For many industries, online advertising has been a game changer. Online search and display advertising has brought a level of accountability and measurability that marketers of past eras could only dream about, making John Wanamaker’s famous advertising saying almost obsolete (“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”).
If I sell digital cameras online, for example, I can hop onto the Google search platform and pay only when an interested person clicks on my ad. And better still, I can set a precise return on those search dollars by tracking not only who clicks, but who ends up actually buying because my sale is online. This can turn much of my advertising work into a math exercise.
But what about the Consumer Packaged Goods category? Although CPG is by category one of the largest advertisers in the world, to date, they haven’t really been able to connect the dots between online advertising and consumer sales. Why? Because there hasn’t been a measurable direct response platform for CPG online. As a CPG brand, I can spend like crazy on online ads, but I’m left guessing whether the advertising actually worked in driving more sales (let alone whom it might have worked on).
CPG shouldn’t be left guessing when it comes to online advertising ROI. And apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. News today from Kantar-owned firms Compete Inc. and Cannondale associates that they are combining online consumer data and offline loyalty card data to actually tie online advertising exposure to a subsequent purchase in the grocery store aisle (post here). What a great idea. Here’s a quote from the news that should get your juices flowing if you are in digital CPG: