Uncovering Word-of-mouth Marketing Strategies, Together.
Houston, TX, November 5th, 2021 – With support from the Nutrition Incentive Hub Capacity Building & Innovation Hub, and in partnership with Galveston’s Own Farmers Market, in 2022 Urban Harvest will establish a more robust understanding of marketing and outreach mechanisms to better serve farmers market shoppers currently enrolled in SNAP.
Word-of-mouth is Urban Harvest’s main marketing and outreach channel for attracting new SNAP shoppers to our Double Up sites (21% of all shoppers list word-of-mouth as the main source of information about Double Up), followed by Walk-ups and Drive-Bys (16%), and Community Organizations (16%). Unfortunately, there is little known about how Urban Harvest can leverage the power of word-of-mouth to increase awareness of Double Up Houston within underserved communities.
This project will co-design, pilot, and evaluate the success of two word-of-mouth marketing strategies at increasing participation of individuals enrolled in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) at Urban Harvest’s affiliated farmers markets and farm stands offering Double Up. To do this, this project will first host a virtual “Word-of-mouth Workshop” in which participants from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors will join forces to identify what are the components that make a successful word-of-mouth strategy including, but not limited to cultural context, rewards, timing of activities, and technologies. With feedback from this session, Urban Harvest will select and implement two word-of-mouth marketing strategies to increase participation and improve the experience of SNAP shoppers at all Double Up sites.
As a central element of our Food Access program, we adopt a “Community Health Worker Model” to build trust and capacity in the communities we serve while expanding community participation. As part of this role, our community ambassadors will be invited to provide feedback to our team and work together with Urban Harvest to lead and evaluate each word-of-mouth strategy on-site and gather feedback from customers that will further inform new marketing and outreach interventions.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to fund innovative, community-driven marketing strategies for our Double Up Houston program. These insights will build upon our efforts to support the health and wellness of communities struggling to make ends meet. We look forward to seeing how this project impacts our returning customer rate and provides critical knowledge about which marketing strategies are the most effective.” Janna Roberson, Executive Director of Urban Harvest, Inc.
By informing our current marketing efforts with evidence of which word-of-mouth activities are effective and by sharing the results of this project through interactive dashboards with our Double Up sites and our Double Up network, this project will build data capacity and sustainability for Urban Harvest’s network of partnerships including the Galveston’s Own Farmers Market, and knowledge for organizations working with disadvantaged communities. Stay tuned to see the results on Urban Harvest’s Metrics website: www.urbanharvestmetrics.org
About Double Up Houston. Double Up Houston is a nutrition incentive program that matches SNAP benefits, dollar-for-dollar - up to $40 a day -on fresh fruits and vegetables at 22 farmers markets and farm stands across the city, creating economic opportunity for local farms and stretching the dollars of individuals and families facing food insecurity in Harris County.