Digital Marketing

From Farm to Fork, Thanks to Technology

Farm to fork… heritage… organic… these buzz words have been hitting the grocery store shelves in force for years now. Along with this trend, there is a growing desire to understand more about where our food comes from. According to the 2016 Nielsen Global Ingredient and Dining-Out Trends Report:

  • Consumers are adopting a back-to-basics mind-set, focusing on simple ingredients and fewer processed foods. More than half of consumers say they’re avoiding artificial ingredients, hormones or antibiotics, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and bisphenol A (BPA).
  • Seventy-three percent agree that they feel more positively about companies that are transparent about where and how products were made, raised or grown.

A few innovative companies are tapping into this desire to give consumers exactly what they want. That’s great PR from the ground up. Check out what these three trend-setters are doing:

  • SVO’s Farmer Focus Chicken – This chicken has a Farm ID on every single pack. Head to their website, and enter the Farm ID to see the exact farm your chicken came from. Now THAT is farm to fork. The fast-growing

Digital Marketing

The Rise of Digital Products

The author of this Buzz Bin post, Joel Erb, is founder of INM United. Padilla acquired the digital strategy and development firm based in Richmond, Virginia. (From left to right: Joel Erb, Adam Hake, Nishiki Liu, Paul Venuto, Luke Stoutenburg, Matt Crom. Photo by Lee Khleang/Padilla. )

Over the past 19 years that I’ve been in the digital arena at INM United, much has changed. We’ve moved from internet access available by way of “dial-up” modems, to constant access through a device as small as a Pop-Tart in our pockets. With this advancement, so have the demands on how brands harness technology both internally and externally changed.

The corporate website is most certainly still a critical way to engage with our stakeholders. However, with so many “off-the-shelf” solutions available to brands, the role of the digital agency has evolved. It’s shifted to how we can leverage technology to solve complex business problems and how we use technology as not just a marketing tool, but as a critical part of a brand’s success.

Digital products are now an essential part of the technology “toolbox” that must be considered. What is a digital product? They…


What is an Emoji Strategy and How to Build One

Whether you can’t finish an online conversation without at least one emoji, or you find emojis to be a total nuisance, these little pictures can be worth a thousand words. In fact, there are now 2,666 distinct emoji icons (talk about #options), and nearly 92 percent of online consumers now use emojis on a regular basis.

But how and why should your brand use them? And how should they factor into an overall social media strategy? It’s never a one-size-fits-all solution, but this quick guide to emojis will get you started developing a strategy for using them and using them smartly.

The first thing I’ll say is that while emojis can and should be used in a variety of ways, you need to make sure they fit into your brand voice and (most importantly) you need to  make sure you fully understand the context behind what some emojis mean. Ready to cringe? Here are some brand fails you can laugh at and learn from. One of my favorites was this Chevy press release created…


Equipped to Market? How Ready Are You?

At a recent conference attended by a client’s partner companies, I co-presented with a client on a topic containing the same title as this post. We received comments like, “Geez, you’re scaring me,” “We’re in better shape than I would’ve guessed,” and “We’ve got some work to do !” All-in-all, it was a highly attended and very well-received topic.

One of the highlights of the session was our Marketing Readiness Quiz. How you score on the quiz helps determine how equipped you or your company are to tackle marketing for your brand.

Many of our session attendees told us they plan to take the results of their self-assessment to company leadership as a means to help build the case for more marketing resources. (You’ll have the opportunity shortly to take the quiz yourself!)

We also shared a few somewhat scary stats – or encouraging ones, for you optimists – about marketing in today’s environment; I call it the “holy crap factor.” So… if you need help building the case for marketing, maybe some of these stats will help you:

Digital Marketing

The Golden Triangle – and Golden Rules – of Health Care Social Media

Colon Cancer Awareness Month (every March) has goals like any other health observance: to increase awareness, change behavior, and raise funds to find a cure.

So why is it that Mayo Clinic chose this particular health observance for its pioneering efforts in social media?

For the answers, I talked to Lee Aase, Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Padilla has worked extensively with Mayo Clinic on initiatives like this to broadly share Mayo’s world-leading expertise – and influence – in research, education and patient care.

The culture of medicine in the first place is that you share what you know for the benefit of patients everywhere,” said Aase. “This was a prime opportunity to do that.”

Lee Aase, Director of Mayo Clinic Social Media Network; courtesty Mayo Clinic

Lee Aase, Director of Mayo Clinic Social Media Network

The “pitch” to join a cause

In 2014, one of Mayo’s physician leaders – gastroenterologist Dr. Paul Limburg – asked Mayo’s Public Affairs team to collaborate with Fight Colorectal Cancer, a leading national colorectal cancer nonprofit for which he served on the scientific advisory board, to promote screening for colorectal cancer.


Digital Marketing

Social Media Week: 5 Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss

Pinterest, Facebook, BuzzFeed, Refinery29… even The New York Times joined Social Media Week this month to discuss the latest and greatest in the industry. Lucky for you, there’s no need to sit through a week or even a session. Keep reading for a handful of overarching takeaways. Caution: you may even want to share them.


Source: Refinery29

This shouldn’t surprise you. Noted by Facebook’s Michelle Klein in her session, “90% of the information processed by your brain is visual.” So next time you spend the bulk of the time on your social caption, consider spending it on your visual, video, or GIF. It matters more than ever.


By no means am I saying to abandon Snapchat. Not at all. What I’m noting is the general conversation at Social Media Week was not dominated by Snapchat and brands jumping on the platform. The bulk of the conversation around Snapchat was on how marketers were weary to invest heavy advertising spend on the platform since there’s still a ways to go in terms of quantifying results.

Digital Marketing

Health Trend: Young Adults Are Saying No to Smoking

A recent BBC article revealed that smoking is down among all age groups in the U.K. The study, conducted by the Office of National Statistics, shows the largest decrease was among 18- to 24-year-olds. Smoking declined from 25.8 percent in 2010 to 20 percent in 2015 among that age group.

The data suggests one reason for the decsmoking-737057_1920rease is that youth and teens aren’t picking up the habit in the first place. Seventy percent of 16- to 24-year-olds have never started smoking cigarettes – up from 46 percent in 1974, when records began.

The CDC says it’s seeing the same trend in the U.S.

So, what’s causing them to say no to smoking? George Butterworth, from Cancer Research UK, says it’s a combination of government-funded services, smoking bans and mass media campaigns.

Let’s take a look at three tobacco prevention campaigns that seem to be having an impact.

The Real Cost Seeks to Prevent Youth-Aged Smoking

In 2014, the FDA launched the first federally funded U.S. youth tobacco education campaign, The Real Cost. The campaign has two goals – educate about the harmful effects of tobacco and reduce the number of youth ages 12-17 who…

Digital Marketing

The Digital Health Care Consumer: 5 Insights for Hospital Communicators


I was pleased to see one of the conclusions drawn by Deloitte, based on its 2016 survey of consumer health care priorities. In their report, they made the spot-on observation that “scaling technology and designing digital for health consumers must be more than a digitization of current state processes.”

Defining what consumers want from their health care experience isn’t all that complicated. They want access to affordable health care, and they want a personalized experience. Can I get the health care I need when I need it? How much will it cost me? Do they know me and understand what I need?

Delivering on it is another matter. We know that smartphones, social media and online retailers are shaping consumer expectations when it comes to their health experience. So what implications does that have for health care providers? More specifically, how should consumer preferences impact how providers are showing up online, and the digital experience consumers are having with them?

Having spent the first 15 years of my career working for hospitals and health systems, I have some of my own ideas. But I wanted to shape my thinking through the lens…

Digital Marketing

The Evolution of Social Investment: What’s Happened and What’s Ahead?

The only constant in social media is change. 

Yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard that before but it’s even more relevant when it comes to the level of investment required year-over-year. It’s becoming harder for brands to not only become disruptive, but to also set realistic goals with rising advertising costs on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Distributing content to fans has never been more difficult.

Fast company

Source: Fast Company

As we head into New York Social Media Week, I’ve started pondering on this topic since I expect (and can’t wait to see) a handful of innovative, effective campaigns that cost a pretty penny. And I don’t just mean production cost, but more so distribution cost. It’s the cost of getting your content in front of fans that has really changed — almost overnight (I’m kidding, but it’s been pretty quick). There’s just so many more brands in the marketplace in terms of social advertising — whether they’re just boosting top performing posts or putting a huge spend behind their latest piece of video content.

So how did we get here and what’s next?

Let’s take a quick look back. As social marketers,…

Consumer Marketing

Sponsored Content: The way to a Consumer’s Eyeballs

Sponsored-Content-297x300It’s no secret that social media and websites like BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and Mashable have changed the way we consume news. Sites like these initially honed in on millennials and the way we consume content to provide concise, digestible digital content catered to our short attention spans. (Of course, now everyone else has jumped on the bandwagon, considering Boomers spend at least 20 hours more per week consuming online content than Millennials and Gen-Xers, but I digress…)

This week, NBC News decided to throw its hat into the ring with the launch of Better, a wellness vertical devoted to helping readers improve their lives. The outlet hopes to stand out from other wellness publications by focusing not only on health and wellness, but taking a holistic approach on how to better oneself.

While NBC News is known for its hard news content, this is actually the outlet’s second unveiling of a completely revamped strategy highlighting a specific, topic-based approach – hoping to land itself somewhere in between Mashable and Vox. Its science and tech site, Mach, launched in November, and NBC plans to launch Think, a vertical…