Cooking Up a Healthy Mix

Nick Robinson, CMO of Quest Nutrition, which sells protein bars and gluten-free pasta to health enthusiasts, discusses the company’s recipe for optimizing the marketing channel mix.

How would you describe your marketing channel mix?

We have no traditional advertising—we’re all online, all social. We built this company through social media.

What made a digital-first strategy possible? Quest is three years old. The three founders decided that they were going to build their business through social channels. They didn’t know exactly how, so they hired me to figure it out.

How have you changed your channel mix in the three years since you began?

Our marketing message evolved when it became clear that our audience was 70 to 75% female, depending on the channel.

Why did that discovery surprise you? In the early days our Facebook spend was 95% targeted at men. But Facebook’s advantage is that we can get super-granular and specify exactly the audience we want to reach, and not build on false assumptions. So now the reality dictates the content and has brought more lighthearted fun to what we create.

How has Facebook’s paid content distribution policy affected your social media strategy?

All other channels have always been pay-to-play. Facebook has value, and the value is in the eyeballs they bring. We always assumed we would eventually have to pay-to-play on Facebook, and we’re happy to do that.

How do you fulfill the demand for fresh content through a growing range of digital and social channels?

We have six full-time people creating content, and a 10,000-square-foot soundstage for YouTube and Instagram shoots.

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