All posts in “CPG”

Beacons

Beacons: The Opportunity For Rich CRM

Beacons are all the rage, and for good reason. The small Bluetooth wireless transmitters that hide inconspicuously on doorways, shelves, checkout counters and more have the opportunity to completely revolutionize the consumer experience. Beacons bridge consumers’ digital and physical worlds like never before — and can facilitate rich, real-time, highly personalized interactions.

The biggest adopters to date have been retailers, which makes sense. They are the ones with physical locations — they own the shelves — so of course they should be the facilitators of beacon-enabled experiences, right? Not necessarily.

CPG companies can and should create their own beacon initiatives as an integral part of their larger omni-channel marketing programs. Imagine this: A health-conscious customer is standing in the vitamin aisle, looking for a daily supplement for her child. Instead of having to pull out her phone to search for reviews and information on your brand, a beacon pushes her the latest Consumer Reports recommendation. She will look for information herself — so a brand should streamline this process, providing the content that will make it easier for her to make her decision. Maybe throw in a coupon to sweeten the deal.

Contrary to popular belief, beacons don’t just work when a person has a company’s app on their phone. If a person has added an offer or saved a loyalty card to Passbook, a beacon will can also trigger an interaction.

As CPG companies start considering beacon programs in 2014 and beyond, they need to keep in mind the pillars below to ensure success.

Personalization and contextualization drive success. What will be the downfall for many companies in their beacon programs will be the lack of relevance to an individual. Every time a consumer is pinged by a beacon, a brand is encroaching in their personal space. If they are bombarded with irrelevant information, they will grow increasingly frustrated and disenchanted with your brand’s spam.

Reminding someone to buy detergent every time they’re shopping is not the way to engage with consumers. However, by integrating all customer data into a single viewpoint, such as buying history, loyalty program info, offer preferences and redemptions, etc. a brand could know that a specific consumer purchases Tide once every six weeks. A reminder message or offer would therefore only trigger when they are likely to be running low, subtly encouraging the sale when it’s relevant.

CPG companies also must tap into context signals beyond the precise location that beacons provide such as weather, traffic and environmental conditions to make every interaction more relevant. For example, an OTC allergy brand can alert a consumer to the unusually high pollen counts in the forecast for the weekend, prompting them to buy today.

Beyond offers, consumers want information. Beacons should not just be used to disseminate offers when someone if standing on the shelf. Rich media with videos, pictures, recipes, tips and other motivating content should be unlocked as consumers pass by. A pasta brand, for instance, could send the working mother a quick and easy menu for tonight’s dinner with a roadmap to where she can find the other ingredients in the store. Voila, dinner is decided.

Work in tandem with retailers. Partnering with retailers is the only way that CPG companies will run successful beacon programs in-store, as a retailer’s permission would be to be granted for a CPG brand to include the small devices on shelf and end-of-row displays or other marketing materials used.

As a consumer walks around a store, if she gets alerts from the retailer as well as various brands, it would be a pretty unpleasant experience, getting pinged every time she turns around. If a retailer has its own beacon program, CPG companies will need to ensure programs compliment each other, and multiple beacon messages are not on the same aisle, or section of the store. This may turn into a situation where brands purchase the rights to own beacons in a specific area for a time period – where the air space goes to the highest bidder.

On the other hand, many of the larger retailers are still hesitant about implementing their own programs and would likely welcome the opportunity to explore how beacons perform without taking on all of the risk. In this case, retailers would likely ask for some high-level reports on program success.

There is a great opportunity for CPG companies to engage with their consumers in highly motivating, personalized ways using beacons. CPG companies are in a sweet spot for beacon success with sweeping cohorts of loyal customers that would welcome the opportunity for rich, more engaging, contextual real-time experiences, content and offers. More than just building customer relationships, CPG brands can also leverage mobile and beacons to sign up customers for regular subscriptions delivered via a retailer of choice.

