Connecting CPG Advertising Strategies To Business Outcomes

Chris White

This article is sponsored by Xandr.

To an outsider, advertising can often be perceived as glorified and theatrical. While at times true, in reality advertising is the means to an end for a particular business goal.

The goals vary across industries. In healthcare, for example, it might be educating communities about COVID vaccinations, while in sports and entertainment, the objective may be to increase viewership for the big game or sell out concert stadiums.

For the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, the goal has long been to achieve widespread brand awareness and, perhaps most importantly, brand loyalty.

Take brand-name pain relievers. Many consumers buy some sort of over-the-counter painkiller, but there’s a reason why they are willing to pay more for a brand name than they are for the generic drugstore offering. CPG brands have long relied on top-of-the-funnel marketing because that brand awareness and affinity is what drives purchasing decisions and removes price sensitivity, ultimately leading to increased sales, revenue and, of course, bottom-line business goals.

CPG companies have traditionally achieved their brand-focused goals with linear TV, long the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach a mass audience. Demo guarantees have been highly effective for years, but advertiser needs have changed. They are now accustomed to digital’s more precise targeting and ability to directly connect ad spend to conversions ranging from click-throughs on websites, signups to email lists or checkouts from shopping carts.

However, to reach target audiences in their entirety, CPG brands need to use both linear and digital sources. Digital ad spending in the US CPG industry will grow 5.2% this year to $19.4 billion, but traditional TV still draws in high viewership and accounts for most premium video advertising opportunities. To maximize reach and cost-effectiveness, TV and digital buys cannot be done in silos – buyers need a holistic way to target their audiences across both formats, while also getting the most reach and the least duplication. In essence, they need the biggest bang for their buck.

How can this be achieved? While there is a large focus on “merging” TV and video, we must shift focus to building a platform that brings together the different components and ad products buyers need to power maximum reach with managed frequency. This is the key to enabling the simultaneous planning and buying of these two distinct formats in an efficient way.

Doing so requires technology platforms’ ability to remove workflow friction and solve for differences between TV and digital measurement. Today’s CPG marketers often take a TV-first approach, using it as a means to easily get in front of as many consumers as possible, and they later add tactics incrementally to ensure they’re obtaining high reach at lowest cost in well-lit, brand-safe environments. However, the complex data analysis needed to provide holistic reporting from TV and digital spend represent a challenge for buyers who need to move quickly.

Having integrated reporting that shows the consolidated outcome of all of spend, not siloed by individual supply type, will help marketers make quick decisions and easily understand the media strategies that are working for them. With consumer behavior shifting rapidly, marketers need a platform that can utilize the most up-to-date data to optimize their spend and maximize their KPIs. Laying the foundation for this unified approach to planning, execution and reporting is what will help connect the dots between advertising’s perceived glamorous nature and its true purpose of achieving business goals for corporations of all sizes and industries.

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