This Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2016, spring edition.
The Australian Macadamias marketing program began the new financial year in earnest with the launch of fresh consumer marketing plans both domestically and in the core export markets of Japan, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and China.
The year ahead will see the continuation of the mission to share the multi-layered macadamia story with as many consumers as possible, in ever more innovative and exciting ways, while supporting the marketing activities of key trade partners.
The August to October period has delivered a host of highlights…
Social media bootcamp
In early September, Australian Macadamias hosted its inaugural social media bootcamp, bringing together marketing agency delegates from six countries for an intensive three-day ‘paddock-to-plate’ macadamia immersion.
Led by the Australian marketing team, the program was action-packed and showed agency staff in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China and Germany every aspect of the macadamia industry in the Byron Bay growing region. Highlights included high tea in a macadamia orchard, a half-day content pillars workshop, macadamia farmer ‘speed dating’ and a food photography and styling workshop.
The innovative event was created to significantly improve the quality and consistency of messaging across all core markets. The knowledge shared will also form the basis of the upcoming Australian Macadamias Social Media Playbook that will guide the ongoing creation and curation of social media content to promote Australian-grown macadamias to consumers globally.
The bootcamp cultivated a significantly deeper understanding of the product and industry among those who are representing the Australian Macadamias brand in core markets. This will ultimately deliver a more compelling story to consumers to drive awareness and demand for Australian-grown macadamias. The event also attracted impressive media coverage, with national TV coverage on the ABC’s Landline, plus ABC Radio coverage and multiple online news pieces.
2016 Sample Food Festival
The taste and versatility of Aussie macadamias were on display in early September at the Sample Food Festival, the Northern Rivers’ largest food event. Around 17,000 people flocked to the Bangalow Showground to experience a taste of the best food and wine from northern New South Wales, while enjoying live entertainment and cooking demonstrations.
As part of a commitment to supporting food events in each of the major Australian macadamia growing regions, Australian Macadamias was a proud sponsor of the event for the fifth consecutive year. The sponsorship was leveraged extensively on social media, reaching almost 100,000 people.
By sharing highlights of the event on social media, Australian fans were shown the innovative ways chefs and producers are using macadamias. Twitter and Instagram were used to share live content, while pre- and post event updates were shared on Facebook.
Almost 40kg of fresh macadamias were supplied and featured in six cooking demonstrations and a mystery box challenge on the centre stage, and were included in two dishes at the Friday formal, and seven restaurant tasting plates. An Australian Macadamias cooking demonstration was also staged, led by guest chef Kate Walsh, who showed the crowd how to make macadamia milk and macadamia chocolate spread.
This year a #AusMacadamias Instameet was hosted for the first time at the event, where local Instagrammers were invited to meet with other Instagrammers and guest chefs in person. In addition to driving Instagram activity, this generated some fantastic coverage in local media and blogs.
Consumer insights: ‘Sharing the Macadamia Moment’
This year the rich cache of data that the Australian Macadamias global Facebook communities represent has been extensively mined in order to create an up-to-the-minute picture of who these fans are and the sentiments and habits that exist among the group.
The third instalment of the Facebook insights infographic series was released in September. Having explored the typical macadamia Facebook fan and their favourite Macadamia Moments, this was taken a step further to discover who they would most like to share their Macadamia Moment with.
The results produced an insightful and diverse international comparison. Australian fans prefer to share their Macadamia Moment with their partner while in Taiwan, it’s their best friend. South Korean fans are most likely to share with their mother, and Japanese and German fans prefer not to share their macadamias at all!
Japan and Korea consumer research findings released
Results of the two latest Australian Macadamias research studies were released this quarter, with the 2016 Japan and South Korea consumer benchmarking research unearthing a host of positive findings.
The Japan study revealed that Australian Macadamias brand messaging is continuing to resonate strongly in this important market. Awareness and consumption are both tracking solidly and while macadamia chocolate confectionery products remain perennially popular, consumers are now embracing other forms of macadamia consumption as well. The research also unearthed strong interest in the health and beauty benefits of macadamias, particularly regarding anti-ageing.
The South Korean research shows that awareness, experience and consumption frequency of macadamias have all risen significantly over the past five years and Korean consumers now have a deeper understanding of the features and benefits of macadamias, choosing them as part of a consciously healthy lifestyle.
These studies are critical to tracking attitudes and behaviours of macadamia consumers in these potential-laden markets, as well as monitoring the effectiveness of promotional campaigns. The findings will help to guide future campaigns, highlighting where the biggest gains have been made and where further challenges lie.
New Australian Macadamias websites launch
This quarter saw the launch of the new Australian Macadamias trade and consumer websites. The culmination of 12 months planning and development, the new sites have been designed to deliver a more dynamic user experience, integrate better with social media channels and take the brand forward with a powerful new online look.
The centrepiece of the consumer site is a new nut hub where fans can find recipes, discover foodie facts, grower stories, videos and the blog. The trade site, available in English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, makes it easier to access the latest news and reports and also features a new marketing resources section. To see the new digital home of Australian Macadamias, head to www.australian-macadamias.org.
Macadamias on the menu: celebrity chef interviews
The Australian Macadamias marketing program has had a long-term focus on engaging with influencers such as leading chefs and foodies. This has led to the formation of valuable relationships with many of these people now passionate advocates for Aussie-grown macadamias.
To leverage these relationships further, a new content series was launched in August, consisting of exclusive interviews with leading chefs to not only discover some of the innovative ways they’re using macadamias, but also to introduce the trade and consumer audiences to the human story behind these celebrated chefs. Interviews with Giovanni Pilu of Pilu at Freshwater and Gavin Hughes of The Byron at Byron Restaurant have recently been released, with more to follow in the coming months.
Flowering season creates a buzz
With macadamia orchards bursting into flower in late August, the marketing team captured some beautiful new blossoming imagery to share on social media. This content is always well received, but this year went to new heights, with Australian fans in particular engaging enthusiastically when a shot of pink macadamia blossoms was posted on the Australian Macadamias Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AustralianMacadamias/). The post reached 28,000 people, was shared 200 times and generated 1400 reactions. Growing is one of the key social media content pillars and it’s gratifying to see the traction this content is gaining.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund