Whole Food Moms – Don’t give me TMI!

Photo courtesy of: smartypantsmama.com/

Photo courtesy of: smartypantsmama.com/

While the natural and organic shopper is typically portrayed as higher educated/income older baby boomers and younger single millennials, an important and growing segment is popularly labeled as the “Whole Foods Mom”.  Based on the recent top natural food trends that market is poised to explode.

Those trends – more shopping for Convenience, greater awareness of Allergens, growth in Meat-free meals, increased focus on Buying Local, and the trend toward it being Cool To Care don’t necessarily speak only to moms, but play a large role in her grocery purchase. This is, of course why you rapidly are seeing dedicated natural and organic sections in traditional grocery chains.

But moms still represent a small percentage of purchases of natural and organic food. Much of that is not due to lack of need, but rather from lack of understanding. Over 75% of new moms and moms of young children have bought SOME organic foods. Newish parents are information hungry and natural media and manufacturers do a good job speaking directly to their concerns about health and safety.

It’s when those moms attempt to branch out to a greater variety of natural products that the whole process bogs down. Whole Food’s moms STILL have health and safety of their children as their first concern. Natural brands though are too often guilty of TMI. (Too much information).

Moms are busy, working, still doing the majority of child care and household tasks. They along with the vast majority of the American public are still pretty confused about the various terms we use in the industry – natural, organic, certified, non-GMO. And frankly, they don’t have time to learn it all.

Green brands that focus on Whole Food’s Moms greatest need – health and safety for herself and for her family will find the going easier than educating her on the differences in terminology. Restrain from sharing TMI. It’s almost always a good thing.

 

 

headshot new Maryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Marketing, a consulting firm focused on green and sustainable industries, fresh produce, food, Hispanic marketing and marketing to Moms. See her at ExpoEast Natural Foods Expo in Baltimore, speaking on Social Media for Socially Conscious Brands, September 27, 2013 Connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin

Advertisements

SmartPhones Taking Over Shopping!! Can We Please all Calm Down.

Headline after headline screams about the coming mobile shopping revolution

Shopping ‘popular activity with mobile phone users’ claims one article, then goes on to say a full 37% of shoppers have bought something on their hand set. Wow! That sounds like a big number.  Oh.  Lost in the details it is revealed that most of that is music, books, games, DVD downloads and movie tickets.

Mobile Taking Over E-Commerce proclaims another post and goes on to say…” By 2017, smartphones will account for 27% of retail mcommerce sales”. OK. Fine. But if the numbers above are indicative of exactly WHAT consumers purchase with their smartphones  –  much of that is going to be downloads and tickets.

While this is certainly actionable news for e-commerce sites that focus on downloads and service sites that sell tickets to everything from airlines to concerts…retailers and manufacturers of physical goods should probably put this on the “things to worry about later” list.

While tablets of various types, do and will see continuing growth in ecommerce sales of everything from groceries to tool sheds and brands should ensure they have a shopping friendly platform, I just don’t think the smartphone will revolutionize the sales of clothes or food or even consumer electronics.

That said, the way consumers USE their smartphone in store is something to which we should all be paying attention because How Mobile Is Transforming the Shopping Experience in Stores  is actually a big deal.

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Marketing, a consulting firm focused on green and sustainable industries, fresh produce, food, Hispanic marketing and marketing to Moms. See her at ExpoEast Natural Foods Expo in Baltimore, speaking on Social Media for Socially Conscious Brands, September 27, 2013 Connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin

The Smart Watch – Revolutionary or One More Thing to Carry Around?

gearThe big buzz in the tech world this week is Samsung unveiling the Galaxy Gear at Berlin’s IFA trade show. Though the tech press has been gushing about the Smart Watch recently and consumers have been scratching their heads, this trend has real potential to change the way consumers access mobile and…change their shopping/buying/socializing habits as well.

