I approached Maryclare with a favor that sounded a bit like this, “please condense the world of food advertising for our readers.” Tough job. Here is your crash course from our expert on the east coast. Her final line is particularly awesome. Enjoy, you wonderful readers.
1. Bullseye! You and your children are “target markets” – the center of the marketing world — the golden circle. This chart shows a typical depiction of the basics of marketing. Notice all arrows point to YOU, which means you have power. Most companies really do want to satisfy your needs, but the world of marketing to families with children, and marketing in general, can be complex.
2. Under the Microscope. You are studied, poked and prodded to the point where companies often know what you will buy before you know what you will buy when you enter a grocery store. You need to be vigilant in your efforts to stick to your goals for physical and financial health for your family. It’s easy to get side-tracked by persuasive methods.
3. 360 Degrees & 24/7. Companies want you to be emotionally linked to their brand. The PBS Frontline production, “The Persuaders”, produced in 2004, is very relevant and shows the science behind our thinking . . . or what researchers think we think, and why we become loyal “beyond reason” to brands. Companies, such as Acxiom, crunch numbers around the clock to provide demographic information about you to interested companies. You sleep and databases keep running.
4. You Add to the Mix. You contribute to the marketing mix when you use social media to “like” items; when you post on interest websites; and, when you talk/chat with people about products. Some people even provide customer contributed resources to enrich company websites. For example, consider the Cheerios® website which features items from parents and from their “youngest fans”.
5. Fuzzy Ethics. Federal Regulations, self-regulation among companies and statistical information can be messy so you need to be savvy! Whom can you trust? Statistics can be made to reflect a desired outcome by parties involved if they reflect well on a company – be careful and learn to read between the lines. Your consumer habits are watched carefully. Every swipe of your debit card, credit card and frequent shopper card tells a story.
You decide if a company earns and keeps your loyalty. Take charge – be vocal, be heard, be understood. Remember, you are the target and you can move or you can stand still.