- Procter & Gamble was the top personal care marketer in digital performance, with an average classification of "gifted" across its 17 brands in the category, according new analysis from Gartner L2 made available to Marketing Dive. The report benchmarked the digital performance, including strengths and weaknesses, of 124 personal care brands.
- Kimberly-Clark was ranked second due to strong performances by Huggies and U By Kotex. The company utilizes product merchandising on e-commerce sites and has a high ownership of Amazon Best Sellers in their categories. Johnson & Johnson had the widest distribution with brands in every category, from "genius" to "feeble."
- The report also showed that searches for personal care ingredients increased 18% over the past 24 months. Brands like Schmidt's Naturals, Shea Moisture and newcomers like Hello Products are capturing the bulk of these searches because they build their digital presences around ingredient-focused content, such as "charcoal toothpaste" or "shea butter lotion," and can dominate in unbranded visibility on Google searches.
Traditional packaged goods marketers have been struggling on a number of fronts lately — namely with a consumer shift to e-commerce purchasing and, with that, the growing competitive threat of Amazon — and Gartner L2's latest report points to how some are still showing strong performance, at least in the personal care category. A focus on e-commerce product merchandising and also owning aspects of search on both Amazon and Google appears increasingly essential as shoppers spend more of their time online.
In general, legacy CPG brands need to continue to innovate as they face pressure from newer direct-to-consumer brands. L2 provided a few examples of this: While newcomers like Hello Products may benefit from search terms like "charcoal toothpaste," Colgate was able to capture some of that traffic by adding articles on its website to explaining why legacy tooth-care products are better than charcoal toothpaste, per the report. As discovery keyword searches have increased 9%, brands are also investing in more educational content, such as how-to videos, to drive conversion and provide the types of high quality marketing experiences consumers are increasingly demanding beyond traditional, largely product-focused ads.
Personalization is another area where brands can improve their digital performance. By leveraging consumer data, marketers can create tailored messaging to provide consumers with more distinct experiences. Relevance and timing are key to getting personalization right, however, which has been a challenge for marketers. Too often, consumers don't think brands capture the right characteristics about them to deliver truly personalized campaigns. About 40% of consumers across several markets say messages from brands only sometimes feel personal, according to recent research from Periscope by McKinsey.