Saturday, July 30, 2011

How we use mobile web

This infographic offers a handy insight into how we treat the internet on our hand held devices, and in which scenarios, proving how truly mobile the web is. This also points to how we chose to multi-task whilst surfing.

Link to source

Redefining Customer Experience

Marketing must redefine the customer experience, developing web experiences that are highly engaging, personalized and differentiated. This new “experience mix” must include social platforms, but must also integrate the messaging and engagements through traditional channels. Ecommerce capabilities and channels of fulfillment must also be integrated to create a unified, seamless multi-channel journey for the customer. This experience must now bridge the gap between the art of marketing and the science of analytics, measurement and process. Marketers need to better understand the impact marketing and technology integration can have in making customer experiences more gratifying and satisfying, thereby improving loyalty, retention and repeat purchase.

Friday, July 29, 2011

How to effectively market to moms using QR Codes

Despite the fact the women, as a whole scan QR codes less than men, (at least as per the comScore May 2011 data) the good word about QR codes is starting to spread with moms. Mommy blogs, magazine articles and television are all buzzing about the latest in convenience for busy moms. That’s what it’s all about when marketing to moms.

The beauty of the QR codes is that they can help marketers transition smoothly into a robust mobile strategy. As a lot of moms now have smartphones, developing a credible mobile strategy is a must for most consumer brands. Moms, in fact, are leading the way in smartphone adoption!

Read more

How Mobile Can Help Promote Channel Sales.

We know FMCG clients have to face these challenges everyday from what kind of marketing campaigns can actually satisfy their bottlers to channel dealerships and sales. It is hard to measure how the new TVC campaign will impact sales instantly and it always seems a headache to manage the offline promotion girls and beauty ambassadors to ensure they deliver exactly what they have been trained. Every brand will give away little gifts for incentive, but how can you differentiate your staff from others?

Here is a good example.

Smartphones Are Local Search and Shopping Devices

There’s a reason why search companies, advertisers, payment processors and local merchants are so interested in smartphones. It’s because they’re turning out to be powerful and popular tools for people looking to search locally, act quickly and improve their shopping experience. That’s the conclusion of a new smartphone user study commissioned by Google .

The survey found 95 percent of smartphone users have looked for local information, with 88 percent of these users acting on information within one day, most often contacting or visiting a business.

This is consistent with other survey results, and it really brings home how intent-driven users are when they search on a phone. They are often looking for something specific, and they’re ready to move quickly. That’s a huge opportunity for merchants and brands to get in front of users who are on the cusp of making a purchase decision.

Why CPG Brands Better Buy Paid Search

Package-goods and fast-food marketers: Ignore paid-search advertising at your own peril. That seems to be the message of new research that finds search ads have a huge impact on brand awareness, perception and purchase intent -- even among consumers who never click on them.

A study of more than 6,000 consumers for the companies by ComScore found that brands generated an average 160% increase in unaided awareness by being present in standard sponsored-text search results compared with when consumers weren't exposed to their search ads.

It also found that consumers were 20% more likely to have positive perceptions of brands in the top paid-search position than those in second or third positions and 30% more likely to consider purchasing a product when the brand was at the top of paid-search results.

Read more on this research;

The on-off romance blossoms

After a stuttering start, online and offline marketing are finally beginning to speak the same language, and the relationship is blooming.

“Brands should also consider today’s path-to-purchase, which includes a mix of online and offline,” he comments. “Research into the ROPO effect - research online, purchase offline - will help brands understand online’s ability to drive offline sales. Attribution, econometric and media-mix modelling can also create snapshots representing the distribution of influence between online and offline.”

Read more of this Marketing Week article;

Smartphones and smarter shoppers (infographics)

The Microsoft Tag team developed this infograph, offering great detail on the facts of m-commerce, such as the introduction of the mobile barcode, (QR code). With also some interesting visuals on the role of coupons, particularly Groupon, in this revolution. This offers valuable information to the marketer as well as points of intrigue for the consumer.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Now Unilever, Supervalu Pair for Groupon Deal

Unilever AustralasiaI
Groupon has landed a second major packaged-goods marketer along with a unit of national supermarket retailer Supervalu in a deal that dropped today in Chicago from Unilever, redeemable at the Jewel-Osco chain. The earlier one being the General Mills deal.

In the current deal Unilever is offering 15$ worth of icecream products at 9$ upfront - which would be inclusive of the Groupon margin, which means a 40% straight off for consumers + x% for Groupon. The General Mills deal was 50% discount for consumers + y% for Groupon.

Our PoV is that these discounts are not sustainable for CPG / FMCG brands and these might be early tests to explore the market. Deep discount strategies should work well for services, however there is a question mark on their validity for CPG brands.

AaramShop's view is that its "brand administered and channel delivered" Value@Home Vouchers or similar programs could be a ideal option for CPG / FMCG brands.

Read more about this deal here;

Also read this rather damning analysis on Groupon by Rocky Agrawal - we would also recommend that you read the comments as well for a counter assessment.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Embedding of product access on other online or offline channels.

As part of the free services available to brands on AaramShop, a brand can freely use / leverage its listing on AaramShop on any of its online or offline marketing initiatives and by way of any other innovation that it needs to experiment with.

It can use QR codes of its product listing on its POSM, coupons, on-pack, advertisements or other marketing campaigns – the QR codes would be provided free of cost and the listing maintained for a duration of up to one year (on request the duration can be extended).

Besides this the brand can embed the web url of the product page into any of its online campaigns to ensure that it is able to close the sales loop and that its customers can directly purchase the product from their neighborhood retailer.

Rising Expectations: Does the product image match the package?

By Mike Spindler of ShelfSnap. The product image the shopper sees online is not always the product that arrives at their house, especially with grocery products that change packaging frequently. The digital world has added new dimensions to the shopping experience, and this is increasing the pressure on marketers to better manage product images. What strategies do you think would be effective? more

AaramShop is addressing this challenge by enabling the brands and their marketing agencies directly control the brand, it's images, it's offers and promotions on AaramShop via the Brand Engagement Center. The BEC also gives the brand managers access to value insights on their brands' performance on the hybrid retail platform.

Why More Brands Are Dangling Incentives on Facebook

Marketers—in this case, food marketers—are trying a new approach when it comes to winning followers: Online coupons and incentives that grow in value as more consumers “like” a brand on Facebook.

In many ways, the participating brands are following example of Groupon, a popular site based on the idea of group buying. It allows consumers to cash in on local deals, but only if they get a certain amount of friends to join. The more users join, the better the offer.

On the upside, marketers are smart to embrace social media to engage with consumers. At the very least, this is a captive audience.

Read more of this on Adweek.

Monthly vouchers program launched by AaramShop.

AaramShop has introduced it's Value@Home Vouchers program - a direct brand to customer contact and engagement program.

This is a monthly initiative from various FMCG / CPG brands reaching directly into consumers’ homes, through the AaramShop platform. The program promises to deliver a win-win transaction to the 3 key stakeholders of the platform – the FMCG / CPG Brands, the Neighborhood Retail Stores (AaramShops, as we call them) and the Consumers.

So whether a brand is looking at;

1. launching a new product/variant/brand or

2. doing a direct to home initiative that will enhance trials or

3. looking at driving more stickiness to your brand; Value@Home Vouchers can just be a perfect medium the brand can ride on. Plus, from a brand’s perspective, Value@Home Vouchers promises a stronger foothold in a homemakers’ consideration of monthly grocery and daily essentials purchasing basket, in an exclusive manner.

Over and above the option of reaching consumers through physical vouchers, brands also have the choice of Value@Home online vouchers as well.

For more information on the Value@Home Vouchers and the opportunity it presents, please contact us.

Facebook Brand Pages Pay Off

A new six-country survey from DDB reveals that Facebook users who like a brand's page on the social networking site use its products regularly or occasionally and, after following the brand on Facebook, more than a third of the respondents "want to buy this brand's product more."

Brand page fans on Facebook also feel comfortable recommending the brand to friends, with 49 percent of the respondents saying they would "certainly" do so and 43 percent saying they "probably" would. Collectively, that's a whopping 92 percent who qualify as brand advocates -- a figure that staggered survey leader Catherine Lautier.

The survey found that ads are the primary driver to brand pages, followed by invitations from friends and Web searches (see graphic). And once there, fans expect more than downloadable coupons. Rather, they want to feel more like a VIP who can access exclusive content, information about new products and yes, promotional offers, before the general public can, DDB discovered.

Download the survey report here "Facebook and Brands" survey

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why Do Consumers Visit CPG Web Sites?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...I
"While consumers consider web sites to be the place to go for information about a brand and promotional offers, they find Facebook to be the ideal platform for voicing their opinions and connecting with other customers," says Ipsos in its own analysis of the survey findings.

That's borne out in the responses when the survey asked people why they go to various kinds of online brand venues. When the purpose is to "obtain information about the brand," 74 percent said they go to the brand's Web site, 34 percent to its Facebook page and 28 percent to its Twitter page. The numbers were nearly identical when it comes to getting coupons or promotional offers.

