Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Now FMCG/CPG brands can say goodbye to Microsites

Bettering shopper experiences on last mile digital environment has not been on top of the radar for most marketers in the CPG/FMCG businesses. However, research clearly indicates that consumers in the same sector are increasingly consuming richer content like videos etc and are referring to other digital assets either at the pre-purchase stage or during the purchase phase.

As a move to offer better last mile shopping environments for customers of various brands already listed on AaramShop, our User Experience (UX) Team has come up with a solution that will not only better browsing experience, but will also allow marketers to communicate to the shopper / browser with richer and more relevant content.

The idea is simple.

It is about converting the normal Product Page, which is a free service, into Premium Product or Brand Page. So, with the premium shopping environment at AaramShop, now the customer will be empowered with more content around the product/ brand. This content can be on the following lines:
  • TVCs of brands in case of brand pages, or a particular product in case of a single product page 
  • Any AV or marketing video about the making of the product or usage 
  • Related links/URLs of brand sites, blogs or company website 
  • Social Media Widgets that will integrate existing Social Media Marketing assets like a Facebook page or a Twitter handle 
The AaramShop UX Team reports that a premium page has 6 times more stickiness than a normal product page. An example of one such premium listing is that of Mother Dairy Standardized Milk.

This premium service is a paid, opt-in service from AaramShop.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Social Media Drives TV Watching

Everyone knows that the “screens” (TV, laptop, mobile device, another mobile device) are colliding and overlapping, but how exactly do online behaviors and TV viewing interact? TV Guide took a whack at understanding the relationship between social media buzz and TV watching with a new survey of 3,041 U.S. adults, and found that social media buzz does indeed help drive TV watching.

Overall 71% of respondents reported having seen social impressions about TV shows, meaning any kind of mention in social media, covering a broad range of venues including the usual suspects like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and so on. Meanwhile 17% of respondents said they have started to watch a show because of a social impression, and 31% said they’ve continued to watch a show because of a social impression.

Read more here:

Mobile Engagement, Commerce Explode In 2012

2011 has been an important year for mobile marketing. It was the year of app mania. It was the year that mobile marketers realized that measurement was mission critical. It was the year that mobile commerce finally meant big bucks. Per eMarketer, mobile commerce sales will reach $6.7 billion this year.

If 2011 was a year of apps, commerce and analytics, what does 2012 have in store for mobile marketing? Here are five trends that will define mobile marketing in 2012.

Your Site, App And Brand Will Be Mobile-ized

Half of all mobile phones currently sold are smartphones. By the end of 2012, we may see eight of every 10 phones sold being a smartphone. 

To keep up with the growing market, mobile-optimized content becomes the standard. We will see a mass deployment of sleeker, easier to navigate mobile-optimized versions, making it easier for consumers to purchase, search, consume videos and play games on mobile devices.

Brands will also move rapidly to deploy "tablet-specific” applications that better utilize the form. In 2012, app mania will be as much about tablet apps as 2011 has been about smartphone apps.

Why Marketers Love QR Codes But Consumers Don’t.

As marketers, we’re aware of the growing popularity of QR codes. The simple, easy to obtain codes that can provide consumers a wealth of product knowledge at the scan of their phone could be a goldmine for marketers. That is, if consumers were playing along.

QR codes have become affixed to everything from rental cars to the back of soccer team members’ heads, but a recent AdAge article reveals that only 5% of Americans who own mobile devices actually scan the codes. This 5% is made up of 14 million adopters who skew young, affluent and male.

This is great if your brand targets that demographic and your QR code reaches them in a convenient location. But what about the those of us who want to reach moms? Parents? Late adopters?
Experts cite three reasons QR codes haven’t caught on - read them here:

Point-Of-Purchase Reviews the AaramShop Trend.

Increasing importance of Pinterest.

Pinterest represents a possible next big opportunity for brands to engage with consumers.

Anxious and Overspenders: Two Words that Define New Moms.

Online ads that put moms at ease can help them decide on the ‘right’ products for their babies.

Finding oneself suddenly in charge of sustaining a new human life can be doubt-inducing. So, seeking answers to myriad questions, new mothers go online at almost twice the rate they did before giving birth, according to Mom Central Consulting.

The problem is new moms are not only child rearing newbies, they’re anxious newbies at that. Even when they are on a budget, many new moms are willing to spend as much as they need to in order to make what they hope is the best possible purchase for their baby, according to a November 2011 survey by Kelton Research.

