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Being in the moment

moments‘Life isn’t lived in years, or days, or even hours. It’s lived in moments. Right now, people all over the world are trying to make the most of every moment. Are you there?’

This is what Google said when releasing the Google Micro Moments report late last year.   

Shopper experience is now the centre of brand marketing. We have moved from products, channels and target markets to ‘being there’ for our shoppers in everyday moments.

Technology is the great enabler for this, letting us understand much more about our shoppers than we ever thought possible, and giving us opportunities to directly engage in those moments in ways that are meaningful and add value to their lives.

Last issue I discussed five key trends in the new Experience First retail marketing landscape: participation, occasion, co-creation, real-time retail and the always on brand. This issue we will explore how technology plays out within each of these trends.

Shopper insight

But first, how is technology the brand marketer’s best friend? There is now no greater tool for understanding your shopper, and owning the conversation and total brand experience of the shopper, which for many years was driven by the retailer. It is also the leading weapon in your arsenal to partner with retailers to drive, activate and measure improved shopper experience of your brand in-store.

Technology is now enabling an unprecedented ability to gather and harness shopper insight.

Fonterra’s GM for shopper, category and retail development Carl McInnes has co-authored a new book, Shopper Marketing: Neuromarketing Strategies to Win the Battle at the Shelf, which outlines in detail the landscape of the shopper brain. This fundamentally technology-derived knowledge can be used to formulate and drive relevant shopper strategy.

In Australia, research companies such as Gateway Research, GfK, IRI Worldwide, Kantar Retail and Koji are all using the power of new technologies to gather a deeper level of shopper insight than ever previously possible. These include mobile apps, cloud-based big data, crowdsourcing, eye tracking, beacons and online research tools. Brands are more empowered with shopper behaviour information than ever before.

Partnering with retailers

Increasingly, brands are also using technology to improve in-store activation and measurement.

Dashing Print has developed a best-in-class technology platform that enables retailers and brands to manage their end-to-end promotions across multiple sites and staff permission levels, ensuring that marketing spend is optimised and not wasted, and in-store compliance can be tracked.

Situ8 is a new digital initiative created by Onepartners, a bespoke augmented-reality marketing tool that allows company reps to drive greater in-store retail presence leading to increased sales.​ It lets a brand present a live simulation of its next campaign or promotion within the store through virtual reality months before going live.

‘This brings simulation of technology to the fingertips of the field reps who are selling into stores at an individual level. There is a gap in the market for this type of innovation,’ says Onepartners owner Simon Skidmore.

Mechanisms antiquated

Companies such as Smart Spotter and Wired 2 Cloud are using app-based crowdsourcing and image-recognition technologies to measure compliance in-store, including out-of-stock and point-of-sale execution.

‘Brand-related spending on retail display and promotion initiatives continue to increase in a battle to win “the moment of truth” at the shelf with shoppers. However, mechanisms to ensure compliance of this brand spend are antiquated.  With the advent of the sharing economy and smartphones, it is now possible to leverage technologies such as crowdsourcing and image recognition to help in this area,’ says David Wong of Wired 2 Cloud.

All of this is welcome news to brand marketers, who are measured every day on the effectiveness of their marketing spend.

But back to the five trends in the Experience First retail landscape: how is technology enabling brand marketers to ‘be there’ in the moment with their shoppers?

Lee McClymont is GM of POPAI for Australia and New Zealand. This article appeared in the July edition of Inside FMCG magazine. Subscribe now

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