There was a time when the concept of using the internet for digital food marketing seemed ludicrous. While electronics, holidays and other large scale items could be purchased online, the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector, and particularly the food sector, simply couldn’t get involved. Consumers mostly visited physical shops to pick up their food as ordering it online meant waiting a length of time for delivery and also limited impulse purchases; quick dips into Tesco for that can of soup on the way home from work were impossible online.
As the internet has changed, the way it’s used has too. Innovations like the Amazon Dash button and same day delivery have played to the internet’s core benefit (convenience) and helped the concept of ordering online for home delivery become a regular part of customers’ shopping habits. It’s even playing a part in driving offline sales and in-store footfall by offering consumers a portal to key information after seeing content or advertising on another key driver: television.
TV and the Internet
It’s no secret that smartphones have changed the way we watch TV. Now we browse the internet on our mobiles while we’re watching TV, reacting to adverts and mentions of people, places and things by searching on our phones or tablets. For example, if Barbados is mentioned on a holiday programme, or even in an off-hand way in Coronation Street, the viewer may feel inclined to find out more about the country and do so through searching on their phone. The brand that appears most prominently in Google is the one that will get that all-important click and, potentially, the business.
This also applies to food. mporium research has found that even when generic and foodstuffs dishes are mentioned on key TV programmes, searches for those dishes spike significantly. For example, on an episode of Channel 4’s Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, broadcast on Friday 30th December 2016 at 8pm, the hosts mentioned ‘green curry’ and ‘lasagne’, resulting in a spike of people searching for both terms via Google.
A similar thing happened during a Wednesday 11th January episode of Rick Stein’s Long Weekend, which aired on the BBC at 7pm. Here, Stein made mention of ‘chillies’, ‘cod fritters’, and ‘almond tart’ at various stages during the programme, and all three encouraged large search spikes on Google.
So how can brands take advantage of this and convert the TV-to-digital customer journey into a TV-to-digital-to-physical-store journey?
Driving Offline Sales
Using TV content to drive offline sales is all about shaping your online marketing around the smartphone opportunity. This can come in the shape of strong SEO, a social strategy built around certain shows you know are important to your audience, educational content designed to rank well in the search rankings, or the use of technology, such as mporium IMPACT, which can control digital adverts when certain phrases important to your business are mentioned on TV.
Capturing that interest is just the first stage of the journey, though. The next step revolves around engaging the customer with strong content. After all, there’s no sense in winning the traffic if you’re not going to do anything to keep that attention. This is where a good content strategy comes into play, and it’s vital to make sure you understand what goal you want to encourage the customer towards before crafting that content.
For businesses whose offering is based around food, that content could be a call to action to inspire people to add an item to their shopping list (if that’s a service the business offers), or a How to Find Us page that shows the visitor how to get to the store. In scenarios such as this, the customer’s attention span is short. Their interest may have been captured, but it’s easy for them to be distracted by something else online or the mention of some other product on TV. Making that journey from initial interest to final goal as simple as possible is vital, so the user can travel through without any friction.
The final stage, then, is actually measuring this journey. This isn’t easy, but it can be done by using a number of technologies. For example, if a user has GPS activated on their phone and has clicked a business’ ad, they can be anonymously tracked from the ad to the store visit. Wi-Fi can also be implemented to understand store visits, while Google has its own methods, which are available to businesses upon enquiry. There are many more options, and it’s up to each individual business to work out what works best for them in the budget they have.
There’s no doubting the significance of TV content to driving in-store footfall; the only question is how you take advantage of it. An integrated strategy that makes best use of the multitude of technologies and platforms available is the best approach and will help you meet your customers with the right message at the right time. As TV content becomes more and more powerful, it represents an opportunity you can’t afford not to be alert to.
What do you think about the value of TV content in driving in-store footfall? Send us a Tweet @mporiumgroup and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get new articles straight to your inbox!