Digital Industry Outlook: CPGDespite popular thought, social media and content engagement – and their effects on the bottom line – are measurable, emphasizes a new report from PointRoll, Industry at a Glance: CPG. From engaging consumers with digital coupons to turning social media and content engagement into sales dollars, consumer packaged goods companies can, and should, use the expansive digital world to increase sales and boost brand awareness, the report says.

While we hear about many companies and their innovative approaches to marketing in the digital age, the fact is many CPG companies are still using traditional methods to promote products. In fact, print circulars are actually still the most widely used vehicle for CPG promotions, PointRoll’s report says. It’s also estimated that many companies are spending a meager less-than-1% of their budgets on digital promotions.

The report suggests that in order to optimize interaction with and conversion of consumers, especially Millenials, companies should do more with digital marketing. For example, Campbell’s partnered with social media sites to drive engagement; Unilever created a video ad for its Dove+Men line to cater to men’s tendency to engage with video content; and Kellogg pursues multi-platform ads, finding benefits and challenges.

“Companies like ShopLocal offer a digital, optimized, circular experience to consumers across screens,” the report says. “By adding capabilities including product details, sharing buttons, printing and saving items, consumers get a more engaging experience than the normal weekly ad they would find in a newspaper. Additionally, retailers and CPG brands can promote their weekly deals and promotions through rich media ads where consumers can get the circular experience within a display ad unit, which can also be geographically targeted to display the current promotions in a consumer’s local area.”

“Digital coupon events” in CPG increased 46% in 2012, according to Kantar Media, but print coupons still make up 98% of coupons distributed and 93% of coupon redemption. And while some marketers think there isn’t a way to measure or convert social and digital engagement to sales numbers, Nielsen Catalina Solutions found that online ad campaigns using purchaser data to deliver targeted ads delivered $3 in incremental sales for every $1 spent in online advertising. Pointroll data also reveals that ads using “dynamic creative” showed a 471% increase in conversions compared to static ads.

Here are the four things that PointRoll says CPG marketers can do now to optimize digital advertising:

1. Utilize consumer purchaser data in order to target and combine with dynamic creative optimization to get optimal conversion rates.

2. Shopper marketers can diversify their marketing channels to further include digital channels including digital display, video, mobile and social. The digital circular, both online and within rich media ad units, is one particular way to enhance the print circular experience and generate awareness about local deals.

3. Leverage online video advertising as an engaging way to connect with consumers, particularly male consumers. Interactive in-stream video ads incorporate numerous interactive elements to further increase engagement and brand time from consumers.

4. Find a digital-ad partner to help extend the reach of their message as far as possible, and provide a platform that can accurately measure across a diverse marketing plan while allowing stories to be shared via creative solutions.

 Download the full report.

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