The remainder of this year and throughout the first few months of 2015, we will see CPG companies and retailers work through the growing pains and start implementing some really amazing experiences.

the-6th-sense

The Sixth Sense That Will Change Customer Experiences Forever

Today’s “personalized” customer experiences are based on surface [shallow] level data — what someone has bought in the past; their gender or family situation; their hometown. While this certainly helps to tailor experiences to some level, the biggest driver of what makes something personal and relevant has been neglected — a person’s immediate context.Context involves everything from a person’s physical situation (location, weather and traffic, etc.) and how fast or slow they are moving (in

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a car at 60 mph, walking down a street in a leisurely manner, etc.) to their intent and emotional state. HP0-J73 Before the proliferation of smartphones, understanding a person’s real-time context was not possible. The growing number of sensors in our phones and other connected devices has since opened the door for brands to get a true glimpse into a person’s life. As a result, brands now have the power to engage with their customers in contextually relevant ways, tailoring interaction to their immediate situation.Pre-mobile, contextual marketing would not have even been necessary. What companies need to

realize quickly, however, is that it no longer is a “nice to have.” Real-time, contextual experiences are fast becoming a must-have to build lasting customer relationships.

For generations, consumer expectations in how they interact with brands have essentially remained the same — delayed, one-way, messaging for the masses — and that worked with the available touchpoints. Mobile has completely changed this… and at a very accelerated rate. Consumers now expect to be able to have a personalized, situationally appropriate interaction with a brand whenever and wherever they need it — and the brand is providing a utility or service — not serving an ad — that helps them with something they need right now or in the immediate future.Below are a few examples of how context will be used to make experiences truly magical.
  • The Airline That Knows You Are Going To Be Late: Let’s face it — traveling is not always a breeze, but if an airline could understand the pains you are suffering, they could get out in front of issues to enhance your experience. For example, if I am stuck in traffic my on way to the airport in a jam that will make me miss my flight, I will be automatically rebooked on the next available flight and receive a ticket directly to my phone. The airline’s systems have understood that I am not in the airport, so has checked current location, recognized my movement (or lack thereof), identified that there is a traffic backed up for 20 miles and predicted that I will therefore miss my flight to preemptively respond to a need of mine.
  • The Retailer That Ends the Aimless Search for A Gift: If I am meandering about in the women’s department of a store for more than a few minutes, a retailer would understand that I am likely looking for a gift for my wife, as tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. The brand could then make the experience better for me by pushing a few gift suggestions with an in-store locator to my phone. When I am passing the women’s section the following week, I would not get this same message, but instead an offer for those sunglasses that I have been eyeing.
  • CPG that Keeps Symptoms At Bay: A OTC brand that contextualizes customer interactions would recognize that as someone who has an aversion when the pollen count is above 7 and has not purchased medicine this season, I need to be alerted of the conditions when I visit an outdoor-friendly town.
  • A Fitness Brand Makes Sure You Don’t Overdo it: Say I am a runner training for a 10K race and I track my training via a fitness app. Based on the understanding of my distance goal for today’s workout (5 miles), the current humidity (high) and temperature (80 degrees), a fitness brand would suggest a route (less hilly) and alert me about when I may need to slow down based on how I have performed in such conditions in the past (poor).
  • Your Grocery Store Ensures You Get Everything You Need: I am not the primary food shopper in my family, but my wife has added items to a list that is saved within a grocery store’s app. As soon as I walk through the doors on a busy Saturday afternoon, the store would understand I probably don’t know my way around and want to get out of there as soon as possible. On my phone, I would receive the most efficient route to take to get everything I need based on real-time flow (I would be rerouted, for instance, when there’s a foot traffic jam in produce). Given what is

    on my list, the store would also infer the meal I am shopping for (BBQ) and suggest items I may be forgetting (Do you need buns?) or may want to add to my list (Corn on the cob pairs great with burgers!”).

Mobile does not lend itself to traditional brand interactions. The smaller screens and societal shift to one that is always-connected has ushered in the need for organic brand experiences that understand and anticipate a consumer’s context –reflecting both hard customer data and soft sensor data from the physical world. But a consumer’s context can change instantly, making the window of opportunity for brands to engage fleeting. In a world with contextual expectations, being able to automate these interactions will be a marketer’s best friend. 070-412