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ELC expands research and insights

BY Antoinette Alexander

ORLANDO, Fla. — The GMDC Education Leadership Council gathered here Saturday morning at this year’s GMDC Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference to discuss strategies for 2014 and beyond, including additional efforts to promote its research and insights.

“Our entire board feels very confident that we’re at the tipping point with our education and insights. We used to do to one to two large studies every year, but [now] we’re doing two per month. That cadence is starting to really drive a lot of awareness and recognition within our membership and really extending beyond [our] membership,” said Mark Mechelse, director of research, industry insights and communications at GMDC.

Among the highlights of the meeting:

  • The launch of an Ambassador Program: GMDC board members are talking with vendor partners inside and outside of GMDC to help promote the research and insights that the Educational Leadership Council is building. This will help members understand and take full advantage of the benefits available to them, and help share and recruit new GMDC members;
  • Over the past six months, GMDC has been launching two live-streaming business sessions every month in partnership with a variety of hosts and research partners, including Nielsen and Retail Net Group. Over the next six months, GMDC is partnering with Hamacher Resource Group, Natural Marketing Institute and McMillianDoolittle to conduct more educational sessions. The ELC already is working on building new relationships with additional content providers for 2015 and beginning to setup a calendar for business sessions next year;
  • The ELC also is providing whitepapers that complement the research schedule of live-streaming sessions, plus independent research work on top-of-mind business insights that are most relevant to members in GM, HBW and the marketplace in general. They are available to members to download in two forms in the GMDC private member-only web site: Executive Summary version and the full content version; and
  • “Seasonal Best Practices Part 2” is scheduled to be launched in July 2015, detailing retail performance for spring and summer seasons. The whitepaper complements “Seasonal Part 1,” which was launched in February 2014, and details fall and winter merchandising “do and don’ts” to help retailers and suppliers share stories and create alignment based on consumer shopping habits.

Among the ELC members are co-chairs Joanne Leonardi of Ahold USA and Bob Richardson of Clorox/Burt’s Bees, as well as Tom Duffy of Nielsen, who is leading GMDC’s content subcommittee, and Meg Levene of Advantage Sales and Marketing, who is leading the sponsorship subcommittee. The subcommittees were formed in the spring to, among other things, help increase ELC fundraising, monetize education, assist with finding content providers for GMDC recruitment and suggest topics for videocasts or whitepapers.

 

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First-time attendees gain expert advice

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — GMDC’s VP business development and chief member officer Keith Wypyszynski on Friday evening joined GMDC board members and several retailers to welcome first-timers to the 2014 GMDC Health, Beauty and Wellness Marketing Conference and to offer those first-timers insights on how to make their conference experience meaningful and productive.

Some of the more salient points: know your future retailer/wholesaler partner, where they are and how many stores they have or serve; cut to the chase with your two or three meeting objectives; gain clarity on follow-through opportunities and next steps, including who to contact and when to contact them; and take advantage of the networking opportunities.

“You get to an event like this, it enables you to see a lot of new people,” said Michael O’Shell, director of center store sales and marketing for Rouses Enterprises. “[This] is your chance … to show who you are, what you have, what’s new and what’s exciting. That’s what we want to see.”

“This [event] is a continuity of building a relationship for this year, next year and the year after,” added Brian Bradley, EVP sales and customer development for Lornamead. “If you walk out of here with five or six really nice takeaways — a personal relationship or business relationship — with any one of these retailers, I think that’s a pretty good takeaway.”

Above: The panel included Michelle King of Earthtronics, Brian Bradley of Lornamead Brands, Edward Mitchell of Melitta USA, Michael O’Shell of Rouses Enterprises, Cheri Taylor of Kinney Drugs and Mitch Terry of Associated Grocers of Florida, and was moderated Keith Wypyszynski of GMDC.

 

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Digital platform revolutionizes retail

BY Antoinette Alexander

The digital movement is no doubt revolutionizing the retail landscape as it has given rise to e-commerce, complexities to the path to purchase, shifts between planned and unplanned purchases, and changes to store trips. To remain competitive, retailers must develop new strategies and grasp the importance of an “omni-perspective.” That is a key message of GMDC’s recent whitepaper “Evolution or Revolution: The Impact of Digital on Shopping and Stores.”

“More and more, digital is looked at as a platform to drive business benefits. Although the future in digital is becoming clearer, there is still much room for growth and experimentation,” the whitepaper stated.

It is predicted that U.S. online sales of consumer packaged goods will reach $32 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate of 25%. E-commerce is the fastest-growing channel within the consumer space and, for that reason, the online market in CPG is moving from early adopter to early majority, according to the research. Three macro-trends are shaping today’s modern shoppers — consumer trends, retail evolution and technology.

Consumer trends have been altered by social changes such as immigration, growth in baby boomers, urbanization and shrinking family sizes. Retailers are evolving their big-box stores into smaller store formats; grocers are selling more non-food products. And improvements in technology, such as smartphones, have given rise to new shopping behaviors and activities.

Highlighting several companies that have incorporated digital shopping, the whitepaper includes Walmart, which is looking to reach the digital shopper with same-day delivery; InstaCart, which is a personal shopping delivery service offering consumers same-day delivery in as little as one hour; and Target, which is integrating the digital shopping experience across multiple channels with an “omnichannel strategy.”

Understanding digital tactics
According to researchers, digital tactics influence two shopping outcomes — where people buy and how people shop.

Where people buy depends on the presence of digital barriers, which occurs when a consumer believes he or she must physically be at the store to make a purchase, and a digital enabler, which is a product that is more conveniently purchased online.

“Understanding how digital barriers and enablers affect e-commerce is essential to growing online sales,” the whitepaper stated.

How people shop is a function of the digital shopper’s path to purchase and three digital shopping tenants. The path to purchase is the decision-making process that shoppers go through when making a purchase. The three digital shopping tenants ultimately enable the success of digital shopping, and include:

  • Know the shopper (who).  Are they “online reluctants” (36%) who spend little time online and are concerned with online security? Are they “grab-and-go non-planners” (27%) who are disinterested in shopping and make trips only as they are needed? Or are they “online advocates” (37%) who are tech savvy and on the leading edge of online shopping?
  • Understand the category and occasion (what). The same shopper will likely have different shopping tendencies depending on the product they are shopping for.
  • Use the right touchpoints (how). It is essential to know which touchpoints (website, email, blog, etc.) the digital shopper is most attracted to when it comes to your product.

When looking to establish relationships between their brands and customers, there are essentially four types of marketing objectives: engage prospects, acquire customers, inspire usage and foster loyalty.

Some examples include the “Ford Fiesta Movement,” which was used as a social platform to engage millennial shoppers. Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice campaign worked to bring in new customers with humorous content that was spread via social media and mainstream advertising. The Dove Evolution Campaign was designed to inspire usage as Unilever had a number of people use its Dove products over a period of time and documented the change in their skin’s appearance. And Microsoft created and engaged a loyal base of consumers using the tactic of Digital Social Care, which addresses customer issues, complaints and questions over social media.

“A marketer’s objective will depend on whether the brand is in launch, growth or maturity mode. … A marketer’s goal depends on the maturity level of the brand, and the brand maturity will ultimately determine the marketer’s digital influence strategy,” researchers noted.

 

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