And that’s particularly true with products that could affect a child’s safety, such as an infant seat or baby formula.

Premium listing option/opportunity presented to brands by AaramShop, enables any FMCG / CPG brand to demonstrate their "rightness" via informative infomercials and commercials. 

Read more here at eMarketer

Monday, February 27, 2012

Private Label Performance Mixed Across CPG Channels.

It wasn’t so long ago that many shoppers were embarrassed to be seen with a private label product in their cart. Today, nearly everyone buys private label products with no stigma attached. 

Private label products bring something new to the market and are no longer simply “me too” products that offer “the same thing for less money.” Increasingly, they are strategic weapons that separate a retailer from its competitors in a way that helps to build loyalty and purchase behavior. And still, private label can be—should be—even more, according to SymphonyIRI Group’s latest Times & Trends Report, “Private Label: Brand Positioning in the New World Order,” which explores current and emerging trends around private label, as well as national brand efforts to protect and grow their position in the CPG marketplace. Much opportunity remains for private label marketers and national brand marketers alike. But, success will be achieved by those who are thinking outside the box.

“At nearly 23% of CPG unit sales across retail channels today, private label products certainly have momentum and command a sizeable share of consumers’ CPG spending,” said John McIndoe, senior vice president, Marketing, SymphonyIRI. “However, this momentum is not demonstrated equally across channels, retailers, departments or categories. 

Read more here

Why There’s Such A Hype Around Gamification?

The next big thing in 2012 is “Gamification“.
A number of marketers have already brought someone on board who knows and understand games & gamification, either as a team member or from the agency, however, there are still the vast majority who still look at it as hype or as Eric refers to it as "hiring the tailor for the  emperor’s clothes".

Gamification is embedding certain game design or mechanics in campaigns or products.

Examples of this are earning badges, level completion (incl. leveling up), set-completion, random reward elements, leader-boards, etc, and it has been around for ever. 

However to understand how, why and if you should be using a gamification strategy in your next campaign read this insightful post by Eric Woning

CPG Branded Websites Driving Offline Sales.

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) marketers were late to the online party. But they seem to be making up for lost time as they improve their website content. However, if CPG marketers intend to see their online efforts translate to higher sales, they need to fine-tune their content and update it regularly.

Consumers who visit CPG marketer websites that present engaging and fresh content will go on to buy more of the branded products when they shop. That’s the top level finding of  the ‘Are Your CPG Brands Maximizing the Return on Your Digital Investment?’ study jointly published by Accenture, comScore, Inc., and dunnhumbyUSA. CPG marketers should be cheered by the study’s statistics about website visitors. When compared to  non-visitors, the in-store performance increases were measured as follows:
  • Monthly brand dollars +37%
  • Monthly category dollars +53%
  • Brand buying occasions in 6 month period +41%
 Read more here

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Customer journey mapping vs process design: Do you know the difference?

Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) is a people-centric tool for designing optimal customer experiences. There are 3 fundamental differences between CJM and Process Design. CJM is characterized by:
  • Starting from the customer's start point, motivations and desired outcomes rather than the company's.
  • The inclusion of emotion in the design.
  • A framework and set of guiding principles rather than a rigid and inflexible process.
The majority of organizations recognize that providing their customer's with an excellent experience is a strategic necessity, but over half of all organisations state that they cannot effectively manage it. The issue is compounded as more customer interactions move beyond a single channel, or linear sequence of hand-offs.
Effective CJM needs to start from the place the customer starts and to understand what they consider a successful outcome. Read more here @ The Customer Framework.

Marketers Struggle to Marry Social Media and CRM.

Many marketers have strong CRM databases that they use to target direct mail or email offers. A growing number of them also have robust Facebook or Twitter followings. But few marketers have figured out how to marry the two. 

The idea of one grand database of consumer information, interests and intentions is the holy grail for managing marketer-customer relationships, and the idea of using social data from a network like Facebook to get there is hugely appealing. But when it comes to integrating this kind of social data, it's easier said than done. 

Often different teams -- marketing, CRM, social -- pore over different data, and unless those are married up, it's difficult for marketers to truly be able to interact with customers on a personal and targeted level.  

Read more here on Ad Age

The 23 Use Cases Of Social CRM.

