Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Colgate-Palmolive Embraces Analytics To Boost Brands

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Analytics is emerging as a more important capability for the Colgate-Palmolive Company.  

The CPG giant believes analytics can provide competitive marketing advantages for its well-known brands such as Colgate, Palmolive, Speed Stick, Hills and others. There’s also the potential for a strategic and tactical competency that will strengthen its position in four categories: Oral Care, Home Care, Personal Care and Pet Nutrition.
“[Analytics] is aligned to key business priorities and will drive both growth, as well as the efficiency of how we spend our money because of the capability for real-time decision making,” said Nigel Burton, Chief Marketing Officer, in a presentation recently in Paris at the Deutsche Bank 10th Annual Global Consumer Conference.

He said Colgate aims to take these important learnings in its four categories and apply them throughout the organization for a competitive advantage. One indication of this work in analytics is marketing mix modeling. 

“We’ve spent quite a bit of money and time investing in this particular analytics tool in a number of key markets, starting precisely with Oral Care,” he said. “It’s enabled us to develop growth opportunities, as well as taking those learnings where applicable to other markets and other categories where we see them relevant. But, in addition, we are investing this year – and we’ll continue to invest further – in the other key categories in our business.”

He said pricing, which has an analytic component, is important to Colgate to build discipline to drive profitable growth. The new tools coming from data and from analytics are providing a level of granularity that drives results and the P&L.

Colgate is using analytics to help more with its precision in pricing, analyzing by customer all the way down to the SKU level. Burton also said pricing helps to develop brand health. 

“The right pricing strategy is important as part of the brand positioning,” he explained. “That’s helping us forecast better. 
It’s helping us look across elasticities and the impact relative to competitive price changes using the right promotional tools and analyzing the impact of those price-points merchandising and even down to where we would have key retailer weeks to have activity.” 

Burton said Colgate wants to enhance is investment in integrated marketing communications, both increasing capabilities and spend. This goes beyond traditional advertising all the way to in-store activation.

On a global basis, Colgate is devoting over 15% of its advertising spending to digital media. In some markets, such as North America, the figure is higher. It’s also higher in some categories like Pet Care, which has a more interactive relationship with consumers.

“We’re seeing increasingly the power of digital marketing from a data point of view to deliver important analytics,” said Burton. “We’re seeing with new capability and a new program something that’s allowing us to not only observe and analyze consumer interaction with our digital marketing assets, but helping us further understand motivations and their needs that we can then develop insights against and further target our spending.”

Colgate-Palmolive is a $17.1 billion global company selling products in more than 200 countries and territories. The company focuses on strong global brands in its core businesses – Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. Colgate aims to grow market shares for key products, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, bar and liquid soaps, deodorants/antiperspirants, dishwashing detergents, household cleaners, fabric conditioners and specialty pet food.

According to its 2012 annual report, Colgate is developing deeper and more relevant consumer insights and using them to strengthen product development, packaging and the communications delivered through integrated marketing campaigns. These campaigns include a sharpened focus on digital communications and social media, to engage a range of audiences, and on shopper marketing programs that customize communications for different retail outlets and shoppers.


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