How Reckitt Benckiser Is Using Analytics and Teamwork to Push Its Marketing Agenda

Digital transformation is a huge deal in almost every avenue of business right now, with companies the world over looking for innovative ways to turn emerging technology to their advantage. Whether it’s the Internet of Things making manufacturing smarter and more connected, or artificial intelligence chatbots working to help brands better serve their customers, digital technology is here to stay.

However, consumer goods heavyweight, Reckitt Benckiser would be the first to admit that when it comes to marketing procurement, it hasn’t always had its efforts focussed in the right direction.

Reckitt Benckiser

Like many in its industry, the issue Reckitt Benckiser was facing was that it had become too stuck in its ways when it came to effectively allocating its marketing budget. Traditional touch points such as product packaging and in-store point of sale terminals are still important, but their significance in the digital age has been lessened.

The adage used in social media marketing is to “Be where your customers are.” This means not using a particular social media platform for marketing just because you like it, but understanding your demographic and focussing your efforts on the platforms your customers are already using – Snapchat for young people, LinkedIn for professionals, etc. The same applies to other types of marketing as well.

“We were stuck in the traditional touchpoints we need to focus on – packaging, product experience, in-store – and we knew that as a team if we wanted to drive growth and value we couldn’t stay there,” said Reckitt Benckiser’s Global Director of Design, User, and Brand Experience, Stephanie Verschoor. “If you want to drive transformation beyond what happens on the day to day, you have to find budget, you have to find a partner that can do the thinking for you – and ideally someone ahead of you because if you try to figure out everything internally, the path to transformation is going to be incredibly slow.”

Finding the Right Partners

The best way to drive the kind of change Reckitt Benckiser was looking for is to find the right agencies and technologies to work with and procure their services. The alternative is to devote significant time and money to training your own people in their use, which is far less efficient than having them work alongside people who already know what they’re doing.

Find the people in your own organisation who are best built to be able to adapt and ready them for the digital transformation. Then it’s a case of going out into the world and procuring those creative and technology-driven agencies who can deliver the kind of results your brand is looking to achieve.

You need people who are ahead of the curve, who are driving innovation, and are focussed on the goals of their partners. There are few things more frustrating than meeting with a marketing agency and all they want to talk about is the bottom line. Of course, money is important, but what’s more crucial when it comes to marketing agencies is that they understand the company they’re working with – your company. Everything they bring to the table must have your company’s goals in mind.

Data analysis helps with this, as it enables brands to quantify the factors they’re looking for – brand experience and design, for example – as well as the results, both projected and real, they wish to see. With this kind of data at its core, cross-organisation marketing teams can make sure they’re all singing from the same hymn sheet, and their objectives are aligned with not just each other, but the greater organisation as well.

Reckitt Benckiser has achieved all of this and gone even further by installing marketing and design studios – with permanent teams to operate them – in its offices all around the world.

Final Thoughts

“A breakthrough for us was when we could quantify the impact of brand experience and design,” said Verschoor. “We could list exactly what are the key touchpoints that matter for the consumer, what are we currently investing in those, what is the ROI. When you have it on one slide you can see above-the-line isn’t even in the top five. [Our design teams] will connect with the front line and with the consumers, because you can’t if you’re in a strategic function in headquarters – it’s an ivory tower – but you need to connect with the consumers.”

Cross organisation teamwork and analytics are set to be hot topics at ProcureCon Marketing 2019, taking place in June at the Twickenham Stadium, London. Download the agenda today for more information and insights.

Return to Blog