4 Q’s on the 4 with Localytics and ShopAdvisor

This month we have an extra special edition of 4 Q’s on the 4 for you.

Recently, we linked up with Localytics – a mobile engagement platform that gives companies the insights and tools they need to improve their mobile app acquisition, engagement and retention efforts – for a Q&A session about some of the challenges brands and retailers are facing today with their mobile strategy and why personalization can lead to better individualized shopper experiences. Here comes the extra special part; ShopAdvisor, joined Localytics in the hot seat answering questions about the state of mobile marketing campaigns in today’s mobile-centric world and how contextually relevant data is not a question, but rather the answer to achieving optimal marketing campaign results.

Josh Todd, Chief Marketing Officer at Localytics

1. What is the biggest challenge for retailers when it comes to mobile?

Many retailers are struggling to keep up with their customers as they become increasingly mobile. They’ve yet to differentiate the mobile shopping experience from its desktop predecessor and properly exploit the unique features and functionalities of the mobile channel, like location marketing and push messaging.

One reason for this struggle is that retailers are not fundamentally well organized to attack mobile. Mobile enables a bidirectional, interactive, dynamic experience with users unlike the one-way, one-directional, static delivery of content on the web. Too many retailers still view mobile as an extension of the web and create unimpressive apps that are more likely to push users away than keep them.

We do know that mobile can be a powerful catalyst for their business if they focus on where it fits into their customer’s buying cycle.  It has to be integrated and should not be siloed or seen as a disconnected experience. Often times it is the same customer, so they need to be sure that they are listening to behavior signals their customers are sending and then focus in on how their apps can add value – that may be through reducing friction, alerting them to special deals, or keeping them up to date on the latest product lines and trends. 2. What are individualized experiences and how are they different than personalized ones?

Individualized messages, which are messages that take into account a user’s actions within the app as well as if the user fits into a particular audience based on their profile attributes, are very effective at creating a more user-specific experience. Individualization takes messages into new territory beyond personalization, which was more focused on using basic user information like their first name or language preference.

By individualizing the mobile experience, marketers are breaking down the technological barrier and making a strong connection with their users. The competition is only getting tougher and the retailers that thrive will be the ones who effectively drive engagement on their users terms.

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Bill McLaughlin, SVP Sales and Marketing at ShopAdvisor, Inc.

3. What do marketers tend to overlook before the launch of mobile-focused campaigns, such as proximity marketing campaigns?

We hear it a million times – preparation is the key to success. Ben Franklin said it best, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Unfortunately, so much focus is put on how campaigns will execute “in flight,” that we often fail to do sufficient pre-campaign analysis to ensure that a campaign has the foundation in place to be successful.

The New England Patriots phenomenal success can be largely attributed to their incredible planning and attention to every detail.  They leave nothing to chance in examining their competitor’s tendencies in specific situations. The players always talk about how much their coaching staff prepares them for every possibility and what they can expect. The same holds true for rolling out a campaign. A great looking, well designed campaign is no guarantee for success.  Great pre-campaign planning and analysis can tell a marketer a lot – from where their products are in-stock to which platforms (ie., desktop search product finder, mobile app, social) their consumers are coming from to where to buy and run ads – so they can have a gameplan for a successful outcome.

All of the strategy in the world can fail if you direct shoppers from their smartphones into stores that do not have your product. Not only do you waste advertising dollars but, you potentially lose a sale and worse yet, a customer’s trust.

4. What is one of the most critical components in a drive-to-store marketing campaign?

With the endless amount of avenues to target consumers today, contextualization has become increasingly vital, especially on mobile. Thanks to mobile app technology like Localytics, we are now able to pinpoint movements of shoppers through specific data points, which enable us to customize messaging and analyze the best times to push that messaging.

However, as technology and data get smarter, so will your perpetually connected consumer. They will expect better messaging, more relevant notifications and shopping experiences that are convenient for them. A shopper’s habits, brand preferences, location and even price sensitivity can be very fluid. External factors such as weather, time of day, seasonality, commuting timeframes and much more effect shopper attitudes.

Your goal as a marketer is to pay attention to their behavior and be at the forefront of their shopping pursuits. Having the tools to analyze shopper data, craft a perfectly tailored message, and then deliver it at a time that matter’s the most, will ultimately set you apart from your competitors and put you in front of the shoppers who actually have a need and desire for your product.

Well, that was double the reading pleasure, double the fun right? While smartphones have totally changed the way we shop, learn, locate, watch, connect, produce, and heck, even find our soulmate, platforms like ShopAdvisor’s Intelligence Suite and Localytics’ Mobile Engagement Platform can help marketers better channel the whereabouts of their mobile consumers and discover what messages are sparking their interests.

So, if you’re looking to find your ace in the deep, dark mobile hole, it’s time to take a look at your mobile strategy and start working towards having the best hand in the mobile marketing game.

Additional questions were originally published on Mobile Commerce Daily. You can check out the full article here!

3 Things Valentine’s Day Can Teach Us About Marketing To Today’s Tech Savvy Consumers

According to the National Retail Federation, 55% of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day. For brands and retailers, that’s not too shabby given the average spend per person is around $147.

But here’s the problem with Valentine’s Day; for many of us it’s a day that creates a lot of unnecessary stress, unmet expectations and quite frankly, a lot of money spent on cards that eventually get tossed in the trash. Whether you celebrate the day with a loved one or sob over Boys II Men songs while stuffing your face with chocolate, the love hate relationship we have with Valentine’s Day can feel a lot like the relationship we are trying to build with today’s tech-savvy consumers on their path to purchase – sometimes we catch our bait, other times our bait plays hard to get.

