Sainsbury's, GSK and Vodafone increase investment in in-store and field marketing

LONDON - Top UK retail brands are boosting their investment in customer marketing, a sector that oversees in-store and field marketing.

The move is a reflection of the increasing demand for brands to prove return on investment.

This year Sainsbury's is putting its biggest-ever spend behind field marketing, including sampling and in-store demonstrations. It is also bolstering its customer marketing team, which is led by customer director Gwyn Burr.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), owner of Ribena and Panadol, is putting customer marketing at the core of its 2008 communications strategy.

The company, which is gearing up for the pan-European launch of over-the-counter weight-loss drug Alli, is also restructuring its marketing department to give the customer marketing team a more prominent role.

Meanwhile, Vodafone is seeking a candidate to fill a customer marketing role that it has created. It is also aiming to boost its in-store marketing credentials with the appointment of a successor to Dominic Chambers, who left his job as UK head of brand and marketing following a restructure in February.

Analysts have speculated that other retailers will also begin to invest more in customer marketing as a result of the economic slowdown, at the expense of TV, radio and outdoor.

Nick Fennell, field marketing consultant at Archway Management, claimed investment in field marketing will reach unprecedented levels, as it is best- placed to prove ROI. 'In the current climate, marketers will only spend money where payback can be seen,' he said.

Advertising budgets:

  • Last year, Vodafone cut ad-spend by nearly 18% to £54m, dropping TV spend by 12.7% and radio 66%.
  • GSK's adspend fell 5.4% to £30.4m. It increased TV spend by 7.3%, but cut outdoor, press and radio by 16%, 39% and 41% respectively.
  • Sainsbury's adspend rose by 10.1%. Outdoor was
  • up by nearly 4000%, and radio and TV by 28% and 10.1%, respectively.
  • Source: Nielsen Media Research

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