You know a company is serious about social when it creates a Twitter hashtag featuring its CEO.
Campbell Soup Co. has been involved in social media for about four years now, according to Adam Kmiec, who leads digital marketing and social media across the globe for the company. In fact, Campbell’s Kitchen was one of the first CPG food/cooking/recipe brands on Facebook.
Like many companies, Campbell started out on major platforms like Facebook (1,009,388 likes to date), Twitter (27,296 followers), and YouTube (342,973 video views). But in the beginning, the social team wasn’t much of a team at all, Kmiec said. Campbell had marketers who took on social as part of their daily responsibilities, and the company relied a lot on its agencies, which meant many layers of approvals.
About a year ago, however, Campbell’s CEO, Denise Morrison, made digital media and consumer insights a priority--and rightfully so. Today’s consumer is more connected than ever, which is also why Campbell made the strategic decision to bring social marketing in-house. Today the company has team members across the organization playing critical roles in social marketing strategy, content development, insights, and consumer care.
“This allowed us to be ever closer to our consumers and to move at the pace of social marketing,” Kmiec told CMO.com in an exclusive interview. “We also embedded digital marketers within the brand teams. We know speed wins in social. We’re evolving from thinking about social and digital marketing to simply marketing in a digital and social world.”
Even Kmiec is proof that the company is serious about social: He’s Campbell’s very first social media chief. (Campbell also hired its first CMO, Michael Senackerib, just one year ago.) Campbell views social as a “top-down, bottom-up, horizontal focus,” Kmiec said, pointing to its Twitter hashtag #CEODenise as further proof the company’s leadership sees the value of social.
Any time Morrison is speaking externally--whether at a large conference, such as the annual Net Impact event, or a smaller, more intimate setting, such as Campbell’s very own Millennial outreach program--the brand encourages attendees to use the CEO hashtag when they tweet about the content she is presenting. This makes Morrison more accessible, Kmiec said, and gives followers a way to engage with Morrison.
In addition, Campbell has a large portfolio of brands, which engage on all different social platforms.
“If there's one thing we've learned, there's no silver bullet approach for social,” Kmiec said. “You can’t simply approach social marketing with a template. What works best for us is connecting our social efforts with the brands’ purposeful positioning. Our social marketing team focuses on understanding the brand, its heritage, where it's going, and its consumers. Consumers are more engaged with brands that have an important purpose in their lives. Everything we do in social is about putting the consumer first.”
Another interesting way that Campbell has become more digitally fit is by cozying up to technology companies. Earlier this year Campbell held a contest for developers to create Web and mobile apps using its own API. Typically vendor relations are handled by the agency. But Campbell likes to be involved in the process.
“We’re on a journey to become the most digitally fit consumer packaged goods company in the world,” Kmiec said. “Digital fitness is about both a lifestyle choice and an everyday commitment. Keeping up with our consumers and identifying the right trends to focus on are critical to reaching our vision to be the most digitally fit.”
The Big Data Conundrum
Campbell has always been an insight-led organization, Kmiec said, but as an industry, "we are data-rich and insight-poor." The advent of social platforms has been a meaningful driver into consumer sentiment, needs, demands--you name it. Being able to hear feedback directly from consumers in real time lets the company make smarter decisions and be better at innovation and marketing. And guess what: Campbell knows what its marketing is doing.
“At Campbell, we have a solid read on the impact our efforts in social are having in driving sales,” Kmiec said. “It requires relentless focus on measuring the things that matter and not focusing on the things that don't.”
But with such a large portfolio of brands, it can be difficult. Each brand has different benchmarks and goals, Kmiec said, though Campbell uses the same set of KPIs to understand its efforts. During the past year, the company has been focusing its efforts on measuring social's impact on each brand’s marketing and also business objectives. That means the company isn’t too worried about metrics such as reach and share of voice. Instead, it is focusing on metrics including intent to purchase, persuasion, and direct attribution to sales, Kmiec said.
Kmiec advice to CMOs from a social perspective: “Don't double down on the present at the expense of tomorrow. With so much change taking place in the consumer landscape, it would be natural to fall back on the things we're most comfortable with. To lead your organization through today and into tomorrow, you'll need to be even more comfortable with the unknown.”