[Video]: Accelerating Sales with Shopper Marketing

The daily pressure on CMOs to move their business forward is real, intense and not going away. The challenge to improve media effectiveness, develop a better strategy and grow the brand is a daunting one, but with the help of a partner like Mindstream Media Group, it can be overcome and even celebrated.

So how do we help our clients accelerate sales and grow?

In this episode of Fast-Forward the Conversation, Marie Zanderson, Director of Digital Media, discusses how our unique perspective framed a different strategy for shopper marketing techniques to elevate a CPG brand beyond the high tide of the COVID-19 cleanliness craze. View the case study here.


Catch the Highlights

  • The client was working with another media partner placing broad, national digital advertising. This created an opportunity for us to showcase the true efficacy of the media and answer the question, “Is my media working?” We redirected the strategy by creating a contained, controlled environment that allowed us to measure what their media was driving and how it was being received by consumers. We selected several specific DMAs on which to focus media delivery, to be able to measure against unexposed markets and see what happened in those areas.
  • This is one of our favorite case studies now in terms of measurable lift. We had an A market, a B market and a control market and tested different partnerships to find the ratchet that would increase sales. By the end of Q4, we had some really great momentum going into the first quarter. We were looking forward to spring cleaning, which is like their typical “holiday season” in terms of sales.
  • The first step in the progression path from Q4 into Q1 2020 was to expand the number of test markets. In Q4, we were testing 25 DMAs, and in Q1 2020, that was expanded to 50. By the time we reached their peak season (spring cleaning) we had already grown their footprint into more markets. We were able to measure the impact of spring cleaning and the impact of expanding to more DMAs. We were stretching the budget a little thinner, but reaching more DMAs was still effective.
  • COVID was like a high tide that raised all ships for cleaning products, but we used shopper marketing techniques with prime retailers including Target, Home Depot, Kroger and Wal-Mart as an accelerator. Typically, we work with retailers in a managed service capacity. The retailer develops and runs the campaign then provides reporting 6 weeks after it ends – kind of a black box. But in this instance, the retailer’s shopper team came to us for help distilling the performance. They now have portals that allow our media managers to run the campaigns. We manage the media on some direct shopper sites and allow the retailers to continue to manage others. This was a big win because it allowed us to use their product knowledge to increase bids, look at audience segments and extrapolate second party data into our display DSPs.
  • Due to increased demand for the client’s product as a result of COVID, it was out of stock for a period of time. But by managing the campaign ourselves, we were able to time our efforts to correspond with when the product was back on the shelves. Not only did we see a slow uptick when COVID hit, but we saw a giant spike when the in-house shopper program was added.
  • We’ve been able to sustain these efforts at a very positive return on ad spend (ROAS). It’s still trending/aggregating at 500 percent ROAS thanks to our team’s ability to manage the campaign and bump up when applicable and dial back as well when needed.


See the next episode, Utilizing Data to Gain Efficiencies and Uncover Opportunities.

[Case Study]: GoWireless Partners with Mindstream, Boosts In-store Sales with Facebook Offers

Mindstream Media Group used Facebook Offer Ads to drive in-store sales over the holiday season for one of the top national wireless retailers, resulting in a 65 percent lower cost per in-store sale compared to link ads.


With more than 700 stores across the U.S., our client, GoWireless, is a Verizon Wireless authorized retailer, selling smartphones and other mobile devices, like tablet computers and wireless headphones, as well as pay-as-you-go and monthly service plans from the leading wireless network.

For its holiday campaign, GoWireless partnered with our team of experts to develop two campaigns: one that encouraged people to download a coupon from a branded landing page, and another to encourage people to purchase a new phone or wireless service plan using offer ads.


2.4 billion people use Facebook every month

Related article: 3 Sure-Fire Reasons Why Multi-Unit Brands Need Facebook Advertising


  • Generate new leads at an improved CPA
  • Multiply in-store wireless sales
  • Increase sales for leading national network provider devices and service plans
  • Encourage people to claim a Facebook offer from the retailer over the holiday season


We worked diligently to create a connected experience across platforms and social networks. In addition to recommending platforms that had a strong brand presence, we also identified which platforms the audience cared about and was already active on to inform our strategies. Refined audience awareness and dynamic audience engagement were used to tap into existing conversations and shape new ones.

