Digital media is changing the landscape for marketers everywhere, especially in the FMCG sector. Traditionally, campaigns for every FMCG product would depend upon determining the right marketing mix of the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) that would best influence the target audience’s purchase decisions. Today, however, consumers are making buying-decisions differently and with this, strategies aimed at impacting this process need to evolve as well.
Consumers now are exposed to their phone and laptop screens more than they are to traditional media like television, newspapers and billboards. There are also a growing number of consumers who prefer to shop online for FMCG products rather than visit a physical store. According to a report by Google and Bain and Co. $11 billion, or two-thirds, of the total sales in beauty and hygiene products will be influenced through online marketing. In today’s digital era, a strong digital marketing strategy is indispensable for FMCG brands
Adapting the 4 P’s for Digital Marketing
Digital marketing for FMCG companies doesn’t mean retiring the tried and tested 4 P’s which formed the holy grail of marketing for years. Instead, it involves tweaking the marketing mix for FMCG products to bring them into the current era. Digital marketing trends in FMCG allow marketers to not just capture the consumer at the final buying stage, but also to establish a relationship with them from the start, something that was not possible before. This requires marketers to formulate a holistic FMCG digital strategy to not just influence their consumers, but also to personally engage with them.
How Digital Marketing Can Benefit FMCG Brands
Incorporating a strong digital marketing strategy in the overall marketing mix offers many clear advantages to brands.
1. It helps distinguish your brand
The FMCG sector is marked by a large variety of similar products, which offer consumers a wide range to choose from. One of the biggest advantages of having an effective digital marketing strategy in place is that it helps brands create a unique brand identity. This helps consumers form a strong opinion of the brand, which will ultimately influence their purchase decision.
2. It provides an innovative way to display your brand
In traditional marketing for FMCG, the product display was considered one of the most important factors which influenced purchase decisions. Consumers are visual creatures, so the more attractive your packaging, the higher the chance of it being noticed by them. In much the same way, digital marketing for FMCG companies can be approached as a virtual shelf display. It is even more effective than a physical display because it helps you reach your specific target audience, making your overall marketing strategy more cost-effective. This enables top-of-mind awareness, which can influence purchase decisions. Like physical shelves, digital marketing also allows you to position your products contextually. Through tools like AdWords Smart Display, you can showcase your products while consumers browse through similar categories. For example, if you are a skincare brand, you can display your ads next to beauty blogs your consumers are browsing through.
3. It Allows You to Gain Consumer Insights and Increase ROI
One of the biggest advantages digital marketing has over traditional marketing is that it helps you track every facet of your marketing efforts. FMCG brands spend large sums on hoardings, TV commercials, print ads, radio ads and more. However, the results of these campaigns are very difficult to measure effectively. While speculative figures can be produced, there is no way to arrive at a definite conclusion.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, helps you track and measure every aspect of your campaign. With the help of analytic tools, brands can recover information about number of impressions, clicks, conversions and more. It also lets them find out exactly which ad prompted the consumer to make the purchase. Advanced analytics can even let you gain deep consumer insights. This can help you create campaigns and content that your target audience will actually find engaging. With the ease of tracking digital marketing offers, FMCG brands can refine their strategies and make it more cost-effective.
4. Mobile usage is only going to grow from here
Offline purchases might still form the bulk of FMCG sales but the future belongs to mobile phones. Mobile phones and high speed, affordable internet have penetrated almost every section of the Indian audience. A significant portion of Indian consumers are shopping for FMCG products online through various apps and this number is only going to grow. Digital marketing trends in FMCG need to keep up with the increasing volume of customers who prefer to shop online.
One of the biggest areas of growth in mobile usage will be in tier 2 cities and small towns in India. FMCG brands need to stay up-to-date on the constantly evolving digital marketing trends in these tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Unless brands solidify their FMCG digital strategy now, they are going to witness severe drawbacks in the future.
FMCG Digital Strategy Techniques
Digital media offers a number of streams for FMCG brands to market themselves. These various platforms also help brands meet a number of marketing objectives, right from creating awareness and brand building to driving conversions and cultivating brand loyalty.
1. Build strong communities through content marketing
For a long time, the focus of marketing strategies for FMCG brands revolved around a one-way promotion of their products. Today, however, digital marketing trends in FMCG are shifting the focus to creating user-centric content that brings actual value to consumers’ lives. By creating informative content, you can drive conversation among your consumers and build strong communities. Having a solid community is crucial to developing a loyal consumer base. Digital marketing can help strengthen your brand’s community through a number of innovative content marketing strategies that work.
