Jennifer LaFrance’s life is an Old Bay journey.
The director of digital communications for the US Consumer Products Division at McCormick is responsible for content marketing, social and digital programs for the company’s spice and seasoning mixes, including the cherished Old Bay brand.
Last month at the Mid Atlantic Marketing Summit in McLean, VA, LaFrance took the stage to engage and inform attendees with an entertaining overview of how McCormick has leveraged emerging media to connect with consumers. Her Old Bay story begins with three bold (yet achievable) objectives:
1. Be there
2. Give fans a stage
3. Celebrate the community
To meet these benchmarks, McCormick put in place a campaign that relied on customer provided content (i.e. photos, videos, recipes, etc.), leveraging Facebook as the publishing platform. The more than 500,000 likes is a testimony to how beloved this product is by its fans.
The social-oriented campaign was so well received that McCormick re-purposed its content into a television ad to celebrate Old Bay’s 75th anniversary. Amazingly, this was the first time McCormick had ever invested in broadcast media to promote Old Bay.
With a homerun campaign for Old Bay in her portfolio, LaFrance turned her attention to McCormick’s GrillMates product. Although a national brand with a significantly larger promotional budget, GrillMates lacks the iconic status that defines Old Bay.
As a result, McCormick has invested considerable resources in traditional media and advertising promotional activities to encourage consumer engagement and participation in its Grill Mates Facebook page, contests and requests for user provided content.
The results are equally impressive with more than one million likes and a comparable level of content creation by consumers.
Plus, McCormick analyzes user interaction trends and feedback to make decisions about product strategy and promotion.
Now that’s smart thinking by a “seasoned” marketer!