Via Shopper Marketing Magazine:
Nestlé USA, wanting to create enthusiasm for its Edy’s, Dreyer’s and Drumstick ice cream brands – and for two weekends (Memorial Day and Fourth of July) when the brands would be featured in Walmart’s Ice Cream Social sampling event – partnered with social shopper marketing company Collective Bias, Bentonville, Ark., to create advance hype and drive visits to the 3,000 participating Walmart locations.
Using Social Fabric – a proprietary community of more than 1,200 shopping-focused influencers through whom the company claims to reach over 40 million people and create 110 million monthly measured impressions – Collective Bias screened members in the “ice cream lovers” category to work on the campaign. Of the 110 bloggers chosen, 10 were “showcase” bloggers, those with a larger reach; and 50 bloggers went to the events, 25 to each. Those compensated included a disclaimer at the end of their blog posts, indicating compensation as well as freedom of opinion. “In between all that, we had an additional 50 bloggers who created conversation around these brands, so they went to the store, bought these products, showed us their path to purchase, and then also blogged about usage,” says Mailena Vo, Collective Bias product manager.
Collective Bias also staged an hour-long Twitter party, with the hashtag “#icecreamsocial,” that included discussion, questions and giveaways.
Just two days before the sampling event, Walmart approved the Nestlé promotion, and the results was a 37% sales lift over the six weeks from Memorial Day to Fourth of July.
Andi Pratt, shopper marketing manager for Nestlé USA, says user-generated content is what sets word of mouth/brand ambassador tools apart from traditional marketing. “Shoppers are more and more engaged in user-generated content, whether it be from people they know or people they don’t. Those are heavily weighted in the decisions they are making every day. It doesn’t feel as forced, doesn’t feel like a singular brand message or retailer message is being forced upon a shopper. It’s more of a dialogue, an engagement that feels more wholesome and genuine than a lot of the marketing tactics that we do. Brands that are able to do social in a genuine way will start to stand out.”