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Vector of hot dog, fries, soda, burger

We love all of our clients, but we especially love food clients. Why? Everyone has to eat, and more importantly, everyone likes to eat, so there’s already a solid foundation to work off of when marketing food products and restaurants. Also, takeout delivered to the office every now and then doesn’t suck either.
 

A few years back, the Obama administration teamed up with the FDA to create new requirements about food retailers and the disclosure of nutrition information. A new regulation that applies to retail food establishments with 20 or more locations will require that these establishments provide calorie counts for all standard items on their menus. This new requirement will force changes to be made to certain marketing materials and even has potential to deter business from those it will affect. The FDA is set to begin regulation on May 5th, 2017.
 

Ok, so Burger King has to start providing nutrition facts on their menus, so what? The issue lies in the FDA’s definition of “menu.” It says that a menu is anything that lists or has an image of at least one standard menu item, includes the price of the item, and can be used by a customer to make an order (this includes phone numbers and websites). By this definition, almost all advertising materials would be considered “menus,” and therefore, must include nutritional information. Note that it’s not compliant with the regulation to simply throw the calorie count in the fine print; it must be printed in a size that is no smaller than that used for the name or price of the food item.
The purpose of the legislation is to provide consumers with nutritional information so they can make the best nutritional decisions for themselves (AKA, eat healthier). The problem is that if you’re thinking about ordering a Whopper and then you see on the coupon you’re using that it has 800 calories, you might decide not to order it. The argument can also be made that anyone who orders a Whopper is well-aware that Whoppers are packed full of calories, and they’ve made the decision to eat it anyway. Forcing them to look at the calorie count isn’t going to change their decision.
 

Research on whether menu labeling actually affects consumer decisions about nutrition is still unclear, but it seems to me it would likely drive at least some consumers away. Good for our health? Absolutely. Good for business? Maybe not.
 

Not only could the new menu labeling standard affect sales for food retailers, it’s creating obstacles for their marketing departments and external ad agencies. Having to include caloric information in the ads they create is going to affect the way they can be designed, how the copy reads, and more. The way the regulation will affect digital advertising is still a bit unclear, so marketers will need to pay attention and get informed, so not to violate the rule.
 

Some think the new menu labeling regulation is a good way to encourage Americans to make smarter nutritional choices, and others believe the government is just poking its nose where it shouldn’t be. I think it’s safe to say the new regulation isn’t going to put anyone out of business, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that America may sell fewer XL pizzas in 2017. We can’t say how the legislation will comprehensively affect food retailers, but be on the lookout for upcoming changes in the way they’re marketed.

 

 

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cityscape

There are countless advertising agencies across America, some with 5 employees and others with 500 (Transformation has exactly 12 lovely staff members, just FYI). Many specialize in design services, others in media, and some do it all. Like any other industry, there are certain companies in the advertising sector that outshine the others. These agencies house the most talented minds and produce advertisements for the most well-known brands in the world. Check out my list of America’s advertising powerhouses and what it is that makes them so successful.

  • Ogilvy and Mather. David Ogilvy is commonly referred to as “The Father of Advertising.” Created in 1948, Ogilvy and Mather is now an international full-service marketing and communications company that specializes in digital media, direct marketing, branding, and customer engagement. The agency works with companies like American Express, Ford, and in 2004 launched Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, which remains one of the most famous campaigns of the 21st century.
  • Grey Global Group. Grey is a global agency with 432 offices in 96 countries. Headquartered in New York, Grey focuses on digital marketing strategy as well as multicultural advertising. The agency works with brand giants like the NFL, Volvo, and Pantene to create “Famously Effective” consumer experiences. The “Mad Men” fans out there know that in the AMC series, Duck Phillips leaves the Sterling Cooper agency to work for Grey Advertising, which is frequently referenced as the chief competitor.
  • 72andSunny. 72andSunny is known for being a master of creatives in the agency world. The company has a knack for producing work that is modern, cool, and resonates with younger generations. I’d venture to say it’d be impossible to find someone who hasn’t been exposed to the work of 72andSunny, as they have partnered with corporate big boys like Samsung, Google, Starbucks, and Target.
  • Deutsch Inc. Deutsch is a diverse agency that, despite the name, was founded in New York City. Deutsch prides itself as being one of the most innovative advertising firms, and harbors cutting-edge technology, analytics, and invention departments that you won’t find in most other agencies. Droga5 has done award-winning campaigns for clients like Taco Bell, Volkswagon, and Dr. Pepper.
  • Droga5. Droga5 is a relatively new global agency based in New York City. Despite being just a baby in the advertising industry, Droga5 has an impressive list of clients including Coca-cola, Android, T-Mobile, and Under Armour. Droga5 is exceptional when it comes to concept creation and social hooks㆒ the company did $126 million in revenue in 2015 alone.

At Transformation, we don’t make ads for Coca-Cola or Target, but we do know our stuff when it comes to local businesses. As a small agency, we learn from the big guys and also do our own research to determine what works best for our clients. Personal, effective, and affordable marketing starts here!

This month, in light of St. Patrick’s Day, we are going to talk a little bit about the difference between a “lucky” marketing campaign and a marketing campaign that has experience, strategy and research to back it up. At Transformation Marketing in Lincoln, Nebraska we don’t leave our marketing campaign or the marketing campaign of any of our clients to luck and you shouldn’t either. What we do, just like what you do, takes a lot of work and our results have proven that that hard work pays off.

Today, we are going to start with your social media campaign. Social media for business has always been a complex and time consuming part of marketing. However, over the last year, it’s gotten even more so. With Facebook not giving as much reach to business posts in 2014 and them coming out with their new anti-sales lingo algorithm for 2015, leaving your social media marketing to luck can leave you with posts that aren’t reaching any of your fans.

Social media campaigns, at least the successful ones, from Facebook, to Twitter to Pinterest, to Instagram, to your blog, to YouTube, it all takes a great deal of time, energy and most of all, a strategy backed with research and experience. It’s not enough that you have a Facebook page and you’ve heard to Instagram. It’s not enough that you have a new, young intern right out of college. It’s  not enough that you went to a one-day training on the basics of social media for business one year ago. Social media changes in a blink of an eye. You have to be ready. You have to be paying attention. You have to be able to change your strategy at the drop of a hat.

At TM, we do our research, we keep up with the latest trends and news in the industry. We have an entire department devoted to social media and the success of our clients’ campaigns and most of all, we know that if we aren’t successful, you aren’t successful and we won’t be able to continue to work with you. We do our very best and work our hardest every day to ensure we provide results.

1. Increase your Traffic
The most important reason to blog is Search Engine Optimization. Blogs can help improve your SEO with frequent and relevant content, helping you gain organic ranking.

2. Connect with your Audience
Allowing your clients to get a sneak peak into your company can help get them more connected with your company, creating a more loyal customer base.

3. Establish yourself as an Industry Leader
Showing your readers that you are up on the latest trends in your industry and that your knowledge on the industry is great will help establish trust between you and your clients.

4. Give your Company a Voice
This will help potential customers understand the personality behind your business and connect with you before even stepping foot in your door.

At Transformation Marketing in Lincoln, Nebraska we believe blogging is so important we include it in all of our SEO and most of our social media packages.