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Nestle braced for a resurgence in performance marketing as ecommerce becomes a bigger strategic focus

Nestle is braced for a resurgence in performance marketing as ecommerce becomes a bigger strategic focus

The proliferation of online shopping and the resulting need for marketers to optimise the shopping experience will enhance the role of performance marketing in the media mix, according to Nestle’s digital chief Peter Blackshaw.

Ecommerce, while not a major money spinner yet, is a key strategic pillar for the KitKat owner. Like its peers, Nestle’s brands are at the centre of tussle for customers between traditional sellers like WallMart and Tesco and emerging digital channels like Facebook and Google, which have recently removed many of the barriers within their ecosystems to make targeted impulse sales possible at scale.

At Nestle, this shift is elevating the role of performance marketing; once the rock star of digital marketing, performance-driven techniques have become somewhat of a necessary evil, with it becoming commoditised and mired in transparency issues. It's this tension between upper and lower funnel activity that's throwing up both opportunities and challenges, according to Blackshaw.

“Performance marketing is becoming a much more important variable in the overall scheme and its raising some interesting questions,” Nestle's marketer told delegates at this year’s CES. The business is now having to more carefully assess “how aggressively do we advertise without annoying the consumer” as well having to judge whether it’s being too promotional to combat the spread of ad blockers.

“It’s a very important issue for the chief digital officer and even more importantly the chief marketing officer to really think about it in terms of what’s the optimal journey,” he added.

His comments are indicative of a key trend at this year’s CES of companies starting to not just talk about themselves as technology companies but also behave like one. As a result platforms have been earmarked by many executives as critical to transforming; it’s going to be the crux of how businesses let people connect to other applications and establish new paradigms.

To help adapt to how to treat media when marketing is a service rather than an ad, Blackshaw said he wants to see agencies step up and change the way they think about channels and mediums. “We’re thinking about what does experience mean and what role do the GroupMs and Omnicom’s of this world play in helping brand builders reallocate accordingly, “ he continued. “Service is becoming an important way of transforming traditional brand building into something more valuable….”Those are the areas where the media planning process really needs to step up to a whole different holistic model of beyond jut the process of buying media.

Seb Joseph

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