A roundup of technology-driven tools that drive consumer understanding, engagement and conversion on every step of the path to purchase.
- The Hershey Co. developed an interactive Halloween event with Facebook Live around its Reese’s peanut butter cups candy. Actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted the unique program, which began in early October with fans going to Facebook to vote on what types of tricks and haunts should be added to a scary house that only a few lucky fans were allowed to enter on Oct. 24. The Facebook Live poll asked things such as: Should the house have clowns or snakes? The votes controlled the scare to be included. In the end, 32 specially selected participants were granted permission to enter the house, and their experience was streamed on Facebook Live. Viewers also had a chance to participate, voting this time on what path a person should take inside the house. Harris hosted the live event and helped promote it through his Facebook and Instagram channels.
- After previously limiting them to 10 seconds, Snapchat has extended video times to 190 seconds, giving brands advertising on the platform significantly more time to engage with a viewer. Of course, viewers still have an option to skip an ad. There is another option for a non-skippable, six-second video ad. Another new video feature from the company is the inclusion of a 15-second video view goal within its “goal-based bidding” model. The model enables a brand to optimize a video toward a specific goal such as bidding an ad to get a certain amount of impressions, for example, or in this case to get to a 15-second view of an ad.
- GfK and BrandTotal have set their sights on tracking social media campaigns, including targeted campaigns that are invisible to the general public – called “dark marketing.” GfK brings its consumer insights work into BrandTotal’s digital intelligence and measuring tools, powered by AI, to analyze campaigns across the digital and social spheres. As an example, the two looked at Android gamers over a week in August, revealing that nine out of 10 ads served to the segment over Facebook, YouTube and Instagram were dark ads. Nearly 900 unique brands targeted the Android phone gamers over that time. The gist of the partnership is to offer clients an answer to whether or not their social campaigns are reaching the targeted segment of consumers.
- Joining Google’s Project Wing, UPS Flight Forward Inc., a subsidiary of UPS, has earned the U.S. government’s certification to operate a drone airline. The first step for UPS is to focus on drone support for hospitals nationwide, delivering solutions for healthcare needs. The Federal Aviation Administration awarded UPS Flight Forward the official certification in October, and the company immediately used its M2 quadcopter for a delivery to WakeMed’s hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. The delivery was said to be the first regulated drone delivery. UPS has been working with drone company Matternet for healthcare delivery previously, so it will continue in the medical space now but will look outside the industry in the future, including transporting special commodities and other regulated goods, according to a news release.
- Stored Value Solutions (SVS), a gift card provider, has integrated its SVS Mobile Wallets Services into The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s mobile app so shoppers can load their gift cards into the app. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is a roaster and retailer with more than 1,200 locations. The service eliminates carrying physical gift cards around and puts physical and digital gift cards in one place in the phone’s wallet feature. Users can buy gift cards via the app, too, and because the gift card is synced into the app, loyalty points are automatically accrued with purchases made through gift cards. SVS also delivers notifications to mobile users regarding purchases, remaining balances and promotions.
- Starting with select stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island (with New York and New Jersey on the way), a new app and service called Brilliant Move aims to give brick-and-mortar stores a new option for home deliveries of items bought in-store. Consumers buying in the store use the app to schedule their own delivery from the retailer, giving them more control over when it will be delivered. It eases the delivery operation and logistics a retailer needs to control. Current retailers signed up to work with Brilliant Move include Marshalls, TJ Max, Home Goods, Sierra Trading Post, Bob’s Discount Furniture and HomeSense.
- Leaning on the location-based intelligence of PlaceIQ and purchase data from IRI, olive oil brand Filippo Berio announced results from a targeted, digital ad campaign. The ads were served to Walmart visitors near Walmart stores that carry the product, and the overall lift was four times higher compared to a control group. Response marketing agency Media Horizons and behavioral science firm Colangelo also worked on the campaign, which looked to get Filippo Berio in front of “foodie” consumers looking for a healthy oil to cook with. It delivered educational content and vibrant visuals. PlaceIQ’s location platform processes pertinent data points along a consumer’s shopper journey – such as income ranges, store visits, lifestyle information – from more than 200 million anonymous devices, helping to identify shoppers to target. PlaceIQ also just recently announced a partnership with IRI and its loyalty card and POS data that will help PlaceIQ develop a consumer behavior model using location data that identifies anonymous foot-traffic data.
- For its staple Kraft Singles American cheese slices, Kraft Heinz partnered with TPG Rewards by leveraging the solution provider’s mobile tap technology to power an on-pack “Find the Golden Single” digital game at Walmart that awarded consumers a $50 Walmart online gift card. Singles packages carry a smart label that mobile phones equipped with NFC technology scan to unlock the content. If the package is scanned but not yet open, the shopper receives information about the game and a recipe. If the package has been opened, the consumer unlocks a digital scratch-and-win scenario. The campaign launched in September. The NFC-based intelligent packaging also gives brands capabilities to signal if a package has been tampered with.
- Attempting to make programmatic advertising more transparent, MediaMath unveiled a new digital media-buying product called Source that uses artificial intelligence to ensure brands are getting authentic impressions from digital ads and purer results of who the person is that engaged with the content. The product is a result of working with the Rubicon Project, an advertising exchange that wants to clean up and make the programmatic supply chain more transparent, as well as its advertising customers and a few news publishers including Business Insider, News Corp. and IBM’s Weather Company. Source by MediaMath works for desktop, mobile and programmatic TV ads.