We all love a good cliché. Especially in marketing. And, if we repeat it enough, it becomes gospel. For instance, the 80/20 rule (the Pareto Principle). Have you ever said something like; “80% of my brand sales are coming from 20% of my consumers, so we need to focus on the loyalist”? Or “we need a better customer loyalty program”? Or better yet, “I want to focus more marketing dollars on my brand advocates, ambassadors, loyalists, yada, yada, yada”?

For years now, the holy grail of marketing has been to forge a love bond with your consumers. As marketers, we’ve been taught that creating a deep and lasting personal “relationship” with this core audience is the key to brand success. According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of our profits will come from just 20% of our customers. It’s the basis for targeting our “loyal” followers with the bulk of our marketing efforts and budgets.

It’s surprising how much focus too many marketers still place on the nebulous metric of “engagement.” Yes, social media engagement is an important measure of consumer response. It’s an indicator that your brand is making some sort of connection with people. And yes, some people actually do seem to “care” enough to like, comment, share, or click on a link. But if you’ve been obsessing on the relatively newfangled measuring of people who have taken an action on your Facebook post, tweet, or pin, you likely have been discounting the value of two, far more important (and albeit “old school”) metrics— Reach & Frequency.

It’s everywhere. On the streets, in our office, and in every retail and food store I’ve visited the past 2 weeks. Pokémon took over my life back when I was a kid and is doing so again now with the revolutionary virtual reality game, Pokémon Go.

The pathway to purchase for moms buying snacks can be an emotional, trying journey. The struggle is real. Moms are on the frontlines, fighting the fight, battling against what her family wants vs what she feels is best or “better” for them, what will make her life easier vs what they will enjoy, and so on.

It can be a real quest.

Let’s look at this journey in stages, it will help better identify the needs of mom along the pathway to purchase, therefore assisting marketers on appropriate messaging, tone, and of course, tactics.

Facebook Live has a story to tell – what’s yours?

Now that Facebook Live’s gone live, lots of articles are cropping up that focus on how to use it – how to choose the best location, how to create a storyline, how to interact with live audience questions and comments. It’s all good information, and quite necessary for making the best audience impression. But honestly, when all is said and done, “how” is totally missing the point.

I’m about to tell you why to use Facebook Live.

Okay, it’s a great song (and, coincidentally, great YouTube video of a dancing baby in diapers). But why do I bring it up here?

As a little song-and-dance segue (sorry) to our real topic — the rise of the single, unattached consumer. It’s a trend that’s been building since the sixties... and now it’s reached the tipping point.

Having been in CPG marketing, and primarily working with food brands, for nearly 30 years, there have always been certain constant pivotal drivers in consumer purchasing — the “go-to”s that always drive consumer response. Well, things are changing. In fact, there has been a definitive paradigm shift that all marketers should be paying close attention to.

With new technologies constantly evolving each day, people have become mostly un-phased by some of the recent leaps in media. Take for example, drones: At one point, the idea was a joke, then it became a topic of fear, then ever so slowly, they became integrated into every day life to the point where hardly anyone thinks twice about them. That’s exactly how artificial intelligence (AI) is - and no other new tech is changing the media world quite like it. AI is changing our use of smartphones, social media, and many other aspects of the marketplace.

Marketing research firm, MarketingSherpa asked consumers how they would prefer to receive communications from brands and retailers. For those of us in the ad biz who are lustily embracing every new social/digital media that flies down the WorldWide InterWeb SuperHighway @ us, its insights are surprising. Stunning, even.