AMELIA ISLAND, FL: Chobani, the yoghurt brand, has successfully engaged consumers by leveraging "phigital" marketing – a strategy epitomised by using physical experiences to drive digital sharing among its target audience.

Peter McGuinness, Chief Marketing & Brand Officer at Chobani, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Digital & Social Media East Conference.

"It's a complete convergence between physical and digital. It's not one or the other; it's both, in combination," he said. (For more, including example, read Warc's exclusive report: Chobani introduces "phigital" marketing.)

The process of "making physical contact" to then "create digital content" is exemplified by Chobani's branded café situated in the SoHo district of New York City.

"It's a bit of an incubation/inspiration center where we can push the brand, as well as sell olive oil and honey and coffee," said McGuinness.

Through a mix of enticing menu items, elegant serving styles and striking décor, this location has tapped into the trend of sharing culinary experiences on social media.

"It's a physical space that's probably one of our greatest digital assets we have as a company," McGuinness told the ANA assembly.

"Anytime you go in there, people have their phones out, [and are] constantly just taking pictures, pictures, pictures, pictures – and uploading.

"It's one of the top five most Instagrammed restaurants in New York City. And that doesn't seem to make any sense: there are over 10,000 restaurants in New York City. And we're [only] a yoghurt bar."

The fusion of physical and digital traffic has led to a virtuous circle for the brand, as shown by the sales results from its SoHo site. "We're up 150% year over year at that café," McGuinness said.

Another outcome demonstrating the benefits of this "phigital" approach involves creating new products based on actual consumer preferences.

"We look at the sales data and the top creations that people socialise, and we'll industrialize them. We'll make them retail items," McGuinness added.

Data sourced from Warc