Brisbane L!VE - Fast food and consumer goods marketers on brand and short-termism

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 23 August 2023
Michael Levine, Kate Lippett and Natasha Guiulfo.

QSR and FMCG marketers are aggressively investing in brand marketing, while other categories are doing it tough with inflation and short-termism.

The restaurant industry is worth $20 billion in Australia with year-on-year growth. In terms of media spend, SMI (Standard Media Index) has recorded the industry at $420 million, with the top three owners, KFC, McDonalds and Hungry Jacks, to have more than tripled their spend in the last few years.

And the category's success is rooted in a simple consumer behaviour, Kate Lippett, Zenith's chief client officer, said on stage at AdNews L!VE in Brisbane.

"We have to eat every day and people are eating more," Lippett said.

"If we think about our own behaviors, for example, my Uber Eats spend dramatically increased through COVID and [in general] Uber Eats has given all consumers a whole lot of extra opportunities for us to eat.

"We're definitely seeing people not just buying lunch now, dinners is a massive growing area for Subway and others."

Accelerated by the pandemic, consumers have forever changed their way of buying and Michael Levine, Uber's head of advertising sales ANZ, thinks they're never going back.

IPSOS research shows that one in four Aussies are now ordering food from an online delivery platform like Uber every month.

"But we actually think that's much higher, 8.5M Aussies have turned to Uber rides or eats in the last 90 days," Levine said.

"Although there are macro pressures I think consumers, for example, on Uber Eats are slightly more resilient to those pressures, because they're willing to pay for convenience. 

"Marketers understand that in a tightening environment they need to be accountable for every dollar spent. So they're moving money to platforms that provide immediacy and can help them measure the impact and efficacy of their efforts."

Michael Levine, Kate Lippett and Natasha Guiulfo.

With changing consumer behaviours and most marketers focused on short-term planning, marketers in retail are pivoting towards providing value to consumers and enhancing brand.

Even a smaller brand in terms of budget like Baskin-Robbins is making money work harder in the current uncertain economic climate, says Natasha Guiulfo, national marketing manager at the ice cream parlor chain. 

"People don't have as much to spend, but equally they're looking to treat themselves so they're not going on holidays, they're not going out to dinner, but they're still coming to get an ice cream," Guiulfo said.

"So we're really focusing in on that value, that occasion and that experience we can offer. Working with the likes of Uber, building our own app and equally trying to provide that value proposition [it all comes back to] that experience we're trying to provide as a brand.

"We're investing in brand tools, more so than brand campaigns or advertising, but equally leveraging those national campaigns as our short term performance. Acknowledging the long and the short term is really important to get that 60/40 split."

AdNews would like to thank supporting partners Foxtel Media, RyvalMedia, Quantcast, Newscorp Australia, associate partner MIQ and co-curators Brisbane Advertising Association and Brisbane Advertising and Design Club.

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