British giant Reckitt Benckiser plans to use Facebook to push brands in US
The British household giant Reckitt Benckiser is planning a marketing programme with Facebook, in a major boost for the social network, often challenged over its advertising effectiveness. But it will be USA-only at first. RB, headquartered in Slough - with 19 "power brands" from Finish dish detergent to Dettol, to Strepsils - has long dealt with major US retailers such as Walmart and Target, on promotions and marketing . Now, RB is applying the concept to Facebook, reports the US magazine AdAge. Laurent Faracci, general manager-U.S. for marketing, kept hearing from RB marketers, said AdAge, that Lysol , an RB world brand has 1.1 million brand fans on Facebook. The big question: Does this have an impact on sales? Faracci talked to the company's Walmart and Target teams in the US to figure out how to go about joint-business planning and what makes such a plan effective. "It's all about having a common, agreed objective," he said. He said the company is doing projects "with stepped-up investment" on two brands -- Finish and Air Wick -- and evaluating the impact using "a full econometric model." His goal, he said, is to find where Facebook best fits for RB, "not to do fake social." RB is trying the joint-business-planning approach with Facebook in the U.S. before considering moving it to other countries and media outlets, Faracci said. In theory, it might distill down to "three new-to-the-world projects" where RB would have an exclusive at an advantageous price in year one, then would be available to other Facebook clients in year two. Faracci said RB, with annual sales of £9.4 billion, was fine-tuning efforts to take better advantage of online video and digital media. It is advertising more on e-tail sites such as Amazon and Walmart.com.