Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Analysis of Retail Digital Media Activity Helps Kellogg Better Shape Strategies


When CPG marketers launch a new technology initiative, it is critical to monitor performance and measure results. That was the formula for the Kellogg Co. when it moved gingerly into digital shopper marketing. At the same time, the company wanted to learn what “share of voice” it was achieving and what its competitors were doing in this arena.

“We were looking for data and insight,” said Dan Cooke, Director of Digital Shopper Marketing at Kellogg. 

That quest led world’s leading producer of cereal to Retail Digital Media (RDM) and its role to help drive conversion within retail. Although RDM is new and is still being defined, it already represents about a $750 million spend and is expected to grow, according to Scott Taylor, Director - New Business Development, Path to Purchase Institute.

“This is a very different tactic vs. a brand campaign,” said Cooke.” You are hitting a more focused audience: the shopper who is starting to actively plan a shopping trip.”

Between January and July 2012, Kellogg participated in a pilot with the Path to Purchase Institute and its new Online Advertising Survey & Insights Service (OASIS). This tool helps companies find the answers to several key questions: 
Are we breaking through with share of voice? 
  • What is the dominant message? 
  • What is the timing? 
  • Is it aligned with an in-store promotion? 
  • Is it intentional, counter-competitive?  
  • What is happening in different channels of trade and different retailers? 

The data reveals important trends. For example, Kellogg learned that some retailers infused communications into their web sites to build awareness of their private label brands. “We learned that Family Dollar was promoting private label in breakfast,” Cooke noted. 

The company discovered that Walmart, Sam’s Club and Safeway have been the main drivers of the cereal category for RDM, Cooke said in a recent presentation in Chicago at the Shopper Marketing Expo hosted by the Path to Purchase Institute. 

He said that having a comprehensive view and understanding of the coverage across retail enables Kellogg to question dominant assumptions at partners, make local and centralized changes to its media applications, and audit the effect on sales.

Each manufacturer owns its own activation message, according to Cooke. In the competitive cereal category, Post addresses discounts and coupons and General Mills focuses on education. Knowing that Post usually sends out a lot of coupons and advertising messages at the end of the quarter helps Kellogg better articulate its counter messages. 

“We may not be present in store, but we can help offset some of the loss in share that week by helping to keep our brand and promotion in the consumer's mind,” he said. 

Kellogg’s RDM activities will continue to evolve, aided by the near real-time information it is able to obtain. This helps account teams and agency partners respond to marketing shifts more quickly. In addition, its access to archives enables the company to refer to a past program when planning next year’s edition. 

For the future, Kellogg is looking for more personalization. It is discussing with retail partners how it can share in the use of data they collect from their shopper loyalty cards. 

“Retail collaboration will be key,” Cooke stressed. “We want to drive very specific behavior for shoppers in a particular market through partnerships with retailers.”

This may also involve mobile and social media messages. The goal is to gain more influence with the shopper wherever 
she is.

Chuck Billups, Managing Director - Strategic Product Development, Path to Purchase Institute, who also spoke at the workshop, said RDM can take many different forms. It can be a banner ad that pops out, a sponsorship, a recipe, a sweepstakes in partnership with a group of vendors or a coupon. 

OASIS uses “web crawlers” that scan every website every four hours, pulling data and saving more than 120,000 pages each day and going several layers beyond the home page, Billups explained.

Among its recent findings: Charmin was the biggest second quarter brand, mostly due to heavy activity on Amazon; 252 brands are represented in CPG RDM and they respond to the same merchandising seasons as brick and mortar stores. In terms of CPG advertising, Pampers was the biggest advertiser on Amazon, while Crest was dominant on 

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