Food For Thought - RMD Blog

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.

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?

RMD-DigitalAdvertising

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.

Secrets to Boosting Your Challenger Food Brand Image on Pinterest

Secrets to Boosting Your Challenger Food Brand Image on Pinterest

While small business are, well, small, they are mighty. They can pack powerful punches behind each media hit or social media post. By leveraging a smart and targeted brand strategy that tells your challenger food brand’s story, you can make yourself heard in the ever-crowded food industry.

RMD-Pinterest

Challenger brands need to squeeze every ounce of value out of their social platforms in particular. One platform that has continued to evolve and support brands in a meaningful ways is Pinterest.

Why take advantage of ad-targeting?
In using Pinterest’s updated ad-targeting options, small business owners can better speak to consumers that are most interested in their brands, product or service. Similar to the tools Facebook enlists, brands can now target fans and followers from other social media platforms that overlap their community on Pinterest. Allowing brands to do so puts more power behind each pin.

How to make the most of ad-targeting.
To take advantage of all of the benefits Pinterest has to offer, it is imperative that challenger food brands first understand their consumers. Used largely by millennial moms, Pinterest caters to women between the ages of 15 and 29, 59 percent of which click on pins that lead to educational blog posts and articles. The average pinner is least likely to click on a pin that leads to a brand’s website, which makes Pinterest the optimum social platform to showcase a small business’ expertise in content marketing and use the power of SEO.

How often should challenger food brands post on Pinterest?
How frequently a brand posts on Pinterest should be determined by how engaged its audience is. Posting too often may overwhelm them, while not posting enough may cause them to forget the brand altogether.

Using trial and error, it is important to gauge audience reaction before either increasing or decreasing post frequency. While top brands have noticed their engagement peaks after posting five posts per day, small business owners should consider creating a posting schedule that details just what type of content they’ll post to better keep track of what worked and what didn’t. The first sign that you may want to alter your posting schedule is a drop in audience engagement and/or a loss of followers. In general, the more frequently you post, the more likely it is that your target audience will see your content.

Need to take a step back? Learn how to launch a successful Pinterest in four steps.

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.

5 Ways to Make the Most of a Food Trade Show

5 Ways to Make the Most of a Food Trade Show

Food trade shows can become tiring if food brands fail to invest themselves in their importance and enter those double doors without renewed excitement for the opportunities that lie ahead.

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Here are five ways the best growing challenger food brands hustle to make the most of their food trade shows, whether exhibiting or simply walking the floor.

1. Reconnect with peers.
To walk up and down the seemingly endless aisles of the food trade show is the most basic way to absorb the vastness of the food industry. Clients that continuously do so, all the while looking for emerging trends, are able to effectively spot those that are a passing fad and those that are here to stay. They are also the clients who are most in tune with the industry … and win (big) in the long run.

2. Connect with the media.
Attending a food trade show is a prime opportunity to connect with the media face to face. Use each conversation as a platform to showcase your brand. Share what’s new, how you’ve innovated and even the product and package development you’ve taken on. Use this as an opportunity to prove just how extraordinary you are!

3. Make time for your agency.
The best agency will ask to be an active participant in the role your brand plays as an exhibitor. From time in the booth spent connecting with consumers to taking a few moments throughout the day to catch up with your executive team, your agency should be your support system.

4. Education.
You are never too old or too seasoned to learn something new. The best shows include educational seminars that feature discussions that are topical. Even if you walk away with one or two ideas, they certainly add up over time. If you can’t make the schedule seminars, be sure your agency does. A true agency partner is just as passionate about your industry as you are. If they aren’t, they will become old and outdated quickly.

5. Renew your passion.
The food industry is the most beautiful of all industries. Food nurtures us, it is where our traditions are fostered and is where our heritage shines brightest. For that reason, there is no place like a food trade show. Expo West, Expo East, Fancy Food, Snacks and Sweets and the NRA Show all reconnect us to our passion for food, so celebrate it before, during and after hours.

Doing so ensures that you’re contributing to the food industry in a meaningful way. It’s what RMD Advertising excels in … and it’s what all the best love brands do!

Sue is the head of client brand strategy at RMD, based in Columbus, Ohio.  Her love affair with the agency world and the food industry sprouted at a very young age – and she’s spent nearly three decades working tirelessly to build the client brands she loves. Today, she mostly helps consumers and customers better connect with the nostalgic nature of the food she strategizes for.

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.

Five SEO Tips to Boost Your Content in a Major Way

Five SEO Tips to Boost Your Content in a Major Way

SEO with RMD Advertising

Experts understand that there is more value in the outcomes of SEO than in the outputs, which can make it difficult to be patient when establishing a strategy for your food brand. However, there are a few tactics that food marketing professionals employ to make the process more seamless.

Tweet: “Content is king, but marketing is queen, and runs the household.” –@garyvee https://ow.ly/YFl5l https://ctt.ec/cN3Ei“Content is king, but marketing is queen, and runs the household.” –@garyvee https://ow.ly/YFl5l https://ctt.ec/cN3Ei

1. Work with an expert.
While SEO is undeniably a waiting game – it takes patience and persistence as you work towards increased social media interaction and organic growth in web traffic – it certainly helps to have strategic thinkers behind the work you put into it. Working with an experienced food marketing team ensures you take advantage of all that SEO offers.

2. Give long-form content a shot.
“Co-occurrence is the frequency in which terms or related groups of words appear in a given material,” according to author Al Gomez in a recent blog. Long-form content can give you the freedom to utilize co-occurrence without sounding monotonous. Plus, it allows you to incorporate more of your prime SEO keywords!

3. Take advantage of social media.
While focusing on link building and optimizing your website may seem an obvious part of the SEO puzzle, some food brands don’t put quite as much effort in managing social media. Doing so is an important part in amplifying your content. With consistent content creation, you can build your brand’s authority in the social space and overall presence.

SEO helps to create buzz around your company, its mission and the value it gives customers. Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn are your partners, helping you to grow, grow, grow!

4.Keep it organic.
While it’s important to incorporate strong, branded keywords in your content, it’s also important to maintain the integrity of your work. SEO keywords should fit into each piece of content naturally. Why? Consumers search in conversational questions and statements. Informal language embedded into your website helps to ensure you’re attracting an audience that’s looking for exactly what your food brand has to offer – whether it’s a convenient way to get the family gathered around the dinner table or an easy way to fundraise for your school’s sports team.

5. Create strong communities.
Google is all about pulling up the most accurate search results for its users. Therefore, it’s important to gear your content to a highly targeted audience. You can narrow your niche by relieving the points of pain your audience frequently experiences, as well as by grabbing their attention by using specific topics, keywords, and recommendations.

Finally, it’s important to remember what Matt Cutts said: “The objective is not to ‘make your links appear natural’; the objective is that your links are natural.”

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.

What’s on RMD’s Memorial Day Menu?

What’s on RMD’s Memorial Day Menu?

Some think of Memorial Day as the true kick off of summer, with BBQ’s and parties with friends and family galore. But while Memorial Day is often the time to celebrate the coming of warm weather and star-studded skies, it’s also a time to remember those who have fought and died for our country.

How are we honoring them? In the best way whot e know how! With a moment of silence and a thankful plate of food.

Tweet: “#MemorialDay was first publicized in 1865! Celebrate with the true #foodies! https://ow.ly/YFl5l  https://ctt.ec/m0V39#MemorialDay was first publicized in 1865! Celebrate with the true #foodies! https://ow.ly/YFl5l https://ctt.ec/m0V39

In celebration of Memorial Day, we thought long and hard about the food we want at our own party. Check out our menu below and honor this very important holiday the RMD way.

Appetizers: RMD-MemorialDay-Crunchtables
We’ll pair Crunchtables veggie appetizers with our favorite dipping sauce for a healthier Memorial Day.

Entrèe:
Hot dogs and Tandoor Chef’s Masala burgers with Klosterman fresh-made buns pair perfectly with the grilling we’ll be doing.

Snacks:
Light, airy Gaslamp Popcorn with the perfect, subtle crunch makes for great Memorial Day snacking!

Munch-worthy Southern Recipe pork rinds to encapsulate your Memorial Day celebration!

Dessert: RMD-Graeters
Graeter’s Ice Cream sundaes topped with fresh cherries, whipped cream. And who could forget the Mad Minis?

Have more to add to the menu? Share with us in the comments below and let us know what will be on your Memorial Day menu!

What Makes a Love Brand?

What Makes a Love Brand?

vector of love heart

For every “Love Brand” that RMD has had the honor to work with or has helped to shape in the food category, each shares three important qualities that ultimately contribute to its success.

They have the makings of a “love food brand“, which lead to their success in every respect – from concept to creation.

1. People.
Perhaps most critically, the people behind cult brands are passionate in a way that pours into the brand’s story. Energy is injected into the brand from every side of the company. This creates a unique company culture that inspires the quality of work necessary of the most successful brands.

2. Head.
Cult brands also do incredible work serving consumers with the pure intention of becoming a part of their lives, aligning with their pre-conceived notions of what makes a brand honest and trustworthy. It is in this way that they connect with them on both an intellectual and highly emotional level. Relying once again upon one of our current cult brands, Graeter’s Ice Cream proves the power yielded by becoming a part of generations of families that now hold their own Graeter’s experiences and stories close to them.

The proof is in the fact that “baby’s first ice cream” is now a common Graeter’s fan photo spontaneously shared with the brand from guests in every market. Consumers intellectually trust and feel good about eating the brand, and are excited to build another chapter in their family story that includes Graeter’s Ice Cream. It is a brand their parents trusted before them and is a tradition they hope their children will incorporate into their lives.

3. Heart.
Distinguishing cult brands even further is the fact that they consistently align with consumers’ hearts. Enjoying the brand reconnects them to a time, place or memory. It is emotive.

Graeter’s Ice Cream is an expert in crafting these types of moments. For many fans, the moment their favorite Graeter’s Ice Cream flavor hits their tongue, they are reminded of fond memories as children, summer days spent with friends or celebrations of life’s big moments with family. Food is emotional, nostalgic and woven tightly into our sense of family. Dinner tables oftentimes feature America’s love brands regularly, and consumers feel reconnected to their loved ones when those weekly celebrations occur.

Every food brand certainly can become a cult brand if it commits to the people and passion behind the company. However, not every brand is fortunate enough to be led by a family or a group of people that is as dedicated to the romance that must be cultivated to create that heart and head connection within consumers.

When there is an impassioned group of individuals that are committed to that level of connectivity, magic occurs – the kind that is passed from generation to generation.

24 Things We Learned & Loved at Expo West

24 Things We Learned & Loved at Expo West

RMDAdvertising-ExpoWest2016

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.

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