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In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Procter & Gamble CEO A. G. Lafley said his company is now spending upward of 35% of its marketing budget on social and digital media—a whopping $1.5 billion! As newspapers continue their decline, and broadcast media gets increasingly fragmented and expensive, just about every major CPG company has begun making similar and sizable spending shifts in their consumer spending.
And why not? Social media is very cost-effective and enables you to more efficiently target more likely and more loyal customers. It is an ideal brand-building environment.
Store brand manufacturers, however, have a problem. Almost no one knows you. Trying to get directly involved in social media, for most of this group, is a waste of time.
But consumers are emotionally and digitally connected to the stores they shop frequently, and retailers have a vested interest in building their store brand strength through social and digital channels. Some do a pretty good job. But most still do not have the resources and personnel to generate the digital content necessary to support thousands of items. Each item has its own story to tell, but needs someone to write it.
Store brand manufacturers can step into that role.
So, what to do? By working through their retail customers, manufacturers can play a vital role in driving digital store brand activity and growth. Here’s how to get started:
• Get in the game. If you don’t do something, eventually the national brands will start winning back share. This week, my supermarket sent me $358 in coupons emailed with the weekly ad. Not a single store brand included. Why?
• Know what’s going on. How many companies really know what their customers are doing with social/digital or how they can play a part? Ask some questions.
• Rethink spending. At least some portion of the sales and marketing budget needs to be redirected to digital marketing activities.
• Create content. Offer something to your retail customers that can get their shoppers engaged with your products. Think recipes, demonstrations, digital coupons, video plant tours, contests and custom QR code programs. National brands have a lot to offer. What have you got?
• Be innovative. We have seen a lot of very clever and creative approaches now catalogued in The Digital 65 (www.digital65.com), almost all of them retailer-initiated. These promotions are low cost and attention-getting, and build customer loyalty. The possibilities are endless.
It’s time to get started before you get left behind.