Upstream Insight on Bluetooth LE/iBeacon (for non-techies)

Posted by on May 3, 2014 in Amazon, Big Data, Bluetooth LE, Consumer Data, Consumer Privacy, Content Marketing, Digital Strategy, iBeacon, innovation, Learning, Loyalty, Online Grocery, Personalization, Retail Disruption, Strategy, Target, Technology, Walmart | 0 comments

There’s new technology out there creating some buzz. It’s simply the ability for a one-way communication  to occur between your smartphone and one or more radio frequency emitting device(s), called “beacon(s)”.   The capability is enabled by Bluetooth Low Energy  (aka Bluetooth LE). Common Base Use Case for Retail: If a retailer places beacon “123” in the cereal aisle, then the beacon can help a receiving device (like your smartphone) know two things: 1) How far away from the cereal you are (and, potentially, are you nearing or exiting) 2) Whether or not you are in the cereal aisle (and, potentially, how long have you been standing there) What your smartphone (or any other receiving device) then does with that information is a function of the application you have downloaded on the phone – with the most frequent ideas bandied about including the triggering additional product information, coupons or videos.  Dave Peterson, senior group manager of digital vendor marketing at Target, is looking at allowing brands to deliver promotions and messages to consumers through iBeacon while in a Target store. (source: MediaPost) What is making the functionality buzz-worthy is that it has all the hallmarks of a classic Clayton Christensen-like disruptive innovation, with the potential to revolutionize many  value propositions – from the supply-chain to health and wellness applications (are you wearing a FitBit right now? If so, you’re already using it. ) As for Retail Marketers, there are two features which make this technical capability particularly exciting:  1. Cost. Bluetooth LE makes location-based solutions, services and marketing not only more accurate, they are extremely affordable. The beacons, which essentially transmit a continuous messages that says “here I am”, cost very little, between $3 and $5  (actual cost of components) and are powered by common, inexpensive batteries. (Estimote sells a developers package, which includes 3 beacons, for $99 on their site today.) 2. Lower barriers/dependence on consumer compliance. Most exciting to retail marketers is that it removes a significant amount of dependance on consumer compliance to enable location-triggered marketing – which should, theoretically, increase the scale potential of location-based marketing solutions. The consumer no longer has to remember to open the app on their phone when they enter the store. As long as the consumer has downloaded the retailer’s app at some point prior (and are allowing notifications from the app), the app can open or trigger a notification (or video, or coupon) automatically when the consumer is near a relevant beacon. Still to be figured out… 1) Will engagement decline after initial use or will consumers love it?   How the technology is used to improve the in-store consumer value proposition will be critical. Personally, I haven’t seen or heard of very many use...

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Where’s the Consumer Story in Consumer Data?

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Big Data, Brand eCRM, Brand Purpose, Consumer Data, Consumer Privacy, Content Marketing, CPG, Digital Strategy, innovation, Inspiration, Learning, Personalization, Strategy | 0 comments

Lots of pontification and advice about the need for and power of storytelling. Which makes me wonder, with all the counting and recounting of who has what consumer data, is the consumer’s story getting lost in the mix?  HBR Blog: Data Alone Won’t Get You A Standing Ovation...

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A Brilliant “Brand Purpose” Campaign

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Brand Purpose, Brand Value, Content Marketing, CPG, Digital Strategy, Inspiration, Loyalty, Online Marketing | 0 comments

An excellent example of a brand using it’s “purpose” to make an emotional impact and connection with consumers. Easy, relatively, for a greeting card company for sure – but it can be done. Only challenge is getting consumers to go specifically buy an American Greetings card rather than a Hallmark or other brand card…being able to capture the consumer in the emotional moment, that they so effectively created, is just another reason to have a strong online presence and content marketing...

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General Mills, Brand Purpose & Vulnerability

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Brand eCRM, Brand Purpose, Brand Value, Content Marketing, CPG, Digital Strategy, Loyalty, Online Grocery, Online Marketing, Sliderpostings | 0 comments

How did your best friend become your best friend? How about your spouse? At some point the superficial relationship must have become more interesting, more fulfilling and more mutually beneficial. If the relationship was lacking in any one of those areas, it would have stayed superficial. This is what we meant last week when we posted that “Next Era of Brand & Consumer Relationships will be Peer to Peer.” Most brand marketing to date has been about creating emotional relationships between human beings (aka “consumers”) and individual products (aka “brands”). As a secondary or tertiary objective, there might be an effort to create a relationship between consumers and the company that made the products – but there seemed to be risk to that (primary risk to the warm fuzzy emotional feelings a brand was better able to create if disassociated from the parent company). What General Mills seems to be opening themselves up to is creating relationships between consumers and the people who make the products…and in doing so, the product (and the brand) become a co-creation of the consumer and company. Brilliant. And scary. But then again, most brilliant things are scary. If it wasn’t a little bit scary, if it didn’t involve some degree of vulnerability, then everyone would be doing it. Why the timing is right for this “brand purpose” movement… In an era where push marketing media options were plentiful, marketers could be effective with consumer to brand relationships that were relatively superficial  – as in “if you love your family, you’ll buy Downy” or “wear this product and you’ll be cool” and other slightly veiled, but effective forms of emotional blackmail. For years, this worked and it was fine – for both marketers and consumers. But today’s consumer is grown up, they know better and they have more control over their influences. We could say that they are, perhaps, just a tad more confident and well-adjusted than the soap opera audiences of the 50’s and 60’s? Further, consumers are hard to find en masse on any particular media. Procter & Gamble may have the largest advertising budget  ($4.8B) – but they disperse that budget over 39-41 wholly different brands.  In contrast, most of the other “top ten spenders” are applying their $2B-$3B advertising budgets to promote 1-5 brands. Even if CPG had the same opportunities for online efficiency as marketers in other verticals (and they don’t, more on that in a later post)…unless they create breakthrough content that is sought out by consumers, it is going to get increasingly difficult. So, well  done General Mills…it’s hard and you’ll have some flops, but all innovation starts with a willingness to be vulnerable, to be wrong and to...

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