I’m excited by the new venture launched this month from IBX Mediaa podcast geared toward the ingredient business in natural products.
As a lover of the podcast medium, I think it’s great to get a podcast designed to help the natural products industry reach its potential. Started by two former VIRGO employees Andrew Jackson and Will Hirachita, IBX (ingredient business experts) has released four podcasts so far, two of which feature other previous VIRGO coworkers.
According to a press release from IBX, the podcast focuses on business development in the food, supplement, animal nutrition and personal care ingredient industries. They interview experts in these fields to offer insight.
The first episode was a short intro with Jackson and Hirachita, and the “meat" of the podcasts started with the second episode interview with Jim Wagner, owner and president of 2727 Marketing Services. Wagner, former director of business development at VIRGO, and the IBX hosts discussed how marketing has changed with on-demand mobile information and social media, a timely topic as Jeff Hilton, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Brandhive, noted “Many companies who market in the B2B world are guilty of under-nourishing their social networks, especially online," in a blog post for INSIDER’s Supplement Perspectives.
On IBX, Wagner noted that more than half of marketing emails 2727 Marketing Services sends outs are opened on mobile devises. Indeed, many in the natural product industry, including the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), NSF International and Thermo Fisher Scientific have adapted to this trend by offering mobile services. And even the government reflects this trend, as FTC’s advertising guidance, released in 2013, considers the mobile revolution. (Get more INSIDER information on social media marketing in INSIDER’s Slide Show: Social Media Marketing and blog post “Getting Social with Shopper Marketing" by Lori Colman, founding partner and co-CEO of Colman Brohan Davis.)
The third episode of IBX asked if trade shows are worthless. Thankfully for this SupplySide and Vitafoods lover, Jackson and Hirachita’s answer is that trade shows have great value, but it’s necessary for companies to be prepared before attending. They noted trade shows are the best places to generate sales leads; trade shows should be the pinnacle of an entire marketing plan where business is closed, the hosts explained.
As Eric Anderson, global vice president of sales and marketing for NattoPharma ASA, noted in INSIDER’s Supplement Perspectives blog, trade show marketing starts early. “Repetition is key, and repetition in marketing helps you stand out," he wrote. Anderson also noted the importance of post-show marketing, such as follow-up emails. (Check out more expert info on preparing and maximizing ROI at trade shows in INSIDER’s Supplement Perspectives blog, which tackled the subject for an entire month in 2013.)
And in the fourth IBX episode, Jackson and Hirachita talk with Douglas J. Peckenpaugh, chief editor of Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, about meeting consumer expectations for functional food benefits while still keeping costs down and taste pleasant. It seems most consumers are demanding more from their food. As a recent report from Packaged Facts noted millennials, Baby Boomers and health-conscious and exercise-centric consumers (aka, almost everyone) are driving growth in the functional food sector, so knowing how to develop and offer these products is key to success.
INSIDER’s June 2014 digital issue “Form and Function" offers a guide to functional food producers who are struggling with this balance by looking at formulating and choosing the right product type while keeping taste and cost in mind. And check out INSIDER’s new Food channel, which houses all of our information on functional foods.
The IBX press release noted future interviews will include Robert Weeks, president of Weeks Communication (another former VIRGO employee); Tracy Landau, partner, chief marketing officer of MarketPlace; and Rachel Zemser, Food Scientist/Culinologist and Writer.
I know I’ll be tuning in.