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Keeping up with digital: Trends FMCGs need to be aware of

For many of us, digital interactions continue to play a more prominent role in our day-to-day lives. It will not be surprising to learn that over half of the adult population check their smartphones within five minutes of waking up. And with virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri becoming commonplace in the household, our interactions with digital channels have moved on from updating our statuses.

So what does this mean for digital advertising? Despite the fact that digital ad spend dominates the industry, digital display still tends to be delivered with the least amount of customer understanding, relevancy and transparency. At i2C, “knowing the customer” and transparency is at the core of our business, and that applies to our digital capabilities too. Not only can digital campaigns be delivered and measured by i2C, but we can also help build brands by engaging the most relevant customers at scale.

Andrew Muzzelle, Digital Media Director at i2C, explained that to accomplish this, a digital strategy needs to reflect the needs of shoppers in a way that provides meaningful connections to drive brand awareness. That means knowing a customer better than anyone else, and then guiding them on a journey that makes sense. Start by understanding how a customer shops and navigates digital channels, and the rest of the journey will help nurture their digital interactions in a significant way.

Andrew Muzzelle, Digital Media Director at i2C

To build this understanding, i2C worked in partnership with IAB UK to measure the impact of online advertising on sales. Testing nine FMCG digital display campaigns across desktop and mobile, the IMPACT project not only established a consistent return on investment for FMCGs but also demonstrated a positive influence on brand favourability offline. It proves that an investment in digital creates a halo effect that transcends the online arena, positively influencing shoppers when they’re in store and also when on their digital devices.

A halo effect is well and good for the current landscape, but staying ahead when it comes to digital means understanding the future trends as well as the present ones. George Hopkinson, Senior Research Manager at IAB UK, outlined what the IAB sees as the three growing trends in digital advertising: mobile, video and search. Mobile and video spend for the first half of the year is up substantially for both channels year on year, while search functionality continues to expand. But while Apple, Amazon, and Google continue to develop their voice search products, we’re yet to see how advertisers will engage customers in this space.

George Hopkinson, Senior Research Manager at IAB UK

Andrew Muzzelle emphasised the importance of FMCGs looking ahead to these key trends as they develop their digital strategy to ensure their brands are front of mind when consumers are shopping instore, online or via smart voice devices. Next month, i2C will begin engaging customers on Facebook & Instagram, marking a key move into social media, enhancing FMCG campaigns to be more relevant to a user’s buying behaviour, attitudes and interests. Integrating social media with Shopper Marketing will help FMCGs further build the halo effect that the IMPACT study has already demonstrated, and represents one example of how the market continues to shift and evolve.

The Digital Digest event showcased the excitement of digital in the present and the future, demonstrating to the marketers in attendance that knowing their customers has never been more important.

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