March 05, 2010 - Comments Off on Are you an FMCG brand? It's time to get social and emotional!

Are you an FMCG brand? It's time to get social and emotional!

On the whole I’m neither a great fan nor believer in the FMCG ‘brand experience’ website.

The first and only time I have visited the Persil website was just before writing this post and having visited it is safe to say it’s likely to be the last time. Similarly, If you’ll excuse the pun, it’s hard to give crap about your toilet paper brand isn’t it, so why would you go to look at the Andrex website? (oh alright it’s got cute puppies on it but you get what I mean right?!)

It would seem most UK consumers agree.. this unscientific look at traffic volumes to FMCG brand website  shows very low traffic volumes to these sites despite some of the largest above the line advertising spends in the UK.

Brand/Site traffic
www.persil.com

14,000

www.andrexpuppy.co.uk

9,500

www.coca-cola.com

750,000

www.nescafe.co.uk

40,000

You can clearly see that brands which struggle to enjoy an emotional attachment, such as washing powders, receive far less traffic than brands that have succeeded in bridging this void.

Up until now FMCG brands haven’t had much choice but to try and provide, somewhat tackily in some instances, games and other “fun” things to attract & keep site visitors, after all, there really wasn’t any other reason to visit their sites.

Recently though we have seen more and more FMCG brands approach us to start exploring the role social media can play in their online activity, and what we’ve been seeing could be really exciting for the future of FMCG online. Social media finally gives digital a leading role to play in the promotion of, and emotional engagement with FMCG brands!

So how and why is social media changing the game? Here’s a quick introduction to how and why your FMCG brand should take a serious look at social media:

Why?

  1. Establish an emotional connection with your brand!

Most FMCG brands are not related to things were are naturally emotionally connected to, social media enables brands to align themselves to causes that fill this void, have the potential for huge reach and enable a dialogue between the brand and consumers.

  1. Enable word of mouth marketing

Successful alignment of your brand with issues and causes that people care about means your brand will be carried along with the cause. Social media tools such as Facebook enable people to quickly share events such as the charitable cause they are embarking upon, if you have thought carefully about this mechanic then your brand will get carried along too!

  1. Drive sales

Successful use of social media marketing will drive an uplift in sales, if people care about your brand they will use you they will switch to you and you will make money, this is of course the only real reason to do this.

How?

  1. Find a big idea!

You will know what your brand stands for, so look for causes, events, charities etc that make sense for you to get involved in (you may already support these through your CSR activity) and that have the broad or niche appeal required to achieve your ambition

  1. Integrate

As an FMCG brand manager you are probably lucky enough to have a significant above the line marketing budget, you can use it to ensure that this is a success. Once you are clear about your ‘big idea’,  promote it! An integrated campaign will ensure that this builds to a critical mass.

  1. Measure

There is a return on your investment to be had here, it may seem hard to correlate the uplift in sales to the social media campaign but there are plenty of ways in which to ensure that the campaign can be measured and its ROI calculated.

Image credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/earlysound/2186172726/