Archive for the ‘Social Networks’ Category


Shopper Basket Data: 3 key reasons why this point-of-sale (POS) data is a great brand management tool for small and emerging OTC and CPG brands.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

I went into the store recently to just buy laundry detergent, but I ended up with an $87.46 grocery bill that also included fabric softener, chewing gum, greeting cards, a rotisserie chicken, fresh fruit, dog food, magazines, chips, lots of frozen pizzas, cupcakes, and some trash bags. Admittedly, this is typically what happens when I shop with my kids. They just roam through the aisles and add things to the basket that I forgot about or wanted to forget about. Now, that $2 off coupon for the laundry detergent that brought me into the store in the first place seems wasted.

While my total grocery bill annoyed me, the information it can deliver to manufacturers is extremely valuable, providing insight into consumer purchase motivations, in-store shopping paths, product associations, brand loyalties, methods of payment, and message processing. This is called Shopper Basket Analysis, and it also shows which products tend to be purchased together and which are most conducive to promotion.

The great thing is this information isn’t only valuable to large manufacturers — whether you’re an OTC start-up or emerging CPG brand, there are three reasons why this information can help you with your brand management:

Reason #1 – You can create or suggest bundling recommendations. If you’re launching an OTC brand (applies to all types of brands) be sure you understand the associative shopping process as it applies to your brand. For example, if a consumer buys jelly they will also likely buy peanut butter. So, if a consumer buys your brand, what might they also buy on that shopping trip? Understanding which products tend to be purchased together can help you improve cross-selling opportunities across categories or create the best couponing campaign to customers buying both products. And don’t just think inside the store – this information can also help you target your digital and social media efforts against associative, like or competitive products on the internet, thereby maximizing digital dollars and creating efficiencies with the use of shopper basket data.

Reason #2 – You can strategize and recommend product placement opportunities with the trade: Even if your product isn’t the main motivator for a shopping trip, there is still opportunity for a consumer to purchase your brand based on the shopper’s preferences for your product in context with competitive items found nearby, or, based on your brand’s location of their shopping path. What are the top purchased items in your category? In your aisle? Where are they placed on the shelf? How often are they promoted or on end-caps? Can you find a strong associative relevance to other products in the basket or could they be impulse purchases? Again, think outside the store. For example, if you are on shelf, but you have poor shelf placement, or are in small niche category, give your consumers instructions on how to find you in store – on coupons, within social media (such as Facebook, Twitter or in your blogger outreach). For example, let consumers know to “look for us in the family planning aisle” or even post a photo of your brand on the store shelf.

Reason #3 – You can prove the impact your consumer is having (or will have) on a retail environment: Bottom line, retailers want to know that your brand will bring in shoppers. And if you can show them the dollar contribution of your average consumer to their store….even better. Using my experience above, my anticipated $13 purchase of laundry detergent actually ended up contributing a total of $87.46. Find a way to show how much your brand’s consumer is really worth to the store and prove your shelf worthiness.

by Kamilah Lewis

Kamilah Lewis is a Brand Consultant/Account Supervisor at Robin Leedy & Associates (RL&A), which offers consumer brands integrated marketing and consulting. With an MBA in Marketing, Kamilah has worked for several OTC and CPG brands in brand management, and with this hands-on brand experience, she and RL&A are now offering brand consulting for clients, new/emerging brands, brand acquisition, U.S. product launches and more. For inquiries about how RL&A can help with your U.S. brand management, contact


Social media and healthcare – a powerful tool

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

In this season of political debate, the issue of healthcare and how to deal with a system wrought with problems is hard to ignore. This recent column in the NY Times is a powerful example of how social media is becoming an important piece of the puzzle and how everyone needs to listen and be open to finding solutions to these very serious issues.


Marketing to Women Starts With Great Relationships

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Mom’s Select Swag Suite held during BlogHer is one of the biggest and most exciting blogger events that we look forward to attending each year because it affords us an opportunity to meet with many of the bloggers we deal with on a regular basis face to face. Let’s face it – email is great for connecting with people, but it’s not the same as putting a face to the name and personally connecting. Personal connections are the key to the Blogger Outreach program at RL&A – our extensive database of bloggers in all different categories – from moms with children to sports, travel, beauty, lifestyle – even disease/condition specific bloggers (migraines, IBS, etc.) – are bloggers we connect with on a regular basis. Those relationships are what make us successful, and what make the results meaningful to our clients.

At this summer’s Mom’s Select Swag, the RL&A team attending included Laura Giardina, our Director of Blogger and Media Relations. This interview – by a blogger of Laura on behalf of our scünci client – is a great example of how marketing to women starts with great relationships.


RL&A Thought Leadership in the News!

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Social media may have flipped traditional, top-down marketing on its head, but the principles remain the same no matter the medium; know your audience, give them a reason to need you, motivate them on their path to purchase and keep them coming back. If you are not reaching or building a qualified audience that actually can impact sales, you’re not a successful marketer…in our book anyway.

Check out RL&A’s EVP Alyson O’Mahoney’s contribution to 914Inc’s recent story “What Every Company Needs to Know About Marketing.”


