Reynolds Consumer Products signed a 2-year deal with Meredith, under which the food- and home-focused publisher will develop upper-funnel and lower-funnel content for Reynolds’ brands, including Reynolds Wrap and Hefty.
Upper-funnel content will feature tips for entertaining or cooking designed to inspire or drive awareness, said Meredith SVP Marc Rothschild. The publisher's 2015 acquisition of Selectable Media, a native ad unit company, will help drive discovery of those units.
Lower-funnel content will be largely mobile and shopper marketing, powered by Meredith’s acquisition of shopper marketing platform Grocery Server last year. When consumers look up a relevant recipe, they will see a native ad suggesting a Reynolds product.
Using content to drive conversions, not just awareness, is new for Reynolds. “We are very much in a ‘test-and-learn’ mode with mobile shopper marketing,” said Reynolds marketing VP Lisa Burns.
To determine how well these units are converting, Meredith partnered with Nielsen to measure the sales lift that comes from its mobile shopper marketing units. Nielsen supplies these figures one month after the ad runs, allowing for optimization within the campaign, Rothschild said. Reynolds will also track impact via in-store conversions.
Across the whole campaign, Reynolds will monitor engagement, reach and impressions. Down the road, it wants to look at how this content drives brand perception and loyalty.
The deal comes at a time when more brands are leaning on content initiatives to capture consumers’ slippery attention spans.
Being a content producer gives Reynolds “full control over the product message” and an opportunity to create its own “brand personality,” Burns said.
But Reynolds values media companies like Meredith for the “third-party credibility that comes with the publisher’s name” and their “efficient production capabilities and expertise in what consumers want to see," she added. There’s room for brands to both be publishers and partner with publishers.
Even as content marketing grows, brands are realizing that such initiatives are not always scalable.
Reynolds says its philosophy is to make “strong investments with key partners [that] naturally fit our style and target [audience],” Burns said.
Meredith’s Rothschild puts it this way: “You are seeing advertisers consolidate budgets in the hands of people who can move the needle for them."