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Operation Shoebox recognizes ECRM for support of soldiers abroad

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND — ECRM recently was recognized for its involvement with the nonprofit organization Operation Shoebox, a charity that delivers personal care items, food and stationery to soldiers stationed all around the world.

More than 1,000 bags filled with product are sent to soldiers weekly. ECRM began donating leftover items from its EPPS events to Operation Shoebox in 2008. The founder of Operation Shoebox, Mary Harper, presented Mitch Bowlus, president of ECRM, with a plaque and flag that was flown in Iraq. The plaque was presented to recognize ECRM’s continuous support.

“Operation Shoebox is proud to be partnered with ECRM, and what people may not realize is that the ECRM family has touched the lives of so many deployed troops all over the world with their generous donations to Operation Shoebox," Harper said. "Because of their willingness to help, many troops have received needed items that we would not have been able to ship had ECRM not been there for us."

In the past three years, ECRM and its customers have donated more than $400,000 in products. “We appreciate those that serve our country and feel it is important to support our troops in any way we can," Bowlus said. "Our manufacturer customers have been extremely supportive and generous in assisting with our donations to the troops. We receive so many letters from troops thanking us for involvement. It is evident that Operation Shoebox is making a difference, and we are so happy to be a part of their mission."

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Pamela’s Products announces launch of gluten-free Whenever Bars

BY Rozanne Gelbinovich

UKIAH, Calif. — Gluten-free baking company Pamela’s Products announced the launch of a new line of snack bars.

Whenever Bars are soft and chewy, gluten-free, whole-grain bars that are delicious, healthy and convenient, the company stated. Available in four flavors — oat blueberry lemon, oat cranberry almond, oat chocolate chip coconut and oat raisin walnut spice — the line will be available nationwide for an SRP of $4.99 per box, five bars per box, and also is available on Amazon.com.

“Whenever Bars are our first on-the-go gluten-free snack,” said president and founder Pamela Giusto-Sorrells. “I wanted to create a great-tasting snack that anybody can enjoy wherever, whenever. They’re made with simple, real ingredients such as cranberries, blueberries, raisins and dark chocolate so you’ll feel satisfied, not hungry, after you eat one.” 

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Study: Online marketing drives 21% in-store sales lift

BY Michael Johnsen

RESTON, Va. — Online marketing campaigns contributed to an in-store sales lift of 21%, according to an analysis of multiple consumer packaged goods online ad campaigns that was released Tuesday by ComScore and DunnhumbyUSA.

According to the report, 5-of-every-6 online campaigns generated a positive sales lift among exposed households. Approximately 70% of campaigns generated a double-digit sales lift, and more than 40% generated lifts of at least 30%.

"Effective advertising has always been about increasing awareness, favorability and purchase intent in order to increase in-store conversion," stated ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "After several years of conducting advertising effectiveness research for [consumer packaged goods] brands, we are learning how digital campaigns can lift sales in retail stores. It’s now clear that online ad campaigns should be an integral part of any CPG marketer’s integrated communications strategy."

"The ComScore DunnhumbyUSA research highlights the potential impact of an integrated, customer-driven approach across channels," said Matthew Keylock, SVP new business development and partnerships at DunnhumbyUSA. "With these results, we are one step closer to a more comprehensive understanding of what motivates shoppers to buy and how online advertising can play a significant role along the path to purchase."

Retail sales were measured by analytically linking the permission-based ComScore panel of 1 million U.S. Internet users to their anonymous loyalty card in-store purchase data provided by DunnhumbyUSA. Analysts determined the impact of online advertising campaigns by comparing the in-store brand buying of households exposed to online advertising with that of households not exposed.

"Based on these results, the power of purchase-based ad targeting is clear," Fulgoni said. "By delivering a relevant and persuasive message to the appropriate consumer segment, brand buying at retail stores can be increased substantially. It’s clear that the level of accuracy in reaching a brand’s consumer target that is possible with the Internet can drive [return on investment] several times higher than what can be obtained using traditional media channels."

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