Traditional vs Social Media: Who’s in Charge Here?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Did you see this amazing image of yesterday’s thunderstorms in NYC? If you’ve consumed any sort of media in the last 24 hours, chances are you have. Not only is it a stunning image, but it’s pretty stunning how this one image shared in real time via one person’s Twitter handle has made its way to millions of people around the world in less than a day. I saw it yesterday afternoon on Facebook and then again later in the evening on all the TV news broadcasts and finally it showed up in the papers today – making it old news by the time the early edition hit my doorstep.

This is by no means a new phenomenon. We’ve seen social media take the lead on several big news stories recently (news as reported by real people vs editors), from Captain Sully’s landing on the Hudson, to Bin Laden’s death. Don’t get me wrong, the credibility and skill of journalists in traditional media should continue to be a cornerstone of our news, but it’s still amazing to witness the shift in influence from traditional to social media – reinforcing that social is the medium where 50% of people get their breaking news first.


Is everyone at the beach?

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Summer shouldn’t mean a marketing slowdown…just a strategic shift! Yes, your consumers may be hitting the road and the beach; spending less time on traditional media consumption. But besides their car keys, what are they sure never to leave home without? Their cell phone. With 46% of U.S. mobile phone owners carrying a smartphone* and 425 million Facebook users accessing the platform from a mobile device every month**, you can bet this portable source of entertainment is influencing consumers no matter where they may roam. This is something that traditional media just can’t compete with, regardless of the season. When’s the last time you saw someone reading a magazine while waiting in line at a fast food restaurant?

In the summer it’s as important as ever to maintain a robust and engaged social media marketing presence and make it mobile friendly (something often overlooked when setting up Facebook promotions). With a cell phone in nearly everyone’s pocket and more downtime, people are sure to be checking Facebook often. And now with reports that Facebook is giving its iPhone app a much needed upgrade this summer, mobile Facebook engagement should see even more of an uptick.

With the Fourth of July upon us, we hope everyone has a great summer, enjoys the beach and doesn’t forget their cell phone!

*According to Nielsen, Q4 2011
** According to Facebook


Are You On YouTube?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

By Danielle Maiello

Public Relations: keyword, relations. We’re here to help you build relationships with your consumers. As is the case in most industries, there is now less face-to-face communication and more online / virtual exchange between consumers and brands. So how do we, as PR and social media marketing professionals, help our clients remain relevant while maintaining a personal consumer relationship? One Answer: YouTube.

There are 4 billion daily views on YouTube; 60 hours of footage uploaded every minute; 800 unique users a year and 200+ million views occur on mobile devices each day. Sharing compelling, creative videos on YouTube allows you to get personal and create a community with your consumers, especially when they’re on the go (it’s my go-to distraction while waiting in line at Starbucks). They get to “see your face” and “hear your voice,” instead of hiding behind a static website …and the best part…YouTube now offers a video response where your consumers can respond to your video with a video of their own…cool right?! Talk about forming a relationship. Check out videos that we’ve produced for clients on our YouTube channel.


“How May I Help You?” Customer Service as an Element of Social Media Strategy

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

by Nicole Egan

Who’s observing your commitment (or lack thereof) to customer service? Thanks to social media, maybe everyone! We mentioned in a previous post here that a recent study revealed that 95% of companies (from consumer and beauty to OTC and healthcare) believe that satisfied customers are very or extremely important to their company. Unfortunately more companies need to put their money where their mouth is and do a better job of resolving customer service issues, because the world is watching in many instances. Traditional customer service and social media marketing are now interconnected and communications strategies should be consistent across both platforms.

Recently, I had my own experience with customer service on both ends of the spectrum.

First, I had an issue with a major electronics company. After getting nowhere with several rounds of back and forth with customer service, I took my complaints to the company’s Facebook page for all to see, as a last resort. Even after being contacted as a result of that, I was still left with no answers and no desire to buy from that company ever again. On the flip side, I recently bought a beauty item that broke immediate. After contacting customer service, I received in the mail, a nicely printed letter and a coupon for the full retail value of the item. I was never asked to return the original product and was beyond impressed with this. I’ll definitely keep purchasing from this company and will continue to sing their praises to my friends.

If companies handle issues privately, they’ll never become a public matter. Since social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, make it so easy for people to make their complaints public, smart companies work to prevent this from happening by employing strategies that allow customer service to exceed expectations instead of disappointing. It’s no secret that if you treat a customer with respect, you may have a customer – and advocate – for life.


So, why should my OTC or HBA brand have a Facebook page?

Friday, May 18th, 2012

It’s plain and simple; being a Facebook fan of a brand boosts purchase, consideration, and recommendation, according to Forrester Research and North America Technographics. Obviously, many brands have experienced this phenomenon for themselves, which may be contributing to a projected increase in social media budgets in 2012 (according to eMarketer, 25% of digital marketers are increasing budgets for earned and owned digital in 2012 vs. 8% for paid digital).

So, does this mean that you should start a Facebook page and pour budget into it? We don’t think so. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, and in social media marketing that means growing your Facebook community with qualified fans through consistent engaging content – inspiring them to purchase and share with their friends organically. This is particularly relevant with high commitment categories like health care and beauty. The community becomes a hub for your most enthusiastic consumers to find inspiration and share, share, share!