Google CPG blog - News and Notes from Google"s CPG Vertical

CPG Product Launches in the New Digital Age

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Posted by Jenny Liu, Industry Marketing Manager for CPG

According to the Mintel Global New Products Database, there were over 14,000 new U.S. product launches in the food and drink category in 2009; this makes for an extremely crowded and competitive marketplace, in which brands have a tough time making sure their new products stand out from the crowd. Further, it's hard to make sure consumers remember a particular product. According to Mintel, 69% of survey respondents could not remember a single new product launched during 2008.

We caught up with Mary Pochobradsky, Marketing Director for P&G's Bounce Dryer Bar, and Jodi Benson, Baking R&D and Transformational Business Development Director for General Mills, at the Edison Awards in NYC to hear about the tools in today's marketing arsenal.

Mary Pochobradsky talked about the launch of the Bounce Dryer Bar and shared three tactics to build awareness, trial and strong relationships with consumers:

- Create advocacy by partnering with bloggers

- Foster the sharing of brand experiences among consumers

- Answer tough questions from consumers right away

Jodi Benson talked about the launch of Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Baking mixes and shared her perspective on how mass marketers should expand their marketing toolkits to capture the fragmented attention of today's consumers. She also hit on some key differentiators between digital and traditional marketing:

- The ability for digital media to effectively target specific consumer niches

- The ability to quickly create and refresh content that is useful to consumers

Google's CPG team has also seen the trend towards marketers engaging in two-way conversations with consumers, and has found that a "pull" strategy using search is an effective product launch technique. To that end, we conducted research with Compete in March 2010; the research took a look at 26 CPG product launches that took place in 2009. Here's what we found:

- Share of search referrals increase over time. The more time that passes after a launch, the more reliant consumers become on search engines to help them get to the product page. The study indicates that it can take over 9 weeks to generate awareness for a new product.

- 1 in 3 searchers discover a new product brand website by clicking on sponsored links. This illustrates how sponsored links can aid consumers in navigating to the new product page.

- Search brings in more non-branded searches to the new product page. This shows how presence on a search engine results page can aid brand association.

- Searchers spend twice the amount of time on the new product website than consumers who arrive directly, without using search engines. This confirms that searchers are leaning forward and taking the initiative to search. Therefore, they are more likely to be in-market for the new product than non-searchers.

Visit for more details about the Bounce and Betty Crocker's product launches; you can look for them by individual, company, or scroll to the Consumer Packaged Goods category.