McCormick Continues to Pursue Its Online Presence

Stephen DeAngelis

August 7, 2014

McCormick & Company® is constantly “pushing to raise the art, science and passion of flavor to a higher level — and improving the universal experience of eating.” As one of the leading innovators in the food industry, McCormick also understands that all of its research into flavors and food products would be for naught if that research didn’t eventually end up on someone’s plate in the form of a delicious meal. I’m proud to say that McCormick & Company continues to work with my company, Enterra Solutions®, in its efforts to bring the best tasting food to the world’s dining tables. McCormick executives not only keep up with the latest food trends they are well aware of the latest marketing trends as well. Last year I wrote about how McCormick teamed with the digital marketing agency R/GA to increase its online presence. “When R/GA took on the McCormick spices account in 2011, the brand was getting just 12 percent of the category’s unique visitors, with rivals outspending it four to one. Now McCormick has grown its share to 25 percent, and with a minimal increase in the media spend.” [“Three Brands That Used Data to Transform Their Media Strategies,” by Noreen O’Leary (@NoreenOLeary), Adweek, 25 March 2013] When asked, “What closed that gap?” Tony Effik (@aeffik), managing director of media and connections at R/GA stated, “Creating efficiencies through the use data.” O’Leary continued:

“We all know consumers have never been so digitally connected, generating a limitless amount of data as they click, search and scan throughout each day. So it’s no wonder Big Data dominates the conversation in an industry where almost everything can now be empirically validated, brands have the ability to connect cross-channel marketing with buying behavior, and corporate financial execs are more involved in the marketing process than ever before.”

The industry to which O’Leary refers is the advertising industry not the spice industry. And it’s not really big data that is dominating the conversation it’s the actionable insights that can be gained through the analysis of that data that has captured executives’ attention. The next project that McCormick undertook to bolster its online presence was the one that involved my company. McCormick worked with Enterra® to create a personalized way to use big data to increase consumers’ eating enjoyment. The program is called FlavorPrint™. The cover story for the November 2013 issue of CGT Magazine discusses how McCormick’s FlavorPrint program is inspiring consumers. The article also mentions that Enterra Solutions is one of McCormick’s partners that helps make FlavorPrints possible. Written by Alliston Ackerman, the article entitled “McCormick Leaves a Mark on Consumers,” states: “The concept for FlavorPrint emerged as the culmination of many good ideas from across the organization at a time when McCormick was looking for opportunities to innovate in the digital space. It’s subsequent development was the result of close collaboration between internal teams — from information technology to marketing, sensory, test kitchens and sales — and external resources, like R/GA, its digital agency of record, and Enterra Solutions, LLC, a cloud-based, intelligent supply chain technology company.” The following video explains how you can use Big Data to give you big flavors.

 

 

You can sign up to get our own FlavorPrint by clicking on this link. As the website states, “Because flavor is at the heart of every meal, your FlavorPrint recommendations are powered by the flavors you love. The more you share, the smarter your recommendations become. So you can look less, cook more.”

 

Earlier this year, McCormick took another step to enhance its support of the consumer’s digital path to purchase. Chantal Tode reports, “McCormick & Co.’s Zatarain’s claims to be the first consumer packaged goods brand leveraging beacon technology to engage directly with shoppers while they are inside a retail location. The in-app beacon campaign enables shoppers to receive grocery list reminders and loyalty points from the food and spice brand on their mobile phones. The effort is launching in southern California retail locations, with plans to expand nationally.” [“Zatarain’s is first CPG brand to leverage beacons in-store,” Mobile Marketer, 2 April 2014] According to Tode, “Zatarain’s worked with inMarket and agency partner Peter Mayer on the program.” Todd Dipaola, CEO and co-founder of inMarket, told Tode, “Our ‘Mobile to Mortar’ platform creates a ‘mobile concierge’ for shoppers improving their in-store experience with America’s favorite shopping apps. When consumers walk into a store, they get a helpful reminder from their favorite app in the context of the store, coupled with special content from Zatarain’s.” Tode reports, “Beacons burst on the scene last year as a way to leverage the Bluetooth technology embedded in most smartphones to enable marketers to communicate with consumers at the hyperlocal level, for example by sending them coupon for diapers when they are in the baby care aisle.”

 

McCormick’s latest venture in the digital path to purchase space also involves its Zatarain’s brand. Mark Hamstra (@MarkHamstra) reports, “McCormick & Co. is sponsoring the launch of the Food.com app, the latest and most comprehensive meal-planning platform from Scripps Networks Interactive.” [“McCormick serves up recipes through new Food.com app,” Mobile Marketer, 9 July 2014] He continues:

“The new app delivers access to Food.com’s library of 500,000 recipes, enables in-depth mean-planning functionality and serves location-based grocery offers from brand partners. It also marks another first-mover foray into mobile marketing for McCormick, a food and seasonings marketer that has been a leader in location-based marketing through its Zatarain’s brand. … The new Food.com app allows users to search and save recipes in a custom recipe box, build shopping lists and search for items on sale at local stores. Local grocers’ weekly circulars are served through the location-based capabilities, giving users the ability to browse for deals from within the app and see sale items in the context of their shopping lists. … McCormick’s case, the company’s recipes are integrated in different ways within the app, and the marketer also has traditional ads in the mix.”

Ann Lundberg, senior vice president of food and cooking at Scripps, told Hamstra, “[McCormick has] a combination of approaches to the consumer. Because we are in launch mode, we are in test mode with McCormick. They are open to a lot of different approaches, which is what made them a wonderful launch partner. … Ultimately the vision of this is that [it] is going to get the consumer from the inspiration at home right to the action — the moment of truth at the shelf. McCormick is very forward-leaning in testing those types of capabilities.” Hamstra concludes, “McCormick is seeking to remain top of mind for consumers from the early planning stages of meal preparation through the point of sale.” Mobile technologies are beginning to dominate the digital path to purchase and McCormick executives want to ensure that their company remains at the forefront of innovative ways to reach consumers.