Fortunately, there is a lot to learn from the stresses that this holiday inflicts. So, here are three common beliefs that often cause a minor panic attack on Valentine’s Day, how they relate to some of the hurdles marketers are facing year round, and ways to take your relationship with your consumers to the next level.

1. My Relationship Status Is Not Clear
Believe it or not, not knowing where you stand in your relationship, particularly on Valentine’s Day, can cause a huge strain on whatever relationship you think you’re in. On the flip side, Valentine’s Day can actually be a moment of clarity to your “are we” or “are we not” status. If you don’t have clear communication in a relationship, then you’re going to find yourself lost and confused. Just like your consumer, if you don’t know the context of where they are in relation to the product you are promoting, you’re going to find yourself frustrated and left out in the cold.

With the significant rise in mobile usage, location-based targeting is becoming a commodity. Pretty soon, every single one of us with a smartphone will be tracked by our every move. But the power in location isn’t just understanding a single point in time, but an ability to understand patterns. What you should be collecting are the data points along the consumers journey. By using this intelligence to determine the particular places where a consumer would most likely be receptive to your message is what will ideally set your location-based offers apart from the rest and move you from “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship.”

2. I Am Worried She/He Won’t Like The Gift I Bought
This is going to get personal but, I can’t help but think back to a Valentine’s Day about 10 years ago when my dad bought my mom a gift from Victoria’s Secret. Now, you’re probably thinking some sleek negligee or even a bottle of perfume. Not quite. To my mom’s surprise, her gift was a flannel pajamas set. We’re not sure what planet my dad was on when he purchased this for her because if you knew my mom she is far from the flannel “type.” Luckily, my dad redeemed himself next year and it’s safe to say it was the first and last time he ever bought her flannel.

Here’s the point – knowing what excites and what doesn’t excite your consumer will save you a lot of disappointment, a lot of time and a lot of money. Yes, my mom shops at Victoria’s Secret, but what she prefers and purchases at Victoria’s Secret may be far different from what Sally’s mom – who is the same age, falls in the same income bracket and lives in the same zip code – prefers. It’s this type of granular shopper intelligence you should be collecting and utilizing in your campaigns instead of just assuming that all 40 year old women who shop at Victoria’s Secret like flannel.

Let’s face it, the wealth of products and the way consumers consume products has made it increasingly more difficult for marketers to target their ideal shoppers. So, you need to get a little more personal. Go for the sophisticated negligee, not the basic flannels. Try adding some additional TLC to your generic demographics with data points that inform you of a shopper’s behavior such as brand affinities, price sensitivity, purchase intent and optimal times to send a message. If you can master the data, you can really target the customers you want.

3. What If I Fail to Meet Expectations?
Oh boy, that diamond ring and knee drop she was expecting but never got… I won’t go there but, we’ve heard it happen far too many times. Not knowing what your significant other is expecting – especially on a holiday where statistics show 6 million people expect a proposal – can somewhat relate to not knowing where your products are at the onset of a promotion or marketing campaign. You’re definitely going into the fire blind and boy, do you get blindsided.…

If your current platform or solution isn’t meeting your product inventory and local availability expectations, then it’s probably time you break up and look for a richer, more intelligent solution or platform that can provide real-time inventory data, competitive cost analysis and ways to redirect your campaign to push consumers to stores that only have your promoted product in-stock.

So, what have we learned about marketing and Valentine’s Day? Well for starters, don’t promote flannels to a consumer that doesn’t like flannel. Second, pushing relevant messages to shoppers at a time and place that is most convenient for them will eventually end in a happily ever after. Lastly, don’t expect your marketing efforts to always work. Expectation is the root of disappointment and heartache and like any long-term sustainable relationship, you must work hard, be patient, and never loose sight of the reason why you started that consumer on their path-to-purchase journey.

Are You In The Pilot’s Seat Of Your Proximity Marketing Campaigns?

Putting together a successful digital proximity marketing campaign requires careful planning and execution. From initial audience targeting to sorting through mountains of data to assess campaign results, the success or failure of a campaign is predicated by many factors, which some are often overlooked.

Many marketers today spend a majority of their time strategizing how their web, mobile and social campaigns will do “in-flight” that they often neglect to lay down the groundwork to ensure that a campaign even has the wings to fly. Likewise, in-flight and post-campaign insights and measurement data are just as crucial so you can redirect efforts and optimize ad dollars, as well as examine campaign performance to ensure that future campaigns can be just as, or even more successful.

In order to help marketers gain some knowledge about these crucial factors, ShopAdvisor, Mobee and NinthDecimal have teamed up for a webinar to discuss the three phases of campaign, ways to integrate multiple solutions and platforms into your campaigns, examples of how to plan, execute, and measure results so that you can be better prepared for future campaigns, and some best practices for tackling variables and criteria before a campaign takes off.

Here is a sneak peek at what each of us will cover during the pre-campaign stage of a campaign:

 

ShopAdvisor, a leader in proximity marketing driven through product availability intelligence enables brands, retailers and agencies to determine where their products are at the onset of a campaign through a database of over 200,000 brick-and-mortar stores. So, why is that important?Through millions of UPC’s, ShopAdvisor is able to determine the exact location and inventory of the product you want to promote so that you can allocate your ad dollars and send shopper’s only to the stores that have your product in-stock.

 

Mobee uses crowdsourcing to collect, organize and analyze in-store data at scale. Mobee quickly and easily deploys custom “Mobee Missions” to collect thousands of offline data points and photos via its mobile app, and delivers analytics and insights in real-time. With this ability to deliver casual in-store offline data, they can offer the physical in-store experience projectitory before the campaign gets ready for takeoff. Elements like the time it takes to intercept, grab & go timing, end cap display measurement and assisted sale experience are all examples of major data points to put towards any marketing campaign’s pre-planning efforts.

NinthDecimal is the marketing platform powered by location data. It harnesses this data to build a precise understanding of consumers’ physical world behavior, activating this intelligence through audience targeting, measurement, insights and data licensing solutions. By filling the gap in understanding how consumers spend the majority of their time, NinthDecimal provides marketers a comprehensive new model of the customer journey for impactful engagement. Not sure what kind of message you want to use to target your shoppers? NinthDecimal can help through their historical and contextual location data from mobile devices to help you understand where consumers go in the world, and help marketers target these location-based audiences and reach them with the right message.

Interested in learning more about how the right data can make your digital proximity marketing campaigns soar? Join us for our webinar on Tuesday, February, 28th at 1pm. You can register by clicking here!

ShopAdvisor Exceeds Expectations in 2016

What do you get when you acquire a company, expand a platform, and add some kick-butt people to the mix of your team? You grow revenue bookings by over 300%, add dozens of great brands and digital agencies to your client portfolio, and you get some bragging rights to a very successful 2016.

ShopAdvisor completed quite the makeover last year by moving from a consumer-focused mobile app provider to a intelligent proximity marketing platform for brands, retailers, agencies and publishers to gain valuable insights and data science to power digital ad campaigns. To date, we are now able to deliver new and improved mobile proximity marketing services to a much broader market including CPG, electronics, food & grocery, home goods, health & beauty, and apparel.

As we end the first month of 2017 on a high note, we wanted to take a moment to look back at how far our company has come and celebrate some of the milestones that has helped shape who we are today.  So, pop that leftover bottle of bubbly and check out ShopAdvisor’s top four milestones in 2016!

  1. Expanded the ShopAdvisor Intelligence Platform 

We made significant enhancements to our ShopAdvisor Intelligence Suite last year. Through the acquisition of Retailigence, we were able to deliver across-the-board enhancements to our Product Intelligence, Context Intelligence and Shopper Intelligence modules. To complement this, we also introduced new advancements to our AppNET and Retail Partner Program, which extended the scope and value of the ShopAdvisor ecosystem for all its participants. The new version of the ShopAdvisor Platform enables quick and cost-effective development and execution of proximity marketing campaigns, which deliver personalized and compelling shopping experiences that take shoppers from their smartphones, desktops or tablets into stores to purchase products.

One of our most successful campaigns of 2016 included a national pet brand who was able to save a lot of time and money through the use of our pre-campaign product availability analysis. We helped them top the industry standard for CTR and drive shoppers only to the stores that had their product in stock. You can read the full case study here.

2. Became an Inaugural Partner of the Nielsen Connected Partner Program 

ShopAdvisor was the first mobile proximity marketing platform provider named to the Nielsen Connected Partner Program in 2016. The program is an industry first solution for companies servicing the CPG and retail industry. The Connected Partner Program enables partner companies and Nielsen clients to find each other and collaborate in an open ecosystem, freeing them from common barriers to connecting applications and data sets at scale. Nielsen’s CPG data is the DNA of this program and is the most robust retail and shopper information available in the world. Through a mutual data source, the Nielsen Connected Partner Program ultimately will enable Nielsen clients and partners to easily bridge their insights and harness the data necessary to net mutually beneficial results.

3. More Funding Came Our Way 

When your existing investor syndicate gladly antes up to give you more money you know you’re on the right track and they are telling you to keep doing the same… and a bit more of course. But it wasn’t just our existing investors who put their money on the table. We fielded calls from dozens of interested parties and we’re happy to say that we are looking forward to welcoming additional investors to our syndicate in the year to come.

4. Customers, Customers, Customers 

Our revenues grew by more than 300% year-over-year, expanding our customer base across many segments. Dozens of new clients spanning many different markets ranging from big box retailers to regional CPG companies and digital agencies big and small joined our list. Additionally, we had a dramatic increase in the number of clients who repeatedly relied on ShopAdvisor to power their digital proximity marketing campaigns and help them bridge the gap of a consumer’s path-to-purchase experience.

So as you can see, ShopAdvisor truly had an exciting year in 2016. While we exceeded expectations and made significant enhancements to our software and team last year, we will continue to strive to provide the best end-to-end service for our current customers and new customers to come in 2017.

If you are a brand, retailer, shopping mall, agency or publisher and are looking for ways to capture your consumers from their mobile, tablet or desktop and drive them in-store, we’d love to learn more about your projects so that we can offer solutions to help you meet your 2017 goals.

Click here to contact our Business Development team for more information!

ShopAdvisor 2016 Year-in-Review from ShopAdvisor on Vimeo.

ShopAdvisor’s Top 3: What Happened in Retail & Mobile this Week?

It was a very busy week for the news industry…

Patriots and Falcons advancing to the Superbowl, the beloved Mary Tyler Moore passing away, and even more rumors on major retail store closures. While we’re not in the business to talk sports or entertainment, we do have some expertise in the retail, marketing and mobile fields. So, to get you caught up, here are our top 3 news articles from the week in no particular order and obviously, our take on them.

  1. GeoMarketing: Geotargeted Mobile Ad Dollars To Hit $32 Billion Within Five Years
    GeoMarketing’s David Kaplan released an article on Wednesday taking a look at what mobile ad-spend could look like in the next 4 years. He had a little help from BIA Kelsey and their mobile ad revenue forecast report. Basically, geotargeted ad sales are expected to rise from $12.4 billion in 2016 to $32.4 billion in 2021 says Geo. It’s actually pretty fascinating when you think about how drastically different ad spending has changed just within the past year alone.

