Beacons and Consumer Packaged Goods: The Best ‘Local’ Match to Drive more Sales
Last Updated:  April 12, 2018
For long, CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands have been considered to be laggard at digital advertising in comparison to other product categories such as retail, financial services etc., However, of recent the consumer goods digital ad spending, including spending on mobile, outpaces that of the travel, consumer electronics and healthcare categories, reported eMarketer.
In fact, according to eMarketer’s report, “The U.S. CPG and Consumer Products Industry 2014: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Trends,” digital spending of CPG brands is predicted to increase to $7 billion by 2018.
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No doubt, CPG brands definitely stand to gain quite a bit from investing in digital. In fact in February 2014, Mark Clouse, the Chief Growth Officer of Mondelez International, the parent company to consumer brands like Oreo and Trident, said that compared to other channels, Mondelez, gets twice the ROI from digital marketing alone. Thus, with digital media playing such a crucial role in the success of these brands, it’s now high time that brands shift their focus from increasing brand awareness and recall to driving sales – both online and offline.
This is where beacons can come in handy. While retailers were among the early adopters of beacons, of recent, consumer packaged goods brands have started to leverage beacons in their efforts to engage with consumers when they are inside a retail location.
In this post we will discuss in detail how beacons can help CPG brands drive sales as well as engagement by connecting the online and offline worlds, along with a few successful beacon campaigns.
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1. Effectively connect online and offline shopper behavior to market products –
In November 2014, Knorr soup, a Unilever product ran a beacon campaign along with Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s largest newspaper. As a part of the campaign, a Knorr food truck in Stockholm offered free warm samples of the brand’s tomato and Thai soups to visitors around. In addition to beacons being set up on the truck, several people handing out samples were equipped with battery-powered beacons in their pockets, as well. Visitors who had pre-installed the popular Aftonbladet app on their mobile device, were then registered by the beacons as having been there.
Image Source: mobilemarketer.com
In a typical beacon scenario, the publisher or advertiser would then have immediately sent a location-specific ad, offer or coupon to the consumer in the store. However, Unilever opted to go for a more refined use of beacons. Instead of immediately pushing a coupon for Knorr soup to the user, they chose to wait until the next time the user opened the Aftonbladet app. Then during a subsequent session, the user was served a discount coupon on the app splash screen (first screen) to buy Knorr soup at any Stockholm grocery store.
This campaign further proved that by providing value-added services, brands can motivate consumers to engage with an app and also shows how mobile advertising can be better targeted through effective use of data.
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2. Push the right message at the right time –
When it comes to proximity marketing, consumers often tend to ignore one-size-fits-all messages that don’t take into account the context of the user and what types of content and messages are most relevant to their local needs. Keeping this in mind, Hillshire Brands recently leveraged beacons, to effectively communicate offers on American Craft link sausages to their consumers.
Image Source: adweek.com
Hillshire Brands ran a mobile campaign from April to June 2014 to push American Craft link sausages in the top ten markets by deploying beacons in grocery stores across the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The campaign targeted consumers who had downloaded one of the apps in the inMarket network (including Condé Nast’s Epicurious and Gannett-owned Key Ring). The campaign sent push-notifications to in-store shoppers and thus connected them to an interactive shopping list featuring additional product suggestions as well as opportunities to earn rewards points and redeem special coupons.
The campaign lifted purchase intent by 20 percent and the brand experienced a 36 percent increase in brand awareness as well as an overall lift in sales. In fact, having seen such great success with their first beacon campaign, Hillshire Brands went on to roll out a similar campaign for its Jimmy Dean sausage brand. Not only did this approach immediately compel shoppers to engage with the brand in various environments, but it also incentivized them to buy in-store and eventually, increase their average order values.
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3. Engage users better with utility features –
Last year, McCormick & Co.’s Zatarain’s became the first CPG brand to use beacons to their advantage to engage directly with shoppers in a retail environment.
Image Source: mobilemarketer.com
The campaign was run through inMarket’s CheckPoints and List Ease apps. Zatarain’s leveraged inMarket’s Mobile to Mortar (M2M) beacon platform to push ads encouraging them to try one of the brand’s items. Users could also tap to get recipes or find the Zatarain’s section inside the store. The in-app beacon campaign even pushed grocery list reminders and loyalty points from the food and spice brand to users on their mobile devices.
This campaign is a perfect example of how beacons can help create an unprecedented opportunity for both consumers by sending highly relevant offers and retailers by increasing the overall basket size.
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Are there any other compelling CPG campaigns that drove consumers in-store? Let us know in the comments below.
If you are planning a beacon pilot, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to get started. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!