How the Kellogg Company Utilizes Offline Data

Separating signal from noise requires persistence

An interview with:
Gail Horwood
Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing
Kellogg Company

For many brand marketers, offline and digital data are kept in independent silos. But that’s not the case at the Kellogg Company, which has been using Nielsen Catalina Solutions to connect offline data to its digital campaigns for a few years now, and has now begun testing using offline data to optimize campaigns in-flight. Gail Horwood, senior vice president of integrated marketing at Kellogg Co., spoke with eMarketer’s Ross Benes about how the company utilizes its various data sets.

eMarketer:

What are the challenges in merging offline sales data to digital marketing?

Gail Horwood:

Merging offline sales data to digital can pose some challenges. For example, unlike a direct response or digital conversion business, we don’t have a 1-to-1 signal that indicates we are moving the needle.

eMarketer:

Why is that so challenging?

Gail Horwood:

It requires a considerable amount of work to pull different data sets together and synthesize them in a way that is readable by our tools. We also use third-party data to get a sales signal, creating a lot of complexity to work through, although we’ve made substantial progress solving these issues over the past 18 months.

eMarketer:

Why does using third-party data create complexity?

Gail Horwood:

Third-party data creates a sales signal that generates complexity because it is not a 1-to-1 sales signal that we can make when the majority of our sales are still generated in-store. We have to partner with data providers to model the impact of our advertising against sales.

eMarketer:

With programmatic ad spending growing, have you found yourself relying more on programmatic for your marketing?

Gail Horwood:

As an early mover in programmatic, Kellogg’s digital plans account for 55% of our media spend, and programmatic remains a big part of that investment. For Kellogg, programmatic is more than buying banner ads. As the ecosystem evolves, we are exploring new programmatic buying capabilities like native, and are leaning heavily into dynamic and versioned creative to be more effective in our communications with our consumers.

eMarketer:

Which aspects of programmatic buying have you taken in-house? 

Gail Horwood:

Kellogg manages all data, technology, and demand-side platform [DSP] and data management platform [DMP] contracts in-house. We collaborate with our agency, Starcom, to activate in market and maintain the investment portion of our holistic go-to market strategy.

Interview conducted on July 27, 2018

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