visa, and Nike in various markets throughout the region, including Japan, China, Korea, India, Singapore/SE Asia, and Australia.