Explore something new in every brief: there is a huge tension that I see in the challenge facing FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) marketers. On the one hand they have to continue innovating as their brand media spend slowly fragments across new channels in pursuit of consumers.
On the other hand, Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) is now being used to bring increased accountability to marketing activity. The advice to “explore something new in every brief” – whilst laudable, becomes harder to achieve. The move towards ZBB implies that FMCG sectors are value industries, and recent stagnant growth largely validates that impression – businesses like Dollar Shave Club and the like are edge factors rather than core drivers. Secondly ZBB doesn’t lend itself particularly well to long term brand building because ROI is measured over a much smaller time period – leaning towards activation.