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    4 Trends for Grocery Marketers in 2016

    Focus on quality content, evolution of Millennials in the new year

    By Bill Sussman , Collective Bias

    The world of grocery is constantly affected by everything from societal changes, consumer food preferences and even how consumers shop. With 2015 coming to a close, here are four emerging trends grocery marketers should be aware of in the new year.

    Trend #1: Quality content will be the vital piece(s) on the shopper’s path to purchase.   

    Consumers desire content they can rely on anytime they are in a shopping or research mood. In fact, Nielsen found consumers are five times more dependent on content than they were five years ago. Forrester also reported that the average consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase. Grocery marketers should create unique, relevant content about their brands that gives consumers exactly what they want. If consumers are wanting product information, there should be more than just a FAQ sheet available to them; create a how-to video or an inspiring tutorial. Partnering with social influencers and bloggers is an incredible way to accomplish this. Influencers concentrate on crafting and curating content that is both creative and useful -- the perfect marriage for fueling shareability.

    Trend #2: Impressions will no longer be seen as a key metric.

    Grocery marketers must fully evaluate their media mix for the new year. The biggest question you should be asking is how effective are your push marketing vehicles? Are they generating the amount of engagement your brand needs? There is a vast need to reassess the metrics that so many grocery marketers rely on, namely impressions. Impressions are just a measurement of the “possibility” that someone saw or heard your message -- they offer very little real insight. Instead, measure engagement, as this metric can help determine strategies for building consumer relationships and loyalty, which ultimately drive sales.

    Trend #3: Millennials will be evolving and grocers will have to keep up.

    It’s news to no one that Millennials are one of the most sought-after demographics by marketers. What is news is how their shopping preferences and habits are evolving. Recent reports have shown nine out of 10 Millennials prepare dinner at home three times or more per week. Additionally, three-fourths of Millennials want to become better cooks, but don’t want to learn through old-fashioned cookbooks. This is where powerful visual content is beneficial. Millennials want to learn through pictures and digital video that are easily accessible on mobile devices, not some dated almanac or cookbook.

    Trend #4: Grocery shoppers will be more agnostic with their choices than ever before.

    What may be the most vexing trend for grocery marketers is the change in shopper preferences to an increasingly retailer-agnostic, brand-agnostic and daypart-agnostic (i.e. McDonalds) view. What does this mean? Consumers are becoming less loyal to specific brands; they are willing to try multiple brands in the same product category. It’s now up to marketers to ensure their messaging is authentic enough to resonate with target consumers to foster a sense of brand loyalty. Authenticity is driven best through consumer-created messaging. Ensure you are including your biggest advocates in your marketing endeavors. It could start with something as small as reposting fan photos on your Instagram or Facebook feed. Show the world why these shoppers are loyal to your brand!

    Final note: Retail and product options for grocery shoppers are essentially endless and will only continue to increase in number in 2016. Want to avoid the chopping block? Give today’s social shoppers what they want: keep your content visual and educational, measure what matters, and showcase your fans. Here’s to a year of brand authenticity.

    By Bill Sussman , Collective Bias
    • About Bill Sussman Bill Sussman is president and CEO of Collective Bias, a shopper social media company that drives sales for brands and retailers by working with a community of expert bloggers who create social content consumers actively seek out and trust. Sussman has deep experience in digital marketing, retail and media industries, and has previously held leadership positions at Nickelodeon, Walmart, Triad Retail Media and Ringling Bros. [email protected]

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