Marketers ‘like kids in candy store’ over digital

Marketers must be careful of acting “like kids in a candy store” by rushing to invest in digital marketing tools that are not appropriate for their business, according to the CMO of Colgate-Palmolive.


Speaking at the Festival of Media Global event in Switzerland, Nigel Burton said: “In some instances, the transition [from traditional to digital] was too easy for some. There is an awful temptation to view the future as being like a kid in a candy store.

“There are all these bright new toys and if you play with them all, that is quite expensive.”

Burton has a test and learn approach to digital advertising, sometimes looking at one country and one brand to see how an audience reacts to new media.

“The move from traditional to digital advertising is part of a continued journey of keeping ahead of where the consumer is going.

“We don’t feel our job is look at traditional and race ahead to digital, our job is to go where we think the consumer is going to. Our approach is to make the change in a modulated way.”
Burton adds that digital has forced marketers to look at things differently.

“What was difficult – and is for any marketer – was that we had become very formulaic: we knew how traditional media worked, we knew how to evaluate and to measure how it was working,” he adds.

Colgate-Palmolive spent $1.7bn on advertising last year and works solely with ten of WPP’s agencies including media buyer MEC global and creative agency Y&R. It made a $3.8bn operating profit in the year to 31 December 2011.

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