Marketing Dashboard Reports on Key Performance Indicators for 2020-21
The Commission’s Year-End Dashboard report showcases the marketing team’s fiscal year achievements via a series of key performance indicators. It was presented to the California Avocado Board of Directors at their November meeting and the following are report highlights.
The new “the best avocados have California in them” advertising campaign combined with other marketing activities led to big gains in unaided and aided brand awareness and rebounds in consumer perceptions of the premium fruit. The Dashboard Report showed that the Commission garnered nearly 290 million consumer media impressions via its online, social media and offline advertising efforts, including:
- Outdoor advertising with billboards in Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as a BART train wrap in the Bay Area generated more than 9 million impressions
- Audio advertising on the digital Spotify and Pandora music channels secured 2.8 million video views and 32 million impressions
- Digital brand advertising resulted in 153 million impressions and 89 million video views
- Instagram influencers via Social Native showcased California avocado inspired dishes paired with their own stunning photography
- Social-retail advertising was hyper-targeted for participating retailers and included store location data to direct consumers to grocery stores with California avocados (secured 9.3 million video views)
- Season-long advertising across top social platforms earned 5.5 million engagements and 24 million impressions
As the pandemic spread across the nation, the lifestyles of Americans began to noticeably shift due to stay-at-home orders and restrictions placed on retailers and restaurants. The Commission successfully transitioned its media plans to engage with consumers where they were — at home. Hulu, a digital television platform, emerged as the Commission’s best performing media site. YouTube was a standout performer with a 60% increase in subscribers and 11.1 million video views, a 270% increase versus the prior year.
CAC consumer public relations activities in 2020 garnered 956.4 million impressions from media coverage secured with print, broadcast and online media outlets as well as retailer communications. The Commission did alter many of its public relations plans in light of stay-at-home orders, pivoting from in-person events to safe, contactless media events that created momentum during the peak season. The PR team hosted various virtual media dinners in Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento and Seattle for California Avocado Month and its Summer at Home program. The Blogger Advocate program continued, yielding more than 38 million impressions.
While many websites and brands saw steep drops to their unpaid traffic during the pandemic, visits to the Commission’s recipe page grew 36% year over year. As preserving and growing your own foods began trending in the U.S., the “How to Freeze California Avocados” page grew 125% over prior year. Overall, the consumer website had nearly 2.3 million visits, The Scoop blog reported 707,000 visits and visitors spent 5% more time on the site.
Capitalizing on the trust consumers place in retail dietitians and bloggers, the Living Well Brand Advocates program secured 2.2 million impressions. Custom retail programs, including retail dietitian content, garnered 14.2 million digital and traditional media activations.
Throughout the year the Commission worked on creating an online California avocado merchandise shop designed to increase brand awareness and engagement, especially with the social media audience during the off-season. This included developing the business model, designing the website and merchandise, sourcing the products and arranging for product fulfillment. Shop.CaliforniaAvocado.com was launched in September and generated a substantial amount of public relations buzz with a total of 45 million impressions. Due to the volatile situation on social media at the time, CAC delayed promoting the site until late November.
On the retail front, CAC encouraged California avocado sales utilizing customized promotions with participating retailers including Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions, Bristol Farms, Costco, Gelson’s, H.E.B., Hy-Vee, Kroger, Mollie Stone’s, Northwest Grocers, Organically Grown Company (PCC Markets, New Season Market, Newport Stores, Metropolitan Markets), Raley’s/Bel Air/Nob Hill, Sam’s Club, The Fresh Market and Walmart as well as export promotions in South Korea.
The Commission also assisted targeted foodservice chain partners with facing the challenge of COVID protocols that eliminated or limited dine-in service. The programs encouraged diners to enjoy menu items featuring fresh California avocados. The marketing team secured eight new foodservice promotions at Erik’s Delicafe, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, Islands Restaurants, Mixt, Norm’s Restaurants, Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill, Super Duper Burger and Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Del Taco, Flame Broiler, Habit Burger and Rubio’s Coastal Grill, all returning chain partners, also ran California avocado promotions during the season. The team contacted 70 chains, building relations for 2020-21 and beyond.
Digital and print advertising in the retail trade sector resulted in nearly 28.7 million impressions and an additional 2.4 million in the foodservice sector. Retail PR secured 9.9 million positive impressions, with foodservice impressions at 4.9 million, a 700% plus improvement upon the program goal.
Despite challenges presented by a pandemic and social unrest the Commission successfully engaged with consumers by sharing information and messaging that was relevant and sensitive to their changing needs and circumstances. In a similar fashion, CAC adapted its customer promotions to help support retail and foodservice partners during a tumultuous time while simultaneously keeping California avocados top of mind throughout the season.