Curiously, the problem the smart watch solves, has already been solved by smart phones. With fewer functions than the typical smartphone, one might wonder how a smart watch addresses an existing consumer need – since you don’t actually REPLACE your smart phone with a smart watch….you add it to the tech you carry about with you.

Frankly, I haven’t worn a watch in years! Why would I start wearing one again when my cell phone does such a great job of keeping me on track and on time?

Not so fast, though. Remember back when the iPad was introduced? It was positioned as a “mobile computer” – intended to replace lugging around a bulky laptop, Instead the tablet computer has actually formed its own niche, one that most tech writers and manufacturers did not predict – as an entertainment tool, for use in the home as much as on the road.

So regardless of how Google and Samsung and the raft of other players intend consumers to use this watch, it will find its own function within the closet of technology consumers currently tote around – or not.

Looking beyond these first generation watches, can a wrist computer replace a smart phone? Do we all need to switch from thumb texting to “middle three fingers of the right hand” keyboarding? Is the screen big enough to let me read my email, play my games and post pics on Facebook? How do I hold my wrist to take a picture anyway?

These are just some of the questions that come to mind – the ergonomic ones anyway.

Looking at the bigger picture, I think the accessibility of a Smartwatch can defiantly increase interaction by consumers at store level (much easier for moms to snap a QR code with toddlers are in tow) – revitalizing that waning technology. Improvements in voice activation could fuel demand for this technology as will GPS functionality which would make it much easier to access our maps while biking or walking…even driving.

The big question still come down to screen size and the consumer’s willingness to tote around yet another piece of technology. The eventual niche smart watches fill could surprise us all.

professional content creationMaryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Marketing, a consulting firm focused on green and sustainable industries, fresh produce, food, Hispanic marketing and marketing to Moms. See her at ExpoEast Natural Foods Expo in Baltimore, speaking on Social Media for Socially Conscious Brands, September 27, 2013 Connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin

Kids Go Back to School While Mom Gets Down To Business

It’s been a nice summer break, but with August over and kids back in school, the focus for social media moms, primarily prolific bloggers, shifts back to business.  While mom blogs proliferate, many still serve as an online diary for friends, family and the odd reader who appears via organic search. These, while perhaps still in the majority, are not of interest, at least on a professional level, for those of us working for brands.

Those blogs that can deliver verified readership numbers are a different breed. Mom bloggers with any history usually have received multiple requests from brands for product reviews, blog posts and participation in social media events. And, over the last 5 years, more and more have expected to get paid when they provide readership via their blogs and networks of social media contacts. Not an unreasonable request.

Approaching mom bloggers and analyzing the ROI of working with one, though, is still in its infancy. In this era of big data this perhaps comes as some surprise. But it need not be difficult – just start here.

1)      Verify Readership – Bloggers who work with brands treat their publishing empire as such. They can provide readership numbers, impressions and a variety of information upon request. Many subscribe to data services and can provide access for you to their reports.

2)      Explore their Properties – One of the key benefits of working with bloggers is the ability to reach a very niche audience. Unlike larger publications, bloggers have much lower overhead and can support a quite robust following of an extremely niche market – perfect for smaller brands.

3)      Approve Content – Another bonus of working with bloggers is the ability to not only approve content but specify exactly what content is covered and what keywords are used.  While it’s important that bloggers speak in their own voice to their audience, most are willing to work with brands on editing and revising posts.

4)      Use Tracking Links – Developing specific tracking links for each blogger to use on all of their properties when linking back to content on your site allows you to closely monitor click-through and ecommerce sales.

Working with social media moms, of course requires experience and technique to maximize return, but these few simple steps can lay the groundwork for a robust marketing program.

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Marketing, a consulting firms focused on green and sustainable industries, fresh produce, food, Hispanic marketing and marketing to Moms. See her at ExpoEast Natural Foods Expo in Baltimore, speaking on Social Media for Socially Conscious Brands, September 27, 2013 Connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin