How Nestlé developed its personalisation at scale strategy

The brand has developed a range of new campaigns to target audiences through digital platforms as part of its personalisation strategy

A handful of years ago, Nestlé relied largely on TV advertising, a medium offering strong brand messaging to a broad audience. But as people have migrated to digital and social platforms, the brand has followed suit.

Now, with new platforms that deliver a more nuanced approach to messaging, Nestlé has been enabled to target audience segments at scale. And with COVID-19 accelerating digital engagement, the FMCG giant has been well positioned to lean further into this when the crisis hit.

“It's an exciting opportunity with these new emerging platforms to understand what role our brand plays in that and it’s accelerated with Covid in the last eight months,” Nestlé head of media, content and data, Antonia Farquhar, told CMO.

It’s been a busy year for the brand with a host of new initiatives in market, all developed with its agency partner Connecting Plots. One of these was releasing designing fit-for-channel digital campaigns to engage with targeted audience demographics, including the recent launch of a KitKat campaign on Twitch targeting gaming audiences - a first for Nestlé. 

“The younger audiences, 16 to 39-year olds, can be hard to find on traditional platforms,” Farquhar said. “Our KitKat campaign on Twitch, which is the main gaming platform, is a new type of campaign, and one we’ll continue to develop."

The ad’s message was about taking a break, something that can be overlooked by gamers, which felt right for the KitKat brand. “We also keep in mind how we can add value back to the platform, so you are standing out for the right reasons,” Farquhar said.

Another example of the more targeted digital marketing approach is Nestlé's influencer-led campaign for Milo cereal run through TikTok. The campaign was designed to encourage activity and sport among young adults during lockdown - executed at a time when production was on pause due to the same lockdown. Farquhar said the TikTok campaign as right for the moment when people were looking to be entertained.

“We did a call out to all Aussies to get involved with the Milo challenge. And it generated millions of views,” she said.

Coping with Covid

During the COVID-19 crisis, Nestlé has created timely, empathic work that used new creative processes to compensate for social distancing production restrictions. “We were constantly measuring consumer sentiment, which allowed us to have a good gauge on what was happening and how people were feeling. And then adapt our communications to reflect that,” Farquhar said.

One example is its Allens lollies social campaign, shot entirely in stop motion during the height of lockdown. The creative cheerfully satired several of the new social norms we were all encountering.

“It was timely and empathetic to the social distancing restrictions that were in place,” Farquhar explained.
“We quite cheerfully satired some of the new social norms, one around a dance challenge with your parents at home, and another one about changing your remote call background." 

Results revealed a strong, favourable reaction to these messages with strong ad recall and love around the brand. 

Nestlé has also evolved its audience segmentation strategy through a more sophisticated data-led approach that moves beyond demographics into niche audience driven insights. Using this approach, the brand leveraged the 'Enjoy the moment' platform to create specific tailored campaign executions targeted only to the audience segment for which it was designed.

In the last two years, the brand has moved towards a strong personalisation approach built around the marketing method of reaching the right audience at the right time with the right message.

“We've seen some clear results in terms of being more relevant to the audience we’re talking to, we’ve seen clear increases in ad recall and more efficiency with audiences versus broad demographics and sales uplift,” Farquhar said. “So it's not just brand health, and making more impact, but it actually flows through to sales.”

Leaning into personalisation

These new ways of working across the brand’s portfolio, as well as matching products with messaging with platform and audience, are continuing to be developed. “From the results through personalising with empathy for the different audiences, we've seen clear improvements in brand health, cost efficiencies and sales,” Farquhar noted. “So that personalisation at scale strategy is absolutely what will go forward with.”

As the communication landscape continues to progress, it means the brand will need to invest more time and energy in understanding behaviours, especially in digital and social platforms, that are emerging. Then it’s about working out the role for the various brands within those channels so that they can effectively stand out.

“Digital is a critical channel for us now,” Farquhar said. “We can't go back to the previous way of working, this is the new way of working for us, being more adaptive and responsive to what's happening. It just makes our brand fit so much better into what's happening."

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Are you sure they wont start a platform that the cheese is white, pretty sure that is racist

Hite

New brand name for Coon Cheese revealed

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in