“Our media budgets used to be based around a couple of campaigns a year, focusing on TVC. We’d see a peak in media spending during peak seasons, followed by these huge troughs. Now, the world we live in says that’s actually not what we should be doing” Pete Mitchell, head of media innovation at FMCG giant Mondelez said.
For client-side marketers like Mitchell, investing in a few major campaigns makes increasingly less sense if product consumption happens all year round.
Marketing spoke to Mitchell to understand how Mondelez has changed its media strategy.
[Optimising media spend will be discussed at Marketing’s Performance Marketing conference, taking place on 8 September in Singapore.]
Marketing: How has the shift away from campaign-based formats affected the way you strategise your media spend?
Mitchell: We’re really looking at ways to connect with customers now. This means that reach and continuity becomes paramount. To afford continuity, we’ve had to bring down the frequency of our television spend. When we do spend on TV, it’s supported with a lot more digital activities, a lot more online video and a variety of difference media. And we try to keep continuity of that reach over as much of the year as possible, effectively for the same sort of budget. And what we found is that this has a hugely beneficial effect on sales.
We of course will measure ROI across the variety of media touch points that we use. This is particularly important because our budgets have to be stretched as they haven’t increased massively; we’re just spending it differently and perhaps more efficiently.
Marketing: How has the planning process changed?
Mithcell: The shift towards cross-year formats began for us about three years back. Our planning process has become vastly more complicated than it used to be. When we invest in a particular brand or market, our spend needs to now align with the story we want to tell about that brand. The channels we invest in and the creative involved are informed by this.
Data has become enormously important, giving us the viewability required to understand where our spend is effective. We used to employ panel-based systems to investigate, say, ‘did awareness go up’ or ‘did intent to purchase go up’. Now, we’re measured by sales, changing a 50 year old method of tracking our effectiveness.
Marketing: Will this be the predominant model followed by advertisers, or is it just applicable to FMCG?
Mitchell: Well, I think it depends on the market. I think it’s certainly right for us and most of our brands, but of course I have to stipulate that some of our products are heavily seasonal. Cadbury’s Cream Milk for example, is only out in Easter. It’s in Australia and the UK, it’s only out for about two months of the year. But the majority of our biscuit brands, for example, are in shop all year.
It’s not ‘always on’ of course, it’s just that’s more ‘on’ than ‘off. This works in FMCG; it works also for airlines and hotels, who have peak periods but are also consumed all year round. Whatever it may be, media budgets shouldn’t be restricted to one or two bursts of activity.
Performance marketing will be discussed at Marketing magazine’s Performance Marketing conference on 8 September in Singapore.
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