Facebook Offers for GoWireless

Facebook offer ads reach audiences through multiple touchpoints and create a more seamless mobile experience for the user, allowing them to claim promotions with the click of a button to:

  • Bookmark the offer on Facebook
  • Receive an email copy of the offer
  • Get notified when they’re near a GoWireless store or when the offer is about to expire

Analyzing and delivering against measurable KPIs allowed us to leverage audience insights to increase campaign efficiency and performance. Best-in-class specifications and methods to boost the potential for awareness and retention were also implemented to deliver ads in the most advantageous format possible.


The dynamic retargeting capabilities of the social platform allowed us to capitalize on audiences who were already engaged and willing to take action. Focusing on the real metrics that make a difference, we expanded our client’s audience to include like-minded users while certifying viewability of ads across all devices. This resulted in ads that connected with consumers in a meaningful way and made a real impact for the client. 

The advanced targeting capabilities and engagement features of Facebook Offer Ads proved to be a great way to drive in-store traffic during the holiday season and promote mobile deals.

“We saw tremendous improvements this holiday quarter, especially for our Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s initiatives. The quality of traffic from holiday in-store sales proved to be much higher than any other digital media partner’s performance that we’ve worked with before, and as a result, we saw our holiday Q4 efforts producing significant ROI.”

The campaign was a huge success – more than 45,000 offers were claimed during the two-month campaign and our client reduced their cost per in-store sale by 65 percent compared to link ads.

45000 offers claimed; 10x more offer claims


Want to learn more about how paid social media advertising can help boost sales for your business? Contact us today.


Second Screen Advertising: Friend or Foe?

For nearly a decade, marketers have been talking about the effect of the second screen on media consumption and advertising. As is often the case with change, fear hit early, and doubt was cast on the consumer’s ability to engage with primary content funded by ad dollars, and second screens were largely seen as distractions. But before long, marketers began to see the opportunities ahead and started weaving multi-screen strategy into media plans. Success varied as waters were tested. As consumption and channels continuously evolved, so too did the media plans with increasing return.

The question persists: is the second screen friend or foe to advertisers?

Before we go on, let’s acknowledge a technicality– your first screen may not be my first screen. The average 18- to 24-year-old spends almost two hours more than older adults streaming video on smartphones, including television content. For the sake of simplicity though, assume first screen here is television.


How Consumers See the Second Screen

First, take a look at the consumer experience with second screens. Second screen engagement is practically a given as audiences “sometimes” or “always” have a smartphone or tablet in-hand 73 percent of the time they’re in front of a TV, according to Nielsen’s 2018 Total Audience Report. Not exactly a shocking statistic, but what are consumers doing with multi-screen use?

Consuming Related Organic Content.Over 70 percent of multi-screen users are engaging in content related to programming. They’re solving their own trivia questions by searching online for things like:

  • Sports statistics and bios during games
  • Actors, filming locations, past seasons and show spoilers
  • Music artists, fashion and style or product influencers

Socializing. How can you NOT talk about the final episode of The Bachelor on social media or by texting and emailing friends? Forty-one percent of second screen users report talking about their shows like this. Plus, second (and even third) screens put audiences in the moment as they take to social media to give their opinions and share related content. According to Facebook, half of sports fans say they use social media or message friends when second screening during events.

Engaging with Paid Ads, Apps and Other Content. Just ask Super Bowl advertisers–enough audience mass, hype and creative paid content will draw attention. Campaigns running during other key sporting events, like the World Cup, March Madness, World Series and Olympics, have seen tremendous audience engagement. (ICYMI, throw back to our blog, Sports and the Second Screen, for more on this.)

Literally Anything Else. Work, homework, paying bills, etc. will likely always distract audiences from paid programming and advertising to varying degrees.


How Advertisers Can Profit from Second Screens

Not every advertiser has a Super Bowl-sized budget to create and place multi-channel content in front of record-breaking audiences. Most don’t; we get it. But you can still develop profitable strategies for multi-screen consumers that create greater brand awareness and generate online and offline sales.

Think Holistically. Cross-platform planning for television, online advertising and owned media deliver extended reach, greater frequency and compounded performance. This means brands may need to bring multiple in-house marketers and agencies together to ensure cohesion of goals and tactics. For example, Mindstream Media Group commonly includes our traditional and digital strategists in client planning and optimization discussions, and we work closely with other creative and general agencies to activate holistic strategies.

Act Precisely. Imprecise, mass marketing will kill your budget and underperform. So, while you need to consider holistic strategy, that doesn’t mean paint with a broad brush. According to Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, only 30 percent of survey respondents think professionals in their organizations are “very knowledgeable” about viewing trends and related advertising needs. So, get with your agency, and be generous with your customer data, consumer targeting and intent for lookalike audiences. Pinpoint accuracy on buying journeys and viewing habits tied to content relevancy are key to efficiently and effectively allowing one screen’s marketing to play off another.


Ongoing Advertiser Opportunities

The complexity of video across screens and channels continues. With it, comes the opportunity for marketers to exploit remarkably finite data points to predict and personalize the ad experience.

Want to get the most out of second screen ad strategies? Contact Mindstream Media Group to learn how we can help. 

[2017 Recap] Top 10 Digital Marketing and Advertising Trends for Local Brands

Even by digital media’s standards, 2017 was an eventful year. Buzzwords like “artificial intelligence,” “machine learning,” “internet of things” and “predictive analytics” were further cemented into the lexicon of digital advertising. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality regulations. Google and Facebook weathered a string of controversies while still retaining their duopoly status in the industry. And, up-and-coming players like Amazon and Snapchat further diversified the media landscape.

Now that 2017 is behind us, we wanted to look back at the hectic year that was. You might be thinking “great, another obligatory recap of annual trends.” Which is fair. This time of the year there’s no shortage of these articles. But, we also wanted to do something more than just swap out a few bullet points from last year’s list (which is definitely worth the read if you have a few minutes).

For this year’s edition, we decided to look at the trends that have had the most impact on local advertisers like you – those working with SMBs and multi-location brands. Along with an overview of each trend, we’ve also provided some tips on how you can use the information to improve your marketing efforts in 2018. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list.

Consumers expect search results to be customized for their location

Consumers used to rely on geo-modifiers when searching for local businesses (e.g., “restaurants in [city]” or “restaurants near me”). However, this practice has fallen out of favor over the past couple of years.


local searches without "near me" are increasing as users expect Google to know when a search has local intent

While some searchers still add modifiers, the declining use of qualifiers like ZIP codes, neighborhoods and “near me” indicates that users now expect Google to understand when a search has local intent and automatically deliver localized results.

Related: “Near me” Searches on Google are Declining

What this means for local advertisers:

If consumers are expecting local information, brands need to deliver. This means your brand should focus on distributing location-specific information with a holistic marketing strategy that includes local listings, paid search campaigns, display ads, social media campaigns (paid and organic), content marketing and other localized efforts.

Consumers prefer nearby businesses

A recent study from Access found that the proximity of a business is a significant factor for consumers. More than 90 percent of consumers typically travel less than 20 minutes for everyday purchases. For certain purchases, the distance consumers are willing to travel is even less.

What this means for local advertisers:

Leverage targeting methods that prioritize nearby consumers and deliver customized messaging. For example, Google AdWords allows you to set location bid adjustments to show ads more or less frequently depending on the searcher’s location.

Proximity is becoming more important for Google

In a related shift, Google is prioritizing businesses closest to the searcher when determining rankings in search results. The 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey from Moz found that the proximity of a business’ address to the point of the search was the most important ranking signal for Google’s local pack results.

ranking factors for Google's map results

But, proximity isn’t necessarily a good thing for brands or search results. As Darren Shaw, the founder of Whitespark and author of the Moz study, noted, “this leads to poor results in most categories. I’m looking for the best lawyer in town, not the closest one. Hopefully, we see the dial get turned down on this in the near future.”

What this means for local advertisers:

The bad news: it’s tough to control how close your business is to a searcher. The good news: there are plenty of other ranking factors your brand can influence. According to Shaw, “businesses with higher relevancy and prominence will rank in a wider radius around their business and take a larger percentage of the local search pie. There’s still plenty to be gained from investing in local search strategies.”

There’s more customer data available than ever before

Data is the fuel that powers marketing campaigns and local advertisers have traditionally been at a disadvantage compared to larger brands in terms of collecting and using it. But, thanks to the ever-increasing number of connected devices, there’s more data available than ever before and it’s becoming easier for any brand to collect it.

Source: Cisco

What this means for local advertisers:

This could be huge for local advertisers. “Better data resulting in better targeting means that local businesses experience lower costs, higher conversion rates and greater ROI. And while targeting is not a new strategy, what’s new is the access to and quality of data,” Wesley Young of the Local Search Association said in a recent article for Search Engine Land.

Advertisers are taking online-to-offline attribution models to the next level

Beyond targeting, data plays a critical role in connecting consumers’ online and offline actions. Here’s what eMarketer had to say about the evolution of how local advertisers have used online-to-offline data:

In its early days, location data was used to target ads in real time for people in a specific place – for instance, in a competitor’s store. More sophisticated mobile advertisers soon discovered that the real gold in location data was in patterns of movement over time, which could help them better understand their customers. Better behavioral data enriched with location data led to richer audience segmentation. That is, if you go to a golf course every Saturday, odds are you’re someone who might be interested in golf clubs.

What this means for local advertisers:

If you’re not already, go beyond targeting and tracking offline actions by using data to help you understand your target consumers’ behavior, predict their needs/wants and deliver customized ads at the right times.

Voice search is here to stay

Voice-enabled assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home have experienced a rapid ascent over the past few years. eMarketer estimates the number of voice-enabled digital assistant users will reach 69 million next year (a 14 percent increase), while the number of voice-enabled speaker users will hit 45 million (a 28 percent increase). These devices, along with smartphones, have been a major driver in the overall popularity of voice search.

This transition from text to voice search has had a significant impact on local businesses. A poll from the J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group and Mindshare Futures looked at how smartphone owners used voice-enabled technology. The study found that 58 percent used the technology to find local businesses and 52 percent used it to find information on local businesses.

What this means for local advertisers:

According to eMarketer:

With more internet users relying on voice to search – and often not relying on a screen to view results – marketers will have to adjust their search engine optimization (SEO) and content strategies to match. That will mean content that fits in with the conversational language used in voice queries. It may also mean that for many search users, only the first result will matter as search engines and e-commerce sites look to serve voice searchers with “the” answer rather than a set of options.

Facebook is becoming a major player in local search

Search engines still dominate the local search game, but consumers use a variety of other resources too. The Local Search Association (LSA) released a study looking at how consumers find local business information online. The study found that nearly half the respondents used social networks to find local business information.

Facebook seems set to improve that number and has taken major steps to compete with Google in local search. Check out this piece from Search Engine Land for more coverage on these changes.

What this means for local advertisers:

There are a variety of actions local advertisers can take right away to optimize their presence on Facebook:

  • Make sure to claim and optimize local profiles for each one of your locations
  • Stay active and post regular content to help you connect and engage with your followers
  • Test out Facebook ads to help grow your presence and drive conversions

There’s likely to be more changes in the future as well. Here’s some advice from the Search Engine Land article mentioned above:

Facebook is making significant strides in local search, particularly in melding social media data with local search results. This may be enough to start turning the tide toward making it a major local search player as users discover and enjoy the search experience. Keep an eye out for even more developments, as Facebook’s unique data set will continue to allow it to provide more targeted and customized results. Will we see Facebook AdWords or Facebook SEO any time soon? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Amazon is becoming a digital advertising powerhouse

Amazon was the second-fastest-growing major digital ad firm in 2017. eMarketer expects Amazon’s U.S. digital ad revenues to increase even more in 2018 – experiencing a 42 percent bump to reach $2.35 billion. Currently, Amazon is the fifth-largest digital ad firm in the country and owns 2.5 percent of the U.S. digital ad market.

