Support your marketing with an online presence – Belvita

By Peter O'Neill, posted 25th January 2011 in Marketing.

Travelling on the London Underground yesterday, I was a little bored and took note of products being advertised inside the carriages.  As I am not at my best in the mornings and am getting a little older with an associated slowing down of my previously super high metabolism, the promise of biscuits that release carbs slowly over four hours had some appeal (assuming there was some sort of taste involved).  So, fairly naturally as an online geek, I googled Belvita to find out more (being slightly surprised the website URL was not included on the ad).

I was more surprised to discover this as the Belvita website.

My immediate reaction was that this is clearly not a good thing, whoever was running the campaign, whether in-house or through an agency, should have had the website live before the campaign launched.  But maybe it is only a couple of days away and this wasn’t a total disaster.  The link I had clicked on was only #4 in the list though so I thought I would check out what other information was available.

The top link is through to Kraft, makers of Belvita with some product information – only the basics though.  The third link started ringing alarm bells, a review of the marketing campaign from the 27th Nov – is it possible that the campaign has been live for 2 months without a website to support it?  Surely not.

Then I scrolled further down the list of Google results and found an earlier article.  It provided details on the launch that month of a marketing campaign to support Kraft’s new Belvita Breakfast brand.  The article was published on the 16th Apr.  The campaign launched NINE months ago!!!

The website could have been quite simple, containing product information, prices, where to buy and maybe some testimonials.  With a bit more work, it could have included some social media features to get live feedback (some current tweets below) so people could see what others thought about the product or what else they ate with it.  But something basic that fulfilled all requirements could have been whipped up in an afternoon at the pub for a couple of hundred quid.  Or, with a more logical approach would have the website done in an office but still at a fairly low cost (assuming you could talk your agency out of needlessly doing it in Flash).

Oh, money is always a key point – maybe budget was the issue.  Nope, a £3m marketing campaign featuring TV ads, print ads, retail promotions and sampling fronted by Jonny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon.  But if anyone had thought to get some more information prompted by this advertising (in a user friendly to read way), they would have been out of luck.

I’m not sure exactly how many packs of Belvita that Kraft have had to sell to get a positive ROI on that £3m marketing spend but I do know that by focussing a bit more on the basic boring work of creating a website and a bit of SEO & PPC to support it (rather than shooting fun TV ads with celebrities) Kraft would have sold even more.  Of course, even smarter would be to use some web analytics to evaluate the performance of the marketing, learning what does and doesn’t work, for future product releases and marketing campaigns and marketing spends of £3m.


  1. What a lack of thinking indeed… At least put a link to your Youtube TV ad on your website coming soon page… Or do not have a website coming soon page while running marketing campaigns, simply take your site down. Very surprising coming from a big name like Kraft. This story highlights what a myth 360 degrees marketing campaigns are…

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