Marketing professionals know first-hand how complex it has become to reach and engage with consumers; more choices, more media, and more devices make for more savvy shoppers.
At Nielsen’s annual Consumer 360 event, Jeanne Danubio, SVP, Consumer & Shopper Analytics for Nielsen North America; Mark Rosenstock, Global Director, Digital Measurement and Analytics, Kimberly-Clark and Caryn Klein, vice president, Research & Insights, Time Inc. discussed the challenges and opportunities of marketing in a digital world.
“The basic decisions that shoppers make – plan, place and purchase – are the same, but what digital has done is provide shoppers with more ways to inform these decisions,” Danubio said. “The effect of digital amplifies the marketing message and can be used most effectively in concert with other elements of the marketing mix. However, the type of message, degree of engagement, and resulting impact on consumer behavior can vary widely.”
“Digital’s impact is both wide and narrow, and through our research we have found stark differences in digital usage, influence and purchase across two core dimensions: consumers – those who engage, and categories – what they engage for,” continued Danubio. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to developing a strategy for digital consumer engagement, as leveraging the power of digital requires a deep understanding of the matrix of consumer needs, how a product category is shopped, and what type of information is sought at various points in the purchase path.”
Rosenstock illustrated one approach Kimberly-Clark used with its Pull-Ups brand. Focusing on the consumer's journey, the company developed a strategic interactive dialogue to help solve mothers' common barriers potty training. They were able to increase both engagement measures and household penetration, using a combination of traditional media, social media, email, and websites designed to drive an experience enabling mom and child to start potty training.
Klein offered another example by relating how Time Inc. studied new media’s influence to help identify decision points along the shopper’s path to purchase to better understand the combined role of digital and traditional media in shoppers’ decisions. “The surprising results indicated that a multi-platform communication strategy is essential,” said Klein. “This strategy includes traditional media such as magazines integrated with newer sources such as websites, word-of-mouth, social, and mobile.”
Successful initiatives require an integrated approach, combining digital strategies with other communications tactics, with a clear understanding of the core consumer audience, the product category, place of decision points, among other factors.