Monthly Archives: May 2015

A word up.

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.”  Ansel Adams, Photographer

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Let’s come to terms on some marketing and advertising words.

marketingadvertisingwordsWe’re often asked, “what’s the difference between marketing and advertising?”. In fact, there are several terms in the advertising and marketing world that many of our food and beverage clients have asked us to clarify. We’ve found that we can better serve our clients needs if we’re all talking the same “language”. So, let’s come to terms with some commonly used words in advertising and marketing speak.

Marketing vs Advertising

These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they have very different meanings.

Marketing: the process of developing, distributing, promoting, and selling products and services.

Advertising: One of many communication tools used to persuade a target audience to buy.

Types of media

Advertising is placed or appears in three types of media:

Paid Media: Time and space that is purchased for the advertiser’s message, and includes media such as print, broadcast, social media (ads, not mentions in posts, tweets, etc.), paid search engine advertising, and sponsorships.

Owned Media: Communication channels and content that are completely controlled by the advertiser  such as websites, blogs, newsletters, and social media pages.

Earned Media: Messaging that promotes companies, products, and services that is generated through public and media relations, consumer/customer reviews, and social media chatter and posts. Earned media does not have a direct dollar cost to a company.

The “brand” word

Terms derived from the “brand” word often need some clarification:

Brand: The complete set of attributes that describe the unique value a company, product, or service brings to its customers, consumers, and stakeholders. A brand establishes the points of differentiation of a company, product, or service from its competitors.

Branding: The development of a logo symbol, often accompanied with a tagline, that is used to visually convey the unique identity of a company, product, or service.

Brand Building: All of the advertising and promotional efforts used to develop a brand’s identity, increase awareness of the brand, and build brand equity.

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Two old school marketing tools are making a big comeback.


There are an unprecedented number of communication channels food marketers have access to today to reach their target audiences. For many B2B and consumer audiences, however, information overload has been reached and they are also experiencing a little tech burnout. This may explain why some modern marketers are returning to two communication channels that many have labeled as old school. Here’s what and why.

Print Catalogs   Yes, the good old print catalog. Around 2007, as paper became more expensive and consumers had almost universally adopted online shopping, marketers shifted their focus to digital channels. However, to cut through today’s digital clutter, marketers have begun returning to print catalogs and in 2013 there was an increase in print catalogs for the first time since  2008. A recent study revealed that over 55% of online shoppers actually browse through catalogs for inspiration and product details before shopping online. Over  30% of online shoppers refer to print catalogs while they are actually shopping online. Many retailers who continued to produce and distribute print catalogs during the recession were also some of the best known luxury brands, which served to elevate the status of print catalogs. Why have some marketers returned to print catalogs? Consumer feedback indicates that they are growing weary of all of the targeted digital advertising they receive and want to peruse catalogs at their leisure without being inundated by ads for every single product they review online.

Email  Like catalogs, email had been declared dead by some marketers who cite all of the advertising activity that shifted to social media channels as evidence. However, as social media has become an endless stream of information, some of it uncontrolled by brand owners,  marketers are revisiting the advantages email. Email can be targeted in its messages and its recipients. Email can be used for single, one time communication/messages as well as for ongoing communication such as newsletters and periodic reports. For food marketers, email can be used not only for product pushes, but for more general information on nutrition, health tips, recipes, cooking tips, and entertaining ideas. The best reason to re-consider email is that marketers have total control over the timing, frequency, and content of email messages.

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