Our Take: If you haven’t already got the gist, mobile is here and it is here to stay. So, if brands and retailers can start customizing and personalizing their native-ads and using mobile to their advantage, they have a real shot at reaching their most desired targeted audience. Geolocation, as our CEO suggests, is becoming a commodity. Brands and retailers will need stronger location data, along with other intelligence, to see any kind of sustainable foot traffic. Intelligence like a shopper’s context (i.e., season, time of day, weather, and travel patterns), can make all difference in reaching the right consumer at the right time and in the right place. This data can help you walk them from that mobile ad right into your store.

2. eMarketer: Retail Shoppers, What Frustrates You Most About the Physical Store?
We were rooting for this article to be seen by every retail marketing executive out there. With so much talk of Macy’s, Sear’s and other big box retailers closing some of their doors, eMarketer really lays out some of the obvious answers as to why. One of the top frustrations was product comparison and product location in the store. Another shopper distress – not being able to check to see if products are in-stock before they go into the store to purchase. Our Take: These shopper frustrations make sense. Think about a time you received a push notification or in-app offer to a store and when you went to claim that offer, that product was the wrong color or size, or even more frustrating, out-of-stock. Yes, retailers may be able to bridge the long line gap with self-checkout and robots, but how will they guarantee consumers that the product they were just inspired to buy is in fact, in-stock? One way, is to power your mobile marketing campaigns with some product availability intelligence and do your homework with a pre-campaign product analysis. ShopAdvisor has these capabilities and yes, we have the cases to prove the success of it.

3. TechCrunch: Target will launch its own mobile payments system this year
What advantage does Target have over most big box retailers? It’s not necessarily that they have one of the strongest millennial followings around, but rather, their mobile app, Cartwheel by Target that entertains 30 million users and allows mobile shoppers to scan their items in-store and earn points for every dollar they spend at the physical retail location. This week, Target announced that they will be expanding their app to include mobile payment features. The addition will target those millennials who, research has shown, have been the quickest of any generation to adopt mobile payments.

Our Take: Can we get a hallelujah! We love that Target is making it a priority to engage their shoppers through mobile and finding ways to make it convenient for them to come into their store. This move could be a real gamechanger for Target, since they are essentially adding the final step to the shoppers path-to-purchase in store and forgoing shopper frustrations of checkout lines.. And while eMarketer confirms that mobile payment transactions could more than double this year – reaching a hair under $62 billion dollars – Target is making some serious strides towards hitting the bullseye when it comes to creating a seamless shopping experience for their customers.

As a major retail shopper, I am amazed at some of the technology that has been coming to the forefront for those who still appreciate the in-store shopping experience such as myself. Target’s Cartwheel app is pretty darn savvy, and I’m sure that I’m going to spend even more now with a mobile payment feature. On the other hand, Target should also be thinking about how they can assure shoppers that the products they are promoting on the app are in-stock and in real-time. Once they link up with ShopAdvisor for that type of intelligence,  I will totally be doing my own cartwheels into my nearest Target location.

The Super Bowl is Coming – Are Your Mobile Campaigns Big Game Ready?

The AFC championship game is this Sunday and to say I am pumped up is a total understatement. Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, I was raised a diehard Steelers fan who ironically, now lives in a nation full of Patriots fans…

Regardless, black and gold is in my blood and if I were to ever disown my team, my family would quite frankly, disown me. I grew up around Friday pep-rallies and Sunday viewing parties. If we couldn’t afford game tickets, you better believe we created our own game experience right in the middle of our own living room. Money that was supposed to go towards dance costumes, went towards Terrible Towels and football shaped cheese and veggie trays.

Today, sports fans everywhere are evolving. From how they express their support on social media to how they watch the game on their mobile phones, marketers have been faced with some real challenges, yet some real opportunities. One thing that hasn’t changed however, is what sports fans are willing to spend on “their team”.

In 2016, consumers spent nearly 15.3 billion dollars leading up to the Super Bowl alone. The sports industry, in general, covers a lot of playing field all the way from mobile apps to merchandise, to team branded beer cans and chips & dip. It’s been estimated that $620 billion is spent annually by sports fans. And while highly anticipated sporting events such as the Super Bowl, March Madness, the Stanley Cup, NBA Finals, The Masters and opening day of Major League Baseball are all huge revenue producers for the sports industry, CPG brands and retailers across the nation also have a huge open pocket to score shoppers and put some serious points on their own scoreboards.

Sporting experiences, believe it or not, are actually more important than the actual game, says sports marketers. Thanks to mobile, sports fans are easier to reach, but harder to engage. Let’s be honest, it’s not really about getting people to research and buy the essentials prior to a big ticket sporting event, because they undoubtedly will. It’s more so about making that game-changing block on your retail rivals and building a path-to-purchase experience for these shoppers – targeting them at the right place, at the right time, in the right mindset, with the right messaging, and on the right platform.

“Think about your fondest memories at a sporting event. We don’t sell the game; we sell unique, emotional experiences. We are not in the business of selling basketball. We are in the business of giving you a chance to create shared experiences.” – Mark Cuban

Last year, ShopAdvisor powered a drive-to-store mobile proximity marketing campaign for a highly recognized CPG alcoholic beverage company in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. By onboarding two years of comprehensive sales data from participating Walmart store locations, ShopAdvisor was able to create a baseline for sales lift analysis against those stores. The campaign was designed to engage with Walmart shoppers in and around test locations via mobile ads during the AFC division playoffs and encourage them to pick up the beverage brand as part of the shopping experience. Through a collection of shopper insights, including sales from these locations that were measured against control locations, the stores that incorporated ShopAdvisor’s intelligence data had a 12.4% lift in sales over the prior year while the stores that didn’t had a 1% decrease. As we would say in the burgh’, Touchdown Downtown Antonio Brown!