According to eMarketer:

Amazon’s rising importance as an ad platform is a function of its strength in both search and display. On the search side, marketplace sellers and brands with an Amazon presence are pouring more money than ever into what they consider highly effective cost-per-click (CPC) placements that ensure products on the retail platform get consumers’ attention. On the display side, the Amazon Advertising Platform has quickly emerged as one of the top demand-side platforms (DSPs) in the US, thanks to targeting capabilities that allow marketers to zero in on internet users based on their Amazon searching, browsing and buying histories.

What this means for local advertisers:

Amazon’s wealth of data can help local advertisers hone in on the most relevant consumers. If you haven’t already, it may be time to consider adding Amazon’s ad platform to your marketing mix.

The popularity of digital video continued to rise… and rise… and rise some more

Digital video has been on the rise for years and it just kept on going in 2017. According to eMarketer, time spent with mobile video (which excludes time spent with video on social networks) has steadily increased year-over-year, while time spent with video on a desktop or laptop has remained consistent despite drops in other activities on those devices.

Average time spent per day with major media by U.S. adults

Another force behind the rise in digital video is over-the-top (OTT) services and connected TVs. These platforms already have substantial user bases and eMarketer expects both to continue growing.

U.S. OTT video service users and connected TV users

What this means for local advertisers:

Digital video campaigns are a powerful tool that any local advertiser can (and should) use to connect with nearby consumers. For multi-location advertisers, you can maximize digital video campaigns by running creative that’s customized for each location and drives viewers to specific landing pages.

Local assets matter more than brand assets

To extend on the last point about localized video creative, it’s becoming increasingly important for multi-location brands to develop customized advertising and marketing assets for each location. A recent study from LSA found that the majority of consumer engagement comes from local assets (e.g., local listings on Google, Facebook Local Pages, local landing pages, etc.) when both brand and location specific-assets exist.

What this means for local advertisers:

It’s important that local businesses and multi-location brands build out location-specific assets and launch scalable advertising campaigns customized for each branch. This type of scale isn’t always easy, but it provides consumers with the most direct path to conversion.

Need help building scalable local marketing campaigns, contact Mindstream Media Group.

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4 Ways Repealing Net Neutrality Could Impact Local Advertisers

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) voted last week to repeal net neutrality regulations. In 2015, the FCC passed the net neutrality mandate classifying internet service providers (ISPs) as “common carriers,” which required them to treat all internet traffic equally. This latest decision reversed that by classifying ISPs as “information services” which means they can block even lawful content (blocking), slow down specific services (throttling) and speed up service for businesses that pay more (paid prioritization).

In the time between the two votes, the topic of net neutrality went from relative obscurity to an all-out donnybrook pitting ISPs against a coalition of various groups backed by bipartisan public opposition.

To read how these changes can impact local advertisers, check out the full post on LSA Insider.

[Guide]: 3 Strategies to Help Multi-location Brands Connect with Local Consumers

From our Digital Marketing Playbook series: A roadmap to help brands reach their target audiences anytime, anywhere.

As a multi-location brand marketer, you know about the unique challenges your business faces when it comes to identifying and reaching target audiences. Not only do you have to define target audiences by demographics, behavior and intent like any other brand, you also need to refine that audience to consumers within a set radius from your locations.

This playbook was designed to help multi-location brand marketers develop cohesive marketing strategies that connect with target audiences and drive results at the local level.

What you can expect to learn from this playbook:

  • How the buying journey has changed for multi-location brands’ customers
  • Three local marketing strategies multi-location brands should be leveraging
  • How to determine the right media mix for your multi-location brand

3 Strategies to Help Multi-Location Brands Connect With Local Consumers




Contact Mindstream Media Group to learn how our digital marketing solutions can help your multi-location brand connect with local consumers.