Driving Value Online

Information Is Not Enough

A recent National Grocers Association study confirmed what we already know — 75% of consumers use the Internet on a regular basis to learn about nutrition issues. That’s more than any other source. So, it’s no surprise that nearly every healthy brand has a website, and more and more have a presence on social networking sites. But what kind of value are you getting from this online presence? Perhaps not as much as you think.

Health and wellness is so fundamental to a consumer’s daily life, so personal, that to drive real changes in behavior, marketers must offer more. More information, more inspiration, more ways to integrate the brand into a healthy lifestyle. Quite frequently, a website, a Facebook page, or Twitter account fail to deliver that added value consumers expect. In fact, 78% of consumers are looking for new and reliable sources of online nutrition information.

The emphasis should be on the Internet as a tool to deliver added health and wellness value, not a destination for information alone. Look to incorporate online technologies into your retail and grassroots efforts to expand and enhance the level of health engagement in these offerings. Create an online wellness experience, not a repository of information. Use online elements to deliver meaningful conversations with consumers about the health benefits of your brand, not just “impressions.”

The Internet can be a powerful differentiator for your healthy brand, but only if you recognize that consumers expect more when it comes to health and wellness. Information is not enough, they need context as well.

One Comment

  1. Sean McCosh says:

    Steve –

    Great insights. I agree that CPG brands that offer real healthy-living benefits should find innovative ways to engage consumers online. I have looked extensively at this space and have watched what various brands have done to attempt this. It seems they are slowly learning that to do this well, they shouldn’t be trying to drive engagement on their own brand sites (it doesn’t seem to work), but rather they should build custom experiences in the trusted places where consumers are already going to find health and wellness information and inspiration.

    For example, at SparkPeople we often build custom content destinations and sponsorships for relevant brands. These sponsorships do incredibly well and drive massive engagement for our advertisers. As the most active diet & fitness site on the web (comscore pageviews), SparkPeople is able to transfer our huge user engagement (and user trust) to benefit our sponsors and help them meet or exceed their online marketing objectives.

    Here are a couple of examples of these sponsorships that we are currently running:

    http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/lean-cuisine-without-compromise.asp
    http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/skinny_cow_simple_rewards.asp

    Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your future posts!

    Sean McCosh
    SparkPeople Inc.

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