So, while you may already have your big ticket campaign lined up for the showdown on Sunday, February 5th, there are a variety of opportunities to capture consumers around other sporting events throughout the year. Like sports fans are capable of developing an emotional, long-term attachment to a sport, team, or particular athlete, retailers and brands likewise, can capture, engage and create long-lasting experiences and relationships with shoppers and get their little taste of victory along the way too.

To read the full case study, click here!

Road Work Ahead: How navigating through traffic is a lot like navigating through mobile marketing

According to CNN, Americans across the US were stuck in traffic for 8 billion hours in 2016. A New England commuter, such as myself, came in at around 64 of those hours. No offence CNN, but my traffic stopwatch puts me in at about 10 hours per week, which if my math is correct, is 520 hours per year (sigh), sitting bumper to bumper on I-95 with my fellow commuters. I’m not a traffic analyst but, it doesn’t take one to tell those statistics are slightly off.

Similarly, US marketers devote roughly 16 hours per a 45 hour work week on day-to-day routine marketing tasks such as lists, monitoring social media and creating email campaigns. Which, we can assume the other 29 some hours are spent researching and analyzing the latest and greatest innovations to apply to their marketing strategies, with a majority of strategy being placed on mobile. That’s roughly 1,500 hours per year spent navigating through which marketing methods will give their business or brand optimal results. That’s a lot of time, but seems about right, since the challenge and abundance of ways to market to consumers and businesses today has vastly increased.

Quite frankly, it’s become a traffic nightmare.

If you are a  marketing road warrior like me, then you should relate to what I have to say next.  The rapid adoption of mobile has changed marketing forever. And, if you’re not in the proper lane, you’re going to get stuck, or worse yet, run over. Google reported last November that they will begin ranking  it’s search listing based on mobile content. That’s a pretty clear indicator that if you haven’t jumped on the mobile train, you better start sprinting to catch up. 

We’ve all read the mobilegedon stats; over 90% of consumers use smartphones while shopping, 68% of shoppers research a product via mobile while in-store, and in 2016, mobile investment will account for nearly 55% of digital and almost 19% of total ad spending. My point is, it’s all happening so fast that in our haste to get on board, we could very easily take a wrong turn and end up lost in a confusing pattern of mobile marketing paths that lead to nowhere, instead of clear and concise open lanes that will take your customer to the ultimate destination.

So, are you a stay-in-one-laner or a lane-changer? Are you stuck behind a mobile marketing strategy that is not getting you the results you need? Are your proximity mobile campaigns breaking down on the side of the road? Are you constantly wondering which lane you should (or should not) be in? Or, are you switching lanes too much – trying new platforms and software to achieve higher engagement and an improved in-store shopper experience? Regardless of what kind of driver you are, you sometimes need a road map to get you where you want to be.

Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to learn the 5 most important tools to put you in the fast lane to mobile marketing success.

1. Product Intelligence

Ask yourself this: What is the point of a mobile campaign that is going to send your consumers to a store that doesn’t have the product you are promoting? Seems pretty obvious, right? However, you would be shocked at the number of companies who don’t know for sure whether their products are in the stores they are targeting. 79% of shoppers enjoy receiving product offers, whether through a mobile app, banner ad or SMS message. Furthermore, 66% of those shoppers prefer to touch, feel and have the opportunity to purchase the product immediately.

The desire is there, but if you do not have the back end product availability data to support that desire, you’re going to get cut off. Here’s an example: if you are putting a push notification for a size 4, gold sequin bomber jacket in front of me on my iPhone with an offer of 20% off if I purchase in-store, you better believe I’m not going to be a happy shopper if I get to that store and that size 4, gold sequin bomber jacket is out of stock. As Beyonce would say, “Boy Bye.”

Here’s your roadmap: ShopAdvisor’s Intelligence Platform ingests detailed data on more than 200 million products online and in-store across more than 200,000 brick-and-mortar locations. Through our direct relationships with retailers and other data partners through our connected partner, Nielsen, we can provide the richest product availability data and power a website’s product finder to supplement any mobile campaign. The platform can help you either put the products where they need to be or save money by sending your prospects only to the stores where your promoted products are in-stock.

2. Context Intelligence

Talk with any merchandiser and they will tell you that a shopper’s context can make all the difference in converting a lead to a sale. Things like season, time of day, location, weather, and even traveling patterns are all key factors that must be considered when trying to deliver the right message at the right time to the right place. Without context, audiences get confused as to why you are communicating with them. Think about it like this – you wouldn’t send a push notification to a consumer for 50% off umbrella’s when it’s 82 degrees out with clear skies and no chance of rain. Again, we see many marketers wasting countless amounts of ad dollars on messages that are totally irrelevant and inconvenient to consumers. 70% of mobile users said they allow push notifications. So, let’s push them exactly what they want.

Here’s your roadmap: Through our intelligence platform and an ecosystem of AppNet partners, we collect and catalogue millions of contextual data points through beacons set up in store locations, mobile apps, social media, websites, and online publications. ShopAdvisor’s context data helps marketers and agencies understand the relationship between a shopper’s current context and the products and messaging being delivered. This is critical to sustained user engagement.

3. Shopper Intelligence

Shopper’s today are more connected, and savvier than ever. Think about how much time you spend on your smartphone. Well, chances are your customers are doing the same. The wealth of product information and the myriad ways to consume it have made it increasingly more difficult for marketers to get their share of attention and effectively target their ideal customers. Forget generic demographics. Today, retailers have the capability to examine the rawest behaviors of shoppers through their mobile activity.

