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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Sampling is one of the most effective methods of advertising, and providing subscription of sampling boxes has increasingly become a trend for firms and manufacturers. Some of them are Quinciple, Rocksbox, and Barkbox. The thing about trying new and unfamiliar products is that consumers are not about to take risk and spending money on a product that is not guaranteed will be worth the return. Through subscription sample boxes, they are free of those risks and are given the chance to try out different kind of product from the company. This is also a good promotional tool for the firm or manufacturer in spreading out awareness of their products in a relatively inexpensive way. To encourage conversion from sampling boxes to full purchases, several methods such as coupons or discounts of a full box can be given along with the sample box. The effectiveness of subscription sampling boxes can be traced from the success of Birchbox where its store in New York provided customers the opportunity to create their own sample boxes.

In recent years, small companies in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry has been seizing market shares from the bigger firms, which is evident from the $18 billion sales worth taken by them from large firms since 2009. This is partly due to effective marketing and promotional strategies developed by the small companies. According to Joel Wardy, chief sales and marketing officer of Enjoy Life Foods, his company's focus on establishing good relationship with customers has helped Enjoy Life Foods go against bigger competitors. They have re-shifted their market strategy to being more consumer-centric where customer engagement is important. For instance, they have been having dialogues with consumers at grocery stores aisles even before the evolution of technology and social media influence.

In the 69th Annual Consumer Expenditures Study, salty snacks product category shows a high dollar sales, with a whooping $9.86 billions of sales. Compared to other snack products like snack bars that has a total sale of a mere $2.6 billion. Study also shows that consumer, while wanting to eat healthily, are more concerned about the taste of their food, thus why salty snacks remain one of the highs-selling. While potato chips sell the most in that category, with $3.5 billion, both of its dollar sales and unit volume sold has been decreasing by 0.7% and 0.2% respectively. The highest increase in salty snack category is popcorn, with an increase of 16.5% and 14.8% in dollar sales and unit volume sold.

In this article, the Chief Marketing Officer of Enjoy Life Foods, Joel Wardy, talks about what makes the company successful in the free-from food category. One of the marketing strategies used by them is engaging with customers in social media platform and giving them voices to share stories. As he said, “the power is in the hands of the consumer” because news does travel fast in this day of technology, so it is important that what consumers spread are only good things about the company. Secondly, since there are assumptions that free-from food lacks in taste compared to the regular snacks, Enjoy Life Foods has been giving free samples to potential customers, since that method increases the chance for the product to be bought by 137%.

In this article, Transparency Market Research forecasts that the gluten-free food market is expected to hit $4.89 billion by 2021. The gluten-free food products are classified into 4 different types, which include pasta, ready meals, bakery products, and baby food. In 2014, the largest market share was held by bakery products in terms of both revenue and unit volume, and it is estimated that bakery product will be remain on top in this category throughout 2021. This is partly due to the increase in consumer preference towards gluten-free biscuits and manufacturer's change in focus from diabetic products to gluten-free.

1 out of 2 Americans claimed that “much of advertising is way too annoying”, according to a survey conducted by GfK MRI. As a retaliation, people resorted to ad blockers as a way to avoid from seeing intrusive and irrelevant advertising online. In fact, 1 out of 10 desktop users already have ad blockers installed on their computers. Therefore, companies nowadays have to get more creative in promoting their brands, and putting up banners on websites are now ineffective since people would merely tune out of those kind of advertising. According to Sean Blankenship, Chief Marketing Officer of Coldwell, people would be twice more likely to click on native ads than a traditional banner ad. What native advertising does is that it combines that brand message with the content that consumers are interested in, in a seamless way that doesn't at all look like the company is trying to promote or advertise anything.

As suggested from a research by Mintel, 94% of American consumers are buying salty snacks and 74% of them are gaining interest in healthy snacking. However, research also shows that 64% of consumers agree that, while healthy snacks are important, they ultimately think taste remains a better factor when considering which snacks to purchase, which is evident by the fact that more than half of them consider snacking as a reward. This does not mean that taste and health are mutually exclusive, though, as 8 in 10 Americans think that salty snacks can provide both the good taste and the healthy option.

Consumers now value dialogues and engagement with brands or companies more compared to videos and online coupons when it comes to social media advertising. Research shows that companies that directly communicate with and makes personalized message to consumers via social media has led them to spend between 20% to 40% more money as they would otherwise. This in turn increases conversion rates – succeeding in making potential customers “convert” and buy a certain product. In addition, customers would also be twice more likely to purchase a product when it is recommended from other customers. However, direct engagement doesn't just include positive messages, because it is also important when it comes to dealing with complaints.

On June 2015, Enjoy Life Foods has introduced ready-to-use baking mixes as a new product under its allergy-free category. This acted as a response to demands from customers who are interested in baking but have found difficulty in finding the right products with suitable ingredients for them. Since their Baking Chocolate products have been successful, Enjoy Life Foods decided to expand consumer options by offering Baking Mixes which are not only considered “free-from”, but also contains nutritional values.

Native advertising covers a wide category, and this includes consumer packaged goods. According to a study conducted by TripleLift, combining brand message with interesting content can increase customer's inclination to purchase by 281%. Native advertising has become so effective that many companies are jumping on the bandwagon and invested more on marketing expense of this method. eMarketer has reported that CPG companies including Mondelez planned to increase their spending on native ads. In fact, this marketing method is forecasted to hit $5 billion in spending by 2017. In addition, another benefit of native ads is that it is able to be viewed across multiple devices and mediums instead of just one, such as desktop, mobile, and even videos.

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