Food For Thought - RMD Blog

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.

 

Best strategies for food manufacturers looking to succeed in e-commerce

Best strategies for food manufacturers looking to succeed in e-commerce

We’re always proud when industry publications approach us for our leadership thoughts regarding the food industry. It’s our passion to help our clients grow with new and creative ideas that generate sales of their product. Food Industry Executive Magazine looked to Donn Ditzhazy, Managing Partner of creative, for his input on the ever-growing e-commerce marketplace.

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1. What are the best strategies for food manufacturers looking to succeed in the growing e-commerce market?

Regardless of how exemplary your e-commerce store is, it will likely go nowhere without a strategic marketing plan behind it. Fuel your online store by first outlining how you will promote your products, whether across your social media platforms with photography, digital artwork, and video, on a blog on your website, through e-marketing or with pay per click buys and ad word searches.

After you’ve begun a conversation with consumers who are interested in your e-commerce store, keep them engaged with e-marketing. This is one of the best ways to influence shoppers with news or product offers. With the tools you need to drive awareness to your store, ensure that your entire process, from cart to checkout is seamless. To do so, consistently test your site to check that it is secure, intuitive and quick to use. This also means utilizing the power of mobile.

2. What tools and technologies are most helpful?

Tapping into your website’s analytics is the most powerful tool you can use to continue growing your e-commerce business. They can pinpoint the moment in a consumer’s buying process when he or she abandoned your site. Their journey through your products pages, to the cart and to the check-out process tells a story about where they may have lost interest or been deterred in any way.

Re-marketing can help you to reach back out to these consumers with a quick email reminding them to complete their order, further increasing your chances of completing a sale that otherwise might be lost.

Website analytics can also drive repeat purchases. Put featured products or suggested products in front of consumers who have shown interest through a similar purchase, offer exclusive promotions or deliver important updates. By sending reminders to your shoppers to purchase their favorite products time after time-based off of their already-established history, you can ultimately simplify the entire user experience. Website analytics give you the power to deliver just what your shoppers want, sometimes before they know exactly how to search for it.

3. What research and resources are most important to cite?

The best way to succeed in the e-commerce market is to rely on an advertising agency. With the tools necessary to think intelligently and strategically for your business, the right team can help you to work with efficiency. A capably integrated agency will be able to strategically use SEO keywords and phrases, help to create effective deals and promotions and make the user experience a pleasant one, all while organizing your e-marketing community to keep shoppers coming back for more.


Donn’s passion for food began while growing up in the culturally diverse city of Detroit. Experiencing the wonderful flavors of the city taught him that there’s more to life than the same old same old. Today, Donn takes that same approach with the creative direction of the agency.

Your Digital Advertising May Fail Without This

Your Digital Advertising May Fail Without This

How can using creative, strategic thought help your social advertising plan soar?

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The food industry is a competitive one, with food brands dawning trendy personas and introducing new must-have products that entice consumers to buy as soon as they hit the shelves. For marketers, this means battling a crowded field where the average consumer no longer responds to overt messages to “buy now!” A strategic social advertising plan must be in place to cut through the clutter.

As TV ad spending dwindles, digital advertising continues to boom. In today’s digital age, digital tactics can grab consumers’ attention and influence purchasing decisions. That being said, digital advertising has become more important than ever, as well as the way in which companies take advantage of it.

Follow a few of these do’s and don’ts of digital marketing to boost your sales in a volatile food industry.

Do use custom-made links. When hosting a campaign, create a custom link. This is an uber effective way to track it on your website or a third-party website. Clicks to your custom link will be seen as activity on a prospect’s profile, and the more information you have on a prospect, the more tailored and meaningful your conversations can be. This allows you to be a marketer rather than a technician. Use the data that your custom links provide to optimize your message and distribution so that you reach the consumer best suited to your brand.

Don’t speak at your consumer. Speak to your consumer. Develop a meaningful conversation and seize the attention of new leads with storytelling. To portray your product or service as a must-have, your targeted consumer needs to know that their values align with your brand’s values and that you will be solving a point of pain for them. Start a conversation!

Do track your progress throughout your digital campaigns. When you benchmark your social and web statistics at the beginning of any campaign you might be hosting, remember to check back in frequently. This will allow you to evaluate your success as well as identify areas where you can be more successful. Track and measure daily, even hourly. With programmatic advertising technology, this is now more feasible than ever.

Consider shifting your strategy if you feel there are parts of your campaign that need to be strengthened, whether through a reallocation of your funds or through more specific targeting of your audience. It is crucial to understand your audience, including your brand’s buyer persona, how frequently they are online and which social platforms they prefer to use.

Standout digital begins with a standout agency. Are you armed with the best of the best? Check out our team.

Jacob, a Digital Art Director at RMD, helps to make sure the creative power behind the work we do for each of our clients packs a powerful punch. From coding websites to developing shareable artwork for social media and beyond, he’s a pro that’s inspired by the food industry everyday.

5 Steps Every Food Brand Should Consider Before Launching A Pinterest Account

5 Steps Every Food Brand Should Consider Before Launching A Pinterest Account

Challenger food brands have the ability to speak directly to their consumers with smart, targeted marketing that ultimately sets them apart from competitors. Their teams, oftentimes smaller and more nimble, are packed with passionate marketers that have the brand’s continuous growth in mind.

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For brands that are interested in marketing on Pinterest, their vivacity becomes quite the advantage. So, don’t wait to explore your big ideas and innovations within this social channel!

To jumpstart a successful Pinterest account, challenger food brands should consider five simple steps:

1. Remain brand-centric. From the name of your Pinterest page to the description of each pin, pinners should be able to recognize your images even if they’re not branded. Create and organize your boards based on content that will add value for your audience. For restaurant owners, this may mean creating a board called “How To Host a Restaurant-Style Brunch”.

2. Create a guest pinner board. Allowing your followers to be involved in your boards is a great way for food brands to maximize their relationships with potential and current consumers. Doing so increases your user engagement, makes your followers feel more personally invested in your brand and gives you automatic feedback and insight into the interests and opinions of your audience.

3. Highlight promotions with engaging graphics. Smart-looking graphic coupons are a powerful way to boost their circulation and develop your growing food brand.

4. Consider the fact that custom content typically performs better than digitally created images. Pinterest caters to such organic content, which will shed a brighter light on your brand.

5. Make SEO work for you. Ensure every aspect of your Pinterest account is attracting new consumers, as well as entertaining your current ones. Be sure to include the keywords your brand owns in everything from the title of your boards to their subtitles and the descriptions of your pins.

Once your company dives into the wonderful, consumer-driven platform we call Pinterest, learn how to squeeze every ounce of value out of your social platforms and take the leap to Pinterest ad-targeting!

Donnelly is a millennial and a food writer based in Columbus, Ohio.  She started writing from a very young age, and her writing skills are a reflection of her passion for food, baking and the creative arts, overall.  She moved to the agency world after a stint as a ballerina.  On her journey, she learned a range of skills, including creative writing, the art of influence in advertising and PR, and how food helps people of differing backgrounds connect on an emotional level.

24 Things We Learned & Loved at Expo West

24 Things We Learned & Loved at Expo West

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There was so much to see at Natural Products Expo West this year! From our clients that were exhibiting to the brands that inspired us, we flew home with our heads full of BIG ideas.

This is our 24th anniversary, so in keeping with the theme, we’ll share 24 trends we noticed as we walked the aisles.

Tweet: 24 #food #trends we noticed at #ExpoWest this year. Take a look, #foodies! https://rmdadvertising.com/blog/ https://ctt.ec/Ydaqe24 #food #trends we noticed at #ExpoWest this year. Take a look, #foodies! https://rmdadvertising.com/blog/ https://ctt.ec/Ydaqe

1. Keep an eye out for bone broth!

2. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the food industry.

3. The great divide between certifications, such as gluten-free, organic and all-natural, still remains. Consumers have more than ever to decipher as they navigate nutrition.

4. Brands that grow fastest are those that move swiftly and with a great deal of energy.

5. Taste trumps all. All other aspects of a product are irrelevant if it tastes great.

6. The industry grows in direct proportion to America’s love affair with food. We’re entranced with nostalgia and pop culture all at once.

7. Select food brands have become so popular that the entrepreneurs behind the brand name have become celebrities in many respects.

8. The strongest brands are fueled by a food tribe of consumers that love the brand, as well as a team that is passionate about its success.

9. Similar products are saturating the market, the ever-present question is, how do you stand out? Having a unique voice is vital to success right now.

10.Smart on-the-go snacking is still a hot topic as consumers continue to live their busy, fast-paced lifestyles and want healthy options they can feel good about.

11. Transparency is still one of the most important aspects of a product companies continue to feature.

12. In line with the need for transparency is the need for the humane treatment of animals. Consumers continue to be concerned about where their food is coming from. That’s what we like to see! Check out NestFresh for a look at transparency done right.

13. Jerkies, meats and high protein products are still all the rage.

14. Pulses are currently emerging as a hot trend.

15. Interactive marketing had a huge impact on how recognizable a brand was at Expo West.

16. While there were fewer frozen food brands exhibiting, this could be a great opportunity to capitalize on the benefits of frozen food, highlighting freezing as a natural preservative. That’s why we love our frozen food clients, like Mom Made Foods, Tandoor Chef and Graeter’s Ice Cream.

17. Packaging saw a trend towards a clean and modern feel, with a color design of only two to three colors.

18. Clean nutritional panels are a huge draw for today’s health conscious consumers.

19. Candy has expanded to the organic category, offering consumers a new way to indulge.

20. Organic sodas and juices continue to grow in influence, with fruit flavors being the most popular.

21. The granola and energy bar categories are congested. Differentiation in packaging and variety in flavor will likely help it to grow.

22. Dairy brands are focused primarily on yogurt and cheese. However, butter has great potential to take the category by storm … Minerva Dairy, anyone?

23. Digital displays with video – showcasing best practices and sustainability – helped a number of brands find success at Expo West.

24. Healthy snacks for children, with a focus on fun, party packs and small sizes, made headway.

Snack Attack this Month!

Snack Attack this Month!

RMDAdvertising-NationalSnackFoodMonth

National Snack Food Month is more than a celebration of America’s love for the salty, the sweet and everything in between. Especially in the age of the snack-loving consumer, National Snack Food Month has taken on an entirely new meaning.

This month, we’re celebrating our favorite brands and taking a look at how America has changed the way it eats. Gone are the days of the sit-down meal. Today, it’s all about fueling up and hitting the road!

Tweet: #FunFact: 67% of households prefer salty snacks. #NationalSnackFoodMonth https://ow.ly/XOui2#FunFact: 67% of households prefer salty snacks. #NationalSnackFoodMonth https://ow.ly/XOui2 https://ctt.ec/L7r22

“Sales of snacks account for a whopping forty percent of the $370 billion U.S. packaged food market and are set to grow two percent annually through 2019,” according to Food Navigator. As a matter of fact, the snack food industry is driving America’s food scene forward, with sales growing more than three percent a year since 2008.

It’s easy to reap the benefits of this trend as a snack food brand. However, we’ve learned that industry leaders ask why. The answer? Millennials.

While millennials can be pin pointed for moving the needle on some of today’s biggest flavor trends, they are also the culprits of our fascination with snacking. Research says they tend to replace meals with snacks two times more frequently than other generations. Making the most of this trend are brands featuring protein-rich and healthier-for-you grab-and-go options that capitalize on consumers’ focus on nutrition.

Brands can take advantage of America’s renewed interest in snacking by speaking loudly and clearly to consumers’ need for speed. We’ve evolved into a quick-paced culture and our eating habits need to fuel our busy lives!

Trends kicking off Super Bowl 50

Trends kicking off Super Bowl 50

RMD Advertising talks Trends for the Big Game

From bold Super Bowl ads to sappy Valentine’s Day messages to the spirit of giving that makes Random Acts of Kindness Month so spectacular, February is a roller coaster of marketing endeavors.

For RMD, the start of February means two things: (1) Super Bowl ads and (2) #PorkRindDay.

While we’re at Radio Row mingling with our Gridiron Greats and Pork Rind Lovers in San Francisco, many Americans will be tuning in to the Super Bowl at home. While the big game is a time to celebrate great football, the ads have become a tradition that many of us look forward to as well.

Here are a few of the trends you’ll notice this year:

Family First: Super Bowl commercials that incorporate a sexy theme, such as Carl’s Jr.’s racy “All-Natural” spot for last year’s Super Bowl, tend to score nine percent lower with consumers than those without such undertones. Many brands are more cognizant of the fact that families tend to gather around the TV on game day. Furthermore, none of the ten most-liked Super Bowl ads from 2011 through 2015 use sex as an advertising technique.

Soft and Fuzzy: Research has shown that puppies tug at viewers’ heartstrings most. Go figure, right? Four of the top ten ads include puppies and dogs, while two others rely on similarly adorable animals, such as horses and polar bears, to capture consumers’ attention.

Storytelling: Inspiring and uplifting themes perform well with Super Bowl viewers. This year will be no exception. “Many of these types of ads don’t include direct plugs for their products, opting instead to create an emotional link with people tuning in,” notes CBS News. While consumers might not be called to go out and make a purchase the next day, these types of ads are memorable, making a long-term impact on shoppers.

Alexandra Brazie As the Senior Media Specialist at RMD Advertising, Alexandra Brazie makes meaningful media contacts and positions our food clients in the print, on the screens and on the airwaves that make the biggest impact on their Brand. She loves pitching food, talking about food and eating food. She’s a girl after our hearts!

Random Acts of Kindness Month

Random Acts of Kindness Month

    RMD Advertising Random Acts of Kindness Month

    RMD Advertising’s culture is all about making a difference in all we do. We carry our values with us daily – in our relationships with each other and with our clients. That’s why we’re gearing up for our 5th Annual Random Acts of Kindness Month, celebrating like never before.

    We love making a difference in the lives of our clients! Each brand we work with is an extension of our own RMD family. What does this dynamic create? A team of passionate professionals who know that we are only as great as that of our clients’ successes.

    In February, we’re reconnecting with the human side of advertising. We’re making a conscious effort to build the relationships that matter most to us: RMD’er to RMD’er and RMD’er to client!

    Read on for three ways to spread love all month long in February for Random Acts of Kindness Month:

    At RMD, we’ll give one RAK challenge in three parts and invite team members to complete each challenge. Here’s the catch: On the last Mojo Friday of the month, the annual RAK RAD RMD’er Award will be given to the team member who exemplifies the true spirit of Random Acts of Kindness Month (which means one extra day off during the year)!

    Tweet: Three unbelievable ways to make this #RAKMonth the best yet! https://rmdadvertising.com/blog/ https://ctt.ec/0c05CThree unbelievable ways to make this #RAKMonth the best yet! https://rmdadvertising.com/blog/ https://ctt.ec/0c05C

    How can you broadcast this fun challenge across your place of work? Let us know!

    Part One: Give Strong
    Weekly challenges will be given on Yammer. Team members are challenged to complete each task and report that they did so on Mojo Friday.

    1. Go to Starbucks and buy coffee for the customer behind you.
    2. While out, tell someone they dropped a dollar (even though they didn’t) and give them a dollar (or more!)
    3. Buy a few grocery staples for your local food pantry on your next trip to the store. Learn about how we boosted our mission for Wagons Ho Ho Ho this way!
    4. Send a handwritten note to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. There’s just something so personal about pen and paper, isn’t there? Commit to returning to it this week and put a smile on someone’s face!
    5. Going out to eat? Tip a little extra or give a compliment to the restaurant’s manager or chef!

    Part Two: Share the Love
    Share your love for your colleagues! Whether you buy your officemate lunch or surprise someone down the hall with a few words of encouragement left on a sticky note, put your heart into it! Your energy is contagious and by giving positivity, you’ll attract positivity!

    Part Three: Give On
    While we love Random Acts of Kindness Month, we believe that the habits we pick up in February should stick with us! Why? Because we are more than an advertising agency. We are more than the amazing results we churn out each and every day. We are only as greats as the love we put into our relationships here.

    “Here is the simple truth about people: Love the ones you want to keep.”
    – Iain Thomas

    Donnelly is a millennial and a food writer based in Columbus, Ohio.  She started writing from a very young age, and her writing skills are a reflection of her passion for food, baking and the creative arts, overall.  She moved to the agency world after a stint as a ballerina.  On her journey, she learned a range of skills, including creative writing, the art of influence in advertising and PR, and how food helps people of differing backgrounds connect on an emotional level.

RMD Advertising at The Fancy Food Show

RMD Advertising at The Fancy Food Show

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While most are blogging about the trends that grazed this year’s Winter Fancy Foods Show in San Francisco, we want to dig a little deeper. Why did those trends make it to the aisles of this food fest, where some of the industry’s most innovative brands make their voices heard?

With more than 1,500 exhibitors from around the world showcasing 80,000 different specialty food and beverages, there were plenty of items for the Specialty Food Association’s Trendspotter Panel to recognize. Take a look at not only what will drive consumers’ purchasing behavior in 2016, but also the “why” behind it.

Making the unfamiliar familiar. Bringing the flavors of the Middle East or Italy home will turn mainstream this year. From chicken nuggets spiced with Indian seasonings to caramels laced with coconut, Americans are bringing ethnic flavors home.

A whopping forty percent of today’s top food trend setters, millennials like to try new kinds of ethnic cuisines and “anything new and different,” compared to 34 percent and 32 percent respectively of Gen X and Boomers combined. Making the unfamiliar familiar is now as easy as tossing Tandoori spices on their favorite foods!

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Packing in the protein. Protein has never been more popular. Cricket flour, hemp and plant-based protein all make this nutrient much more obtainable. “Enticed by the promise that it can help you lose weight, get stronger and avoid age-related muscle loss, some 71 percent of consumers say they want more of it in their diets,” notes The Washington Post.

While other diet fads are centered around avoidance and restraint, focusing on protein gives consumers a way to think differently about how to evolve their diets to be healthier.

Roots make a move. Beets, like the ones by Love Beets, are making a comeback and as one of this year’s healthiest vegetables, it has turned into a must-have ingredient. Found as the natural coloring in foods with a bright purple hue and diced, sliced and shredded into meaty plant-based options, they’re versatile! “What seems to have really sparked the beet renaissance is the health-related research on beetroot,” says nutritionist Janet Helm.

Why? Transparency has made consumers ultra-aware of what they are feeding themselves and their families. Turning the spotlight on nature’s bounty is a great way to capture their attention!

We’re loving this year’s biggest food trends as both foodies and as food marketers. So, how will you make the most of them in 2016? Share your faves with us and join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter!

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