Topping the list

In this instalment of Michael Carney’s Marketing Week:

  • In the supermarket, it’s all about the shopping list. And it’s being made before going inside.
  • Sky TV releases its annual numbers. And gets back into internet TV.
  • Kiwi bucket list shows we’re really pretty boring.
  • The numerous business opportunities of the iPad explained.
  • Networks squeeze through football broadcast loophole across the ditch.

The Zero Moment of Truth

About five years ago, consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble coined the notion of the First Moment of Truth, the 3-7 seconds after a shopper first encounters a product on a store shelf. It is in these precious few seconds, P&G contended, that marketers have the best chance of converting a browser into a buyer by appealing to their senses, values and emotions. First few seconds? So last week. Now grocery marketers are talking Zero Moment of Truth.

According to recent US research from Information Resources Inc., 83% of grocery purchasing decisions are now made BEFORE shoppers enter the store. If you haven’t made the vital connections with your consumer before they’ve left home, it’s already too late. This is a significant change in behaviour, for which the GFC can take a healthy dose of credit. Consumers are realising that they need to plan ahead more, so many are making lists (yes, and no doubt checking them twice).

So how are consumers making up their lists? Some stats from the research:

  • 46% used store flyers as a guide to make their list
  • 45% made a list based on ingredients needed for recipes
  • 45% listed categories to buy (coffee, toothpaste, etc)
  • 40% used coupons to create their list
  • 4% used Internet to make a list

And what’s on the list? You’ll be either relieved or disappointed to hear that most consumers don’t name brands on the list:

  • 14% listed specific brands to buy
  • 11% listed specific private label items to buy

Okay, we understand that 83% of shoppers are now heading into the grocery store carrying lists. But we can still influence them at point of sale, right? Well, yes, to some extent. But some things you need to know about today’s household shopper:

First if it’s a guy who’s the main household shopper, there’s a one in four chance that he didn’t actually compile the list. He’s just following orders. So advertising instore won’t make him cross the line and pick up a product if it’s not on the list; and your carefully crafted messages are unlikely to influence future listmaking if he’s not the one who makes it. Secondly, you should know this about most of the mums who do the shopping: according to Hartman Group research, they won’t be easily influenced either. They’re going into the supermarket to buy exactly what their family members prefer to eat (and they work hard to ensure that they’re up to date on these preferences). Not only do they actually enjoy buying what their husbands, children or other relatives want to eat, they have all the social incentive in the world to get this right. It prevents needless fights and squabbles once the grocery bags arrive home, not to mention wasted money.

So what about those you can influence (i.e. those where there’s no specified or prearranged brand already on the repertoire)? Here’s what you’ve got to work with; the key factors that consumers say they take into account when making brand decisions instore.

  • 78% Item price
  • 73% Previous use/ trust of brand
  • 51% Coupons
  • 42% Newspaper circular
  • 42% Requested by household member

Not a great selection, especially if you’re a new brand or new product trying to get noticed and make sales. So is all lost? Should FMCG become Slow-MCG? Help is at hand, according to the Hartman Group’s “Missing Link in Shopper Marketing” white paper. And it all starts with the Joy of Eating.

Today, the last thing most grocery stores make anyone think about, when they walk in, is eating. When you arrive at Everyday Low Price (EDLP) retailers, especially, this is pretty clear from the get go. You’re instructed very clearly to stock your pantry according to the weekly sales flyer. No one is asking how you eat, what you’d like to eat, who you eat with and when you eat. It’s almost as if these questions are, at worst, foolish, or at best, pointless because, clearly, in any given area, people pretty much eat the same, right? After all, is eating really all that complicated?

There’s Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and some snacks. What more could there be to understand? Shopping for promotions, not for occasions, is what food retailers have trained shoppers to do. And, man, are we all pretty good at it. This is how, week after week, consumers come home from their pantry-stocking trips, feeling righteous about their savings on promoted items and, yet, still have no idea what they’re going to have for dinner.

Turns out that there are three distinct kinds of eating occasions that food marketers unwittingly sell to all the time. The Hartman Group white paper defines them as:

  • Instrumental (59% of eating occasions): Eating to get things done
  • Savouring (41%): Engaging in food for the sake of pleasure and enjoyment
  • Inspirational (less than 1%): Epicentre of trends; incubator of things to savour in the future

Needless to say, each eating occasion possibility requires a radically different marketing approach and is usually served by different types of products. Brands that fit best into the Instrumental segment, where we quickly grab a bite on our way to the more important parts of our day, include:

  • Traditional or Legacy brands:
  • Value private label
  • “Healthier” products/brands
  • Less processed brands/products

The Savoury eating occasions, where we actually pause to smell and eat the roses, are often served best by:

  • Premium private label
  • Emerging premium brands
  • Re-imagined legacy brands

Inspirational opportunities on the other hand, rare as they are, simply demand:

  • Artisan brands
  • Unpackaged foods

If you plan your shopper marketing strategies around eating occasions you’ll end up in much more alignment with your potential purchasers — and might even manage to squeeze your way into that zero moment of truth and onto those shopping lists after all.

What’s New behind the Telly?

Sky’s Annual Results came out last week and these are the key facts and figures (the ones we care about, anyway):

  • Combined Sky/Prime ad revenues stood at $54 million for the twelve months till June 2010 (down from $58 million for the previous year). 2009 was an annus horribilis for the ad team, with double digit YOY ad revenue declines for three-quarters of the year; however the first half of 2010 saw small but perfectly formed increases, with year on year revenue growth of 3% for the January-March 2010 quarter and 8% for the April-June quarter.
  • Total subscriber numbers as at June 30 2010: 802,400, a 3% increase on the previous year

MySky was the star performer over the last year, nearly doubling its penetration (from 103,991 boxes out there to 189,975). Some fast factoids:

  • MySky penetration has increased from 13.3% of the Sky subscriber universe in 2009 to 23.7% in 2010
  • 90% of MySky subscribers now have the High-Definition-capable MySky HDi settop box
  • Up to 59% of MySky HDi subscribers are potentially watching High Definition content

Sky currently reaches 48% of NZ households; of the remainder, 1% say they are “very likely” to subscribe to Sky, while a further 4% indicate they are fairly likely to do so. Total revenue for the 2009/2010 fiscal: $742 million, up 7.2%.

At its annual bunfight, Sky also announced that it’s getting back into online in a big way, through its new i-Sky (clearly one of the few i-signs not patented by the big Apple) It’ll be a staged release. Phase #1 entails:

  • Content will be delivered to your home or office computer, but open to Sky Subscribers only
  • Subscribers will be able to watch (streamed live to their PC) Sky Sport 1, 2 and 3, Sky News and CNN
  • Sky Movies Subscribers will have the ability to view 100 different currently scheduled movie titles.
  • Viewers will be able to catch up on 10-20 programmes on each key Basic Channel and Prime

And (here’s where all that DVD Unlimited/Fatso experience comes in handy) subscribers will be able to rent Movies and Series and watch them on their computer. The service will offer 600 choices on launch and is promising 5000 titles within a year.

Phase #2 of the rollout will see the service opened to non-Sky customers on a Pay Per View or short-term subscription basis; and Phase #3 will see the content also available third-party platforms such as the XBox, PlayStation, iPad and internet-enabled televisions.

The fourth and final phase announced last week will see this content delivered to the MySky Hard Drive for your viewing and recording pleasure.

This whole IPTV thing will really gain momentum once fibre moves beyond being a useful addition to your diet and becomes the great enabler of full-blown internet services across New Zealand.

PS While we’re reporting on television numbers, here’s another one that popped up last week: more than a quarter of New Zealand homes now have Freeview, according to the latest figures released by the free-to-air digital broadcasting platform. 419,945 Kiwi households (26.1%) now have the service.

There’s a Hole in my Bucket List

If you knew you only had a year to live (but couldn’t leave New Zealand), what would you do? What would be on your bucket list? That was the question posed by The Nielsen Company on behalf of locally-owned life insurance and investment company Fidelity Life.

Seeing more of New Zealand, including Fiordland, Milford and Dusky Sounds, Queenstown, Stewart Island and Bay of Islands, was the first thing mentioned by 51 percent of Kiwis. Fifteen per cent specifically mentioned visiting the “South Island”, including Stewart Island.

A long way back in second (18 percent) was visiting and spending time with family and friends, or setting up family for the future. The reasonably gentle pursuits group of climbing, cycling, tramping and trekking around mountains and tracks came in third on 9 percent, just ahead of a campervan trip with family and friends (8 percent).

Rounding out the top five was the first adrenaline category which included skydiving, parapenting, or a chopper or hot air balloon flight (7 per cent).

The survey found young adults would want to experience adrenaline attacks: Kiwis aged 15 to 24 are significantly more likely to want to bungy jump, skydive, paraglide or parapent. People aged 40 or older are more likely to want to go fishing or swimming with dolphins.

Spending “lots of my money”, or luxurious holidays and food and wine experiences was the seventh most popular answer, from four per cent of Kiwis keen to spend their childrens’ inheritance. You could use the results of this survey to put together a reasonably populist rewards programme, but it wouldn’t be exotic nor would it be very exciting.

Clearly we all need a Jack Nicholson in our lives to stop us being so boring ….

iDo, iDo, iDo, iDo, iDo, iDo (sorry, Abba)

Although it’s only five minutes old, the iPad is already proving an irresistable layer of icing on the wedding cake, a growing number of wedding photographers offshore are already starting to offer couples mementoes of the happy day via iPad rather than wedding album. Photographers have begun to supply these new new digital wedding albums pre-loaded with hundreds of photos and video of the couple’s engagement, wedding and reception — some with lavish digital layouts and multi-media presentations.

The Tampa Tribune reports on the most compelling appeal of the new phenomenon:

Couples are buying these iPad packages, fast, partly because guys love them.

“If I’m presenting photo packages to a bride and groom, I can tell you when the guy sees that iPad, he sits up, and gets excited for the first time in the whole wedding-planning process,” said Stephen Yanni, a photographer who does weddings across Florida. Since starting to offer iPad albums just two months ago, about half his clients are buying them.

“You may not lug out that 40-page, 30-pound album, except to force the relatives to flip through it on the couch,” Yanni said, “but brides will carry around that iPad wherever they go, and show it to every single person they meet.”

Photographers like Yanni see that as a major marketing opportunity and represent a rapid shift in wedding photography, catering to a thoroughly digital generation of couples who want their pictures on digital photo frames, as their computer wallpaper, on videogame consoles, on cell phone screens — and most importantly, on the bride’s Facebook page.

iPads are an easy sell to couples, Yanni and other photographers say, because the iPad displays and shares photos so well — and couples can hardly turn them down once they hold the pad in their hands.

“They’re just so smooth and vibrant with photos — you can zoom in and pan around,” Yanni said. “How do you zoom in on a bound wedding album? Hold it closer to your nose?”

These digital doodads also serve another purpose — keeping a groom interested.

By the time guys reach the photographer, Yanni said they’ve already endured meetings and debates over china patterns, brides-maid colors, groomsmen gifts, limo bookings, cake flavor choices and tickets for the honeymoon.

“He just thought it was awesome,” said Jessica Vieira, speaking of how her fiancé Christopher Steele reacted upon seeing example wedding shots on a digital display. They plan on having all their shots put on their own personal iPads when they get married in June next year, and they’ve already had their engagement photos resized so they display well on Facebook and cell phones.

If you can’t find business opportunities in that fancy new device, you’re just not trying hard enough. Perhaps you should sign up for our forthcoming 60-minute Webcast about the marketing implications of the iPad:

Tuesday 21 September: Why the iPad changes everything (yes, again!)

It’s here, it’s flashy and there are a few local media (the Herald, TVNZ, North & South and Wilderness magazine come to mind) already strutting their stuff on Steve Job’s latest baby. But what does the iPad mean for Kiwi marketers? Isn’t it just another laptop. Umm, no. Some food for thought:

  • The iPad is bringing the internet alive for demographics that were never comfortable online. Japan’s Hikosaburo Yasuda plans to buy an iPad to keep up with junior members in his computer club. Yasuda is 95.
  • Print advertising suddenly went “all-singing, all-dancing”. Wait till you see some of the iPad-enhanced magazine/newspaper ads already out there.
  • iPad advertising can turn transactional at the click of a button. Are you ready to generate clicks and sales?
  • Readership data by page, for every reader? Will your ads hold their attention as much as the editorial content or will publishers ask you to move to the back of the bus (or go away entirely)?
  • The iPad switches the Internet into lean-back-and-consume mode. What are the implications?
  • Anything, anytime, anywhere – and finally in an acceptable form factor. Watch that mobile media consumption explode.
  • Your brand bling suddenly got vital — beauty is in the i of the holder.
  • Our own personal media machine. What does that do to shared experiences and co-viewing?
  • On the other hand, remote social co-viewing suddenly surges.Which means?
  • How many iPads will be sold in NZ this year anyway? Enough to matter?
  • And then there’s iAds, Apple’s own iPad offerings. What’s so special about them, according to the early adopter advertisers wh have already signed on?
  • All this and more on September 21 (from 1pm till 2pm).

If you would like to make a booking for multiple participants; or would prefer to pay by bank deposit; or if you require a tax invoice in advance, please email us at [email protected] and we’ll send you through the appropriate details.

Yellow Card for Broadcasters?

Interesting happenings across the ditch, and no, we’re not talking about the Australian parliamentary deadlock currently in progress. Instead, we want to muse about football (or soccer, as some of you still call it).

Pay TV operator Foxtel (Sky’s cuzzie) has the Australian broadcast rights to live coverage of the English Premier League. However, earlier this month, Network Ten-owned sports channel One HD announced it had secured the rights to two weekly three-hour programmes, Liverpool TV and Arsenal TV which includes replays of each club’s weekly Premier League match.

The deal could be done only because the English football clubs retain the rights to coverage of their matches and are starting to exploit those rights on a global basis. In the most recent example, Arsenal just last week announced a new deal with an international sports media company to develop a range of programming and multi-platform content under the Arsenal Media brand.

The expectation is that once broadband infrastructure capable of sustaining high-definition broadcasts is built, England’s privately owned powerhouse clubs, such as Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, will be able to sell directly to overseas fans. If there was ever a clear and pressing need to provide fibre to the home across New Zealand, here it is.

Little wonder that (as we noted above) Sky has confirmed that it’s getting back into the internet-delivered television game …

Trendwatch: Top Ten U.S. Snack Trends

The Food Channel (no, not our one) released its top 10 US snack trends report, prepared in conjunction with CultureWaves, Mintel International and the International Food Futurists.

“These trends show how people are eating today,” Kay Logsdon, editor-in-chief of The Food Channel, said in a statement, “with smoothies and energy bars functioning as meal replacements, and grazing with small bites throughout the day — sometimes never even sitting down to a meal.”

According to The Food Channel, the top ten snack trends are:

Chip and dip 2.0: New varieties and flavors are giving consumers something different. You’re likely to find hummus and falafel chips or pretzel crisps at the next party instead of the traditional chip-and-dip duo. The dips are healthier, spicier and often served hot.

Small and sensational: Consumers are eating more substantial snacks packed with protein as meal replacements, and eating them more often. For pick-me-ups, people may grab the new breed of high-protein snacks such as a Big Mac Wrap at McDonald’s. Come dinnertime, they may graze some more, but by today’s definition, snacks may be all they need.

The drink shift: This trend is all about the “halo of health” around drinks made with fruit or antioxidants. There is a shift in snack beverages away from colas and energy drinks and more toward teas, lemonades, fruity organic waters and carbonated fruit drinks with interesting flavour combinations. Plus, there’s the trend away from high-fructose corn syrup and back to sugar that some soft-drink makers are spinning as a “throwback” move.

Goin’ nuts: Snacking habits are adjusting to the talk about how good nuts are for health, with nuts and granola, nuts and fruits and smoked nuts growing more popular. Unique flavor combinations give consumers the feeling they are eating healthy: for example, cashews with pomegranate and vanilla, or dark chocolate with caramelized black walnuts.

Fruits: the low-hanging snack: The trend here is the mainstreaming of new types of fruit, and the redefinition of locally grown to mean locally sourced. Fresh fruit is now the No. 1 snack among US kids aged two to 17.

Cruising the bars: While it’s become mainstream that a granola bar is an acceptable emergency meal, bars are now offered in dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, soy-free, cholesterol-free, trans-fat-free and casein-free varieties. There are even versions specifically formulated for women and children.

Sweet and salty: Until recent years, the only way sweet and salty snacks mixed was when people ate something sweet and then craved something salty, or vice-versa. That barrier is now removed, with consumers dipping pretzels in Nutella and eating fruit with a side of popcorn. These tastes are filling up the new-style vending machines too, where the choices are increasing and more nutritional information is available.

Yoghurt, redefined: The new gold standard for yoghurt is the increased health value found with probiotics. Acknowledging the trend toward global flavours, there is Greek yohgurt, among the healthiest snacks one can eat. Icelandic yoghurt is starting to emerge as yet another world player and new self-serve frozen yoghurt shops are popping up everywhere too. Although not new, yoghurt continues to redefine itself and is definitely trending up.

Bodaciously bold: Bold flavours are almost becoming regular, satisfying an urge for something unordinary. One example is Doritos First-, Second- and Third-Degree Burn.

Nostalgia’s new again: Americans are turning back to old favourites such as the traditional Snack Cake, which includes the Hostess Twinkie, the Ding Dong, the TastyKake and the Little Debbie.

  • Michael Carney’s Social Media Marketing eCourse has multiplied and now comes in several, more specific flavours: travel and tourism, cause-related, small business and the original. And for ‘Those Who Don’t Want to Read the Manual But Just Want To Get Stuck In’, there’s also another new offering, the Social Media Kickstart Package. Email [email protected] and speak with the oracle himself. But wait there’s more, Carney is also putting on six webcasts, covering everything from mobile marketing to online video and pretty much everything digital inbetween. Check out what’s on offer here and email [email protected]ebooted.co.nz to sign up.

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