LONDON: E-tailing is a priority for Reckitt Benckiser, the consumer goods business, according to a leading executive who also outlined which of the company's products were slated for increased marketing investment.

"E-commerce is important and interesting for the future but the reality is e-tailing is the priority," Jerome Lemaire, marketing director at Reckitt Benckiser's UK business, told Marketing Week.

He explained that engagement was the original reason the company had moved to digital, "but now we want to do business on it". And he indicated that attention would be focused on UK e-tailers such as Tesco and Boots.

He declared that there would never be a Reckitt-Benckiser e-commerce site. "We are not going to mix brands such as Nurofen and Cillit Bang," he said, although he conceded that e-commerce made sense for some brands, "those in the household or healthcare category, for example".

He highlighted the Nurofen brand as one that would be receiving increased investment in the autumn with a "massive launch" as it entered the cold and flu market. He expected to generate a lot of incremental sales as the brand reached a different audience of "go-getters" compared to its Lemsip brand which was about taking time off to recover.

He also flagged up innovations for Finish, the dishwashing tablet, and Vanish, the stain removal product. "In household, it is difficult to create market growth so innovation is essential," he said. "You need a permanent flow of innovation to create excitement."

Commenting on the role of marketing in a recession, he said it had been a mistake to increase the number of promotions. It might reward a loyal customer base and give a short-term market share spike, but it did not grow the market, he argued.

And he worried that consumers had got so used to BOGOF promotions that marketing campaigns had become less effective as a result. "Great campaigns are required but we need in parallel to de-escalate [promotions]," he said.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff