Market Segment

World Class Category Management for the consumer packaged goods sector. Category Management should always be concerned with asking, "What are your distribution experts delivering?" [caption id="attachment_1983" align="alignright" width="300"] category management[/caption] Consider how ‘one-off’ savings initiatives do not address systemic root cause issues when dealing with total cost of ownership challenges. Your...

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I suppose you might read the title of this post and expect an altruistic discussion. Or expect to find ramblings about how account planners should dig into sociological meanings to develop connections with consumers (have you noticed how esoteric account planning has become?). But I want to discuss something very different — something the ad business seems to forget — effective advertising’s truly human value and the society-wide value this builds. I turn to this topic today because advertising in 2011 is a pretty cynical business where many agency execs bring in large salaries while resenting anything so low brow as connecting “advertising” with sales. The idea of ever asking a consumer to purchase a product seems crass. In fact, read carefully what agencies say about themselves and you’ll find a serious dis-like of “advertising” in general (usually detected by what’s omitted from their discussion – like any understanding of business). It’s too bad. Because good advertising is quite fundamentally human and is quite valuable to society.
Consumerism is as old as mankind itself. In fact, consumerism started when the first hunters found they could shop for rock types and find rocks that were more effective. Or when one animal skin was preferred over another for any number of reasons. I think brand also shows up quite early – like when weapon makers repetitively selected specific types of rock (e.g. flint) because they knew it made better weapons. In other words: exercising choice

In its infancy, advertising was an interruption. Ads were part of the price of watching TV or flipping through a magazine. More recently, brands have experimented with ways to make their messages desirable in their own right, via social engagement and branded content. But at a Social Media Week event at the Time-Life Building in New York City this month, Gabe Zichermann argued that in the future, brands will use game mechanics to go beyond just getting a customer’s attention. Instead, they will make themselves a part of the rhythm of their customers’ lives. Games are “a process, not a destination,” Zichermann argued. Zichermann said he defines “gamification” as the use of game mechanics and game-based thinking to solve problems and create user engagement. But more broadly, he explains, a solid game-based marketing program is really just the final incarnation of the loyalty programs businesses have been using for almost 200 years. In the first phase of loyalty programs, customers were given free merchandise for buying a set amount of product. Think of those cards that promise you a free pizza after you buy nine pizzas at the regular price. These are still the most common form of loyalty program, he says, but they’re not the most effective. They tend to offer incentives

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In my introductory ad classes, students review two ad articles each quarter. And from the very first class I taught in January of 2001, an overwhelming number of reviews have extolled the glory of highly targeted advertising on the web. These articles described a virtual eden – where advertising’s power is increased because ad dollars are spent only on communication with those who care. Just imagine, they say, targeting by interest, by their browsing history, by online purchase history, by selection of keywords in the past 10 years, and perhaps even by the genetic make-up of the consumer’s children Ten years later, how is Eden? The answer is decidedly “mixed”. First, response rates to web advertising are horrible. I was reading

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Competition for Share of Consumer Spending is Intensifying as the Country Emerges from Recession CHICAGO, March 3, 2011 - Consumers deserted shopping malls and car dealerships in droves to spend wisely and save in 2009. While this conservative mindset has stuck with many consumers, others increased spending at least somewhat during 2010. The CPG industry demonstrated signs of improvement, with unit sales declines slowing markedly across channels, and some departments and categories experiencing positive sales trends for the first time in five quarters. SymphonyIRI Group continues its analysis of the CPG industry's performance throughout the past year and identifies new market opportunities in its latest report, "Times & Trends: CPG 2010 Year in Review: Out of Turmoil Rises Opportunity." "Although many are breathing a sigh of relief since the "Great Recession" officially

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Digital advances are changing the shopper marketing landscape daily. Think about it: we are almost never away from a digital gadget today. At home, we have our computers. On our commute, many of us are surfing the web or checking emails on our mobile phones. At the café, there’s a 3G connection that will have you up and running while you sip your morning latté. Consequently, every digital development offers new opportunities for brands to grab attention, so this year at the SymphonyIRI Group Summit, we are proud to offer many exciting sessions that will help you hone the tools in your digital marketing arsenal. To set the scene, Steve Frenda, Managing Director of In-Store Marketing Institute, will help us break down the current media environment, and decipher shifts in shopper behavior in our “Future Marketing – Digital and Mobile” track session. Building on those key elements, comScore will focus on the key trends in digital marketing for the CPG industry. comScore will present its insights into the industry’s ad effectiveness and growth opportunities in one session, and share study findings from
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