The way marketing campaigns used to function before are strikingly different from how they are functioning currently. No longer do marketers wait in anticipation to “just throw it out there” and “let’s see what happens”. Too much information is at our disposal and that is the harsh reality 2017 serves us. Leading marketers know this and they do not want to lean on instincts and creative prowess to connect with consumers.
A highly targeted and well-researched approach with an adequate back-up for fail safe insights evenly distributed for a simple goal can go a long way in creating a cut-through content marketing performance as is the case with Rob Rakowitz, Global Director of Media at Mars, who was recognized by The CMO Club for his performance with brands like Uncle Ben’s, Snickers, Pedigree, and Whiskas.
Driven by Data
Backed by the Internet of Things, a simple bicycle ride could produce voluminous amounts of data. And this is partly discussed in connection with Rakowitz being a member of a cycling team. The insights garnered before the race helps him and his team in deriving distinct roles and peak performance points. Says Rakowitz “much in the way that you would for launching a really great campaign.” What marketers can take out of this context is simple – data offers not only meaningful positioning but can also inform when to act on topical content.
Equipping teams with the right navigation tools to help them get through a vaguely uncertain and complex territory is the only thing one can do in this role, Rakowitz adds.
The only way to outplace one’s competitors in an ever-distracting environment is to make simplicity, a goal and discipline, focus.
Content That Cuts to the Point
In order to bring the three main components – Brand, Consumer and Customer together, Rakowitz initiated coaching sessions to successfully execute what he labels as “fantastic content programs”. He calls it the idea of 4C conversion – Consumer, Customer, Communication and Commerce. Centering around a simple purpose is a key.
This led to the discovery of Uncle Ben’s brand purpose – helping consumers make great food choices, leading to healthier eating habits. “We find out that consumers who start meals with rice are more likely to choose a lean protein or a vegetable to go along with it,” he says.
Yet, the discovery was of no avail, since Uncle Ben’s UK team found out that the ready-to-heat pouches launched by Mars passed off as muster amidst target audience who neither were aware nor saw the product as relevant. The company then looked into the problems associated with the product in terms of its reach and relevance. It developed a series of short online videos that featured a celebrity chef demonstrating the product in a public park, which engaged healthy consumers. The content driven idea of trimming the best performing clip for dissemination to TV and social media was backed up by behavioral data. The content was made as personal as possible through the confluence of social media.
Rakowitz claims that they used digital and behavioral metrics which are available to a lot of marketers in order to understand the market of Uncle Ben’s. Plenty of sources are out there and it’s best to take advantage of them. This will in turn help in seeing the best results from a campaign and also provide valuable insights for the future, “That’s very much an agenda I had, with a lot of my colleagues out there,” Rakowitz says. “Taking more and more advantage of things to drive better planning, strategy and activation.”