ThinkTV

ThinkTV works with the marketing community to lead a collective effort that demonstrates how advertising in broadcast-quality content environments provides the greatest return on investment.

Maximising the post-pandemic opportunity for FMCG brands

One of the most notable outcomes for brands from the dramas of 2020 was a major uplift in consumer spending across multiple categories of fast-moving consumer goods.

FMCG grew by a massive 11 per cent to $173 billion – the highest rate in 20 years. This included a 29 per cent surge in liquor sales and a mammoth 65 per cent uplift in online food sales, which reached $9.5 billion. Even now, total FMCG purchasing remains well above historical norms.

Within these numbers are stories of consumers trying new brands for the first time – partly due to shortages of their preferred brands, but also because of the increased time they had to research and sample alternatives. These behavioural changes will have long term impacts should consumers retain their changes in brand preferences.

Maintaining mental availability

We have already seen that those brands which invested in communications during the pandemic have tended to emerge in a stronger position than those that pulled back. For FMCG brands, the requirement now is to remain well positioned in the mind of consumers, to both grow market share and to defend existing sales volumes from hungry challengers. That means retaining mental availability with consumers by ensuring their brand is always among the top three that any consumer is considering.

This means marketers need to continue investing in those channels which are reaching their target audiences. And nothing beats the mass reach of television.

According to data from ThinkTV, total TV (including traditional linear broadcast and on-demand video) engages 85 per cent of Australians every week. And that reach is growing as TV is consumed more online, with broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD) now Australia’s fastest growing media, with more than 1.6 million hours of content consumed every week.

Furthermore, The Payback Series research has shown that television delivers the strongest returns for larger budgets, as it continues to yield incremental sales growth as spend increases.

The Payback Series was conducted by ThinkTV in conjunction with GroupM and Gain Theory and analysed the campaign outcomes for more than 60 Australian brands over a three year period. The research found that the sales volume contribution of TV was five times that of digital video, more than eight times that of search, 10 times that of social, and more than 12 times that of digital display.

The workhorse for brand budgets

This makes total TV the workhorse for FMCG marketers, delivering the greatest contribution to sales volume.

These attributes are also why television continues to be a key channel for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), especially when it comes to promoting its famous annual lamb campaign. MLA’s general manager for marketing and insights Nathan Low says his organisation’s budget for the campaign is actually much lower than people might think, and therefore he has to make smart choices regarding which channels he can use to reach the largest audience.

“TV is our key channel because it drives the awareness that the campaigns out there,” says Low. “More than any other channel, it's still the one where you can reach the most amount of people in the fastest possible time.”

TV also presents an opportunity for marketers to align their brands with premium content in a brand-safe environment, and the format of television advertising lends itself to emotion-driven content.

Also, by leveraging the different total television formats available, MLA’s Low is able to grow the impact of the lamb campaigns by running communications of different lengths across the most appropriate channels.

However, if marketers are to capitalise on the power of TV to achieve reach and drive effectiveness, they need to plan accordingly, with large swathes of television inventory now being booked up to 13 weeks in advance.

FMCG brand marketers are working in uncertain times, and there is no telling how long this period of accelerated sales growth will continue. What is certain is that consumer brand preferences are undergoing a period of unprecedented shifts, which creates significant opportunities for brands to change their market shares.

All of this means that now is the ideal time for marketers to invest in those channels that have the greatest reach and potential for return on investment, to ensure they are winning new customers and defending existing share.

Get more meaty marketing insights to make your next campaign sizzle in this interview with MLA’s Nathan Low here. Download ThinkTV’s special report for FMCG marketers At the checkout: FMCG brands in 2021

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