OCTOBER 2014 :: Justin Honaman, Gib Bassett, Monica Mullen
The Mobility Channel
Overall, Consumer Goods marketers acknowledge mobility as an evolving channel for consumer engagement, but today's activities are only skimming the surface of mobility's full potential. Many Consumer Goods organizations aren't prepared.
Mobile capabilities include a variety of techniques, from text messaging to dedicated mobile applications and mobile-optimized web sites. These techniques require meaningful integration with the systems that maintain retail and consumer interaction data. Within marketing, mobile continues to be viewed as a promotional channel. So, what are the upside opportunities for mobility in Consumer Goods?
The Mobility of Things
For marketers, the data collected by enabled mobile devices represent a big-data-set of behavioral insight that can be used to provide personalized service, relevant targeted communications, and consumer-driven product innovation.
As a data collection point, a mobile device becomes the gateway between the consumer and a growing network of Internet-enabled things: appliances, home devices (e.g. Nest), automobiles, personal health (e.g. FitBit) and, of course, consumer products and alternative buying channels.
But to gain and retain consumer attention on the “small screen,” a new approach is needed for consumer engagement. Brand and retail marketers have an opportunity to create value-added interactions through a mobile device.
With rich media, static product packaging can transform into a virtual assistant to aid a shopper making a brand buying decision.
Now common in retail outlets, Wi-Fi connections can connect shoppers to interactive experiences. Packaging that feature a mobile web link enabled via a trackable Quick Response (QR) code or text message short code connects the consumer to a promotion, product information, coupon or other content or media designed to entertain, educate or inform the shopper, resulting in complementary product category sales.
While a link remains constant on packaging, the content it connects to can dynamically change to support promotional needs, seasonality or unique trade agreements with particular retailers without changing the static packaging.
By connecting to CPG loyalty programs where consumers give permission to allow direct 1-to-1 communications, content aligned to specific interests could be delivered to their mobile devices.
Progressive Consumer Goods marketers employ direct digital consumer connections to fuel content marketing efforts focused on how a product adds value to the consumer’s life, and less on product attributes.
Built upon a unique and valuable perspective into consumer behavior, brand-driven storytelling is necessary as product differentiation matters less than price in most consumers' minds.
Conversely, retailers tend to maximize total market basket value and next best offer campaigns using product mix and price. CPG marketers can exploit this gap by making a move to capture and integrate consumer data obtained in their digital marketing efforts.
Informed shopper marketing and category growth strategies that are based on greater knowledge of consumers’ lifestyles and households will also impact promotional, planogram, product placement and bundling plans.
Category growth, higher margin promotion, and more satisfied customers (or consumers?) are a few of the potential retail outcomes that can be realized when Consumer Goods shopper marketing teams collaborate with retail brand experience teams. Manufacturers bring rich consumer lifestyle and household insights gained via mobile interactions to be leveraged in line with the transactional insights possessed by the retailer.
In-Store Location-Based Offers
Digital coupons make up a small but growing percentage of overall couponing activity. And yet, like their paper counterparts, digital coupons often give away more value than they create in the pursuit of increased sales volume.
Poised to disrupt push marketing efforts, including couponing, are location-based and contextually aware pull offers. These are triggered by the presence of mobile device-carrying consumers in specific areas of a store.
Apple's iBeacon facilitates this interaction as an indoor positioning system utilizing a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS and Android devices of their presence.
What's critical is ensuring interactions are relevant or contextual so the consumer doesn't construe the service as invasive or irrelevant, resulting in it being disabled (or an opt-out). The success of this micro-targeting technology will be directly linked to the ability to leverage consumer data to drive real-time decisions at the mobile point of interaction.
Similarly, even before iBeacon was introduced, less precise location-based offers and rewards have been employed to affect the shopper’s “Zero Moment of Truth” (ZMOT) (reference: Google).
Technologies such as iBeacon have the potential to disrupt ZMOT by making the store environment as interactive and engaging as any out-of-store online activity. They provide manufacturers and retailers with an ability to make the most of the opportunity to engage with shoppers through a third party such as Shopkick or branded mobile application.
Blended consumer information and insights that power relevant, contextual mobile communications can ensure interactions are valuable, and therefore received positively by shoppers.
Consumer Goods shopper marketing teams are positioned to lead the way. If direct consumer digital marketing interactions are captured and integrated, the resulting insights that fuel meaningful, intelligent, data-driven interactions can ensure manufacturers’ mobility efforts are maximized to their full potential.