Which Social Site

Love this Infographic from Neil Patel. I’ve written about the importance of not getting totally carried away and joining every social site here, here and over here too. Obviously new channels Snapchat and What’s App and a few other developing sites are not on here yet, and the stats are a bit out of date, but this is a nice overview of the largest platforms.

info on socil

It’s tempting when you look at big brand sites and see them all over every platform to try to be there too. But, social media is like any media and is growing more like them every day – there are a multitude of choices, you need to pick the ones that work for your product and  target market. This is particularly critical due to the total time suck that social media can be, whether you are a billion dollar company or an entrepreneur…especially if you are trying to grow a company.

Taking the time to think through a strategy and decide which platforms are best for your brand can make a big difference in your marketing program and is you are a do-it-yourself-er…your life.

 

professional content creationMARYANNE CONLIN IS AN CPG TRAINED MARKETER AND AN AWARD-WINNING DIGITAL EXPERT. SHE SPECIALIZES IN HELPING GROWING BRANDS DEVELOP STRATEGIC  MARKETING PLANS AND EXECUTE THEM EFFECTIVELY. 

CONTACT HER AT REDROPESDIGITAL.COM

FOLLOW HER  ON TWITTER @maryanneconlin

 

5 Tips for Travel Industry Brands

It’s seems like infographics, though trendy will remain in the digital marketer’s toolkit for the foreseeable future. I’ve made several for clients using Canva – time consuming, but a great way to provide information in visual form.

Here’s one that I really like that covers the basics of where to invest in digital this year. It’s similar to a post I did for LinkedIn last week – Digital Checklist for Real Life Brands. I was actually thinking about a hospitality industry client I have when I wrote it!

 

Travel Marketing Budgets 2016 #InfographicYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan

Big brands already have a team and a strategy in place to implement these key strategies but, small and medium size organizations, especially those not specifically in the digital world will find both this infographic and my post good starting points for developing a plan.

Thanks to MGA advertising for this infographic. Nice job.

headshot newMARYANNE CONLIN IS AN CPG TRAINED MARKETER AND AN AWARD-WINNING DIGITAL EXPERT. SHE SPECIALIZES IN HELPING GROWING BRANDS DEVELOP STRATEGIC  MARKETING PLANS AND EXECUTE THEM EFFECTIVELY. 

CONTACT HER AT REDROPESDIGITAL.COM

FOLLOW HER  ON TWITTER @maryanneconlin

 

The Changing Economics of Produce

PMA High Performence Mgt Conference

Slide from my recent session at The Produce Marketing Association High Performance Management Conference.  I’m still working out the challenges and opportunities from this trend, but digital communication with consumers will play a big role. What do you think?

 

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is an award-winning digital marketing expert and CEO of RedRopes Digital, a consulting firm focused on building strong digital brands. Check back in a few days to access her December 5th presentation at the PMA High Performance Management Conference . Meanwhile, connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin.

 

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

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

Missing the Mark With Millennial Moms

Photo courtesy Business Insider

Photo courtesy Business Insider

Earlier this year, while executing plans for a major food client, an opportunity to pair with a lifestyle mobile app came up.  The client reaction could be described as, “huh?”  A nudge and a resounding success later, it had the unexpected effect of  starting  us thinking more about targeting that consumer of the future, the younger, Millennial Mom.

In one of those marketing illuminating moments, we realized that while most of our programs targeted moms 25-54, when we looked around and started asking our brand advocates and digital vendors about the average age of the moms we were reaching, it seemed heavy on the 35-54 and light on the other end. This didn’t seem to be a prescription for exponential growth.

As I wrote about this month, in MediaPost, we’re remarkably better informed on the psychographics of our online target market these days than their actual demographics. At the same time there are some significant differences between Baby Boomers/Gen X-ers and the Millennial generation that follows – the new cadre of moms we’ll be targeting for the next 10 years or so.

More culturally diverse, living a wider variety of “family” lifestyles and more often the family breadwinner than older generations, they also are more collaborative decision makers when it comes to buying the family groceries. This last, I suspect has to do has a lot to do with growing up online where eliciting the opinion of 20 different people can be accomplished in record time.

So, while it’s easy to connect with Millennial moms, it’s not so easy to engage without better insights into their needs, wants and lifestyle. And Millennial Moms do feel neglected by brands, as this study shows. So, take some time to learn more about the moms with whom your brand connects – it just might surprise you.

headshot new Maryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Marketing. Connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin

Crowdsourcing Needs Expert Opinion

courtesy another great post on crowdsourcing http://tinyurl.com/qbk4xul

photo courtesy another great post on crowdsourcing http://tinyurl.com/qbk4xul

The headline for this article caught my eye since…it just seems to me that so much could go awry.

Crowdsourcing Gone Wrong: How Brands Can Avoid Messy Marketing Mistakes

Like focus groups…if you ask the wrong question or in the wrong way, the answers you get will be umm… at the least inaccurate, at the most disastrous.

I spent some time in my career in market research doing focus groups and original research for big brands…and some time in call centers, down in the trenches listening to how questions are asked and their responses.

Illuminating!

If there is a recommendation for how to use crowdsourcing most effectively, it would have to be take your time. In our rush to use Big Data and quickly crowd source the marketing process, we’ve forgotten those small but important qualitative touches – what we used to call “mother-in-law” research.

Continue reading

Drive Repeat Purchase With Food Fusion

 Since I work in the food industry, in particular with brands of less well known foods…by choice, I might add, I am always on the look out for ways to incorporate the unusual into the American diet.

I’m fortunate that I tend to work for truly healthy foods – but I get to use the “health” message, far less often than the “tasty” one. Wow – look at this delicious, delectable way to use fresh subterranean spinach pear … can you imagine how you will love biting into this? Incidentally, go ahead…it’s healthy too.

Sold!

Once!

Convincing trial is less arduous than one might think in this “Foodie’ culture of ours – people are willing to try. It’s helping them figure out how to actually use this new “stuff” they brought home, on a regular basis and put in their cabinet or frig that can be challenging.

So, I like to read articles, like this one in Fast Company: Dip Into Innovation: How Sabra’s CEO Is Going To Put Hummus In Every U.S. Fridge.

Cut to the chase here- the key to getting beyond trial and into the weekly menu is embracing “fusion”.  American consumers are so much more willing to add a new food to a beloved dish than they are to incorporate a new dish into their diet. Find a twist on any standard dish that drives the top chef in any household batty with its repetitiveness in their family’s repertoire and you have an almost guaranteed winner.

But getting there is not so easy.  It takes lots and lots of mouthwatering examples, otherwise known as recipes to hit on that combination of meal ideas that speak to the palate of target consumers.  It takes hours of recipe development and importantly visual and textual presentation on digital properties. In this age of social media, broadcasting is optimal…over and over on a variety of social media platforms in various guises…as a pin, as a post as a tweet .  It takes relationship building with the hundreds of thousands of chefs, dieticians, bloggers, foodies and household chefs to build an information web visible enough to change consumer behavior on an ongoing basis.

Department of Interim Technology- Scan -To -Share

I’ve been working on plans this week – one year, five year, next month…

My mostly, mid size clients, $50-$500 million, have somewhere between the “all the money in the world” of the big brands and the shoestring budget of small businesses.Practically, that means, we have to pick and choose the technologies, social media platforms and “new and exciting” apps we pursue.

Ad Ag Relaunch Includes New “Scan to Share”

This one, ‘Scan to print” strikes me as an interim technology…for people who still read trade news via print. Note, reading on paper will be around for the foreseeable future..but IMHO, reading and sharing of trade news will rapidly move online …just about only.

The Organic Debate – Why Consumers Buy Organic Anyway!

Surfing the different posts on the web about the recent debate on the health benefits of organic, I keep coming back to a simple question that needs to be considered…as a marketer, I mean:

Why in the world consumers buy organic anyway?

It’s not “nutritional value”.

It’s not vitamin content.
It’s Pesticides…or lack of them actually. ( and some GMO concern thrown in there too.)

So, am I worried about the impact of this recent report on marketing organics?

 

Nahh.