Revise and Refine Strategies for Continued Strategic Growth
Last year, we saw a shift in the Supermarkets and Grocery Stores industry when Amazon acquired natural foods grocery chain Whole Foods Market, sending ripples throughout the industry and affecting retailers to demo marketing companies. In fact, several acquisitions were made around the same time as mounting pressure in the online grocery delivery business in particular, increased. Target, Albertsons, Safeway, Costco, and Kroger were among the notable brands that made deals with other platforms to remain competitive in their services. (1)
shopping--retailers, suppliers, and agencies are once again sharply reminded of the age-old belief, “the only constant in life is change” as they figure out how to keep customers engaged and in stores amidst the rapidly developing tide of digitization and e-commerce. With the events that have occurred over the past year, it’s clear that companies must not only adapt, they must learn to vigorously innovate and differentiate--in this paper, we’ve highlighted the following trends to watch out for in 2018 and 2019.
In 2018 - 2019 we’ve highlighted the following trends to watch out for.
Trends that Connect: With Innovation Comes the Promise of Success
The consumer landscape is ever-changing but one thing remains the same: for companies to emerge on the other side unscathed by turbulent changes in the industry, they must keep their desire to create meaningful, memorable connections with their core consumers always front and center. By adopting different approaches and staying creative in delivery--whether that be implementing monthly mobile marketing tours, hiring demo marketing companies for the first time, or even partnering with an event marketing agency to sharpen your strategy and acquire better, measurable results--companies can stay ahead of the game and reap immense benefits and produce long-term results.
To simply be on social media isn’t enough if you’re looking for long-term success. To cut through the noise and reach consumers at the right time, place, and channel, companies must constantly test and retest their strategies. In the case of Halo Top Creamery, a fast growing, California-based CPG company, it was avoiding traditional advertising completely, relying on digital marketing, Facebook ads in particular, as a cost-effective way to target consumer demographically, geographically, and psychologically. And by adding in-house social channels to create fun, authentic content, Halo by April of this year had approximately 750,000 followers on Facebook and 680,000 on Instagram. (2) With technological advancements one of the 5 underlying trends outlined in a recent McKinsey report, (3) it’s safe to say
that social media is here to stay. And in a world going mobile, it’s important now more than ever to keep track of your consumers’ online dialogues; after all, we are living in an era of social-media driven consumption. Note: With storytelling being an effective way for businesses to connect with their audience, Instagram has risen above the ranks to becoming the next platform to watch out for. No longer just a photo editing app, Instagram and its influencers have revolutionized storytelling, disrupting the way brands market and engage. And with video as an added feature, businesses will do well to harness its power.
Mobile Marketing Tours
Largely sourced via external third party partners, mobile marketing tours come in various mediums, from modified airstream trailers to fully-modular, fully-functional retail showrooms that can be set up and torn down in 30 minutes. For those looking to create a memorable connection with their core consumers, elevating their brand beyond the 10x10 tent and table, this is a worthy investment. Note: It is important to remember that an integrated approach is what will drive sales, brand awareness, and loyalty. Mobile marketing tours may not have the direct sales lift that a pervasive demo program will deliver, but if done creatively, can raise significant awareness, social lift, and brand loyalty. From location to branding, staffing to engagement--your consumers will remember the experience long after the event is over. Remember: Demo + Events = the winning One-Two Punch. And if you need a little help pulling one off, don’t hesitate to contact an event marketing agency, after all, it’s what they do best.
With major social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram having added video to its features, we expect to see video continue to take off as the currency for social and digital.
