Adapting to today’s ‘always on’ consumer expectations, triggered by the rise of mobile, has led to a fundamental shift in how marketers reach audiences, with pressure on to create “new content day in, day out, not just a TV script once or twice a year”, according to Jerry Daykin, European social media marketing manager for Mondelez and judge for The Drum Marketing Awards.
Daykin, who will move to a new role as head of digital marketing at Birdseye later this year, spoke to The Drum about the changes that have faced the marketing industry over the past years, including the ‘always on’ nature and the rise of social media.
When asked if marketing in the food sector is different from non FMCG products, Daykin said: “Of course trying to prompt millions of people to grab a Cadbury Creme Egg at some point in the season asks for a different marketing campaign than if we were trying to persuade you to spend tens of thousands on a car you’re going to drive for the next five years, it’s a very different consumer journey you’re trying to alter – we see it even in our own business with more habitual purchases like coffee, or even really considered decisions like buying a Tassimo coffee machine.”
However, he suggested that the skills of the marketer aren’t necessarily any different: “In any sector you need real insight into your consumers, your own product and the wider market to be able to define a clear marketing strategy for growing your business. Of course when the inputs to that equation vary drastically so do the end results, but a great marketer should be able to quickly get insight into how a new sector or business works.
“As someone who focuses on digital my biggest worry is when those insights, objectives and marketing skills get left at the door and we start chasing the latest trends, or arbitrary digital targets,” he said.
Although Daykin admitted that social still accounts for ‘little’ of the time and budget of marketers.
Perhaps the issue with social is making the ads seen by those who are already core fans, who follow a brand on Facebook and reply to their tweets, according to Daykin.
“In some ways the industry has backed itself into a corner by focussing on deep engagements with core fans, when most marketers actually want to spend their money reaching fickle new people and driving penetration.”
Another issue is the continuous updates of promoted products available. Already in 2014 Facebook has announced plans to drop Sponsored Stories, while Twitter has revealed that companies will be able to use consumer’s email addresses and browser IDs to target Twitter ads.
“We devote too much time to worrying about the subtle changes to social ad products and algorithms, when we should really focus on world class content and media strategies that can succeed whatever the latest tweak may be,” Daykin said.
That is not, however, to say that use of social has not been important to Mondelez. Last year the company reported that Facebook adds four times more purchase intent than TV ads alone.
The Cadbury Crème Egg campaign had a focus on storytelling, instead of ‘pushing’ a campaign message.
“Mondelez is lucky enough to have a number of brands with several million UK fans, but we recognise even that isn’t enough when we have hundreds of millions of products to sell. It’s very hard to drive that meaningful scale without first having engaging content people genuinely want to talk about and share, however much you’re willing to spend,” Daykin added.
The Crème Egg is, of course, a seasonal sweet, and Daykin stressed that media spend needs to take account of this. “If your business has seasonal peaks, wider campaign pushes or needs to drive scale at key in-store moments, then absolutely your media spend needs to support that. Arguably the biggest mistake I see is brands committing big resources to a constantly updated social approach, but not backing it up with an always on media plan aligned to clear marketing objectives.”
Daykin is a judge for The Drum Marketing Awards later this year, and said he is "of course" looking for solid insights and marketing strategies which build on those and drive some real results, when judging the awards.
The Awards are sponsored Havas Worldwide London, The Gask & Hawley Group, The Recommended Agency Register, Tube Mogul and The Drum Network.
More information on The Drum Marketing Awards, judges, categories and how to enter can be found on The Drum Marketing Awards website.
The deadline for submitting entries is 24 January.