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    Mass Connections Introduces Line of Social Sampling ‘Apps’

    Shopper marketing company Mass Connections (MC) yesterday introduced its exclusive social sampling resources for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies looking to create brand awareness and build sales.

    Shopper marketing company Mass Connections (MC) yesterday introduced its exclusive social sampling resources for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies looking to create brand awareness and build sales.

    MC’s marketing menu now includes specialized microsite development, video campaigns, targeted research through its vetted Consumer Connector database and coordinated “Life Parties,” where MC’s team of Consumer Connectors hosts parties at which attendees sample products.

    “Social sampling is a term we use to describe digital and personal gatherings where trial influences positive brand association and purchases,” said Caroline Cotten-Nakken, president and CEO of MC. “With all of these tools at our fingertips -- as well as robust research capabilities -- we’ll sit down with our retailer and CPG clients and figure out together what resources will work best to turn consumers into brand advocates. We take it from start to finish, making sure shoppers who love a retailer’s promotion know in advance there’s an in-store event and ensuring the in-store event itself goes flawlessly by using our Consumer Connectors. And when the shopper returns home, we continue to build brand advocacy through special microsites, YouTube content and coordinated celebrations in the home.”

    MC bundles its suite of marketing services to provide better return on investment for retailers and CPG companies. For example, for a recent Huggies promotion, in addition to providing in-store event coordination, MC developed a special microsite where moms could download images of their children taken during the in-store event.

    “Our objective is to create emotional, as well as intellectual, responses in consumers," said Cotten-Nakken. “The Huggies event is a great example of being able to sustain shoppers’ awareness for the product beyond the store setting.”

    Another way MC connects consumers is through “Life Parties.” Hosted by one of MC’s Consumer Connectors, these parties come complete with invitations, balloons, coupons and a featured line of products. As partygoers sample the items, the Consumer Connector host shoots a brief five-minute video of invitees using and talking about the product they are experiencing. These videos, which can be posted to a microsite, a Web site, YouTube and other Web-based content providers, provide a real-world snapshot into how people use and think about a product, creating consistency of brand message and generating a better return on investment.

    Another aspect of MC’s value to retailers and CPGs is its extensive database of event personnel who, in addition to staffing in-store events, can be called on for research, surveys and opinion polls. This results in engaged, aware shoppers who precisely fit a key demographic and who can be tapped for a point of view at a moment’s notice.

    Also this year, MC secured a patent for its “Accountable Tracking Process,” a technology-based system that monitors the implementation of programs and tracking of the company’s hundreds of thousands of people and in-store events nationwide in real time.

    Cerritos, Calif.-based MC executes more than 1 million in-store events annually through more than 100,000 Consumer Connectors who have been screened, background-checked, and trained nationwide to promote brands for clients.

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