Television advertisements are still the most effective form of marketing, according to Mars chief marketing and customer officer Andrew Clarke. CNBC reports the global candy manufacturer spends most of its marketing budget on television rather than digital advertising because the latter has yet to prove its effectiveness.
“We really need to prove how our digital platforms, our media partnerships [work],” said Clarke. “We need to prove that, so it actually does drive sales in the way that we know that sales are driven in a traditional media space.”
Many large businesses in the U.S. have been moving their marketing dollars away from television and more toward digital advertising. For instance, multinational design company Adidas recently announced it would be pulling its budget from television marketing because its consumers are all online.
However, while it’s true Facebook hosts up to 1.97 billion active users every month, the social media network also recently announced it would be changing its algorithm to focus users’ attention on personal developments rather than news. For businesses who rely on Facebook for advertising, this could mean a potential marketing drawback.
It’s also for this reason that Mars, Inc spends up to 60% of its total marketing budget on television ads and only 40% on digital ads for its dry pet food products. For its candy products, the company spends even less with 30% of its marketing budget going toward digital ads.
“I certainly believe a combination of the two [traditional and digital media] is always going to be relevant certain in the CPG [consumer packaged goods] space,” said Clarke.
According to media agency Magna, half of global advertising budgets will be spent online by 2020. This means both offline ad spending and online spending will be evenly matched.
The division of ad spending may be beneficial as millennials become the leading generation of consumers. Up to 90% of millennials believe direct ad campaigns are effective and, despite millennials’ online presence, there’s been recent movements to scale back on technology use.
By dividing ad spending into both digital and offline media, corporations are guaranteeing consumers will see their ads whether they’re online or not. The goal, for Mars and other businesses, is to reach a mass audience wherever they are.
“[We’ll] continue to test and learn,” said Clarke. “We’ll continue to experiment. We’ll continue to use digital across all of our channels and then we’ll put our dollars in the places that give us the best possible return.”