FMCG = Faster-moving content giants?

December 5, 2006 at 2:44 pm 1 comment

James (Singapore) writes: 

Jack Neff’s AdAge article today was packed with thought-provoking numbers and insight. These paragraphs capture the core revelations:

Such package-goods marketers as Procter & Gamble Co. and Unilever don’t sell many products directly online. Their low-cost, low-involvement brands tend not to generate much search. Yet the websites of P&G and Unilever now reach nearly 6 million and 3 million unique visitors, respectively, in the U.S. each month, according to ComScore Media Metrix. 

While P&G sites captured only 3.3% of ComScore’s U.S. web audience in October, that’s more than double its industry-leading 1.3% share of U.S. ad spending last year and nine times its share of online ad spending, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The monthly web audiences for P&G and Unilever brands now easily swamp the audiences of many magazines and cable and syndicated TV shows where they advertise. 

I’m sure this article will kick off a lively debate about the potential for brands to become media in their own right. Scott Karp has already offered this intriguing, albeit tongue-in-cheek, scenario: 

Maybe P&G and Unilever should start offering media brands and Web 2.0 companies an opportunity to advertise on their sites. Imagine how many real people new web apps could reach by advertising on P&G vs. advertising on sites that only reach early adopters. 

For me, the exciting prospect here is to watch how these two consumer insight giants navigate the arrival of their core, mass consumer base onto the internet. Whether you love or hate the communications they have used over the past century to build their megabrands, nobody can deny they understand how to communicate with ‘ordinary folk’. You only have to experience the formidable marketing machine of a company/division like Hindustan Lever in India, to realize the power of the ‘common touch’. Could Hindustan Lever make FMCG stand for ‘Faster-moving content giant’, if they wanted to? I wouldn’t bet against them.

Some other facts in the article that stood out for me:

  • A study by McKinsey & Co. for one package-goods brand G2 handled showed that while its website reached only 800,000 consumers annually, they were generating $40 in profit on average, compared with $5 for consumers reached by traditional media.
  • Search-heavy Google accounts for a relatively small amount of traffic to the P&G and Unilever sites compared with display-ad-heavy Yahoo, the leading source of traffic for both marketers, according to ComScore.
  • Both marketers also draw traffic from their e-mail relationship programs and other online promotions
  • Unilever’s “Dove Evolution” viral video has generated more than 3 million views online since it launched in October — and helped spur a 34% overall increase in visitors to Unilever websites.

Entry filed under: india, world.

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