In the second part of our two-part article exploring the big issues facing brands, we consider the implications of digital commerce on FMCG brands and the new thinking needed to success on these new platforms.

Playing catch-up with digital commerce

A topic that could fill a whole book on its own, FMCGs have often been criticised for being slow to embrace digital. When appraising the subject, there are four topics that stand out as pressing.

1. Take a holistic view of social channels and ensure they are contributing to business KPIs, not just building reach

Facebook and Google now account for more than 50% of global ad spend, and virtually all the growth in digital advertising. While brands have been keen to embrace the panacea of data + reach these platforms provide ‘no questions asked’, we are beginning to see some push back.. The platforms haven’t helped themselves. Their failure to provide brand-safe environments and privacy scandals have caught the headlines but represent a PR challenge more than anything else. That the platforms operate within walled gardens and have been releasing misleading or inaccurate data from these gardens means tougher questions are being asked – how effective are these platforms as an advertising channel? This is most pertinent for FMCG brands who’s objective when using these channels is to build softer, longer term brand metrics rather than drive immediate and accountable short-term action.

2. Get the balance of reach and precision right