Nutella is employing the decades-old marketing mix model (MMM) - a nuanced sales attribution system for integrated campaigns - to measure the effectiveness of Facebook ads. For instance, the company, which sells chocolate hazelnut spread, combined Facebook ads with TV spots and other paid channels in Germany during December 2011, attributing 15 percent of sales from the yuletide campaign to its Facebook ads. In terms of return on investment, the brand told ClickZ that Facebook ads outperformed the TV spend, according to its MMM data.
Online measurement has long been a hot topic among marketers. Over the years, brands have often determined campaign spend for individual media ingredients (e.g., TV, radio, magazine, coupons, display ads, etc.) by using a marketing mix model system - or a similar sales attribution program referred to by a different name.
Kevin Lee is an executive chairman with marketing services firm Didit and a ClickZ columnist. He said brands that plug Facebook ads into their MMMs show they've started considering the social site to be more of a bonafide channel, rather than experimental.
"Once Facebook ads spend becomes material, it belongs in the [MMM]," Lee said. "If you are only dabbling, it's going to be too difficult to understand the impact of your Facebook advertising."
John Donahue is director of business strategy and consumer engagement at content and technology firm Socialistic. He's also served as an analytics exec for Omnicom Media Group as well as CTO at BuzzLogic (now Twelvefold Media). Donahue said he "applauded" Nutella for incorporating Facebook into the marketing mix model, stating the methodology's results gives brands a sense of ROI.
"At the end of the day, [Facebook is] a predictable audience that you can message and get reliable reach/results," Donahue said.
Campaign Reaches 30 Percent of Online Germans
For the holidays, Ferrero, Nutella's parent company, sought to increase awareness and sales from Dec. 1 through Dec. 24, 2011. Ferrero wouldn't give specifics about the broadcast campaign but says the Facebook ads got the largest return on investment when compared to the other media channels.
Nutella bought Facebook's Reach Block ads, which are designed to create a predetermined number of impressions within a demographic, and Premium Ads in the effort. Five different versions of the Facebook ads were used. The creative encouraged people to become fans/likes of the Nutella Deutschland page and to try out its "Advent Calendar" app, where they could open calendar doors in the German Christmas tradition. The social promos reached 30 percent of the online population in the country, equaling 3.8 million unique impressions, according to Gfk Group, a Germany-based online consumer panel provider.
Angela Kim, a new media manager for the Italy-based Ferrero, said in a statement, "As well as proven incremental reach and a positive cross-media effect between TV and Facebook, we demonstrated that Facebook lifts sales for [CPG brands] in bricks and mortar stores."
This story was originally published on May 4, 2012, and comes in at No. 4 on our countdown of the 10 most popular ClickZ news stories of 2012. As ClickZ looks back over the past year, we're celebrating the best of 2012, as determined by our readers. Enjoy!
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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