Representing blunt force marketing in the online space, the technology and the algorithms associated with digital advertising today are so sophisticated and intelligent that targeting your consumer or the person you believe is your consumer is absolutely doable, for a price. Encompassing more than just social media, digital advertising has been making waves in the industry, making video, connected TV ads, and the adoption of AI a few of the trends to watch out for this the coming year. (4)
Easier to produce and absorb nowadays, businesses can integrate video into their marketing strategies in a variety of ways using live, vertical, e-learning, sponsored, and 360-degree videos. With major social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram having added video to its features, we expect to see video continue to take off as the currency for social and digital. “Ever since video marketing made its way into inbound marketing more prominently in recent years, it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Nowadays, it’s the medium of choice for marketers looking to distribute content and increase engagement--and more importantly, consumers”. (5)
Demos & Sampling
While the world is going digital, touching base with your consumers through physical experiences is still a must. One way to do that is through demos--whether that be doing it yourself or bringing demo marketing companies into the picture. From conducting them at events or having them mere steps from the register, demos convert consumers to your brand. While the race to dominate online grocery shopping has been accelerated with the Amazon-Whole Foods partnership, perfecting this avenue still has a long way to go. “When it comes to fresh groceries, images simply can’t replace the physical look, feel and smell of these products.
Even so, online shopping in this category is gaining traction in certain markets. About four in 10 online respondents in China (40%) and South Korea (39%) and just over one-third in India (35%) say they’ve purchased fresh groceries online. Nevertheless, the category has significant barriers to overcome to achieve widespread e-commerce adoption: less than one-tenth of respondents in Europe (9%), North America (9%), Africa/Middle East (7%) and Latin America (7%) say they’ve purchased fresh groceries online. While not being able to hand-pick fresh groceries is a clear barrier to online adoption, as grocery delivery services expand and improve, and quality assurance is guaranteed, the allure of purchasing fresh groceries will expand”.
(6) Remember, online is just one avenue to connect with your consumers. For lasting success, it is important to reach your consumers at every point--in store and elsewhere.
To survive and thrive in the next year and for
the years to come, companies need to know
how to be agile, to adapt, and to
To survive and thrive in the next year and for the years to come, companies need to know how to be agile, to adapt, and to significantly differentiate. The outlook is positive and while the market may be aggressive, it holds great promise for those who know how to change with the times, rethinking their strategies and refining their methods.
To move forward:
Brands must tell compelling stories and target their consumers with precision. Consumers are looking for more personalized, engaging experiences--ask what they want, where, when, and how. (And if you need a little help on the way--partner with an expert and give your event marketing agency a call).
If you’re going to do something, do it well.
If you’re going to be on social media, know which channels will work best for your business--use data to effectively reach consumers where it matters.
Differentiate your offerings. (Remember Amazon
and Whole Foods).
Adopt an omnichannel approach.
It’s important to diversify--blending digital and physical/online and offline channels. Your consumers occupy spaces all over--reach out and connect with them where it makes the most impact.
1) Hatcher and Hoke. (2018, April 24). Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods and What It Means for the Grocery Industry. Retrieved from https://www.mcguirewoods.com/Client-Resources/Alerts/2018/4/Annual-Report-Food-Beverage-Industry-Recent-Trends-Outlook.aspx
2) Edelstein et al. (2018, June 14). What the Fastest-Growing CPG Companies Do Differently. Retrieved from https://www.bcg.com/publications/2018/what-fastest-growing-consumer-packaged-goods-companies-do-differently.aspx
3) Benson-Armer, Noble, and Thiel. (2015, December). The Consumer Sector in 2030: Trends and questions to consider. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/the-consumer-sector-in-2030-trends-and-questions-to-consider
4) Donovan, Andy. (2018, October 1). 3 Digital Advertising Trends to Watch out for in 2019. Retrieved from https://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/3-digital-advertising-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-2019-02125604
5) Rinaldi, Joe. (2018, June 16). Where is Video Marketing Going in 2019 and Beyond? Retrieved from https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/video-marketing-in-2019-infographic
6) (2017). What’s In-store for Online Grocery Shopping: Omnichannel Strategies to Reach Crossover Shoppers. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsenglobal/de/docs/Nielsen%20Global%20Connected%20Commerce%20Report%20January%202017.pdf