Time for change of strategy in children’s product marketing?

As we enter December, Christmas shopping ramps up, and the retailers and toy companies are commanding prime time TV ad spots for telephone number prices as families make their final wish lists and buying decisions before the big day.

Children’s industries can be incredibly forward thinking in their marketing plans, with many of you investing in a huge range of marketing streams, and we love to see the diversity of thinking behind marketing great products and how innovative our industry has become.

However, if we look at the top ten spenders on TV in the toy industry in October, we can see that in this month alone, a staggering £14.3million was paid for airtime by the top ten spenders and that doesn’t take into account the creative or agency fees which go into creating a TV ad campaign.

Is this the best way for a marketing budget to be spent in today’s market? Or is it time to reallocate more of this money onto more diverse campaigns? And if you don’t have those figures to invest, how can you get your voice heard when TV is beyond your budget?

The very fact that our industry is still spending this amount is testament to the fact that TV remains an incredibly effective strategy, but the above spend represents a significant decrease on last year’s figures, and this trend is escalating. With such a shift in consumer lifestyles and viewing habits, we challenge you to take a small chunk of your budget and experiment on a few new ideas next year. 

We have developed a range of alternative marketing activities that we believe will deliver better results for a lot smaller budget than the TV campaigns. Here are a few of them, but talk to us about your needs and let our experts help give your products the exposure you need for the budget you can afford.

Reviews are one of the most accessible and effective marketing strategies in today’s climate. Parents want to know, ideally from independent sources, how the product works, if it really is as good as you say, and whether their child will like it. And if they can’t find a review of your offering, they will turn to your competitor with the five star rating.

Consumer reviews are popular but an independent expert review is second only to a personal recommendation from a trusted family member or close friend in persuasiveness. This is the raison d’être of the Good Toy and Good App Guides from Fundamentally Children. The independent testing with children is combined with expert input to create a review that parents trust (over 65 per cent of parents surveyed trust and value the Good Toy Guide stamp on toys, resulting in a 20 per cent increase in intention to buy).

As Georgina Dalton explains,

“It’s a win-win for consumers and toy companies. Parents get free access to independent, detailed product reviews that give them confidence in their buying choices, whereas companies that submit their toys for evaluation benefit from the feedback as well as getting successful product reviews featured on FundamentallyChildren.com, posted to over 19K social media followers, and often showcased in the media. Companies are also given the stamp to use on packaging, retail listings, at events, and in other marketing activity. We are passionate about making the evaluation accessible to all and offer this service to companies for as little as £150+VAT per product.”

 

Dalton furthers:

“But don’t just take our word for it, The Entertainer is already using the Good Toy Guide stamp across its website and as more retailers realise the benefit of showcasing the ‘good toys’ on their sites, the impact of the stamp of approval will be even greater.”

Social media is perhaps the most obvious option to explore next. Chances are that you’ve already got a pretty comprehensive strategy in place. But have you considered working with an independent company to promote your product too? Consumers are savvy, while they will engage with your tweets, status updates and messages, they know that you are promoting your own products and that inevitably, you can’t help but be biased.

By bringing in Fundamentally Children as part of your social media plans, you are providing your customers with the authority and objectivity of an independent expert organisation who is endorsing your range. Once we have put your products through their paces and they have entered our guides, we can offer campaigns to our targeted parent audience of 19K+ from £250 and upwards.

Campaigns across social media can range from sharing your accreditations, news and launches, to creating bespoke content and video to be shared across our own channels, as well as your own. And we can also include you in our weekly newsletter to 7,000 subscribers.

Couple this with inclusion in, or sponsorship of, our expert articles on parenting, child development and more on Fundamentally Children and you’ll reach a further 30,000 parents each month. Inclusion in our articles costs from as little as £150. Our experts are also on hand to write exclusive content for your website or blog to support your news and voice, and can be tailored around your campaign or product.

In order to reach an even wider audience, our media friendly experts can bring credibility to your next PR campaign. We make regular appearances on a huge range of media, including Sky News, BBC Radio, LBC, the Daily Mail, the Huffington Post, The Daily Mirror, to name but a few, discussing issues surrounding children and families. Our media reach last month amounted to over 129 million and we can help you to reach those numbers in a tailored, bespoke campaign to suit your needs and budgets.

In terms of impact, nothing beats getting the products into the hands of children to boost sales. Fundamentally Children hosts stands at a growing number of consumer events across the UK, including the 3 Foot People Festival, Kidtropolis, Ideal Home Show Christmas and more, as well as in-store play days at leading retailers such as John Lewis.

These events are hugely successful and popular with both consumers and toy companies.  We do not sell product directly to consumers, thus providing a pressure-free environment for them to explore and learn about your lines. John Lewis reported an eight per cent rise in sales on the day as a result of our last play day with them, showing the effectiveness of this type of marketing. Inclusion on our stand or in a play day is accompanied by a comprehensive social media campaign to further raise awareness.

So, during 2017 budget planning, we challenge you to think outside (and away from) the box and talk to our team about how Fundamentally Children can support marketing activity for all of your ‘Good Toys’.

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