POTATO BOARD ONLINE NUTRITION CAMPAIGN SUCCESS CONTINUES!
Following this story, please find attached the Month 1 (July) reporting for the Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) Potato Board Online Nutrition Campaign. Please note, as always, we are seeing strong metrics for our ads, and have also noted some early optimizations we can make to further improve performance.
Some topline results and observations:
- We over delivered on July impressions by 20%, with all individual sites over delivering, as well!
- Meredith Networks showed the highest Click-Through Rate (CTR) at 0.20%, driving up overall campaign performance – a strong indicator we made the right decision to broaden our reach across multiple Meredith Network partners vs. Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) only, and to focus specifically on food & recipe content within this space
- Versus last year, we are seeing a slightly lower CTR of 0.14% (still well above industry standards at 0.09%, based on the latest yearly third party report)
- We will optimize creative rotation to phase out Mediterranean Salad creative, which is performing more weakly than other creative. We anticipate seeing a significant rise in overall CTR in the coming months once creative rotation is optimized
- Because creative elements, overall, do not differ much from previous campaign creative, audience wear-out is most likely increasing and yielding a lower overall CTR. A refreshed creative campaign in FY13 and beyond may help drive CTR back up to higher levels seen in FY10 and FY11.
Notes on the Numbers: There is no question “wear-out” is a natural evolution that occurs with all advertising, particularly online. In general, it is normal to see click through rates ramp up when a campaign is launched, hit a plateau, and then slowly decrease as the campaign builds a strong presence over time.
This evolution is exactly what we are experiencing with our campaign - we saw absolutely phenomenal click-through rates when we launched our campaign, and things are now normalizing. However, as the CTR plateaus, you will see the user engagement (page views and time spent on site) tends to increase. In essence, we are driving more qualified traffic to our landing page because the newness of the campaign has worn off.
Therefore, while the USPB does believe “wear-out” is a factor in our lower CTR, our CTR is still well above industry standards and something we should be very pleased with. Also, 45% of this year’s online budget is allocated to brand new sites to the plan (FoodNetwork.com and the Meredith Network). So, we should see relatively higher CTR’s on those sites, since the campaign is new to their unique viewers. Our recommendation is to optimize the creative rotation and continue with the current campaign for a few more months and see how the new sites perform. Then, we can evaluate if the creative needs to be freshened this fiscal year, or if it is something we can slate for FY13.
For more information, please contact USPB Domestic Marketing Vice President Kathleen Triou at 303-873-2312 or email@example.com.
Potato Board Report July 2011.xls
MEDITERRANEAN FOODS ALLIANCE SPOTLIGHT ON POTATOES: “WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT POTATOES?”
The USPB has partnered with the Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA) for five years to help elevate the role potatoes play in a traditional Mediterranean diet. One of the benefits of collaborating with this organization is potato information and inspiration is shared with their vast network of nutrition influencers and interested consumers. On Friday, September 9, potatoes were featured in the MFA Weekly e-Newsletter, Fresh Fridays, with the headline: “What’s Not to Love about Potatoes?” It’s a great example how an influential nutrition organization leverages USPB nutrition messaging, as well as preparation guidance and recipes to positively position potatoes to their membership and beyond.
“AMERICA’S FAVORITE POTATO SALAD SWEEPS”
The USPB kicked-off the first Facebook promotion of FY12 with a timely Labor Day Potato Salad Sweepstakes on the Potatoes, Taters & Spuds Facebook page. The promotion drives users to vote for their favorite potato salad of four healthy and delicious-looking choices, all for the opportunity to win a Kitchen-Aid Mixer, an item every Linda wants to have in her kitchen – and that makes mashed potatoes a breeze!
Since the sweepstakes began September 2, the fan base has already grown by nearly 1,000 fans to a total of 7,682 fans and engagement on the page is up 75 percent, meaning users are interacting with our content more than ever.
USPB MAKES SUMMER POTATO SALADS SIZZLE!