But it's quite different when consumer want to "share opinions/experiences" regarding a CPG brand. When this is their purpose, 57 percent use the brand's Facebook page, 50 percent its Web site and 38 percent its Twitter page.

Likewise, when they want to "connect with other customers," 54 percent use the Facebook page, 48 percent the brand Web site and 35 percent the Twitter page.

Consumers love mobile for immediacy, fun and finding deals.

Mobile is playing a central role in how customers interact with consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. According to a recent smartphone study, 79% of users rely on smartphones to help with shopping – 69% for more product information, and another 70% while shopping in the store.

For CPG brands to win with a mobile strategy, do the following;

Make consumers an offer
First, provide something useful or solve a problem that a customer has. Try couponing on mobile exclusively – and be sure you’re dovetailing with retailers to close the loop.

Go local
Mobile users are searching for information locally. Let your consumer know how close they are to your product - or how close the product is to them.

Just test it!
Run a few mobile-focused campaigns to experiment with mobile advertising.

Get creative
Think of an experience for consumers that is unique to mobile.

Read more on CPG brands experience with mobile marketing.

85% shoppers want an integrated shopping experience

Unfortunately retailers and marketers are not delivering it.

Integration (consistency) - What Consumers Want

  • 85% want an integrated shopping experience
  • 72% want an integrated marketing approach

Integration (consistency) - What Consumers Currently Get

  • 50% get an integrated shopping experience
  • 39% get an integrated marketing approach

Those in marketing retail and retailers alike, the people are speaking loud and clear. They want to see and experience the same thing be it on your site, your store, your mobile site and they want to see and experience the same message across all marketing collateral - AKA they want a branded experience across ALL channels!

Read more of this insightful analysis by Steve Olenski here;

Related articles

Retail 3.0: Market Power Shifts to Shoppers

Highlighting the product at the checkout stage on AaramShop

Among the various free services available for brand on AaramShop, this is a special one for the brands that have a high impulse purchase possibility.

The brand could choose to highlight itself at the check-out counter if it believes that it is going to figure with the consumer’s impulse / last minute buying behavior. The products would be highlighted on a random basis in “products you may want to add to your shopping bag” section just prior to a customer’s final checkout from AaramShop.

Over time, if however, the brand is not purchased at the time of check-out, it gets auto-delisted from this section.

Related articles

Monday, July 25, 2011

In-Store Sales Begin at Home

Determined to find the best deals, more shoppers are researching their grocery lists online before going to the store. For marketers, that means big changes in how and when they tempt consumers to buy.

In-store marketing—the practice of trying to influence consumers' buying decisions as they shop—traditionally consisted of flashy product displays, special promotions at the end of the aisle and attention-grabbing packaging on the shelf.

It's well known that consumers research expensive products like electronics online, but coming out of the recession, consumers are more scrupulous about researching their everyday products such as diapers and detergent, too. More than a fifth of them also research food and beverages, nearly a third research pet products and 39% research baby products, even though they ultimately tend to buy those products in stores, according to WSL Strategic Retail, a consulting firm.

Brand Managers Need Everywhere Shopper Marketing

Brand Manager also has these factors to consider:
  • 41 percent of online shoppers say they always or often consult consumer reviews before making a purchase decision and 70 percent cite them as extremely or very important factors in their decision-making process.
  • More than 25 percent of the search results on Google for the world’s 20 largest brands are consumer generated content (Nielsen Buzz Metrics).
  • The number of retail channels has more than doubled in just 50 years and online retail sales are growing 5x faster than offline.
  • The web is projected to influence 50 percent of offline sales by 2012, up from 38 percent in 2007.
This means that if a Brand Manager only thinks about the in-store environment for Shopper Marketing, they are missing a tremendous opportunity to turn shoppers into buyers.

Listing of brands in the "hot selling" category - another service from AaramShop

The listing of products in the “hot selling” section is open to all listed brands and is based on AaramShop’s own algorithm that is sensitive to;
  1. actual products brought by consumers,
  2. the product overall rating on the platform.
Basis the actual performance of the brand, based on the above, it will appear within the "hot selling brands". The presence of the brand in this category changes on a real time basis based on consumers actual purchase behavior.

What is the role of eCommerce in the next 5 years?

Lisa Mann, VP of Consumer Experience, Kraft Foods

Sunday, July 24, 2011

History of f-commerce and the AaramShop approach.

