Thursday, October 19, 2017

Shopper Marketing Coordinated with Social Media Marketing

With Halloween approaching, store displays and social media accounts are promoting the season with limited-edition pumpkin-spiced products and Halloween treats galore.

Above, packages of a limited-edition Hostess baked treat displayed on a supermarket endcap. These Glo Balls are a seasonal variation on the brand's Sno Balls products. Interstate Bakeries acquired the Hostess brands in 1995 and changed its corporate name to Hostess in 2009. More than 1.2 million brand fans have clicked to like the Hostess Facebook page.

Another familiar technique for shopper marketing is to use a seasonal point-of-purchase display. This Hershey Halloween cardboard display, at the front of a supermarket, has plenty of room for family-sized bags of Hershey-branded candies, for home or for trick-or-treat give-aways. The company also promotes recipes and crafts featuring its branded chocolates on the web and social media. Nearly 10 million people have liked Hershey's Facebook page, by the way.

Finally, an unusual pumpkin-spiced product: Gouda cheese, found in the supermarket's cheese refrigerated case. Only for a limited time. Not the usual autumn flavor combo, to say the least.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Shopper Marketing: In-store Displays Cue Consumers to Buy

Marketers are increasingly interested in targeted shopper marketing (marketing to shoppers at the point of purchase). For example, now that the cold and flu season is approaching, marketers are reminding consumers about appropriate products.

At top, a shelf display in the paper-goods aisle, where Puffs tissues are stocked. Attached to the shelf is a small display tray holding a handful of Vicks NyQuil cold/cough products. Complementary marketing, wouldn't you say? Once you notice that both NyQuil and Puffs are made by Procter & Gamble, it makes even more sense to stock these products next to each other during this season. Sell from the shelf!
Another example of shopper marketing is this stand-alone display of BodyArmor sports drinks, positioned near other sports drinks and fruit beverages. The target audience is clearly "switchers" who might be interested in trying a different sports drink (other than Gatorade or PowerAde or other competitors). Not only does BodyArmor attract attention in the aisle where shoppers look for sports drinks, it explicitly invites consumers to "switch" to its brand.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Marketing to Pet Owners

Pet owners spend an estimated $66 billion+ spent every year on foods, treats, toys, and other goods and services for their pampered pets. Most of that money goes toward pet food, with pet supplies and vet services the next-biggest category of spending within the industry.

It's a ginormous marketing opportunity: More than 60 million US households have a dog, nearly 50 million households have a cat, and 15 million households have fish. Nestle Purina, one of the market leaders, is expanding production and distribution of products like Friskies and Dog Chow, to keep up with higher demand by the growing ranks of pet owners.
Now, as Millennials become a driving force in buying for pets, marketing is more critical than ever. Given this target market's focus on healthy eating, it makes sense that pet-food marketers are emphasizing healthy ingredients like quinoa--yes, quinoa, the grain.

No wonder celebrity chefs like Rachel Ray have their own pet food brands now. And Olympic star Michael Phelps is appearing in ads for Nulo pet food, which promotes its low-carb nutritional benefits.

Nulo, by the way, has more than 141k likes on Facebook, compared with 1.1m likes for Purina Dog Chow on FB. Everyone's going social to connect with this major market.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Inside the Non-Cola Wars

Both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are finding that colas aren't in as high demand as they once were. So the "cola wars" that raged for decades are actually becoming the "non-cola wars" between these two industry giants. Not to mention the "water wars" as Coke's Dasani brand battles Pepsi's Aquafina brand for sales and market share.

In fact, Coke recently acquired the Topo Chico mineral water brand, adding to its strength in bottled waters. Coca-Cola is also refreshing non-cola brands, like Schweppes, to rebuild awareness and encourage preference among adults. A UK marketing exec with Coca-Cola says the goal with Schweppes is to "re-establish the brand in the hearts and minds of consumers."

Pepsi's water portfolio is also receiving marketing attention, as the company shifts away from sugary/fizzy drinks. "We're on a multiyear journey to move people to healthier products, to lower-calorie options," says Pepsi's finance chief. But moving marketing attention away from traditional flagship brands like Pepsi and Mountain Dew is hurting soft-drink results.

Interestingly, Pepsi has decided to move aggressively into e-commerce activities as it sees the shifting landscape in grocery retailing. And, not surprisingly, Coca-Cola is also involved in e-commerce, seeing that consumer behavior is changing and therefore the brands that make the shopping list/restock list will be the ones ordered and delivered. In other words, understanding the evolution of the consumer buying process is vital for marketers waging the non-cola wars.