Clever use of content marketing is essential because it helps establish your authority in the space. For example, Johnson & Johnson created BabyCenter.com, a website for moms to share information and engage through helpful forums. While not overtly a part of Johnson & Johnson, all ads displayed on BabyCenter.com were for the brand. This allowed Johnson & Johnson to build a strong community of moms they could tap into to sell their products. This kind of user-focused marketing is unique to digital marketing and helps brands promote their products more effectively than ever before.
Another facet of content marketing that is essential for FMCG brands is creating SEO-friendly content. Incorporating a strong SEO plan as well as including strategies for content amplification is crucial because it drives consumers to your website, enabling them to become more aware of your brand. Keyword-optimized content also helps consumers find you when they have a query, which goes a long way in establishing your brand’s credibility in that domain.
2. Strengthen digital presence through social media
Facebook is undeniably one of the biggest avenues for digital marketing. Through advanced tools for social media analytics, you can find your target audience, refine your marketing strategy and even drive conversions. The Facebook custom audience tool can help you widen your target audience and reach them through your campaigns. FMCG brands can also use Facebook to get deeper insights into consumer behaviour. For example, Raaga Professionals innovatively used an audience poll on Facebook to simultaneously understand the needs of their consumers as well as advertise their products.
However, your consumers aren’t using only Facebook and as a brand, neither should you. Digital marketing for FMCG brands needs to be integrated over various channels to have the maximum impact. This includes ads which play before a Youtube video, promotions through Twitter, Instagram posts and much more. Effective digital marketing for FMCG even includes SEO-friendly content, so your brand shows up when consumers search for a related need. With an increase in the number of FMCG products showing up online, Google Ads are also another important avenue for FMCG marketing.
3. Consistently engage with your audience to encourage brand loyalty
Traditionally, FMCG advertisements were a one-way interaction, with brands informing consumers about their products over TV commercials, radio spots and print ads. Advertising was done mostly when there was a new product or service to promote. Buying space in traditional media is expensive and only allows for a one-way communication. This is why brands were unable to consistently engage with their consumers.
Digital media is changing all of that permanently. Digital marketing has a clear edge over traditional marketing when it comes to generating user engagement. Digital marketing trends in FMCG products are aimed towards establishing your brand as a constant presence in your consumers’ lives. Through shareable content, helpful information and meaningful interaction, brands can continue to stay relevant at all times. This helps consumers recall your brand at the time of making a purchase decision. Whole Foods, for example, utilised chatbots in their digital marketing strategy to engage consumers and direct them towards completing a purchase.
4. Widen consumer base through Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is proving to be one of the most important digital marketing trends in FMCG. Through the use of influencers, your brand can tap into their huge number of followers and increase consumer awareness of your products. Influencer marketing is also very useful for FMCG brands because consumers are more likely to believe in the credibility of your brand when an influencer whom they trust recommends it to them.
5. Drip email marketing
A one-size-fits-all marketing campaign is no longer effective for FMCG products. While email marketing in general keeps your consumers updated on latest products and promotions, drip emails in particular are a groundbreaking way to personalize your marketing tactics. Drip emails, also known as automated emails, are a set of emails that are sent to consumers based on a specific set of parameters. For example, there will be one email that is sent to consumers when they first sign up, one that will be sent if consumers add products to their cart but leave without completing the purchase, one that will be sent after a purchase is made and so on.
Drip email campaigns are one of the most effective lead nurturing strategies. These automated mails can target consumers at a number of different stages, ultimately guiding them towards making a purchase. This technique can prove a very effective step in digital marketing for FMCG companies by helping influence the consumer decision making process. Automated emails which are sent when consumers abandon their shopping carts are particularly effective, because it pushes the consumer to complete the purchase. Drip emails also help you retarget consumers who have already purchased your products. Research show that consumers who have purchased your products in the past are more likely to do so again in the future.
6. Sell Your Products Online
While this may sound self-evident, not many FMCG products actually sell their products online. To this day, even if FMCG advertisements are being displayed on digital media, their marketing efforts are aimed at influencing the consumer’s in-store purchase decision. But with the launch of many websites that let you purchase FMCG products online, an increasing number of consumers are beginning to shop online. In this case, even if a consumer has every intention of purchasing your product, they will choose a competitor’s product if yours is unavailable online. FMCG brands can choose to sell products through Amazon and Facebook or similar sites to increase sales.