With F-Commerce being billed (and for some time now) as the next big thing, it’s interesting to take a quick look back at the short history of F-Commerce so far. And at the same time, with industry predictions at up to $30 billion in Social transactions by 2015, it’s even more interesting to note that only a very small percentage of retailers and brands are actually transacting socially so far.

Also it is a little more complicated if you are a FMCG / CPG brand, as the last mile logistics can become quite painful and makes the idea a non-starter; Unless of course you use AaramShop's hybrid retail platform and it's integrated approach to ensure that your brand is retailed via Facebook.

How will consumers shop in store in the next 5 years?

Listing option on the consumer’s Quick Order List.

Once the brand has been listed and optimized on AaramShop, the consumer can choose to include it in any / all of the 3 customized Quick Order Lists.

Quick Order Lists have been designed to aid the shopping needs of a busy consumer who knows what are the brands / products that he or she needs on a regular basis, for e.g. a shopper could set a monthly Quick Order List, where-in all her much needed house-hold essentials are pre-listed.

The Quick Order Lists are an important aid for shoppers using a mobile phone for their top-up shopping. The brand owner can run specific campaigns/promotions to ensure that his product finds it's way into the QOL.

FDI in multibrand retail almost here.

So whats the impact on the independent neighborhood retailers (kirana stores in India)

Out of a total retail size of $600 billion in India, 96 per cent constitutes the unorganized/self-employed segment. According to Kumar, in the next 15 years, the unorganized retail sector is likely to be 85 per cent of the total pie. However, as the total size of the market would increase, the unorganized segment will still be worth around $500 billion. “So, it will be a misplaced argument to talk about decline of the unorganized retail sector,” according to Kumar.

Facebook Commerce Explained

Or engage with AaramShop to ensure that your FMCG brand is integrated well into Facebook.

View the AaramShop's Facebook Commerce Site.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mobile Phones: A Window into the Soul - Nick Hynes

Highlighting the fact that today someone in just about every village around the world has a mobile phone and as a consequence has access to information and communications on a global scale, Nick Hynes, CEO of Somo The Mobile Marketing Company, says that this gives people in the mobile industry incredible insight into the habits of their customers.

Placement of brand within the chosen “path of purchase”.

A consumer’s path of purchase within any retail format - be it online or offline, plays an important role in the product being selected for purchase, and therefore it is important for a brand / product to place itself along the natural path of purchase.

In order to ensure that the brand, when listed on AaramShop, has a better chance of making it to the shopping bag of the consumer – the brand can choose;

a. 3 sub-categories and
b. 10 specific products,
where-in the brand gets linked to post purchase path. The brand would randomly get highlighted as the logical next step in the “Customers who bought this product also bought”.

Brand Listing with all its SKUs.

AaramShop enables complementary listing of all CPG / FMCG brands available in the country. The listing is open to all regional and national brands. Private labels or open commodities are not listed on AaramShop. We however, verify the presence of the brands at a cross-section of retailers to ensure a good customer experience.

The list of AaramShops is readily available for the brand owners to ensure that their product distribution teams have it well covered on their routes.

Listing of brands on AaramShop is ensured with 48hrs of receipt and it includes the following;
  1. Multiple product & brand images; As part of the listing process the brand can have as many as 4 product images per brand. At least two of the images should be pack shots, while the others can be brand campaign images. All SKUs of the specific product along with their MRP are listed on the product page.
  2. Comprehensive product value description; A 280 character write-up about the product is allowed for every listed product.
  3. Highlighting and listing of all “promotions” and “offers”; In case the brand is running an on-ground offer or promotion it can extend the same on AaramShop and it gets featured on its product page for the consumers to see as a “on-promotion” icon & an additional offer write-up. The promotion can be enabled to be time sensitive, if required.
  4. Ratings and feedback; The consumers are encouraged to share their views and ratings of the product. While the feedback of the specific product is visible as is, the rating of the product is basis AaramShop’s proprietary algorithm that is sensitive to number of purchases and time duration as well. The product ranking enables featuring of the product in the “hot selling section”.
  5. Social Media integration; The product page is fully integrated into the consumer’s social networks (currently limited to Facebook), with the objective of increasing the social buzz about the brand within the friends and networks of the consumer.

Just so that you know what we are all about.

This is the TAG cloud of AaramShop PRO.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Coverage Update

As on 22nd of July, 2011 there are a total of 55 AaramShops across the NCR region which cover extensive parts of New Delhi, Gurgoan, NOIDA, Greater NOIDA and Ghaziabad.

Please visit this link to review exact coverage details.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Measuring Engagement and Marketing ROI

There's a lot of buzz in marketing about the challenge of measuring consumer engagement and ascertaining ROI, and for good reason. Developing and maintaining more engaging consumer experiences such as live events, advergames, social networks, and branded content can require significant investments. Marketers need to know these investments are worthwhile in relation to alternative programs.

