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  • Christie Wade

The ROI Blueprint: Transforming FMCG Media Spend into Revenue Growth

In 2024, Australian FMCG marketers will be expected to do more, with less.

According to a March 2023 Australian Association of National Advertisers survey, one-third of Aussie brands are having their marketing budgets cut, and the main priority for about 70% of advertisers is “marketing effectiveness/return on investment.”

Given the current reality, how can FMCG marketers, who already find themselves in an industry heavily saturated with competition, get greater value from their media investments?

Here are 4 ideas for getting the most out of your FMCG marketing budgets in 2024.

1. Retail media

Retail media, when retailers target consumers near the point of sale using first-party data, is becoming stronger than ever. The trend that we’ve started to see is that brands are shifting funds from their traditional advertising budgets to retail media.

In December 2023, The Australian Financial Review reported that retail media stands to siphon over $550 million from traditional advertising agencies by 2025 and over $1 billion by 2027. In fact, Morgan Stanley estimated that Woolworths generated $550 million from its retail media division in the fiscal year 2023 and that Coles generated $250 million.

For FMCG marketers, allocating funds to retail media can help reach customers quickly and poignantly, through retailers’ websites, land-based stores, and targeted advertising campaigns. Retail media essentially brings your brand to the forefront of the consumer’s consciousness at the time when they are most likely to make a purchase.

2. Social media as search engines

Many consumers, especially younger generations, are using social media as their primary search engine. According to Prabhakar Raghavan, Google SVP, “Almost 40% of young people when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

AdNews reported that in 2023, 61.5% of Australian consumers between the ages of 16 and 64 cite social media as a key source of information, and one out of three users searches for information about brands on social media, a 7% increase from 2022.

To ensure that your brand will be visible on social media, it’s important to have an active brand presence. This includes:

  • Short-form video content (see below) and other interesting types of content

  • Responding to customer queries asap

  • Engaging directly with consumers

  • ORM (online reputation management)

  • Social selling, i.e. making it easy for consumers to purchase your products on social media

  • Targeted ads

3. Short-form video content — UGC & microinfluencers

Short-form video content is growing increasingly popular across all advertising channels, especially social media. In July 2023, Instagram Australia found that more than 63% of Australians watch short-form videos weekly.

In addition to their innate popularity, one major benefit of short-form videos is that they can come from several sources:

  • Brands: Short-form video content is easily accessible and can be found quickly and conveniently on social media  (important when consumers are using social media as a search engine)

  • Users (user-generated content): UGC is a great way of engaging consumers, generating buzz around your products, increasing brand authenticity, and building trust. Moreover, UGC can reduce your brand’s marketing budget while still offering exposure.

    • Short-form videos are one of the most popular forms of UGC

    • According to a recent survey from EnTribe, a whopping 86% of consumers are more likely to trust a brand with UGC

  • Microinfluencers: Microinfluencers, who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, are increasingly popular choices for brand partnerships, and their content often takes the form of short videos. According to Performance Marketing World, 70% of consumers trust microinfluencers more than celebrities. Moreover, microinfluencers tend to:

    • Cultivate loyal followings

    • Create targeted, trusted, and interesting content

    • Don’t charge as much as bigger influencers

With so much potential and diversity, short-form videos offer great value to FMCG marketers.

4. AI and ML

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning), the biggest trends of 2024 in almost every industry. In fact, a new survey shows that almost 95% of Australian businesses have been integrating AI into their marketing strategies, and about two-thirds plan to increase their AI spend in 2024. Among the leading companies, 92% expect AI use to result in saving time and money.

For FMCG marketers, AI can boost marketing activities such as:

  • Content generation, including blog posts, emails, newsletters, social media posts

  • Customer service chatbots, which offer immediate responses

  • Data analysis and insights

  • Enhanced customer personalisation

What’s more, the right AI tools — when implemented and overseen correctly — can do all of this quickly and accurately, freeing up marketing personnel for strategic planning and other tasks.

The Bottom Line

In the dynamic FMCG industry, no marketing stone should be left unturned, especially those that offer better ROIs. And while marketing is often the first budget to be cut during hard economic times, McKinsey calls this a “shortsighted approach.” Rather, FMCG marketers should choose cost-effective marketing practices in “high growth areas” in order to see long-term payoffs.


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