LM interviewed Simone Fenu, Senior Director Licensing Italy, Greece and Malta of ViacomCBS, to learn more about the company’s future digital plans.
How important is digital today for the consumer products development?
Today it is essential to build a digital licensing strategy. It was crucial also before this period but today it has become a primary objective, both for the migration of consumption of certain categories in e-commerce and for the promotion of products throughout the social media world. Understanding which are the most important trends and the ways to communicate will be means to intercept a large slice of revenues and consumers.
How the relationship with traditional retail has changed nowadays, as the main purchases happen online?
It has certainly changed the specific weight between online and offline although we keep an integrated approach. We dialogue with retailers by offering support with our assets for the development and diffusion of the e-commerce system. It is essential to work as one. The consumer has to perceive the quality of a service that can arise from the union of consolidated realities. We try to create a story together with our partners to tell a new way to propose ourselves. Retailers are great allies for us and we will work more and more with them to increase a warm relationship with our consumers.
What have you developed on the digital and online front for the fans of your brands and together with your licensee partners?
We are working with a number of different realities in this regard. With Toy Center retail, we’ve launched a PAW Patrol product page that has also a range of downloadable content for children to play with, and is constantly expanding, integrating new products and activities. On Baby Shark, whose series will be aired on NickJr in 2021 following the November and December previews, we have implemented a strong seeding mechanism towards blogger mums with exceptional feedback. It is also a pleasure to mention the whole family of Chiara Ferragni, Leone and Fedez dressed for Halloween with the most beloved Baby Shark costume. We are now starting with an impacting digital campaign to boost the sell out, focusing on three main assets: Social Media initiatives with a call to action based on well-defined products; a targeted campaign developed through a media centre; and finally a targeted campaign on Amazon to promote certain branded products and properties.
How much will the weight of digital evolve in the near future?
It will be increasingly important. I am convinced that this period has shifted definitely the purchasing asset and, although it may rebalance itself, it won’t be the same as before. If the infrastructure is adequate, consumers will continue to prefer comfort and facilities. It will be very interesting to see next attitudes, when the pandemic will be over. We must prepare ourselves, we must structure ourselves and be original in selling and promoting our brands. These are the challenges I see most from now on. We have already put in place everything we need to tackle them, but we also need to have the flexibility to adapt needs in the digital world. We believe a lot in this “new” world and every day we take a step forward to understand and interpret it.