Take for instance two shoppers – both female, age 29, moms, living in Idaho and making 50k per year. Though they may seem the same, their shopping habits, preferences, purchase-intent and brand loyalties are a case of apples to oranges. 

Here’s your roadmap: ShopAdvisor goes several steps further with its shopper data by capturing signals from the products and brands that consumers directly interact with the most. Our technology is embedded in thousands of mobile apps, thus allowing us to gather deep consumer insights like retailer affinities, brand loyalty, price sensitivity, purchase intent and optimal messaging times. Our data is different in that marketers can not only better target consumers, but can also better personalize the path-to-purchase experience for them and provide mobile interactions that matter.

4. Pre-Campaign Analysis

US marketers spend nearly $182 billion on advertising. Yes, billion. If you thought that was alarming, Bannersnack.com tells us that 54% of users don’t even click banner ads because they don’t trust them.  As my mom used to say, “there goes my money down the drain!” How is it that marketers aren’t putting more emphasis on researching or testing how their campaign will perform or the elements they could be faced with before they drop a whole lot of Benjamin Franklin’s on a digital marketing campaign? All of the strategy in the world can be a total fail if you promote and push shoppers from their beloved smartphones to locations that do not have your product. Their trust in you and your ads could go out the window. If you are not analyzing the way your consumers are researching you or getting to your product ahead of time, then you have definitely hit a roadblock my friend.

Here’s your roadmap: Say you have a particular product that has just hit the shelves and you need the insights to determine where and to what select group you are going to market this product. Last year, we conducted a pre-campaign lift for an internationally known computer software manufacturer to determine which stores carried their brand-spanking new, limited edition product. The product was centered around the release of one of the biggest, and most popular movies to date (think jedi), so the buzz was there. What we found was eye-opening. Out of the pre-targeted 100 locations of 3 big name retail giants, only 1 of the 3 retail stores had 100% availability of that limited edition product. The other 2 retailers showed close to only 50% of in-stock availability. So, without the pre-target analysis, our client would have spent two thirds more ad spend on banner ads that were directing consumers to a retailer that had less than 50% of their product. As you can see, doing your research before really does pay off.

5. Sales Lift Analysis

How do you measure the impact or ROI of your mobile campaigns? CTR, coupon redemption, app downloads, impressions? All are great, but all are generic. How are you identifying which campaigns hit the nail on the head and which ones were a sinking ship? What these basic analytics are missing are how the campaign will affect your customer’s engagement in the long run, what their in-app spend was and how their conversion rates stacked up. Sales lift analysis’ are used to calculate the percentage increase or decrease in each metric for users who received a campaign versus a controlled group. In simpler terms, comparing consumers who received your campaign to a group of consumers who did not receive the campaign to see which group did better.

Here’s your roadmap: With revenue, retention and engagement in mind, implementing a sales lift to your mobile proximity marketing campaign involves us adding a few key elements that Google Analytics just can’t touch. For example,  being able to identify the days of the week and times of those days that purchases occur the most, enables you to turn the dial on your campaigns up or down to match and further maximize your campaign ROI.

So, I ask you again, are you a stay-in-one-laner or a lane-changer? Or, are you just a marketer who is looking to block out all of the noise and simplify your mobile marketing strategy? You may not have the answer, and that’s okay, because sometimes we get lost in the sea of tail lights. But, from one road warrior to another, I recommend analyzing your current plan because mobile, like traffic, is not going anywhere. If anything, it’s going to become even more intricate with the new wave of virtual reality. Now is the time to ask yourself, what are you missing in your mobile campaigns? What roadblocks are you hitting along the way? What is stalling you? If you can picture incorporating at least one of the tools mentioned above into your current mobile marketing strategy, then you are already on the right track. You may not become the Jeff Gordon of mobile marketing, but I am confident that you will get to your destination faster than your competitors.

Interested in learning more about the capabilities above? Contact Laura for a demo!

4 Q’s on the 4 with Augment

Recently, augmented reality (AR) has been making quite the statement. Even USA Today foresees  VR and AR being very real in 2017 and now the New York Times is jumping on the AR bandwagon with their new app. Which is no surprise, as this type of computing display technology creates an almost real-life experience that allows us to shop, watch, dine and play interactively on our smartphones, tablets or desktops.

Of course, no one can forget Pokemon Go – one of the biggest examples of augmented reality technology, ever. But, all Pikachu’s aside, there is a considerable amount of opportunity for AR in the retail industry.  More so, in a recent Retail Perceptions report, 71% of shoppers surveyed they would be more likely to shop at a retailer if they offered augmented reality.

We’ve already started to see the ways AR is making it more fun, more easier and more convenient for consumers to purchase products or try them out before buying them online or in-store.  So the obvious choice for brands and retailers is to leverage this enhanced experience and start getting real with their customers.

Jean-François Chianetta, CEO, Augment

This month’s 4 questions on the 4 o’clock hour features an augmented reality company who’s  been at the forefront of this innovative consumer experience for quite some time now. We talked with CEO of Augment, Jean-François Chianetta, about the future of retail and how he see’s augmented reality technology benefiting both the online and in-store shopper who is no longer interested in the product description, but rather the interaction with the product virtually.

Who is Augment and how is augmented reality shaping the future of retail?

Augment is a venture-backed augmented reality software solution, keen on helping businesses merge our physical and virtual experiences. The company was founded in October 2011 and is currently headquartered in Paris, with commercial offices in New York City and Orlando. Now, with more than 200 clients in 36 countries, we’re a leader in the augmented reality space, revolutionizing the entire product life cycle.

