We’ve talked before on this blog about the need for CPG brands to shift more of their marketing spend online to “go where the consumer is.” And even though the industry is forecasting big increases in digital spending this year (see here, for example), digital CPG marketing budgets are still small as a percentage. I think this is due in part to the challenge of finding good digital opportunities, and in part to the “inertia of advertising budget allocation.”
So just how will CPG brands ramp up digital spending in 2010? We got a glimpse into P&G’s strategy this week, when venture capitalist David Hornik recounted a meeting in which P&G execs indicated that they are “bullish” on Facebook. So bullish in fact that “P&G’s explicit goal for 2010 is to assure that each of its brands has a meaningful presence on Facebook.”
It will be very interesting to see what a “meaningful presence” means. I wonder just how much “engagement” P&G can achieve for CPG goods on Facebook in 2010 and beyond.
At least one P&G exec has expressed skepticism that Facebook users will respond to interruptive commercial messages when “breaking up with their girlfriend.” Are there enough permission-based marketing opportunities for P&G to leverage on Facebook? Or will this digital spending simply be viewed by users as more interruptive advertising? A user comment on the AdAge article covering this news lays out P&G’s challenge nicely “Great. I became a fan of Febreze, but the page *still* smells like advertising.”