Shopper Marketing Innovator of the Year: Daniel Ingram

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06/23/2021
Jacqueline Barba
Associate Editor | profile
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Daniel Ingram wearing glasses and smiling at the camera

Daniel Ingram

Global Director, BEES Customer Experience
Anheuser-Busch InBev
Years in current position: 2
Previous work experience: Prior to AB InBev, spent four years working at Deloitte Consulting in strategy and operations. Also served as a volunteer consultant in London at Teach First, the UK sister-organization of Teach for America, focused on technology transformation.
Education: Bachelor’s in Economics, Political Science, Entrepreneurship & Management at Johns Hopkins University; Master’s in Business Administration, Operations & Marketing Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Why?

Ingram devised a hyper-localized social media strategy to drive sales while helping to keep local partners afloat during the pandemic.

When the COVID-19 pandemic flipped life as we knew it upside down in 2020, Anheuser-Busch had to decide what to do with an advertising strategy that was built to drive foot traffic to the manufacturer’s global partner network of bars, restaurants and retailers. That task specifically fell to Daniel Ingram, global director of the BEES customer experience at AB InBev, and his team.

The pandemic made Ingram completely rethink his role at AB InBev. Pre-pandemic, he worked with collaborative social advertising platform Tiger Pistol to publish brand-funded social ads leveraging AB InBev’s creative assets as well as dynamically localized messaging to direct consumers to their local tavern, restaurant or convenience store.

Ingram’s social plan had been so good that it delivered 350 million impressions over a two-month period at a cost 60% lower than AB InBev’s national campaigns. But, in his words, given his new array of challenges, “We knew that our original project objective … would not work anymore.”

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“With the pandemic severely impacting small and medium businesses around the world, we needed a solution to help them sustain consumer sales in the new reality,” Ingram says. “In-person sales and foot traffic became irrelevant overnight, and we needed a way to help our partners reach their consumers.”

With each geographic region affected differently, Ingram and Tiger Pistol worked closely with AB InBev’s global markets to create a series of programs in more than 20 countries to support those small businesses during the crisis and help them recover. They used social ads promoting community building, gift card sales, home delivery and no-contact curbside pickup in impacted communities, or foot-traffic drivers to reopen locations. Campaigns continue to be rapidly updated to align with changing local regulations.

Stella Artois, for example, launched “Rally for Restaurants” around the world, inviting consumers to purchase discount vouchers to help sustain local restaurants during the crisis. Among the many localized campaigns, #ApoieUmRestaurante (which translates to “#SupportARestaurant”) in Brazil sold more than 180,000 vouchers, while in Canada the brand added an additional $10 to the value of every gift card purchased.

In the U.S., Bud Light launched “Open For Takeout,” inviting consumers to find local bars and restaurants open for takeout or delivery in their area by entering their ZIP code on a special microsite.

“We identified markets that were both most in need of this solution and ready to execute at speed,” Ingram says, adding that acting quickly and rallying colleagues and partners to execute was one of his biggest challenges. “Our European markets, especially Belgium and the UK, immediately put the plan in motion, onboarding new customers and launching hyper-localized, consumer-facing campaigns to drive sales.”

The work demanded a close collaboration between global sales, local trade marketing teams, front-line sales teams and the CPG giant’s agency partners.

But the results justified Ingram’s efforts and hard work. “We saw higher sales for our [partners], especially in curbside pickup, delivery and online sales,” Ingram says. AB InBev also measured positive ROI for the campaigns, giving it the confidence boost it needed to continue expanding the programs through 2020 and into 2021.

Building on this success, Ingram worked to incorporate the Tiger Pistol platform into the BEES application. BEES (so named to align with AB’s bees-themed B2B operations) is AB InBev’s e-commerce platform for its small and medium-sized retailers and is designed to revolutionize their sales capabilities while making AB InBev’s business with them more profitable.

Ingram’s recent work has also had a lasting effect on the way AB InBev and his team operate. The new hyper-local social marketing strategy has become a standard way of working in many markets, Ingram says. And his team is much more flexible on campaign objectives and design “as markets experience different stages of the pandemic and post-pandemic realities.”

Ingram takes an active role in understanding the platform technology to ensure the success of campaign launches. Before his strategic input, AB InBev had been using national TV spots and on-site print collateral to drive performance for their beer brands. Through Ingram’s vision, the company can now connect the last mile between national campaigns and points of consumption.

a person posing for the camera

FINALISTS

Laura Dickey
Senior Shopper Marketing Manager
Avocados from Mexico (LALA U.S. in 2020)

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the shopper marketing team at LALA U.S. was readying the launch of new packaging via customer-specific promotions across a handful of retailers, including a Cinco de Mayo retailtainment event at Walmart. With a late April 2020 launch date, the promotion had to be completely revised to align with the sudden changes in shopper behavior and store operations that occurred in March. Then LALA’s senior shopper marketing manager, Dickey and her team shifted to a print and digital activation. Scrapping the original plan, LALA partnered with SKUlocal and Ibotta on a direct mail campaign with social influencer overlays. A campaign for LALA Yogurt Smoothie at Walmart was structured to drive trial and repeat purchases through a bonus offer for in-store or online purchases. The overhauled campaign drove a 28% lift, with 33.9% of redemptions coming from users completely new to the category. Since then, Dickey has moved on to Avocados of Mexico, where she wants to expand on her innovative work with a company and brand she believes is already an industry innovator.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera

Tony Fung
Senior Shopper Marketing Manager
Bob Evans Farms

Shopper marketing is still relatively new for Bob Evans Farms. Fung hit the ground running after joining the company in early 2020, developing and conceptualizing the brand’s shopper marketing capabilities and retail strategy. Even more impressively, Fung is a team of one, leading shopper marketing strategy and execution across mass and grocery channels as well as e-commerce and omnichannel capabilities. In his first year, Fung was able to help Bob Evans strengthen its relationship with customer teams and retail media platforms (such as Quotient and H-E-B’s newly formed retail media offering) and launch the brand’s first-ever integrated shopper marketing campaign to spotlight refrigerated dinner side dishes for the holidays. The campaign illustrated the importance of reaching shoppers using an omnichannel approach through multiple touchpoints. Fung also tapped The Mars Agency to audit the digital shelf, update outdated images and improve above-the-fold and below-the-fold content on retailer websites. The brand’s next integrated shopper marketing campaign with the USO is slated for this summer.

a smiling woman in a green shirt

Lauren Wright
Customer Director, Shopper Marketing
Mondelez International

Wright, who leads Mondelez’s omni-commerce/shopper marketing activities at Walmart and Sam’s Club, was at the helm of the CPG giant’s first-ever omni-commerce program at Walmart. Dubbed “Create. Share. Give,” the effort launched in November 2020 with a holiday theme after Walmart asked Mondelez to rethink its programs for the remainder of 2020 and pivot programming to help give back to the community. The 360-degree campaign invited shoppers to create and share their own Nabisco recipes, which were compiled in a custom Walmart.com showcase and then voted on. Each vote earned an additional donation from Mondelez, with the top vote-getter turned into a BuzzFeed Tasty video that has racked up more than 1 million views and nearly 109 million impressions. Mondelez worked with the snacks buyer and vice president of snacks at Walmart to co-develop the platform. Agency partner MOjO Marketing developed a custom Walmart.com page, in-store signage and displays, and digital and social media activity.

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