Age: As you look out the next several years, what are some
digital opportunities for packaged food brands?
Addicks: The first one is to really redefine marketing.
What I think digital allows you to do is to go back to the original
definition of marketing, which really wasn't just advertising. It
was really about finding markets, defining them, developing a brand
that could deliver something differential and superior for
the most exciting things about digital is that for the first time
you can start to see markets and you can actually get to markets
that you never could before because you had to make these choices
based on the channels by which you could market, like network TV.
The sheer size and scope of those, and the costs, required that you
could only market to certain markets: They had to be big. They had
to be broad. They had to be able to deliver a certain amount of
purchasing power to justify the expense.
digital you can really start to get these micro markets in new ways
that we never could before.
Age: How is General Mills doing this?
Mr. Addicks: With a brand like
Cheerios with a generic heart health benefit … there are so
many smaller markets underneath that you can go and have a specific
Cheerios conversation that's highly relevant to [consumers].
Whether you want to talk about the folic acid that is in Cheerios,
which is a great thing for expectant mothers, [or] if you want to
talk about high blood pressure. [Or] if you want to talk about
cholesterol for different types of people at different stages of
Age: Give us one or two examples.
Addicks: Under Betty Crocker we are looking at ways to
deliver very specific birthday party ideas that customize by
gender, by age, by type of birthday party … We can do the
same thing for those other kinds of rituals -- for not only the
birthday but half-birthday and monthly birthdays.
we marketed to baking season. Now we are marketing to other
occasions, like outdoor barbecuing where people want to bring a
dessert. We never could see that market, but now we can.
Age: How are you delivering these messages?
Mr. Addicks: Bettycrocker.com and the
other core platforms we have: Pillsbury.com; Tablespoon, which is very
millennial; Live Better
America, which is more boomer; Box Tops
For Education, which is the sweet spot of that household
transition from kindergarten to first grade where the family
rituals change; Que Rica
Vida, which really homes in on Hispanic families. All of those
will do a combined 250 million visits this year. They involve about
60 million unique families.
of platforms give us a line of sight into a lot of search data in
where people are spending their time. We get a lot of community
chat, a lot of comments. So it's classic data mining and all done
with people's permissions.