In this sluggish economy, more companies are scrounging for fewer consumer dollars - the only thing increasing is competition. How do brands differentiate themselves from the crowd? Social marketing is one strategy that has not yet been brought to a level of finesse - unlike other marketing methods that have been quantified over a span of decades. So, today's eMarketer wants consumer packaged goods to learn how to socialize. CPG firms in particular have seen more success through forms of outreach than paid advertising. Brands can create a more three-dimensional personality, encourage customer loyalty, all simply by being available when customers have questions, problems, or feedback. A successful avenue for this kind of relationship between the CPG brand and their customers are social networks, like Facebook.
The Facebook fan page is a popular model, though it works for some brands better than others. For Proctor & Gamble's Dawn dish soap, the strategy shows that success can be possible for mundane cleaning products, not just trendy beverages or jeans.
Though the Dawn brand has been a supporter of wildlife charities for a long time, creating a Facebook fan page with that theme helped to increase customer awareness of these actions. Along with a sponsored Facebook application that tied into its conservation efforts, the "Everyday Wildlife Champions" page has gathered over 16,000 fans. The strategy includes a television commercial that advertises Dawn's promise to donate one dollar for every bottle of detergent purchased, and a Web site where customers can register said bottle to activate the donation.
“We’ve made people care about a product they didn’t think a whole lot about before, and care about a cause,” said Susan Baba, external relations manager for dish care at Proctor & Gamble, said in an eMarketer interview. However, in recent coverage, the irony of the chosen cause and P&G's vigorous animal testing practices was not mentioned.