As the year kicks off, our thoughts turn to the key issues for supermarkets and food brands in 2013.
Commercially, we see integrated brand campaigns fast becoming the most popular way to showcase complementary brands and products. Brands are looking more and more to create unique video and digital content to inspire and engage consumers. The big advantage of these campaigns when working in partnership with display media is the sharing potential of social media as people recommend content and follow their friends’ buying patterns, which can drive direct brand interaction.
Our campaign with Magimix last year showed the success of this approach. Bespoke online recipes and video content were created to showcase how our users could be inspired to try new recipes using Magimix products.
To protect their place in the market, brands will also be looking to develop a closer relationship with consumers. The rise of mobile consumption - and two-screen TV viewing - presents viewers with the opportunity to interact directly with adverts and follow through with immediate purchases that may otherwise have been forgotten about.
Connected TVs add another element to the viewer/brand relationship by using internet delivery to make interaction an instant experience. They enable viewers to access more content or make a purchase as they watch an ad and give brands and advertisers a deeper insight into consumer priorities and behaviour through data analytics. This will be welcomed by advertisers who want to target consumers based on real activity rather than relying on simple demographics.
Brands and supermarkets are no longer just looking to be the place of choice for food purchases, they are asking consumers to buy into the lifestyle to go with their purchases. This is seen in the ambition of supermarkets to establish themselves as in-home entertainment providers.
Time will tell how successful brands and retailers are in their quest to get closer to the consumer, but the relationship between them will only get stronger this year - and that can only be a good thing.
Annabel McQueen is head of revenue at Food Network UK