Justifying spend on social media “a battle” says Kraft’s digital head

Kraft’s top UK digital marketer Sonia Carter says she has “to battle” to prove the value of social media to senior executives, despite a series of successful campaigns.

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Speaking at the Marketing Week 1-2-1 Digital Strategy Summit in London today (10 August), Carter said that the company’s legacy at creating “strong” campaigns using traditional media, means that digital is often overlooked when it comes to the allocation of marketing budgets.

She added: “There is a battle to push digital to the agenda in the company, which is so strong on TV, even though we have a pretty active social media programme.”

Kraft, which owns Cadbury, has focused much of its social media activity in recent months around its Spots v Stripes London 2012 Olympics campaign.

The campaign has been criticised by commentators, with some questioning its effectiveness, although independent research from Hall & Partners claims Cadbury has moved into the top 4% of brands in the UK in terms of engagement, from the top 12%, since the launch of the activity.

Carter said her team’s future focus will be to investigate how to gain commercial return from Kraft’s social media campaigns, in order to demonstrate their true value to the company.

She added: “I’m surprised and disappointed that nobody has cracked exactly how you demonstrate return from social media yet. It will be several months, if not longer, until a universal way of measuring the effectiveness of social media campaigns is found.”

Kraft’s investment in social media will increase as soon as it is possible to demonstrate a “robust ROI”, she said.

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