Few condiments hold a candle to this savory-sweet, palate-pleasing treat enjoyed by adults and children alike. Ketchup, your pairings are endless: eggs, bacon, bologna, hot dogs, fries, burgers, sausages, onion rings, grilled cheese, chicken fingers, fish sticks…alright maybe not endless. That’s getting pretty close to an exhaustive list, as far as any self-respecting person can enumerate. Yes, this powerful condiment possesses an innate ability to make-or-break your summer BBQ. And it recently showed off some of its unique power to rally social media supporters in a very surprising way. Canadian Connoisseurs Speak Up In March 2016, Loblaws decided to pull French’s ketchup from its shelves without warning, inciting a viral backlash demanding Loblaws re-list the item. The sense of importance associated with this particular product most likely stems from its local origins. French’s ketchup is made with tomatoes grown here in Canada; Leamington, Ontario to be geographically precise. Thus it’s a source of national pride, of small-town Canadian jobs and, ultimately, of significance extending well beyond something squeezed from a bottle. This high level of engagement in the supply chain management process led Globe and Mail food columnist Sylvan Charlebois to declare in his Ketchup Wars opinion piece that “the politics of food distribution are alive and well in Canada”. Many speculated that unfair competitive practices among vendors may have had something to do with Loblaws’ decision to de-list the product. Finding evidence to support this theory is challenging. However, the ketchup story illustrates how the complexities of food retailing are increasingly intermingling with unexpected social media uprisings.
To a child of the ’80s it still seems unbelievable that vacations today are researched and booked almost exclusively online. I remember visiting travel agencies with my parents. I can recall flipping through the glossy pages of snazzy magazines, always trying to sneak that Disney booklet into a place of prominence on the agent’s desk. I can picture how every “Sunshiny Holidays” guide was divided into country-specific sections, and hotels had a single picture depicting what they were all about. One picture. That was all. To help with the limited visuals were 5-7 sentence descriptions written by the proprietors themselves. So you’d thumb through the guide, gaze at the photos and dutifully try to convince your parents to choose the spot with the best-looking pool. All the while the agent typed away on her keyboard, telling you what was available and at what price. It felt like a simpler time, even if it was a comparatively powerless one for consumers. Alas, I won’t be offering the same memories to my kids (hey!…remember when Mom spent 4 hours staring at her cellphone reading reviews for our one-day getaway to Great Wolf Lodge?). The limited technological sophistication available “back then” unfortunately meant very limited access to accurate, reliable information when booking a holiday. Transforming the Industry The transformation of the Tourism & Hospitality industry caused by the influence and upsurge of social media is nothing short of astounding. Approximately one-fifth of leisure travelers worldwide turn to social media platforms for inspiration within different categories of their travel planning including: Hotels (23%) Vacation activities (22%) Attractions (21%) Restaurants (17%). Along with these sweeping changes, the Travel Marketing Industry has had to adapt to the ever-shifting landscape, finding innovative ways for determining how to create desirable experiences, and secure a high number of bookings. As early as 2011, Ryan McElroy, a recognized leader in the travel and hospitality industry, discovered that many travel agencies were still operating from old blueprints. They were missing opportunities to generate bookings because they weren’t harnessing the social media and digital platforms available. As a solution, McElroy created Travel Agency Tribes. Travel Agency Tribes is a SaaS (software as a service) company that creates all the technology required to make a travel agency’s online presence dynamic, easy to update, and adept at crossing all the new channels that today’s savvy travel consumer expects. This Canadian company has its ear firmly glued to the ground. It’s leveraging the very best that social media… Read more »
For Metroland Media, customer engagement is essential for many aspects of their business since there are such large selections of print publications and other media sources available to the public. Although all media channels are equally important to Metroland Media, their community newspapers and print publications are their number one source of revenue. Today we see the Internet evolving into a larger number of social media channels and television alternatives; this puts customer engagement at the top of their priority list. With the amount of choices available, competition amongst companies and brand loyalty becomes a problem.
When you’re an airline that receives 35,000 social media inquiries per week, you need a fully engaged team to be able to pull off your commitment “to respond to every user comment or question within 60 minutes” and resolve every issue within 24 hours, but this is exactly what KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is doing. The airline even updates their social media banners every five minutes letting customers know the approximate wait time for a response.
