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In a study organized by the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), analysts found that offline word-of-
mouth impressions drive at least 5x more sales than paid ad impressions, and up to 100x for highly planned purchases.

Further, consumer conversations drive action immediately—within 2 weeks of purchase—much  closer to the purchase point than conventional media.

Together, online and offline word-of-mouth account for 13% of consumer sales, which represents $6 trillion in annual consumer spending.

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Categories: Branding, Online, Social | Tags: , | 3 Comments


Retail and CPG marketers are scratching their heads about measuring social media. The main reasons are that it comes so many forms and we know so little about them.

It can be an ad network. Facebook is now the #1 display ad network, delivering 31% of impressions.

It can be a PR vehicle. The number of PR firms receiving more than 15% of their revenues from social media activities is up 50%+.

It can be a market research source. Over 75% of respondents to a survey by Valued Opinions said they use social media to share thoughts on a product or service. Continue reading

Categories: Analytics, Branding, Online, Pre-store, Social | Tags: , , | 1 Comment


To know the road ahead, ask those on the way back. That’s a proverb worth heeding by retailers and manufacturers engaged in social media marketing.

Doug Stephens of Retail Prophet recently asked a full auditorium of marketers how many were engaged in social media.  Most of the hands went up.  Then he asked how many were disappointed. The hands stayed raised.

Many social media marketers have been disappointed because they lacked clarity in two areas: (1) purpose for their brands and (2) expectations about their audience. Continue reading

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A new survey by Millward Brown, Value-D, uses data collected from a million consumers in 30 countries to rank the brands delivering the highest value.

The winner in both the US and internationally? By a longshot. Here are the lists:

U.S. Top 10 Value-D Brands

1. Amazon 157
2. Crest 136
3. Coca-Cola 134
4. Folgers 133 Continue reading

Categories: Branding, Loyalty, Online | Tags: , , | Leave a comment


Retailer loyalty programs are fixture for many top chains. Many invest significant money and time in building robust data systems and complex analytic approaches. 

Safeway has decided to invest in an executive resource. It has promoted Mir Aamir to president, customer loyalty and digital technologies. He reports to CMO Diane Dietz.

Elevating responsibility for loyalty and digital marketing is the right move. The Achilles’ heels of many programs arise out of two areas: being too siloed and neglecting the shopper experience. Aamir has the opportunity to make an impact in both of these areas at Safeway. Here are a few ways.  Continue reading

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Independent retailers such as coops, family grocers, and regionals have long been among the first to embrace innovations.

 At the National Grocers Association’s convention last month, where 50 retailers participated in a session about growing sales and margins through digital marketing, this trend shows signs of persisting.

Roche Bros, an 18-store chain in New England, has employed personalized website offers and search engine marketing. The incremental revenue can generate the equivalent of new store additions—without the overhead. Continue reading

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Nikki Baird of RSR Research points out the difference between retailers practicing personalization and relevancy. Personalization can be selfish when the motive is simply to sell more. Relevancy can be noble when the desire is to satisfy more.

This is a great observation and a common pitfall with personalization. How can retailers use relevance (or personalization) to present offers that truly help shoppers? 

Shoppers say they they most value offers on items they regularly buy, offers related to personal events, and recommendations on relevant new items, according to a recent IBM survey of 30K shoppers (Institute for Business Value 2011). Continue reading

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The 15th annual Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI). asserts that loyalty is alive and well. It’s a significant survey of 46,000 consumers between 18 and 65. But if we only paid attention to CLEI in assessing brand loyalty, we’d miss the bigger picture.

It’s true that consumers have greater choice than ever in the channels they frequent, services they subscribe to, and, despite SKU-reduction initiatives, in the products they buy. Robert Passikoff, President of Brand Keys, notes winning brands share common factors of (1) innovation and (2) experience: Continue reading

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Today, retailers and suppliers are operating self-service checkouts as well as kiosks and vending units to get an ever expanding list of products into the hands of consumers in a wide variety of locations.

“Consumers are more accepting of these automated technologies because they just want the stuff at a good price and really do not care if they get it from a piece of technology or a person,” Richard Feinberg, a retail analyst, told The Indianapolis Star.

There are a few factors that make it worth the while of service providers to add their categories to kiosks. These characteristics include: Continue reading

Categories: Branding, In-store | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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