We see augmented reality as a way for manufacturers and retailers to create a more meaningful and memorable online shopping experience. In retail, Augment overcomes customer pain points by allowing customers to try the products in augmented reality at home before buying through their smartphones or tablets. Augment is in a position to bring a physical presence to the online shopping experience.What kind of an impact does augmented reality technology have on products/brands and retailers?

Innovation in retail seeks to provide value to both brands and retailers alike but none have been as impactful throughout the buyer’s journey like augmented reality. AR can increase sales by allowing customers to try before buying, which, in turn, reduces returns by removing the initial guesswork.

We believe that future omnichannel experience will rely heavily on augmented reality and it is already adding more value in getting shoppers to engage on retailer’s mobile platforms. Brand manufacturers will indeed have a huge stake in the future of augmented commerce. As ecommerce evolves, so will consumer expectations. Product descriptions and 360 photos will no longer suffice. Mobile shoppers will want and expect the ability to test products at home before buying through augmented reality.

With the increasing shift to mobile commerce, why is it important to incorporate augmented reality into a consumer’s shopping journey?

The smartphone has been the first device capable of providing a true on-the-go augmented reality experience. In this regard it’s unique in the technology landscape. A responsive e-commerce website, or an app is very similar to what you can have on a desktop. But augmented reality can be properly experienced only on a mobile device. With that ability to project products in the real world, it brings the best of the in-store and ecommerce experience. You can not only see a product like if you were in the store, but better than that, you can see it right where it’ll be placed.

Finally the conversion rate can be better online than in-store as you’re not wondering how the product will look like after you unbox it at home.

Also, mobile is just the first step toward full augmented reality headsets. Once there, augmented reality will become the only option. Shopping on an augmented reality headset without full augmented reality will be like buying on a mobile from the pdf of the scanned catalog. By starting now to implement it on their mobile apps, retailers future-proof their ecommerce experience by building the first layer of augmented reality.

How can augmented reality work for retailers and brands whose goal is to drive their consumers into physical retail stores? 

Augmented reality has managed to merge the digital with physical in-store products and it has stimulated engagement that drives in-store sales.

CPGs and brands are enabling AR images on the outside of their packaging. In this sense, shoppers can scan the product packaging and easily see what’s offered inside without them having to speculate. Today’s consumer can engage with a brand through a physical store, their online shop or mobile presence, or through social media. All of these experiences should be consistent and an extension of one another. It isn’t rare that a customer starts in one channel and ends up purchasing through another. A true omnichannel marketing approach is about creating a customer experience that is seamless across all channels and augmented reality is already impactful in that way. 

By bringing the whole catalog into the store, augmented reality also removes the frustration for a customer who comes into a store, to find that the product is not there. With augmented reality, infinite aisle becomes a reality and the adviser in the store can show to the customer any of the product available, its different colors and configuration so that he can do an educated purchase.

ShopAdvisor’s Top 6 Articles of 2016 on Mobile, Retail and Proximity Marketing

Unless you were living under a rock in 2016, you couldn’t miss all the buzz about proximity marketing. We’ve watched brands and retailers spend gobs of money and jump through hoops to make that divine connection between their consumer’s location, shopping habits, and their ever growing love affair with their smartphones.

According to eMarketer, 78% of marketers have increased spending on location-based mobile advertising over the past year. Furthermore, studies also show that by 2022, spending on proximity based marketing technologies will reach $53 billion dollars. With the increasing shift from traditional marketing to mobile marketing, there is still an enormous amount of opportunity for brands and retailers to effectively target their shoppers when it matters the most.

So, what have we learned? A lot for sure, but there is still so much we’ve yet to learn. To help us continue down that path, we’d like to take a look back at some of the developments and stories that shaped where we stand today and what they portend for the road ahead. We put together our six most favorite articles, in no particular order, around retail, mobile and proximity marketing in 2016. Our hope is that you have a better understanding of how proximity marketing is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all, and can work for you in the year to come.

1.VB: New report shows marketers missing vast majority of mobile engagement opportunities

VB teamed up with Forrester Research to identify some of the mobile opportunities that most marketers were missing and give us an IDEA of how to fix it. With Forester’s IDEA framework, marketers can:

      • Identify the best mobile moments to capitalize on
      • Design and choose the most relevant content based on the consumer
      • Engineer the messaging to hit the consumer at the right time and
      • Analyze the performance of your campaigns.

It’s kind of a “duh”, but kudos to Forrester for creating a fun little acronym for us to use and reminding us why we must not miss the crucial moments to engage our consumers through mobile to deliver something they will find value in.

2. RetailDive: 5 tech trends that transformed retail in 2016

It seems like a top trend in 2016 for retailers was to create better interactions and stronger relationships with their customers. Aside from Artificial Intelligence and  Virtual Reality technology breakthroughs, we particularly liked the transformation of Chatbots and Personalization. The Chatbots are kind of a reinvent from some of the functions retailers have
used in the past through their mobile apps. Take Sephora for example. Through their Chatbot, beauty enthusiasts can book a makeup consultation at their nearest Sephora retail location through the Sephora app, while the color match assistant offers a shade matching extension that allows shoppers to scan an image of a color and then instantly match it to a lipstick or eye shadow color in Sephora’s inventory. Sephora is killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Getting shoppers in-store for a makeover and providing them with the opportunity to purchase the “Girl Gang” plum lipstick they just matched their favorite scarf color to is pure genius.

3. Forbes: How To Use Location To Power Smarter Mobile Moments

The big L word. Location. Forbes dives into the differences in targeting shoppers in New York versus targeting shoppers in New York who are walking into a RiteAid on 5th Ave to purchase deodorant. Most brands and
retailers want to make their marketing dollars count and hit the bullseye when it comes to targeting shoppers with what they want, when they want it and where they want to buy it. Whether it’s through an app, social media or push notifications, Forbes reminds us that we must not be afraid of the L word but, use it to our advantage to power the most effective hyper-targeted mobile campaigns.

