Food brands have long debated the best way to reach their shoppers. That's precisely why you see multiple arms at advertising and marketing firms servicing the same client. There's the shopper marketing team, the digital advertisers, perhaps a dedicated social group, and the various account managers handling more old school channels: TV commercials, print media buys, and more.
But advertising food brands differs from other products; this we know. Connecting a chicken ad to an online store is not the same as doing the same thing with apparel or event tickets. Brick and mortar stores are still the norm for food brands. So, until online grocery matures, tracking any kind of ROI remains a major problem.
What's going to be the link that finally gets grocers buying items online, proving the worth of digital advertising online? Recipes. If every other industry is any indication, better content containing more native ads will transform shoppers from simply being aware of a brand to actually purchasing that brand precisely when they're hit with a message.
Sure, you could say we've got all of our horses in this race, so it's exactly what you'd expect us to say. Our technology activates recipes with native ads and connects those ads to online grocers or online-only offers. But last week, we saw an incredible proof-of-concept shake down across the pond.
The BBC, in an effort to cut costs from their digital properties, announced that they would be removing all of their recipes from their websites. The broadcasting company, which is publicly funded, announced the plan to chop £15M from budget plans. Almost immediately, an online petition popped up, which currently has nearly 200,000 signatures and begs for the 11,000 recipes to be saved. The petition even argues that getting rid of the recipes entirely is a public health issue, saying, "when the Government is trying to promote healthy eating, surely it is madness to remove such a comprehensive archive which has taken years to create, not to mention time and money."
Soon after the outcry, the BBC had no choice but to clarify: the recipes would not be deleted, but archived and stored while no new recipes would be added. Other sources claim that the broadcasting company is rethinking the proposal altogether.
The people have spoken; they want recipes. People refer to them daily, depend on them and feel passionately about having access to their favorite recipes. With such strong emotions tied to their food, the takeaway for food advertisers is clear: it's time to find ways to connect recipes with ecommerce. Readers love recipes deeply. And while those feelings used to be attached to red-and-white checkered books on the kitchen shelf, today they're attached to websites; websites that are in desperate need for monetization. Sounds like the perfect, cost-efficient opportunity for food brands to find hungry shoppers.