Part of the recently held Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) Fall Sales Conference held in Milwaukee, WI from September 8-10, was a presentation from Kevin Ward, sales manager for Food Manufacturing — one of the leading brands in Advantage Business Media’s Manufacturing Group. Attendees included owners, presidents and other key decision makers from throughout the $564 billion food and beverage marketplace.
Although Ward’s presentation, “Media Strategies for Today’s Complicated Market”, was focused on marketing and promotional efforts, it also provided deeper insight into the changing dynamics of communication options amongst food and beverage manufacturing professionals. At the heart of Ward’s presentation was a realization that the growing number of trade shows and conferences, along with ever-expanding electronic and social media options, has produced a complex and crowded communication mix.
Although not a complete list, here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from the presentation:
1.The use of printed magazines as a source for conveying information has not gone away, but is shrinking in usage and priority amongst food and beverage production professionals.
2. 10 years ago, the monthly reach for trade publications topped out at 65,000.
3. Today, Food Manufacturing averages over 900,000 reader interactions via the website, daily newsletters, webinars and print media.
4. Ward was quick to clarify that although print continues to maintain a strong presence in serving readers, approximately 15 percent of magazine circulation has transitioned to a digital format. This is based on the reader choosing to receive the electronic version, as opposed to a traditional printed version. These preferences carry through to reader preferences that have created a spike in website use.
5. Email, multimedia and social platforms will also play a key role in disseminating information as the market’s media and information consumption preferences continue to change. To this end, Ward shared research showing that 75 percent of Food Manufacturing’s readership watch work-related videos on-line. Additionally, Food Manufacturing has seen website traffic from social media increase more than 60 percent year-over-year. Additionally, thanks to a mobile-optimized format, email newsletter engagement continues to improve in terms of unique and total open rates.
As the marketplace continues to deal with many familiar issues ranging from cost controls to equipment downtime to food safety, the manner in which it can effectively and efficiently share best practices and opinions on these topics will continue to evolve. The key for all involved is to ensure the proper mechanisms are in place for responding to these changing communication needs to ensure responsiveness and engagement – whether the focus is on readers, customers or employees.
For a copy of Kevin Ward’s full presentation, click here.