Adam Metz has had many an executive ask him, “What exactly can we do with social CRM, besides field customer complaints and solve problems?” He usually tell them they’ve already discovered the two key use cases, but there are about 21 more to go, and we better keep moving if they ever want to sell the customer anything. They usually ask him to elucidate all 23 of them right there, in their office. To do this would take about five hours, and most executives don’t actually have that much time.

In early 2010, Jeremiah Owyang and Ray Wang, two sharp ex-Forrester analysts (if analysts in this space were rock stars, these guys would be Mick Jagger and Keith Richards), who were working at Altimeter Group at the time, wrote an amazing white paper called, “The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM, the New Rules of Relationship Management.”

As comprehensive and wonderful as the white paper is, Adam thinks the authors actually missed five use cases that he would add. He also argued with, modified, and updated a number of their suggestions.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mobile Disrupting Path to Purchase.

A recent white paper produced by entitled “Mobile-izing  Grocery Shopping” outlines some of the impacts that growing mobile programs may have on the grocery store, and in particular to the path to purchase.

The white paper can be downloaded from here post registration and it outlines and explores some of the core ways in which mobile will benefit shoppers in-store (savings of time, $$, and convenience) as well as some of the main impacts for the grocer.  

Impacts of this "mobile-ization" for the various members of the eco-system include:
  • For shoppers: More efficient shopping trips. More personalized offers. More savings.
  • For retailers: New ways to create differentiation while meeting the needs of shoppers
  • For suppliers: A dynamic connection with customers right at the shelf.
In particular, the paper concludes with an outline of the potential impacts of mobile to the path of purchase and its relevancy for both retailers and suppliers.  The paper concludes that mobile presents new opportunities to increase communication with shoppers in a more targeted and personalized way, while also bringing together the point of decision and the point of sale.

AaramShop introduced its mobile app which enables shoppers to do their grocery purchase from across thousands of neighborhood grocers with the added ease and convenience. The app is limited to users in India, however, enables shopping of all the FMCG / CPG brands in the country. 

10 Most Read Articles (20th to 25th Feb)

The Path-to-Purchase: How is it Changing in 2012?

With the emergence of new technologies and new digital channels to advertise on, retailers and brands are noticing the way to reach shoppers throughout the path-to-purchase is changing. In most cases, retailers and brands are re-thinking marketing strategies this year and allocating more shopper marketing dollars for reaching shoppers at different touch points throughout the path. 

According to a survey completed by the Path to Purchase Institute in the January 2012 issue of Shopper Marketing Magazine, more dollars are being allocated to the shopper marketing budget in 2012 – as high as a 10% lift from the previous year. Originally focused on in-store marketing, retailers and brands are realizing the opportunities to reach shoppers throughout the entire path-to-purchase – constantly reminding shoppers of a brand as close to the decision making point as possible.  

So, what has changed? Read more here @ MaxPoint Interactive:

What does digital mean for shopper marketing?

That digital has been growing in sophistication and importance is widely recognized and reflected in the growing percentage of marketing budgets being apportioned to it (according to The Path to Purchase Institute’s annual survey of consumer product marketing executives, 71.5% of executives predict an increase in media spend this year, such as mobile initiatives, paid search and web advertising). 

However, less well understood is the role digital plays within shopper marketing. Is it a threat to the traditionally conceived path to purchase? Quite the opposite. Digital is increasingly becoming a trigger point in talking to shoppers along the buying pathway. 

How can free mobile applications deliver ROI?

In the third quarter of 2011, 117 million Smartphones were shipped globally and it is expected that 29 billion mobile apps will be downloaded by the end of this year. These extraordinary numbers not only highlight the considerable growth of Smartphones, they mask the fact that revenue and customer engagement are more important measures of performance than download volumes. This presents a key challenge to brands developing mobile app strategies: how apps deliver ROI when they are free to download?

Below are the five business models used by brands to develop mobile app strategies:
1. Apps to augment existing services 
2. Apps to simplify purchasing
3. Apps as ‘paid-for’ content distribution channels
4. Apps as ‘Freemium’ applications
5. Apps as the industry norm 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Social, Mobile and Local for Omnichannel Customer Experiences.

The ubiquity of social, mobile and traditional technology presents a real opportunity for those bold enough to innovate in the digital world, especially when you consider that;
Many ‘innovative’ businesses have built outposts on these digital channels through mobile apps, Facebook stores, Twitter accounts and brand pages. However, with all this innovation the challenge remains for many: each channel operates independently. True digital transformation will require the customer experience to be unified across all these channels. 