Baked Potato Salad
Grilled Pesto Potato Salad
Mediterranean Potato Salad
Red Potato Salad
This past summer, the USPB made sure healthy potato salads made a splash in the media, ultimately generating more than 25 million impressions. Highlights included:
- Also during summer 2011, the USPB partnered with The Daring Cooks, a group of approximately 1,000 home cooks, both bloggers and non-bloggers, spanning the globe, who compete in monthly cooking challenges. The USPB-sponsored Healthy Potato Salad challenge was announced in May, and all Daring Cooks participants revealed their healthy potato salad creations in June. The result was more than 100 blog posts featuring healthy potato salad recipes and including key USPB nutrition messages! The top three winners were: Minted Avocado Potato Salad, Grilled Potato Salad with Green Beans and Indian Potato Samosa Salad.
- The summer 2010 potato salad press kit continued to generate results in 2011. The Grilled Pesto Potato Salad recipe ran in nearly a dozen papers in Florida’s Sun Newspaper Group, courtesy of food writer Barbara Collier, a long-time USPB media contact, resulting in nearly 100,000 in print circulation. Three Quick & Healthy Potato Salad recipes and full-color photos (Greek, Classic and Baked) ran in the Journal-Inquirer (Manchester, CT) with a headline touting “potato salad gets a healthy makeover” (circulation 32,000). Media RD’s Katherine Brooking and Julie Upton included the Quick & Healthy Potato Salad recipe on their blog Appetite for Health while the Chicago Sun-Times ran the Red, White and Blue potato salad recipe for Independence Day.
POTATOES CONTINUE TO SHINE ON YAHOO
The USPB is pleased to share some very positive potato coverage on Yahoo! Shine and Eating Well.com. Potatoes are featured in a piece titled “9 Bad Foods You Should Be Eating”, which points out potatoes are “a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C” and argues the Glycemic Index (GI) is an “imperfect and controversial scale.”
Eating Well editor, Nicci Micco, covered the USPB weight management study last year, and at the beginning of the summer, Eating Well Editors also praised potato salad as being the healthier option in Potato Salads v. Pasta Salad. This publication is definitely a friend of potatoes!
Shine.Yahoo.com reaches 25.5 million unique visitors per month while EatingWell.com reaches 1.3 million unique visitors per month.
REACHING MEDICAL GATEKEEPERS WITH OPINION CHANGING NUTRITION MMESSAGES
The family physician, in many cases, is a gatekeeper to patients in need of nutrition information. However, physicians are not required to acquire a broad base of nutrition expertise as they go through school. Therefore, as information about carbohydrates, the glycemic index and white food proliferates, doctors, too, are inundated with misinformation. This is why in September, USPB exhibited for the first time at the American Academy of Family Physicians to raise awareness of the potato’s proper place in the diets of all consumers, including those who suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and to increase understanding of potatoes’ nutritional profile.
For three days, USPB Nutrition Consultant, Dr. Katherine Beals, and USPB PR Manager, Meredith Myers, staffed a booth full of handouts from our Nutrition Library, the Potato Nutrition Handbook, healthy recipes and posters that drive home the “Potatoes…Goodness Unearthed®” nutrition message. It was an excellent venue to make the potato case to influencers. As 2000 baked potato halves were served over the course of the first two days, the USPB had productive discussions with MDs, most of whom were not anti-potato, but had relatively strong opinions about potatoes and their supposed high glycemic index, as well as patients needing to cut back if they were overweight or had diabetes.
Most physicians are faced with an increasing number of questions about nutrition coming from patients with a variety of ailments and concerns, so they have to get reliable information to share. But even these doctors admit it’s difficult to judge what information is credible. This audience is willing to listen to good information when it is scientifically based, which is why the USPB will return to this show (or one similar to it) next year, as a new class of physicians will be present with new opinions to change with the strong and scientific potato nutrition message.
POTATO RESEARCH GENERATES OUTSTANDING COVERAGE DURING FNCE WEEK
USPB-funded research titled: “Potatoes are the largest and most affordable source of potassium of any vegetable or fruit,” was presented at the 2011 American Dietetic Association’s (ADA) annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) on September 27 in San Diego, CA. The story has been covered by 231 media outlets for a total of 20 million impressions to-date.
During the conference, the USPB hosted a private lunch event featuring Dr. Adam Drewnowski, lead researcher on the study, for 13 highly influential media RDs at Searsucker, a very trendy new restaurant in San Diego headed by “Top Chef’s” Brian Malarkey. The RDs in attendance represented dozens of national publications and media outlets including Health, Eating Well, WebMD.com, SELF, Parents, Family Circle, Relish, Cooking Light, Fitness, Shape, SheKnows.com, Food Network, FitTV, HealthCastle.com and a host of others.
The USPB also participated in the “What’s in Store” Supermarket RD event, a networking reception and dinner specifically targeting supermarket registered dietitians. The team served up Crab-Filled Potato Bites while networking and sharing the new research with this important audience of approximately 30 supermarket dieticians.
On the 27th, the actual research was presented at a poster session during FNCE and a press release was distributed at the same day on the national wire and through EurekAlert! (an online, global news service operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest, general scientific society). Coverage highlights resulting from the press release distribution include: UPI.com, MedicalNewsToday.com, AllHeadlineNews.com and the Sacramento Bee and substantial social media buzz. While at FNCE, the USPB also secured a meeting for Dr. Drewnowski with Food-Navigator.com, which resulted in an immediate placement on the highly-trafficked website featuring the NHANES results and potato nutrition.
The USPB team continues to target top-tier health and nutrition reporters with the new research. As a result of the launch activities and media outreach efforts, positive feedback has already been received from many members of the media:
- Jill Melton, Editor-in-Chief of Relish magazine, is interested in featuring USPB recipes on the website and potentially in an upcoming issue of the magazine; she also posted on their Facebook page and Tweeted
- Michelle Dudash, Media RD, requested a shipment of potato types to use in a broadcast segment on Sonoran Living
- Johanna Dwyer, contributor to Nutrition Today, is interested in working with the USPB on a journal article about potato nutrition
- Rosemary Black, food editor for Parademagazine requested more information for an upcoming potato story
- Mary-Lee Chin, Media RD, plans to pitch a potato segment to her local broadcast contacts in Denver
- Devin Alexander, media personality, shared a segment featuring potato nutrition messages from her new show “America Now”
- Sidney Fry, RD for Cooking Light magazine shared that she has a potato feature planned for the a winter issue
- Gloria Tsang, RD and Editor-in-Chief for HealthCastle.com, requested a copy of the research abstract
- Tara Gidus, Media RD, is considering a potato feature for her blog on Healthline.com
- Elisa Zied, Media RD, is interested in writing a story about potatoes for MSNBC.com
BETTER HOMES & GARDENS ENCOURAGES CONSUMERS TO GET INNOVATIVE WITH POTATOES
As part of the USPB’s paid media investment, added value opportunities are negotiated to extend the industry’s dollars even further. For FY12, over $1 million in added value has been negotiated, which is 79% of the actual paid print investment. One of the most exciting added value programs is the Prize Tested Recipe Contest in partnership with Better Homes & Gardens (BH&G).
The USPB will garner consumer engagement by promoting readers to enter the Prize Tested Recipe Contest in Better Homes & Gardens. Announced in the October 2011 issue featuring the USPB’s “Potato Side Dishes” contest, readers are encouraged to get innovative with their potato side dishes and submit recipes that use multiple types of potatoes for dinner tonight. Recipes are then evaluated based on creativity, taste and practicality, and the winner’s recipe will be announced in the May 2012 issue of BH&G. Be sure to look for the contest entry announcement in-book, online and on BH&G’s Facebook page coming soon!
This is a high profile, high value program for potatoes we want you to leverage in your business! Consider linking to the contest on the Better Homes & Gardens website. If you have a Facebook page, post the link to the contest from BH&G’s Facebook page or online entry page. Let’s all work together to leverage this program and get potatoes on the table for dinner!
PUTTING THE POWER OF SHOPPER INSIGHTS TO WORK
The USPB understands the tremendous power consumer insights have when applied to the strategic development of marketing programs. That is why the USPB has dedicated millions of dollars for research over the past decade alone, striving to better understand how consumers perceive, shop for and use potatoes. We are continuing this tradition of investing in research during our current fiscal year by funding a landmark study of potato shoppers.