4. New York Times: Clicks to Bricks: Online Retailers Find the Lure of a Store

Ecommerce continues to boom. Yet, on the contrary, physical stores are still vitally important, says the New York Times. Shopper’s want to feel, try on, and directly see what they’re about to make an investment in. Yes, we can blame ecommerce for certain brick-and-mortar’s closing their doors. However, and fortunately enough, that didn’t stop certain brands and retailers from putting their thinking caps on and using their online retail space to develop innovative pop-ups and ways to get their fare share of foot traffic. The article reports that online sales in the United States will reach nearly $394 billion this year, a number representing less than 12 percent of total retail sales, or a total $3.4 trillion however you want to look at it. But, web-influenced sales (search on mobile, buy in store)  in physical stores are expected to account for an additional $1.3 trillion, or about 38 percent of all retail sales. Step aside ecommerce, in-store shoppers are back.

5. LinkedIn: Intent is the Next Big Thing in Digital Marketing/Advertising

Mobile is here and everywhere. I can’t imagine my life without it (sad, but true). No matter what I need or what I want, I can access it on my iPhone in literally seconds. This evolving type of impulsive behavior, thanks to mobile, is ultimately what is driving the advertising industry today. In Brian Solis’s article, he gives a comparison of two physically, and comically speaking, different individuals. Yet, he shows us that though these two individuals may look and act different, they have the exact same demographics. Solis explains that decisions today are made in micro-moments and based on intentions, not demographics that most marketers are used to using when targeting customers. More so, he encourages marketers to “be there” and “be useful” in these moments. Specifically, if you have engaged your consumer, consider ways to be useful whether it is through providing local product availability information or even how-to videos.

6. GeoMarketing: Great Expectations — Is Your Proximity Marketing Measuring Up?

Say you have already implemented a proximity marketing program into your marketing plan. That’s great and all, but how are you measuring the success of it? Are you getting the results you hoped or set out for? Are you even getting results? In most cases, marketers are still relying on impressions, click through rates and foot traffic – basic analytics that are becoming increasingly more faulty. In this GeoMarketing feature, ShopAdivosr’s very own, Jeff Papows, delivers a set of questions that every marketer, who is using proximity marketing, should be asking themselves. Papows also explains how important a pre-campaign lift analysis can truly be for providing very specific and measurable data to determine the effectiveness of any campaign. This is a must-read for any brand, retail or agency professional!

National Pet Food Brand’s Drive-to-Store Campaign Delivers Pawsome Record Breaking Results through ShopAdvisor

ShopAdvisor published a new case study to highlight the results of a major national pet food brand’s drive-to-store campaign. One of the biggest findings, only 57% of the participating stores actually had the pet products in stock at the outset of the campaign. How did this data, provided by ShopAdvisor, help our client optimize advertising dollars and achieve maximum results?

A little over a year ago, I became a mom – a dog mom that is – to an incredibly charismatic, loving and high-energy chocolate Labrador Retriever. Growing up with dogs, I instinctively knew how important it would be to feed Jack the right kinds of food and treats so he too, can live a long and healthy life. Products that are made in the US, are all-natural, and readily available at stores closest to my home are some of the main things I look for in a pet brand. There is no denying that over the last few months, I have become pawfully loyal to certain dog treats and pet food brands. I mean, it’s not like everyone in Petco knows me (and Jack Daniels) on a first name basis or anything!


dogbonesCoincidentally, ShopAdvisor recently teamed up with a major national pet food brand on a drive-to-store mobile proximity marketing campaign that would entice pet owners into Walgreens to find their dog’s favorite treats.  ShopAdvisor provided the contextually relevant shopper, location and product availability data that powered a six week advertising campaign to increase awareness around three particular dog treats and drive pet owners into 8,614 Walgreens locations to purchase these scrumptious treats.


dog-2The pet brand utilized both mobile and desktop-based promotions, which included hyper-local targeted digital display ads and videos that were delivered via the Walgreens app. Data was pulled from the ShopAdvisor platform, which enabled us to provide the most granular audience segmented data for the campaigns. Key information like dog accessory purchase history, interest in dogs, distribution times and days, and competitive pet brand analysis were all factors in providing the highest contextualized messaging and path-to-purchase experience to pet owners in and around select Walgreens locations.

With more than 7.7 million impressions and a click through rate (CTR) that was 2.7 times higher than the industry average, our pet brand not only achieved substantial results in product awareness but, through real-time product availability data, pet owners were afforded with a more optimal and accurate clicks-to-bricks mobile experience. 

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Also, through the ShopAdvisor platform, the pet food brand found that only 57% of the participating stores actually had the treats in stock at the outset of the campaign. Why is that important? Think about it – a mobile ad drives a shopper to a retailer only to find that the product they just received an ad or offer for is the wrong flavor, color or worse, is out of stock. In that case, not only does that shopper lose (their mind!) but, the brand and retailer lose a sale, and more than likely, a customer to a competitor.

my chocolate lab, Jack Daniels

I don’t know about you, but my 78 pound fur baby rides shotgun pretty much anywhere I go. Though I trust Jack’s sixth sense every time we drive past a pet store,  I would much rather forgo the barking episode and instead, have a contextually relevant promotion pop up on my smartphone to alert me that his most beloved dog treats and food are in fact available at the pet store on my route home, in aisle 14, and a bonus, are 50% off! Hey, a well-fed dog is a happy dog! Can I get a woof if you agree?

You can read the full case study here