fmcg in pursuit of effectiveness

Although the door to mass-market advertising in the packaged goods sector is beginning to shut due to cost and media fragmentation, another began to open several years ago.

Your article “Squeezed fmcg brands move out of television” (MW last week) highlights the problems of advertising packaged goods to housewives, but many marketers have been using alternative routes to this sector for some time. Heinz at Home was not a spectacular success, but initiatives such as that of HP to promote Worcestershire Sauce through a multimillion unit sampling and promotional campaign brought huge rewards.

Such activity wins new customers, promotes trial and increases frequency of purchase. However, the other big success story has been sampling on the doorstep, which is the single most effective medium in getting consumers to switch brands.

Field marketing companies, which run grocery trade sales teams and doorstep marketing, do not only target the best prospects through sophisticated targeting techniques; they can also run promotions through the supply chain through wholesalers, convenience stores and multiples.

This service presents marketers with a one-stop route to delivering communication to consumers and ensuring availability at point of purchase. However, this technique need not be used in isolation. In future, targeting through one-to-one digital advertising will be used to support campaigns and create follow-up dialogue.

The point is that it is not just the cost of mass marketing that is driving marketers to look for less expensive communication formats – they have been looking for more effective formats for some time.

Richard Finch

Sales & marketing director

Headcount Field Marketing

Chertsey, Surrey

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