Mars Petcare has observed powerful results from the “collaborative” relationship between the brand and performance marketers working on its new direct-to-consumer (DTC) propositions, a top marketer in the company reveals.
Over the past 18 months, the FMCG giant has launched five DTC propositions in Europe across its natural and health brands category, following the onset of Covid-19 and national lockdowns around the world.
These have included three new brands – biodegradable cat litter Natusan, sustainable cat food Lovebug and German personalized pet food Perfect Fit – as well as a new DTC platform for major UK pet food brand James Well-beloved and a subscription kit offering for Dentastix in France.
Chris Rodi, European marketing director of natural and health brands at Mars Petcare, has led the launch of these businesses. Along the way, one key lesson he has learned is the “power” of brand and performance marketers working together, he tells Marketing Week.
“The power of brand marketers working with the performance marketing team is greater than the sum of its parts. There’s really a mutuality in that relationship that I think we’re appreciating more and more,” Rodi says.
“It works because you’re following the consumer all the way from awareness through to the conversion, which is something we weren’t historically doing through reach-based penetration advertising, which we are now doing.”
Advertising focused on building brand equity unsurprisingly drives up DTC searches, which is an additional advantage, benefiting the customer acquisition team. While the brand team has also gleaned valuable insight from the rapidly iterating performance advertising team on the messages and visuals driving the most conversation and lowest customer acquisition cost.
“Instilled in that is the useful insight that can help the equity team work out which messages and visuals might drive more cut through in their advertising,” Rodi says.
For example, the brand team for James well beloved worked together with the content manager and acquisition manager in the business’s DTC team to run a set of creative sprints testing different branding, images and claims to get a data-based understanding of what drives the best conversion rate.