Selling products online also gives you the advantage of being able to reach consumers beyond a limited geographical location. For example, a local makeup brand can start selling their products nationally by making it available online. This ultimately increases the consumer base for FMCG products, a key factor in eventually increasing sales. With a few simple steps, selling online through Amazon and other sites is a very easy way for FMCG brands to increase their online presence. For example, Raaga Professionals, a personal care brand, sells their products through Nykaa. In this way, their content marketing through blogs can direct consumers to a clear point of purchase.
7. Run campaigns in regional languages
For most FMCG brands, tier 2 and tier 3 cities offer the next big avenue for growth. At the same time, most consumers in these areas are becoming more digitally connected. While the number of English-speaking users online has more or less peaked, regional language users are only going to grow from here. This has been facilitated in a huge part by the dual penetration of mobile phones and internet connectivity in India’s smaller towns. A study conducted by Google and KPMG estimates that the number of non-English speakers using the internet will grow by around 18 percent annually. Additionally, 99 percent of these users will access the internet primarily through their mobile phone. For FMCG brands, this offers a huge opportunity to leverage digital marketing to attract this new wave of consumers. The growth of regional content online will be one of the key factors that can influence FMCG sales in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
FMCG Digital Marketing Case Study: Cavin’s Milkshake
Cavin’s Milkshake is one of the top-selling dairy-based drinks sold by the parent company CavinKare. These milkshakes are sold in single-serving sized tetra paks, and are known for their delicious flavour variants and high adherence to quality standards. Cavin’s is also one of the best examples for a well-thought out digital marketing strategy. Through the use of creative and engaging posts over social platforms like Instagram and Facebook, Cavin’s was able to successfully utilize social media for their brand building efforts.
Cavin’s Milkshake maintains an active Facebook profile, with funny, creative posts that attract a large number of comments and shares. They also have a very large, vibrant community on Facebook who actively engage with the brand by writing positive reviews on their page and interacting with their posts.
Cavin’s Milkshake is a staple in most school canteens and the product brings back a flood of nostalgic school memories. The #JustHighSchoolThings campaign for Cavin’s stuck to the same theme, by associating the brand with school memories most people have in common. The campaign showcased the most common characters most of us were familiar with in school such as ‘The Geek’ and ‘Cutest Couple’ through Cavin’s Milkshakes. These posts were very popular throughout social media, garnering a high reach and number of audience reactions. What is most noteworthy about these posts is that they have performed well organically, proving that excellent content is the most important aspect of digital marketing for FMCG companies
Cavin’s Milkshake utilized Instagram extensively for brand-building. Through the use of striking visuals, their posts on Instagram were able to generate high levels of engagement from their followers. Their Instagram posts involved the clever use of popular memes, special events and engaging artwork tied in with their products. In this way, digital marketing for FMCG companies can help keep brands relevant by immediately cashing in on the latest trending topics.
Instagram was also an important channel for Cavin’s to rope in their followers and build a strong community. With the hashtag #Cavin’sSuperstar, each month, Cavin’s Milkshake showcased one of their followers and asked them a few fun questions about their love affair with Cavin’s. This was an excellent social engagement technique to foster brand loyalty and encourage participation.
Cavin’s Milkshake was able to successfully utilize influencer marketing to reach moms who would ultimately purchase the product for their children. One of the key influencers roped in for Cavin’swas RichaChoudhary who runs the blog All That’s Mom. As part of the influencer marketing campaign, RichaChoudhary wrote a blog post on Cavin’s Milkshake, along with 2 social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, plus a short video for Cavin’s. These posts performed extremely well on the blog as well as on social media. Through the innovative use of Cavin’s Milkshake in recipes as well as her posts on how much her child loved Cavin’s Milkshake, the product developed a positive brand perception from her huge follower base.
Apart from macro-influencers, Cavin’ Milkshake also worked with a number of micro-influencers on Instagram. These micro-influencers put up a number of posts where they talked about their positive experiences with the brand, used it in recipes and recommended it to their followers.
Through the innovative use of various social media platforms, Cavin’s Milkshake was able to build their brand identity and reach out to their consumers.
Developing a Cross-Channel Marketing Mix
The perfect marketing mix for FMCG advertisements involves a customized combination of digital and traditional media. Developing this unique mix requires a deep understanding of your consumers. Consumers often use their phones and laptops in tandem with other forms of media. For example, they might be browsing on their laptop while watching TV or checking their phone while listening to the radio in their car. This is why digital marketing for FMCG companies also need to develop strategies that effectively blend both these channels. With campaigns and FMCG advertisements that are spread over multiple platforms, brands can develop consumer awareness and influence purchase decisions.