It’s happened more than I’d like to admit. I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed when suddenly I find myself making a mental list of the improvements I’d need to make to my home in order to sell it quickly and purchase one of the new listings Adam DeGroote has posted to his real estate page. I’m not even looking to buy but the beautiful photos and creative headlines always seem to draw me in. The Brantford and Brand County Real Estate agent has been using social media for years to help showcase his listings and grow his business. “That’s where people’s eyes are,” he told me when I asked him why he uses social media in his marketing campaigns. “Social media helps me to reach a broader audience. The younger generation is on social and if I can put my client’s properties on there, it helps to get the word out — you have to go where people are paying attention and everyone is glued to social media now a days.”
If you are like me, you were one of those people shocked to hear Donald Trump won the American Presidential election. Chances are – also like me — you weren’t putting as much stock into the predictions of social media analysts as you were to major media outlets and traditional election polling firms. If we had been looking at the numbers and analytics we may have been better prepared. Phil Ross, a social media analyst at Socialbakers told Techcrunch.com “Analysts monitoring the social media activity of both campaigns on the major social media channels saw the outcome of this election coming months ago, and kept talking about the massive silent voter base that was forming around the Republican nominee. Social media analysts continually sounded the alarm that all of the polls were not reflecting the actual situation on the ground in the pre-election landscape.”
When it comes to credit cards, it’s no longer just a choice between Visa, Mastercard or Amex. Consumers are now tasked with selecting the reward program they want partnered with their cards ( Air Miles, Scene, WestJet, etc.). While the reward programs may be a nice addition, if you’re like me, you aren’t concerned with reward programs and you certainly aren’t willing to pay a yearly fee in order to receive them. You just want a credit card with a low interest rate and no bells and whistles. And this is how Barclaycard Ring Mastercard was created.
Paul Sperry hailed from a family that had a longstanding relationship with the sea. As a result, he went on to become an accomplished sailor himself. Sperry was a Seamen, First Class in the United States Navy and in his spare time sailed aboard his own boat ‘Sirocco‘. During a chance encounter with rough seas, poor shoes on a slippery deck nearly cost Paul Sperry his life. It was at that moment that he began searching for a solution to the unfortunate problem of many sailors. After much trial and error, it was eventually Sperry’s dog who would help him come to a solution. After watching his dog run across ice without struggle, Sperry decided to create grooves in a rubber sole, similar to those that were in his dog’s paws. In 1935, the first Sperry deck shoes were made. The sole of the Sperry Top-Sider deck shoe “sticks like a barnacle” and was therefore trusted by the United States Navy as an official shoe during the Second World War, The Kennedy Family during their sailing adventures, and as the official shoe for the America’s Cup. Given the fact that the Sperry brand of deck shoes were, and continue to be the top choice of such customers, it is no wonder that the Sperry brand entrusts their customers to ensure the quality and the longevity of the brand.
When I was a child, I remember eating my breakfast at the kitchen table each morning as my parents listened to the latest in local news and weather through a little radio on the counter. This is how many people would get their information to start their day, but now, there are other options. Now-a-days, I set my alarm 30 minutes before I need to get up to allow myself time to check personal email as well as scroll through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – and I’m certain I’m not the only one.
In a digital age, where consumers are less likely to respond to traditional marketing/advertising techniques, organizations are tasked with trying to understand the modern consumer. With so many options to choose from, a well-informed consumer base, and a diverse and ultra competitive landscape where the concept of brand loyalty is a thing of the past, corporate social media strategies now play a vital role in the success of today’s global organizations. One such organization is Maryland based, Phillips Corporation. Phillips Corp is a global supplier of manufacturing technology products and services primarily focused on CNC machine tools. Over the years Phillips Corp have relied on the great marketing efforts of the manufacturer’s they represent for building/growing the brand. They are also globally renowned for providing legendary customer service and an enduring competitive advantage to the end user. Although Social media is somewhat of a new realm for Phillips Corporation, in a highly competitive global product market, they have tried to differentiate themselves by focusing on their people and the service they provide to the customers. Phillips is aware that nothing will substitute the relationships that their sales and service people have with the customers. Conversely they are cognizant that social media has developed a larger role over recent years as an additional avenue for engaging with that same customer base. At first their social media strategy was designed just to be presence on social channels, but it quickly developed into a more streamline avenue for them to have conversations with people in their industry. This is where I believe Phillips have taken a unique approach in an attempt to set themselves apart from the competition. A lot of companies use social media to tell everyone how good they are, and while Phillips do want to promote themselves, they also feel that it is important to recognize, at least from a marketing perspective, that they don’t own their brand, their customers do. Matthew Nardangeli-Marketing Director at Phillips Corporation explains the importance of social media and customer engagement in below audio file:
Organization Name: Calgary Stampede Industry:Hospitality & Tourism Web reference: CS Blog, #SafeStampede, Cowboys Tent, MarketingLand, CS Eats, Social Media and Stampede Business Performance The CS (Calgary Stampede) has been at the heart of the wild west in Calgary, AB, for over 100 years. The 10 day event includes food truck vendors, “as seen on tv” products for sale, rodeo, farm… Read more »
Organization Name: McDonalds Industry: Fast Food Name of Contact: N/A Web Reference: Forbes, Mashable YouTube, SourceFed Youtube, MEMES, Jona SoundCloud, Social Media and Business Performance McDonalds Corp. serves 68 million customers on a daily basis in 119 countries. The fast food giant is known for its Happy Meals, Big Mac’s and various breakfast options. Reaching out to customers via internet… Read more »
Organization Name: Domino’s Pizza Industry: Food Chain, Fast Food Web References: Domino’s Pizza Channel, USA Today, CNBC, CNN, Forbes, The Washington Post, Domino’s Pizza AnyWare How Social Media Places Your Order Quick, think of your favourite pizza place! We rounded up 3 major players at my last staff meeting when ordering our supper: Pizza Hut – Famous for stuff crust pizza. Domino’s Pizza – Attractively priced… Read more »
Organization Name: Oreo (The Kraft Heinz Company) Industry: Biscuits & Snacks Web references: Oreo, Business Today, Forbes, China Business Review Social Media & Business Performance OREO has always involved its customers with product development. In fact, it’s in their DNA! That’s how the product has expanded into the international baked goods market, with continued YOY (Year-over-Year) growth. Customer engagement with… Read more »
Organization Name: REI “Recreational Equipment Inc” Industry: Recreational Retail, Outdoor/Travel Consulting Web Reference: About REI, Employee Participation Social Media is huge, face it! So when REI launched its affiliate program, it was a no brainer. The organization is clear to note: “you are more likely to meet an employee online in the digital media space”. However, the company is also… Read more »
Organization name: Sony Industry: Electronics Company Contact: Phil Molyneux, President Web references: Sony Description of how social media is used for business performance: In 2013, Sony U.S. president Phil Molyneux turned to the general public to help develop a name for the company’s new wireless mobile speakers – in the shape of pink, black, and white balls. In an official… Read more »
Organization name: Snapchat, Inc. Industry: Photo sharing, social networking service Company Contact: Evan Spiegel, CEO Snapchat Web references: Snapchat Description of how social media is used for business performance: When I started reviewing Snapchat, and how it could play a role in the future of the brands I represent on social media I couldn’t get my head around it. The… Read more »
Organization name: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. Industry: Retail home improvement and appliance stores Company Contact: Tom Lamb, Lowe’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising Web references: Lowe’s Description of how social media is used for business performance: According to a release from advertising giants BBDO, Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement retailer in the world. As a part of the… Read more »
Organization name: Foiled Cupcakes Industry: Food, online Bakery Company Contact: Mari Luangrath, Head Cupcakeologist of Foiled Cupcake Web references: Foiled Cupcakes Description of how social media is used for business performance: In 2009, when Mari Luangrath was getting ready to launch her online home-based cupcake business she ran in a massive setback – the overseas web developer that was creating… Read more »
Organization name: State of Hawaii Industry: Government Company Contact: Adjutant General Darryll Wong, Hawaii National Guard and Civil Defense Kevin Montgomery, founder of Intelesense Technologies and Senior Researcher, Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford University School of Medicine Web references: Collaborate Description of how social media is used for business performance: Exemplary State Initiative is the vision of… Read more »
Organization name: Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph Who they are: As a founding college of the University of Guelph and one of the earliest established Veterinary Medical Colleges in North America, the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is a world leader in veterinary health care, learning and research – for the health of all species, including our own. Company Contact:… Read more »