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Blog: Facebook inexpensive yet powerful marketing tool

BY Michael Johnsen

ALBANY, N.Y. — The cost of acquiring a Facebook “liker?" Less than 13 cents per fan, according to a Media Logic blog entry posted last week. At least that’s what retailer Kirkland’s spent in its pursuit of more than 200,000 Facebook surfers who opted-in on the Kirkland’s page. And because the act of a Facebook user “liking” a page is posted on that person’s newsfeed, it fast becomes a case of “if you tell two friends and they each in turn tell two friends …”

According to the blog, penned by Media Logic’s EVP and executive creative director Ronald Ladouceur, there are a number of retail brands that recently have eclipsed the 1 million “likes” bar. “New members of this no-longer-exclusive club include Tommy Hilfiger, Foot Locker, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Walgreens and Bass Pro Shops — with Party City and Cabela’s crossing the line after this survey’s close,” Ladouceur wrote. Walmart recently added 1.6 million Facebook fans on its way to 5 million “likes.”

The fact is Facebook is heating up retail aisles. “Twelve retailers saw better than 40% growth from mid-March to mid-May, led by Kirkland’s and its ‘Cha-Ching’ sweepstakes, which drove an incredible 280% liker spike,” Ladouceur reported.

According to a recent Drug Store News report on Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting, Walmart is aggressively seeking to win over what they define as the “next-generation” consumer. "They’re connected to the world through smartphones and social media,” Walmart CEO Mike Duke told attendees. “They’re in charge of when they shop and how they shop. And believe me, they know who has the lowest prices.”

Walgreens similarly is pursuing a multichannel strategy, as outlined in a Drug Store News story in the May 30 issue.

To check out the complete Media Logic blog (and a chart on the latest Facebook “liking” trends), click here.

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Original singing bird clock returns to retail

BY Allison Cerra

TOLEDO, Ohio — Almost 15 years after its debut, the original singing bird clock is being relaunched by Mark Feldstein & Associates, the company announced.

The clock, which features images and 12 songs — one at the top of each hour — from 12 songbirds in North America, is available for a limited time to celebrate its upcoming 15th anniversary in 2012. MFA discontinued the original singing bird clock in 2006 after coming out with another version licensed by the National Audubon Society a few years earlier, the company said.

The original singing bird clock will be available in both 8-in. and 13-in. models with a suggested retail price of $14.95 and $24.95, respectively.

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CVS/pharmacy kicks off annual ALS fundraising campaign

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy kicked off on June 5 its 10th annual in-store "Researching a Cure" fundraising campaign to support the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Funds raised through the campaign benefit the ALS Therapy Alliance, an organization dedicated to advancing ALS research. Through the Researching a Cure campaign, CVS/pharmacy has raised more than $23 million in its stores and online to fund new clinical research with the aim of discovering a treatment or cure for ALS. The 2011 campaign will run through June 25.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressive degeneration of motor nerves in the brain and spinal cord, typically leading to paralysis and death within four to six years. There is no known cause or cure for ALS, which affects approximately 25,000 Americans, with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

In addition to the in-store fundraising campaign, CVS/pharmacy will work with campaign co-chairs — Treg Charlton, a regional director of real estate for CVS Caremark, and Barry Winovich, Charlton’s lifelong friend — who are living with ALS, to raise awareness about the disease. Both will join celebrity sponsors — former NFL player Kevin Turner, who also has ALS, and country music star Ty Herndon — as representatives to educate the public through in-store videos and events and by sharing their own personal stories. Herndon’s inspirational "Journey On," the official song for Turner’s nonprofit ALS organization, The Kevin Turner Foundation, will prominently be featured in this year’s campaign.

Charlton, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, was diagnosed with ALS in March 2010. Using the Researching a Cure campaign as a platform, Charlton has become an inspiration to others living with ALS.

Winovich, also of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, has battled ALS since 2006. Winovich joins Charlton, a close friend since grade school, as co-chair of the Researching a Cure campaign. Winovich is the founder of the Bright Side of the Road Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding scientific research into the cause of and cure for ALS.

Each year, CVS Caremark EVP Jon Roberts, who lost his wife to ALS, serves as honorary chair of the Researching a Cure campaign because of his personal connection to the disease.

"I know how difficult it can be to fight this terrible disease, and I’m amazed by Treg, Barry and Kevin’s courage and commitment to fundraising for ALS research. The stories of these young men have an impact on all of us at CVS/pharmacy, our customers and especially those living with ALS. I want to thank them and Ty Herndon for creating awareness of ALS and motivating CVS/pharmacy customers to donate to this very important campaign," Roberts said.

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