Believe it or not, simply being active and engaged in social media is the baseline entry point these days. You’re no longer on the social frontline anymore just by having your brand on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, etc. The new bar is now having content that’s worth sharing.

Yes, keeping up with creating new content is important. Making it relevant and valuable to your friends, fans, and followers, is too. But, developing content that they WANT to share, that’s where the money is today.

social_cartSocial media has changed the shopping experience for everyone—brands, retailers, and consumers. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, and others are now a constant and significant influence on what, where, and how often consumers buy.

When we speak about the path to purchase in this article, we’re talking about influencing consumers before, during, and after their purchase—specifically in the social media sphere.

Stats are always a good place to start:

  • 36% of the population use social media with their grocery shopping
  • 80% of these users are CONSUMING (looking for coupons, deals, etc.) but only 20% are CREATING (generating content, commenting, posting videos, recipes, etc.)

There are 80 million Millennials—24.5% of the US population. They are the largest adult generation, ever and are projected to account for 30% of retail sales by 2020—surpassing Baby Boomers!

They will significantly impact the success or failure of your brand.

As marketers, if you want your brand to be relevant and meaningful to Millennials, you need to know their behavior and how to communicate with them. They are different.

First off, Millennials are the most ethnically and racially diverse group in our nation’s history. They’re less religious, come from “non-traditional” families, and are on track to become the most educated generation.  So much for apple pie and Chevrolet!

As a college student finishing up my senior year, one of my final requirements to graduate is to log a certain number of hours at an internship. Many people I've talked to dread this part of their college career, saying it's just a waste of time and that they'd never do it again.  Are internships as bad as they sound, or could they be one of the best decisions you've ever made?  As I'm halfway through the fall semester as well as my internship with Allebach Communications, I thought it would be helpful to explore what an internship really is in this essay.

The number one problem people have with an internship is that, more often than not, it's unpaid.  It goes against logic to spend time and gas money on a job that takes without giving.  How will you pay for rent? Or groceries? The phone bill?  These things weigh heavy on the mind as you rack up the hours without a paycheck at the end of the week.  Worse yet, once it's all over you go work a full day at your retail job so you can make ends meet.  It's a rigorous schedule, and most definitely not for the faint of heart.  Going to school, going to your internship,  going to your job, managing your home life--that's a lot of stuff to juggle.

Tags:  Agency,   Allebach   Internship  

Real-Time targeting capabilities push Pandora to the top of the charts.

There’s a good reason traditional broadcast radio is a valued part of most media plans year after year. It offers high reach, good targetability, and extraordinarily low costs compared to TV.

Now imagine having the ability to target each and every one of your radio listeners by age, gender, geographic location and specific songs they like, add response tracking and socialsharing, then top it all off with a visual display that can run digital ads along with your radio spots, no matter what type of digital device they’re listening on — web, mobile, web-enabled TV, even car audio systems (targeted by automobile make and model).

Tags:  Digital   Display Ads   Geo Targeting   Online Advertising   Pandora   Radio  

Shopper Info PieConsumer food brands often wrestle with effectively bridging the gap between online and in-store shoppers–most of the time over complicating the marketing process. It’s simple; most consumers discover your brand online, and then activate in-store.

Online/Mobile Shoppers

78% of all US shoppers go online to research and purchase products and services. This means they either discover, validate, and/or activate your brand online.

91% of consumers say that something they have done online has prompted them to visit a store. Email continues to be the biggest influence, with 60% of consumers being motivated to visit a store after receiving an email with a special price or promotion.

Tags:  In-Store Shoppers   Mobile Shoppers   Online Shoppers   US Shoppers  

It’s official: YouTube is now second to only Google itself in terms of search queries. Which only makes sense — when we want information about something, we Google it, but when we want to know how to use something or cook it properly, we visit YouTube to watch a video on the right way to do it.

Over a billion unique viewers visit YouTube every month, watching over 4 billion videos a day. And foodies use it just as much as anyone else,with the Food Network and Epicurious channels fast becoming two of the most popular YouTube food channels.

For food brands and manufacturers, the ever-increasing popularity of both cooking shows and video content creates many opportunities for creating brand followers. After all, what more convincing way to show customers how easy it is to prepare your products than to let them watch you do it in your own videos?

Tags:  Epicurious   Food Network   Foodies   Recipes   Video   Video Recipes  

“Mobile is too big of an opportunity for retailers to not properly seize.” says Adam Lavine, CEO of FunMobility.  Mobile presents many strategic advantages for retailers to differentiate their brand, strengthen customer relationships and loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue.  While nearly 83% of the top retailers already provide a mobile offering, there are only one-in-three who actually provide all three platforms – mobile web, iOS and Android.

A recent post featured Chiquita’s big hit as they stepped into social media for the first time.  As part of their 2012 Summer FanFun Sweepstakes and partnership with Little League, they worked with FunMobility to create a multi-platform app. This encouraged consumers to check-in at their favorite retailers to participate in the sweepstakes, interact with games, make Little League baseball cards and ultimately connect more with the brand and the retailers carrying their product.

Tags:  Chiquita Banana   FanFun   Sweepstakes   FunMobility   Little League   Mobile Retail Rewards   Retail Rewards  

As I look back at my notes from the Path to Purchase Institute’s Shopper Marketing Summit [http://www.shoppersummit.com] last week, I realize just how much there is to share. Rather than overwhelming you, I will provide a few bullets for you to think about.

Shopper_Marketing_Summit_2013

  • Insights, insights, insights – An idea may be great, but without insights to support it, it won’t get any traction.
  • Relevance – Retailers are looking for relevance – they all want to provide the right content, at the right time, in the right channel.
  • Partnership – Retailers want to partner with CPG companies – as long as the insights support the idea and the idea is relevant.
  • Promotions – It’s no longer about those key events or holidays; taking occasion-based ideas to the retailer is a win-win.
  • Speed – Companies are going to be moving at the speed of light. Walmart is now producing 30 spots per week!
  • Concepts – The idea must come first. Long gone are the days of determining the channels and then following with the ideas to fit. The big idea is what is important, the channel is secondary.

Tags:  2013 Shopper Marketing Summit   Concepts   Insights   Relevance  

As a brand, your digital presence is incredibly important. It should be a given that brands regularly post new content on their website and across all social media platforms. It keeps consumers informed, provides access to up-to-date information on your products and helps keep your presence on the web relevant (from  a search engine standpoint and to the consumer). Nothing is worse than going to a website to look up information and finding something incorrect or outdated, or going to a brand's Facebook or Twitter page and seeing their last post was from 6 months ago.

In addition to continuing to push out information and promotional messages about your products, your brand should be posting content that is timely and relevant. Keep up with what is in the media and entertainment world and join in the conversations with consumers. Your website may not always be the best place for this, but your social media accounts sure are.

Tags:  Blogging   Brand Website   Content   Content Calendar   Content Schedule   Digital Content   Facebook   Social Media   Twitter