What do you do if you’re a consumer brand that usually reaches buyers in stores and then a global pandemic changes the way people shop? FrieslandCampina — one of the world’s largest dairy companies — was faced with that exact dilemma in 2020. Non-D2C brands who are a step removed from their buyers need to get closer to their customers and better understand changing consumer behavior. Still, without first-party data, that can be difficult. With the help of Platform161, FrieslandCampina tackled this challenge by adapting its e-commerce and content strategies.
Mazen Mroueh, Global Digital Media and Technical Lead, FrieslandCampina and Marco Kloots, CEO & Founder, PLATFORM161 (part of the Verve Group) stopped by “There Is No New Normal” to talk about how finding an effective marketing mix helped FrieslandCampina weather the storm of 2020.
Adapting to the e-commerce boom
By now, it’s a familiar story. COVID-19 reshaped the way we do just about everything in 2020, including the way we shop. FrieslandCampina — which produces products usually bought in grocery stores — had to reimagine how it reaches customers. Mazen says two things became important to focus on. One was creating a digital B2C presence in the e-commerce realm. “And the second one was the content should be definitely customized, really meaningful and supportive for the consumer during these tough times,” he says.
But you have to go beyond basic e-commerce thinking, says Marco. Purchases are “moving from the shop to the website, to the e-commerce providers, to apps.” That’s why he says brands need to be ready to adapt to every e-commerce trend. Even at home, people are still using mobile devices to make purchases — and that needs to be taken into account.
“So location tells a lot of things about you, where you are, what you like to do, when you like to do it,” says Marco. “And if you can connect that information to a brand, it becomes a much broader experience than just say, ‘Hey, buy my product. Hey, you don’t want to buy my product. You do want to buy my product.’ It’s much more of, let’s say, a 360 environment where you take the location as part of the connection to the brands.”
Using the data right
In some ways, the e-commerce landscape is more competitive than the traditional store. “You know, consumer journey, the customer journey has become way more complex with the increased amount of touchpoints,” says Marco. He adds, “it’s very easy to compare prices, to compare products as a whole.” This means it’s even more important to make your product stand out — and use your data wisely.
Once you have customer data in hand, the trick is to use it properly — to reach them with the right message at the right time. For instance, one of FrieslandCampina’s products is baby formula. Mazen says the company works to reach a new or expectant mom with messaging to “convince her about the product from a health and nutrition perspective.”
Here are some smart workarounds for marketers to consider when they lack data:
- Look outside of the box to build a relationship — for instance, now that customer support largely takes place on social media, this is a great place to engage with consumers and gather data
- Use generally available data like location, which can be easily accessed by working with a DSP
- Take a closer look at your customer touchpoints, like CRM data and forms that can provide you with important customer information
To learn more about how FrieslandCampina and Platform161 are tackling the challenges of marketing during a pandemic and in the post-IDFA era, tune in to the entire interview.