This is the very definition of omnichannel.

Read more here

The Next Generation of Shoppers.

Consumers are shopping online – it’s no secret. 

We’ve all observed the stiff increases in online consumer buying habits each year. Though we’ve discovered this change in buying habit, there are other factors affecting consumer-purchasing behavior. We continue to see the increased development of mobile applications, increased number of shoppers online, and the increase of shoppers wanting online deals for stores in their local area. A new coined term that seems it will be gathering relevance in the coming year is “SoMoLo” for Social, Mobile, Local shopper. 

This shopper often uses their mobile device to conduct searches in their local area, sometimes even choosing to purchase online rather than going into a retail location. 

Read more here

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A coming crisis of relevance of "stores"?

Is the concept of “store” obsolete? Now that consumers can shop the world anytime from anywhere, the expectation of having every need instantly satisfied is sky-high. Product searches begin “in the cloud,” largely unattached to a physical store of any kind.

Shopping is not an isolated event. Like our lives, it now streams simultaneously online, with our thoughts and decisions publicly shared and reviewed by our personal networks.

This new flow of life has led to a different idea of what constitutes a store. People no longer distinguish between physical and virtual channels. Today, a retailer must think of itself as a moveable feast—an engaging entity with values, moods, and emotions, as well as commercial, social, and educational aspects.

For that reason, the idea of leading by brand—the values and meaning that define how a retailer does business—is a highly relevant business model that is stable yet adaptable to these fast-paced times.

A 2012 Look at the Consumer’s Path to Purchase.

There have been two groundbreaking pieces of work that give insights into the consumer’s path to purchase: P&G’s FMOT, (The First Moment of Truth), and then revised with Google’s ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). 

We have written extensively about the FMOT & ZMOT and how AaramShop is all about enabling an integration of the two moments of truth. 

Came across an interesting post by who gone deeper and created a model dubbed The Moments of Truth (TMOT), wherein they see two additional steps: in-store (opportunities while customers are actively in-store and shopping, (“showrooming” and “scan and scam”): along with the step of after marketing, rather than simply a happy or dissatisfied customer. Today there is an opportunity of turning negativity into positivity, while also starting an on-going relationship  (e-mail acquisition, Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Read more here

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CPG, Health Top Video Advertisers, Digital Video To HIt $5.4B

All hail consumer packaged goods.

Throughout 2011, CPG brands spent more than any other group on video advertising -- making up 24% of all dollars spent, according to new data from YuMe. Health and pharmaceutical brands came in second -- with a 16% share of the video ad market-- despite a 400% year-over-year increase in spending.

The 25-54 consumers were the most-requested demographic -- making up 15% of RFPs -- the video ad network found.  Females 25-54 were the most-requested female demographic in 2011, with 39% of requested RFPs.

Spending on non-gender-specific campaigns made up 66% of ad dollars in 2011 -- up from 55% in 2010 -- while spending on female-targeted campaigns made up 25% of ad dollars.

While still attractive to advertisers, requests for females 25-54 actually decreased slightly from 42% in 2010 to 37% in 2011, while requests for males 25-54 held steady year-over-year at 22%.

1 in 1100 CPG Ads are clicked.

Campaign performance can be measured against industry benchmarks for click-through rates.The above chart shows that advertisers  can aim to get a CTR  between a 0.06% and 0.17% CTR rate depending on the industry. A good measure of success is to beat the industry benchmark forclick-through rate. For example, a CPG campaign should aim to get a click-through rate above .11%.

Read more here

The rise of in-store mobile commerce.

More than half of adult cell phone owners used their cell phones while they were in a store during the 2011 holiday season to seek help with purchasing decisions. During a 30 day period before and after Christmas:
  • 38% of cell owners used their phone to call a friend while they were in a store for advice about a purchase they were considering making
  • 24% of cell owners used their phone to look up reviews of a product online while they were in a store
  • 25% of adult cell owners used their phones to look up the price of a product online while they were in a store, to see if they could get a better price somewhere else
Taken together, just over half (52%) of all adult cell owners used their phone for at least one of these three reasons over the holiday shopping season and one third (33%) used their phone specifically for online information while inside a physical store—either product reviews or pricing information.

Read more here