The problem is how to measure and compare engagement across multiple channels. This is particularly important for experiential marketing programs because the number of people "touched" is much less than for mass media programs (but the touch is far more substantial and meaningful).

If a marketer must decide between spending $50,000 on a full-page ad in a national publication with 5 million subscribers or spending the same $50,000 on an event that will attract 5,000 prospects, you can bet there will be a great deal of discussion about the deeper engagement of the live event and what that is worth to the brand.

Those in Experiential Marketing--particularly the Interactive side--have a tendency to gripe that they're held to a different standard than those who execute traditional mass media campaigns. Marketers never inquire as to the ROI of a specific billboard or pore over reports on the effectiveness of a print ad on a monthly basis, but they will will do so for banner ads, online media buys, microsites, PPC programs, and social media programs.

Social Media is Placeless: The Device Doesn't Matter

A segment of a social networkImage via Wikipedia
ReadWriteWeb shares an interesting report about how cell phone users are interacting with Social Media via their phones. The study, conducted by ABI Research, found that "nearly half (46%) of those who use social networks have also visited a social network through a mobile phone. Of these, nearly 70% have visited MySpace and another 67% had visited Facebook. No other social networking site reached 15% adoption mobile adoption."

The study concludes that, "consumers do not want to recreate entirely new and separate social networks for mobile, but rather want to tap into their existing social network and have it go with them via the mobile phone." This would seem intuitively obvious--why would consumers want to create duplicate lists of friends, manage duplicate profiles, and update multiple social sites based on whether they are sitting at a PC or using their mobile device?

Read more here:
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Social Media Tunnel Vision: Facebook and Twitter

When the term social media is mentioned, many now instantly think this just means “Facebook and Twitter” with little regard for the other major players in the field. This could mean huge missed opportunities for small businesses, who might not realize the big opportunities in places like Yelp, Foursquare and more.

GSK develops online store to boost insight and marketing

GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare division is looking to bolster its understanding of its customers’ online shopping habits and improve the marketing of its products with the launch of an online store some time back in the UK.

Data will be collected about the types of products bought together, what parts of the site customers use to make their purchases and what promotions are most attractive.

GSK will also present this data to its retail partners in order to advise them how to market, display and promote its products better.

This is very interesting move and the insights that GSK is looking forward to are on lines on what AaramShop aims at presenting to the various brands. The shoppers path of purchase is what we believe brands would gain immense insights from - especially aspects like what the the products brought prior, with and post the purchase. This will have an impact on how the brand engages with the shopper not just on platforms like AaramShop, but also in last mile of retail.

What is particularly going to be exciting is to view the insights along with shopper demographics. Look forward to more info from the GSK experiment.

The New Social CMO

There has been a lot of bottom up change happening throughout marketing. One huge change that’s been felt at the lower levels and with only a few exceptions has permeated the C suite and that’s of skill-sets. Social media capabilities have been relegated to interns, contract labor and agencies. Very few CMO’s have had to get their hands dirty yet. But that’s starting to change.

In Ad Age there’s an article that summarizes some research by a head hunting firm, uh an executive search firm. Here are my key tweetable take-a-ways from the article:

  • The old “CPG academy” model is evolving to a “hybrid marketer.”
  • The emphasis is shifting toward customer insight and relationship building.
  • The CMO’s ability to drive measurable demand generation is critical and now more complex than ever.
  • Demand for hands-on/operational marketers who have the ability to move at a rapid pace & stay in front of the customers is rising.
  • The CMO must be seen as an authentic advocate for customers and, conversely, as a listening ear to customers who are advocates.

And my favorite point exceeds the 140 character tweet-limit but it’s the key IMO:

Digital-to-consumer continues to grow in importance across all customer demographics, so understanding how to forge both one-on-one and broader community ties with core consumers via digital media is critical.

Read more here

Seven F-Commerce Strategies for Brands

Social Media PhobiasI
F-commerce is increasingly generating buzz in the social media and social technology market. Growing upon the people’s social graph, Facebook is suddenly emerging not only as a place to connect and share interesting stuff with people but also as a tool for commerce for brands and customers. The world’s biggest brands are selling on Facebook today. In fact, the top 3 brands on Facebook – Coca Cola, Starbucks and Disney - sell directly on Facebook. E-commerce leaders are predicting that within the next 5 years more sales will be happening on Facebook than on Amazon.

Read more of the note on Social Media Today