The USPB’s Potato Shopper Study will employ both qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the potato shopping habits of thousands of consumers, seeking to discern which aspects of their store visits have the strongest influence on their decision to purchase fresh potatoes. In particular, we are looking closely at the moment when shoppers switch from buying potatoes in “auto-pilot” mode to a state of heightened awareness and interest, becoming more receptive to marketing influences and potato serving suggestions. Our goal is to establish the definitive potato shopper decision tree, founded on solid quantitative findings but enriched by the shopper insights most often derived from qualitative studies.
There are numerous views (and many lively debates) about what defines a shopper insight, but one we like is:
“Insights are derived by drawing connections between things, seeing beneath the surface and recognizing patterns in data and the marketplace to gain a deeper understanding of the shopper, consumer or brand. They explain WHY people act as they do, and are both actionable and relevant.”
For a good example of a shopper insight and how it can impact your potato marketing, consider “convenience”. The subject of convenience comes up often in potato research with consumers and shoppers, as in when survey respondents are asked to rate the convenience of preparing fresh potatoes to other vegetables or starches.
Last fall, the USPB probed deeper into understanding just what convenience really meant to consumers, first fielding a large quantitative study and then following up by holding a series of focus groups in several cities. The response we heard most often from the target consumer was convenience meant “serving something my entire family will enjoy”, ahead of other replies about saving time or preparation shortcuts. The insight here was consumers think first about whether the dish they’re considering will appeal to every family member without need for customization, alteration or substitution…all of which are considered an inconvenience, taking extra time and trouble to prepare.
The implications of this insight for your potato sales are huge! Since potatoes are highly regarded for their universal taste appeal – a fresh, natural and nutritious vegetable the whole family loves – they actually offer tremendous convenience to the target shopper. The opportunity here is to continually remind shoppers throughout all communications how much their family enjoys eating potatoes.
Pair these reminders with suggestions for interesting new ways to serve up potatoes, such as braising, pan-frying or grilling, as well as educating shoppers on the differing qualities, textures and tastes of the potato types that you carry. Then stand back and watch this insight go to work for you, spurring increased consumption at home and incremental potato sales in the store!
POTATOES: SERVING UP THE NUTRITION YOUR SHOPPERS WANT!
Several new studies have been released lately reminding us of the importance of nutrition to shoppers’ food choices and how well potatoes fit their needs. Prevention magazine and the Food Marketing Institute recently announced the results of their 19th “Shopping For Health” study. This annual survey of America’s supermarket shoppers examines their interests and attitudes regarding health and nutrition, their efforts to manage diets, and the ways in which health and nutritional concerns play out in buying decisions at the supermarket.
According to the Prevention/FMI study, consumer attitudes about what defines a food as healthy are changing. They are moving away from consideration of undesirable characteristics, such as avoiding high levels of saturated fat, sugar, sodium or calories, and are paying greater attention to the presence of healthy ingredients and desirable nutrients.
Specifically, fiber (44%) was identified as being the most sought-after component, followed by whole grain (36%), protein (27%) and Omega-3 (23%). Close on the heels of the Prevention/FMI study was the release of new research led by Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Missouri, which underscored the importance of consuming protein at breakfast. Leidy and her research staff performed functional MRIs on the brains of teenagers and showed that when teens eat a higher-protein breakfast, they have reduced feelings of hunger and increased fullness right away and that feeling of satiety continues throughout the day.
Potatoes represent a perfect solution for consumers in both situations! Potatoes are a nutrient-dense vegetable, with one medium potato with skin on providing 2g of dietary fiber, or 8% of the recommended daily value. In addition, potatoes are packed with more protein than other vegetables like broccoli or green beans, while making for a much tastier choice at breakfast time. Plus potatoes bring the added benefits of 45% of your daily value of vitamin C and more potassium than any vegetable or fruit, while containing no fat, no sodium and no cholesterol.
USPB shopper intercept research has discovered two out of three shoppers are more likely to purchase fresh potatoes when they learn about all of the nutritional benefits potatoes offer. Build potato category sales by communicating their nutrition story on your packaging and using point of sale at the potato table, as well as incorporated in the retailer’s feature advertising and on their website. For more ideas as well as a downloadable POS, visit the USPB’s retailer portal at potatoretailer.com.