Sequential Marketing: Why This Trend Is Red Hot for CPGs in 2022 – and Beyond!

Unpredictability will be the norm for CPG marketers in 2022. Tighter wallets, supply chain snags, pulsing COVID-19 positivity rates, and a lasting preference for remote work creates new challenges on multiple fronts. To respond, CPG brands are increasingly turning to sequential marketing to efficiently prompt new product trial, rekindle brand loyalty, and compete with value-driven retailer private brands.

The latest U.S. advertising forecast from WPP’s Magna Global puts what’s ahead in perspective. It says the unprecedented growth in ad spending in 2021 was caused by a unique combination of national brands reconnecting with consumers and competing for a limited amount of traditional media inventory. They predict the lasting changes of COVID on lifestyles and marketing methods will continue to fuel huge digital advertising spending from both big brands and small businesses.

eMarketer expects CPG companies to spend $36B on digital advertising, up 18% from 2021, contributing to predicted ad spending growth of 5% this year and in 2023 (GroupM). As marketers face margin pressures and shifting shopping habits this year, the balance between traditional advertising and other forms of consumer engagement will likely continue to evolve. 2022 is shaping up to be a year where brands look to agilely spend across a proliferation of media channels using granular level data. That is where sequential marketing comes in.

Benefits of Sequential Marketing

  1. Helps to deliver specific brand objectives more efficiently — Sequential marketing uses a sequence of ads to tell a story and ultimately prompt purchase. At its core, it is an ‘if this, then that’ solution for serving up to consumers brand and performance advertising along a continuum. Marketers use it to make their ad dollars stretch further and earn a better return on investment. By working with a partner that has a sophisticated ID graph and real-time results you can identify who has already converted and suppress marketing tactics to them if your marketing objective has already been met.

    For example, an emerging brand in the competitive plant-based frozen food category turned to sequential marketing to reinforce loyalty and regain share. The marketer used real-time insights about its most relevant shoppers, including lapsed and competitive purchasers. But instead of relying solely on promotion to engage them, it served up connected TV ads that emphasized the brand’s benefits before issuing an incentive to incite purchase. A shopper only received a high value offer when they saw a TV ad three times but had not yet bought the product. This personalized, omni-channel approach delivered these impressive results:
74K New Buyers brought into the franchise
$2.80 ROI including value of repeaters
$59K cost savings in redemption from sequencing
  1. Increases personalization — Carefully sequencing when and where an audience sees a message increases relevancy and lowers the chance of turning off consumers. Use sequential marketing to captivate them with a strong storyline woven seamlessly across media channels. This approach is designed to engage persuadable shoppers and limit their desire to switch privacy settings and opt out of receiving a brand’s advertising. Like any good, personalized marketing campaign, it begins with data-driven, purchase-based audiences.

    For example, a brand that’s overcome regional supply chain woes and is back on the shelf can remind shoppers of their preference and rekindle loyalty. That brand can simultaneously target shoppers of competitive brands with a different messaging sequence to prompt trial. Data analytics can guide the timing and media placement of those ad messages and identify when to add a personalized incentive.

    Forbes notes that in 2022 CPGs should respond to an unpredictable economy and the pandemic by “taking dynamic variables into account and plan for a multitude of different situations” so they can react agilely to changing market conditions.

  2. Spans all channels with more scale than ever – Increased scrutiny on media budgets has prompted marketers to depend on measurable performance marketing tactics. With the lasting changes in media consumption, the definition of performance marketing has now expanded to traditionally analog marketing vehicles (TV, print, OOH), allowing marketers to focus foremost on overall marketing objectives and determine how all media channels can work together to best reach their best customers.

    Sequential activation offers brands a measurable way to tailor messages across all media channels that optimizes results from multiple audiences. It gives marketers an effective approach for keeping up with the quickened pace of consumption and responding to today’s collapsed purchase funnel where shoppers enter at every stage along the buyer continuum.

The Catalina solution
Marketers looking for improved efficiency and effectiveness using sequential marketing should leverage Catalina CPG data and analytics to:

For more CPG digital trends and tips, check out Catalina’s Guide for Advertising and Media Agencies: The Ins and Outs of CPG Data and Marketing Analytics.