Experiment: How Nestlé unlocked incremental conversions by finding the right media mix

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September 2020
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What we set out to test

Can marketers drive incremental conversions by showing up across more online platforms?

The background

Nestlé is a leading global food and beverage company that offers consumers everything from breakfast cereals to nutritional supplements. The brand had been using Search ads since 2017 to connect with pregnant Taiwanese women who were likely to be interested in Nestlé Mom’s prenatal vitamins. As more and more competitors started vying for Taiwanese moms’ attention, Nestlé found it increasingly difficult to efficiently reach new consumers in the right moments. To better engage its niche audience online, Nestlé set out to explore whether it could boost incremental conversions with YouTube and Discovery campaigns.

How we set the experiment up

One of Nestlé’s goals was increasing conversions, which it defined as sign-ups for prenatal vitamin samples. The brand created TrueView for action and Discovery ads to show up on YouTube, Gmail, and Discover — a feed on the Google app that recommends personalized content — to connect with expectant moms. It also implemented advanced audience solutions and Smart Bidding across all of its campaigns to meet consumers who were the most likely to be interested in its product.

The brand then kicked off a pre/post test across Taiwan in Q4 2019 to measure the impact of complementing its existing Search campaigns with its new ads on YouTube and Discover.

  • Pre-group: Search ads only for eight weeks
  • Post-group: Search, TrueView for action*, and Discovery* ads for eight weeks

*Audience solutions used: Demographics (women ages 25 and up) + Custom intent (interested in mom classes and newborn babies; searched for brands’ top keywords) + In-market (infant) + Life events (purchasing a home, ready for marriage)

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After running the experiment for 16 comparable weeks when seasonality wouldn’t influence the results, Nestlé compared its performance before and after revamping its media mix.

What we learned

Marketers can drive incremental conversions by showing up across more online platforms. By running YouTube and Discovery ads alongside its Search campaigns, Nestlé boosted conversions by 217% at a 28% higher conversion rate. The brand was especially surprised by how effectively these channels worked together. Nestlé's blended cost per sign-up increased by only 32%, making these platforms more competitive than others in its media plan.

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Thanks to its successful experiment, Nestlé is currently exploring how its other brands such as Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, and Wyeth can adopt a similar strategy to build relationships with new consumers.

“While rethinking our media mix, we uncovered new ways of connecting with our key audience and making the most of our budget. We’re excited to continue building our presence across more online platforms to engage our key audience in the long run.” — Sheeny Lao, Digital Manager, Nestlé Health

This case study is part of the Experiment with Google Ads program.

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