Food For Thought - RMD Blog

How To Stop Thinking Just Anyone Can Represent Your Business in Social Media

How To Stop Thinking Just Anyone Can Represent Your Business in Social Media

SEO OptimizationThe food industry is crowded with brand after brand just trying to make it to the shopping cart of the consumer. What makes a food brand special? What makes you indispensable in the consumer’s mind and heart? An agency that specializes in the food industry has access to knowledge that can propel you forward, putting you in the hands of the perfect consumer for strength and sustainability.

For each brand, their purpose is different. It’s time for you to evaluate (or re-evaluate) yours … and identify the most strategic avenue by which to share it.

The list of impactful social media platforms goes on and on. While a good product is a key to success if consumers don’t know about it, how well can it perform? In the meanwhile, the world is seemingly in tune with the latest social trends. In order to maximize your momentum in this space, there’s something deeper brands should responsibly consider.

The question is, why should you employ the services of an agency to manage your social media instead of that eager new intern or a family member who can’t wait to get their hands on your social accounts?

Instead, consider these four big reasons to rely on an agency to help share your brand’s story and, just as importantly, your purpose:

1. Talking to the consumer and managing crisis.

A series of high-profile food crisis has caused a growing awareness of particularly stubborn pathogens amongst all consumer groups. Both food manufacturing teams and their marketing counterparts have been charged with the daunting task of exemplifying excellence in food safety by incorporating industry best practices, particularly by bolstering their crisis management plans … this is especially necessary in a space as transparent as the social space.

 By fine-tuning a food crisis strategy, your brand can ensure it continues to serve the organization well and protects its public profile while helping to instill trust between the brand and its consumers. Partnering with an agency with a deep knowledge of the industry and a solid track record in times of crisis is an exemplary way to prepare your brand for the unforeseen. In a volatile industry, such as the food industry, your agency partner should realize that food can either nourish us or serve as a toxin. Their work should prepare your brand and protect it accordingly.

2. Strong SEO means big power for your brand.

 Powerful SEO is a must-have today and it can be integrated into your marketing mix seamlessly with the help of an agency. For maximum effectiveness and brand power, your agency partner should be able to incorporate a smart SEO strategy into your day-to-day efforts across social media. One brand, one topic, one voice every day. This is the fastest way to become (and stay) a Love Brand.

3. Posting in your voice, as a friend to the consumer.

As consumers peruse the social space, they’re actively reading messages and posts from their friends. It’s critical that your agency brings them friendly messaging that’s in line with what they’re already expecting to see on that platform, while broadening the conversation to accommodate a variety of subjects that relate to your brand.

Recent research demonstrates that 79 percent of Millennials and 84 percent of other generations prefer brands to let their personalities shine on Facebook, while 51 percent of Millennials and 35 percent of other generations like it on Twitter. Your fans want your brand to tell stories they can relate to, share recipes they can identify with or post articles that highlight how you can add value to their lives. It’s simple, it’s subtle and it’s friendly.

4. Posting on a regular schedule, without being predictable.

Strategically diverse – conversational yet intentional. There’s strategic thought that goes into each post, and the content calendar your agency creates for you is a tool not likely to be found in the hands of a social media team that’s not simultaneously armed with a marketing mindset.

Simple but effective tools built monthly for your company’s unique needs. Important holidays, food celebrations, retailer awareness and more are crafted to be talked about in each month, using a pattern that keeps the message fresh and the user engaged.

It’s easy to have that son or daughter, that cousin, that guy in billings who has an Instagram account, take care of your social media needs. It seems smart and affordable. But when you consider that social media is an advantage medium and your direct connection from your brand to your consumer, you realize your product may be the most important key to your business.

The advantage of daily communication with your consumer is a very close second … and that shouldn’t be in the hands of a single person who has an idea of what they’re doing, or just having fun learning. That should be entrusted to a team of individuals that want the same thing you do: success.

See how we can help you and your brand find just that right here.

Why I LOVE Negative News

Why I LOVE Negative News

Don’t get me wrong, I love the client love too — learning that something transformed a brand’s business, that product is selling off the shelves or that the efforts of the agency earned a brand’s way into an account.  RMD's Positive SuccessBut I’ve learned to really embrace negative news, too.

But why do we appreciate hearing that product isn’t selling in a certain area, that messaging is falling on deaf ears within a certain market — or that the competition is “eating our lunch” within a specific retail geography (yes, pun intended)?  Because this news fuels the right agency’s performance.  And yes, RMD IS the right agency.  Here are three ways this news can be useful to a super-charged team:

It turns on the firepower.

When you’ve teamed with an agency that cares more about serving your brand and your consumers, than they do about managing agency hours, negative news can turn on the firepower.  It’s akin to having a best friend who rises up to defend you when you need it most.

We work hard to INTEGRATE and pump up the power when we hear that sales are down, or not what they can be.  Social media takes on a hyper-focus with carefully crafted posts and smart, smart, smart geotargeting. Simultaneously, Public Relations truly IS the silent partner in every success story, mobilized to turn on the energy in a specific market. Meanwhile, Advertising should cut through the noise and first grab awareness, then educate.

It solidifies a client/agency team.

Nothing builds bonds faster and stronger than a brand in need, and an agency that rises up to meet that need — quickly.  There’s a gift in speed and being nimble enough to adapt and improvise or mobilize resources for immediate results.  The food business requires this and teaming with an agency that cares enough to be effective when it’s needed most builds lasting relationships.

It allows the agency to actually DO something.

Sometimes, brands become protective.  And, in the interest of safeguarding the company, we actually hold on to our brands too tightly. Being in dire need forces us to let go … just enough to allow success to happen.  To be clear, I love a calculated move — and more importantly, a calculated brand.  But that’s not always how the world operates.  Brands that are built with transparency and honesty are more effective today than those that mark every move.  As consumers, we buy brands from people, not from corporations.  Freeing your agency from the ties that often bind us has led to some astounding success throughout the two and a half decades of food brand experience at RMD.  Sometimes, we need to let go … and let good happen.

Is your brand ready to turn to a strategic partner that digs in? Let us show you what we could do for your brand.

Sue Reninger, Managing Partner
Client Brand Strategy

 

Grassroots Marketing Efforts Mean Expansion for Ohio-Based Nonprofit

Grassroots Marketing Efforts Mean Expansion for Ohio-Based Nonprofit

Ten years ago, RMD Advertising dreamed big. The agency’s team members took the first step in what would become the company’s largest charitable initiative. It all stemmed from a simple desire: to give their clients a holiday gift that would stand out from the typical corporate gift.   

So, the agency took the money earmarked for client gifts and bought 25 red wagons, filled each with food and distributed them throughout the community to local Columbus families in dire need during the holidays.

Wagons Ho Ho Ho began with that simple mission in mind. We’ve grown since that first year. Last year, our Wagoneers donated more than 8,000 pounds of food and built a total of 1,000 wagons. This year, we’ll call on the Central Ohio community to help us build and distribute 1,250 sturdy wagons – our largest initiative to date. But we’ll also fill each one with enough food to feed a family of four Christmas dinner. 1,250 wagons and enough food to feed 5,000 people … all assembled in one day. More than 600 volunteers make this possible.

How does one 501(c)3 organization mobilize a group of over 600 volunteers and inspire the Columbus community to donate enough nonperishable food to feed so many Ohioans in need? Powerful marketing, lean, targeted messaging, smart event marketing and word of mouth certainly play a critical role.

Marketing to the head and the heart

 Wagons Ho Ho Ho is an enormous responsibility, and without the support of our volunteers and the city of Columbus, it wouldn’t be possible. With strategic and targeted marketing efforts, our grassroots initiatives have fostered a giving and selfless community that has made Wagons Ho Ho Ho’s annual Build Day more than simply eight hours during which we assemble wagons.

Build Day is now an event that epitomizes the spirit of the holidays. It reminds volunteers that what they contribute is unique. On that day, the city’s local recreational center turns into Santa’s workshop and strangers work side-by-side, working towards one goal and becoming friends in the process.   

We’re proud of this accomplishment. We realize that providing a gift and a meal on Christmas is important, but what is really important to us is what each wagon represents to its recipients … hope. It’s our way of showing these children that there is a community of people who care about them during the biggest holiday of the year.

Each local radio interview, television segment, printed story and event Wagons Ho Ho Ho participates in is an opportunity to make an emotional connection with the next potential Wagoneer. While we share the harrowing facts of Ohio’s food insecurity and the daunting need of families in the area, we are also keenly aware of our story.

Marketing Wagons Ho Ho Ho as a brand has required us to approach each piece of content created as a vehicle for communicating our story, celebrating the people behind our strong but mighty nonprofit and our hopes for the future. By concentrating our media opportunities to the months leading up to the annual Build Day, we have been able to saturate the local airwaves with our story … and in return, have continued to inspire volunteers to proudly step forward and call themselves Wagoneers.

Our story:

Can a wagon really change a child’s life? We think so. And it takes just one voice to help a family know they have a supportive community of caring neighbors behind them.

Today, the face of the hunger has changed. 1 in 6 in Ohio experience food insecurity, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. These are your neighbors and your co-workers. Sometimes, it is a matter of having to sacrifice dinner one day a week. It may even mean having to choose between buying food or medicine for a sick child. If they are struggling to buy food, how can they buy Christmas gifts for their children?

On Build Day this Saturday, December 2nd, we’ll once again open the doors of a local recreation center and invite over 600 hard working Wagoneers to bag food, build wagons and send each delivery off with our dedicated distribution charity partners. With music, plenty of food and laughter filling each corner of the room, it’s plain to see – this is a special event not only for the recipients of the wagons but also for the builders themselves.

 Every volunteer who touches Wagons Ho Ho Ho, whether by donating food, funds or their time, is an important part of the Wagons team. Visit WagonsHoHoHo.org to learn more, and help to give a child HOPE for today and the future.

Happening Right Now: Facts Frightening Marketers

Happening Right Now: Facts Frightening Marketers

Marketing can be spooky

We couldn’t resist. With October comes the ghostly opportunity to shine a new light on some frightening food marketing stats. Can these help you to build out a skeleton of a plan for a stronger, better 2018?

You be the judge. But the truth remains: not all food marketing is the same. If your Challenger Food Brand plans to make a bigger splash next year, consider these three powerful thoughts:

Frightening Fact #1: You’re ignoring two highly credible, highly influential consumers.

Challenger food brands can’t ignore Millennials, for sure.  According to Statista 2017, nearly 80 percent of them regularly purchase specialty food brands. But the markets you’re ignoring could be killing your profits.

Gen X consumers (ages 40-51 years old) and Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) also line up for your brand.  In fact, more than 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively, actively purchase and seek out specialty foods.

Frightening Fact #2: It’s not a fad. You’re discounting the growing gluten-free category.

Though the buzz has quieted, it’s interesting to know that the gluten-free marketplace is actually growing. According to Statista, consumers choosing to go gluten free are actually climbing at a steep rate.  In fact, 72 percent of the market for gluten-free consists of consumers who choose the lifestyle as a way of life (up from 56 percent in the previous two-year period.)

Frightening Fact #3: Brick n’ Mortars are battling online shopping.

According to a Bricks Meets Clicks study, Americans who shop for groceries online once per month do an average of 17 percent of their total grocery spending online. That leaves a LOT of room in the budget for traditional grocery brands.  This compares to 21% for those who shop twice online.

Giving Brands the (Re)Boot: Nostalgic Food Brands Connect to the Heart

Giving Brands the (Re)Boot: Nostalgic Food Brands Connect to the Heart

At RMD, we take a great deal of pride in serving Challenger Food and Beverage Brands – and only these brands.  For the past decade, RMD has had the privilege of working with CPG, restaurant and food service brands solely.  From product launches to “reboots”, new brands to nostalgic brands and love brands to brands in crisis.  It’s the category and clients that we love, and that drives us to perform at the levels that we do.

But there’s a special place in our heart for the challenge of “rebooting a brand”.  You know the score, taking a nostalgic brand that was once strong and found in nearly every pantry in America … and giving it new brand awareness, a renewed place in American consumers’ hearts and rebuilding the bottom line along the way.

We love a great challenge. No one out-performs RMD when it comes to the challenger food category.  And no other agency can honestly pledge to never fail (because we simply do not). This is especially important when a nostalgic brand is put back on the table — because one shot is all that’s given.  And that shot needs to stick once again in America’s hearts and minds if it’s to enjoy a second go around as a family love brand.

There will always be something special about bringing consumers closer to those brands again, and bringing the brands back to the dinner table.  To watch a consumer reminisce about their grandparents’ love affair with a product or food — and to watch the sense of smell, sight and touch rekindle that love affair is a marketer’s dream come true.  To walk thru an airport with a branded T-shirt on … and get stopped along the way to hear consumers tell you their love brand stories. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

We’ve been privileged to give this shine back to some of America’s strongest nostalgic love brands over the past few decades:  Popeye Spinach, Veg-All vegetables, Glory Foods, Rudolph Foods pork rinds … and Keystone Meats. Below is some of our favorite work along the way.  Take a walk down memory lane … enjoy!

panera ad glory ad
allens ad Retro Ad

Planks, Pranks and How RMD Ranks

Planks, Pranks and How RMD Ranks


RMD is all about the good mojo and a culture centered on taking care of our clients and taking care of our team. We talk a lot about our clients, but what about the culture dynamic among our team members makes RMD so special?

One thing we do at RMD that sets us apart from the rest, is we believe fully in changing your state. Any time we feel the energy is at a lull, we pick ourselves up and initiate a dance party or a plank. When we call for a plank, the whole team gets up and heads to the center of the office where we get on our elbows and count to 60. Why? Tony Robbins talks about the importance of maintaining your state here.

In order to keep our team members on their toes, we’ve been known to pull a prank or two. As a food agency, we always have food handy. So whether we’re hiding jelly beans in the Digital team’s desk, or wrapping a team member’s desk like a Christmas present for Secret Santa, you’ll be sure to hear some laughter throughout the building.

Our office culture allows for RMDers to get moving, get into a positive headspace and conquer stress with laughter. If this sounds like you, you may have what it takes to be an RMDer.

Inside (And Out) Look At RMD

Inside (And Out) Look At RMD

Fifteen team members strong, we’re tenacious. We think hard for the food brands we serve. We accept nothing but success. We’re relentless when it comes to living up to our promises.  And, we love what we have coined the “challenger” food category.

In short, we serve brands that are challenging the categories they play in. Many of our clients have larger competitors in their competitive set – most with deeper pockets.  We have studied, adapted and improved the way our brands go to market every day, and how they related to their consumers.

With a keen eye on integration and the brand overall, we’ve created a great deal of success for the amazing slate of food clients we represent.  Our clients are category leaders but still bump up against larger mega brands. We are efficient and nimble in our services. It’s what our clients expect, and it’s what we deliver.

Located in Columbus, Ohio, we’re proud of our client list. We serve national food brands that are category leaders … brands that have carved out a strong niche for themselves and prefer to work with a food agency that’s just as committed to their growth as they are. We’re great at documenting tangible results for our clients and have a unique expertise in working with Challenger Food brands.

RMD is proud to document tangible results for a variety of Challenger Food brand clients. This success is often what attracts our blue chip clients to us.  We’ve won local, national and regional awards for our work – in the areas of creative, strategy, public relations and crisis.  National Clarion Awards, Stevie Awards, Addy’s, Gold Quill, AIM Awards from the American Marketing Association and Prism Awards from the PRSA.

Many members of our team have also sat or are sitting on boards of influence, including the American Marketing Association, the Western Michigan University Advertising Department’s Advisory Board, and a host of charitable endeavors, including the Alzheimer’s Association, Communities In Schools, Children’s Hunger Alliance and Wagons Ho Ho Ho.

RMD’s ideas address our clients’ challenges with solutions embodying the words smart, creative, sharp, passionate and problem solving.  We also put a great deal of emphasis on gratitude.

As one of the strongest brand-oriented food advertising agencies, the RMD team works hard to find a better way for clients to relate to their audiences from both emotional and intellectual perspectives.

In short, we make connections … we connect our clients to consumers, channels to end-users, media to experts, and great creative to all of our clients. It is our pleasure to serve our clients with every tool at our disposal – hard-thinking brand strategy, creative traditional and digital advertising, attention-grabbing social media and ROI-driven public relations.

For the Labor of Love and Food

For the Labor of Love and Food

We often get asked about the history of RMD.  Now, for nearly three decades (how time flies!), we’ve been through many, many colorful periods.  Mostly, however, we’re proud of who RMD is today.  It’s because of the labor, smarts and creativity of past and current team members that made us who we are today.

Born in 1992, RMD Advertising is celebrating its 25th year in the agency business.  The agency was started by Sue Reninger, and within two years added the creative expertise of Donn Ditzhazy.  The agency was started out of the belief that there was a better way to manage strategic campaigns and still serve the client in an unprecedented capacity.  In those early days, the core of RMD was born – and today we function more as an extension of the client team (and in many cases as a marketing department) than a traditional agency.

Once upon a time, RMD, like many agencies, focused on a variety of categories:  manufacturing, healthcare, and technology to name a few.  However, once we served on our first true food brand (Panera Bread), we took our own advice, knowing that brands are aided by sacrifice.  We narrowed our focus, and for the past decade or more have worked ONLY with challenger food brands.

Simply put, RMD is an advertising, digital, brand strategy, social media and public relations agency that “gets it.” We drive results from day one. RMD specializes in helping Challenger Food and Beverage brands grow.

 

25 Years and Counting

25 Years and Counting

When RMD was founded 25 years ago … The cost of a first-class stamp was 29 cents, and a gallon of gas was $1.13. Today, we primarily send emails, and every gas station has turned into a convenience store that sells gourmet coffee. Progress!

As we look back, one thing that hasn’t changed is our Agency Core. What we started out doing those many years ago still holds true today. We help our Challenger Food clients grow their brand. In the frozen, snack, deli and dairy aisles in grocery stores to c-stores and to Fast Casual and QSR’s everywhere. And we love it!

Food is fast, food is fun and food isn’t for everyone. But in this ever-changing world of food, we present consumers with the heart and soul of a brand.

Food Holidays … it’s the American Way

Food Holidays … it’s the American Way

Being in the food business, food holidays take on a whole different meaning. Before working at one of the country’s top Challenger Food Brand agencies … food holidays were just FUN! Now, it’s part of daily life at RMD Advertising and a component to our clients’ success.

For example, National Ice Cream Month is one of the biggest holiday of the year for Graeter’s Ice Cream. We take pride in a well thought out plan that includes TV and radio promotion, trade and consumer print, influencer reviews, PPC and social media. We know that with multiple messages to multiple audiences increases the chances of greater success for our client. And success equals more brand lovers and of course greater sales.

The next time you hear about an interesting or delicious food holiday, know that there’s likely a PR team behind the scenes fighting hard for that Challenger Brand‘s share of awareness working its magic for food clients. Showing everyone why fun food holidays are a good time to celebrate not only our country’s love affair with food.

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