Bridging the gap. Closing the loop.

Taking consumers on the journey from brand awareness to product purchase

While great brands are easy to recognise, in an increasingly competitive market the relationship between brand image and market share is becoming an ever more important measurement. Consequently, leading brands are constantly looking for new techniques to not only reach their target market but to show that these methods have been successful.

Digital vouchers are a fast and efficient way to connect with consumers. Through ‘closed loop’ analysis, they empower brands to measure the effectiveness of marketing over the short, medium and long term.

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.

– Jon Wanamaker

In-Store Promotions

Between 70% and 80% of all purchase decisions are made in store, which makes its importance as a promotional location hard to ignore. Today consumers are bombarded with product promotions; hit with a cacophony of messages in-store as each brand tries to out-shout the last. Amid the unbroken noise of advertising, only imaginative and truly targeted promotions are going to grab consumer attention.

Leading convenience stores and supermarkets, such as SPAR and Keystores, have each benefited from the combined powers of secure digital vouchers and the retail store to implement unique in-store promotions that increased footfall, loyalty, and basket value.

SPAR: ‘Shop & Win’

In 2014 SPAR launched its first major in-store mobile marketing campaign, using secure digital vouchers, and attracted the interest of a new demographic. The £1 million national campaign – ‘Shop & Win’ – targeted younger audiences with instant prizes from brands including Cadbury, McVitie’s, Coca-Cola, Mars and Walkers, as well as a daily prize of an iPad Air.

The promotion ran across 1,985 of SPAR’s UK stores, and was advertised through TV & radio, social media, a dedicated website, and eye-catching point of sale materials. Shoppers either entered by text, or online, and discount vouchers and free product coupons were delivered immediately to their mobile phone.

Each voucher was redeemed in real-time enabling SPAR to examine the effectiveness of each individual product promotion. Results revealed a direct correlation between an increase in footfall and digital voucher distribution. Free product coupons redeemed rates of up to 39%, and money-off vouchers up to 16%.

The campaign captured the interest of a previously unengaged demographic. It encouraged a younger audience to shop at SPAR; successfully bridging the gap between this group’s awareness of the SPAR stores and increasing basket spend.

Keystore: In Store and Online

For the past year Keystore have been working with over forty of their leading suppliers to create a ‘Digital Marketing Laboratory’ where various promotional techniques can be trialed and measured accurately.

Using text, social media and location-based services, a variety of free product coupons and money-off vouchers were made available to Keystore customers. By tracking the success of each channel across a range of different offers, a considerable volume of shopper data (including basket contents) has been collected and is being used to drive future campaigns – both nationally and locally.

Not withstanding the experimental nature of the initiative, results have been commercially impressive. Free product vouchers peaked at a 76% redemption rate and discount coupons exceeded redemption rates of 70%. Now in its second year of operation, the scheme has been extended to include in-store promotions with receipt advertising, which are to follow in the course of the year.

The Impact of On-Pack Promotions

On-pack promotions have long been used to stimulate impulse purchases, encourage shoppers to spend more or to switch brands. But brands operate in a fiercely competitive market, and on-pack promotions must be distinctive if they are to pack a punch.

Walkers: On-Pack For The Digital Age

In 2013 Walkers re-invented the on-pack promotion for the digital age with an inventive TV campaign: ‘Gary’s Great Ingredient Hunt’. 160 million packets of Walkers crisps were produced with a unique code printed inside. Consumers were then directed to an online and mobile game, where they entered the code and played to win an instant prize.

Prizes ranged from packets of Walkers crisps and copies of The Sun, to instant cash prizes of between £5 and £100. Winnings were delivered instantly to the player’s mobile phone using i-movo digital vouchers.

The promise of instant cash – no strings attached – is always attractive. But it is often difficult to deliver securely and without financial exposure for the brand. This promotion, however, employed i-movo’s CashOut service to distribute its cash-value vouchers, which tracked the use of each one in real-time to guarantee compete security. Winners simply presented their unique digital voucher to a local retailer, who gave them cash straight from the till. The retailer was then reimbursed automatically, within
seven days.

‘Gary’s Great Ingredient Hunt’ saw an astonishing cash prize redemption rate of up to 93% – a clear indicator that consumers
were actively engaged with the campaign. A significant number of voucher redemptions took place in the same store, minutes
after purchase, indicating a direct correlation between the on-pack promotion and the sale of the crisps.

Online Promotions

The rise of the online has meant that Internet and mobile promotions are becoming the fastest and most effective way to reach consumers. Online promotions offer speed, immediacy, instant feedback, and greater control. They are less expensive then their offline alternatives and enable greater precision when targeting.

Grolsch, Coke Zero and Coors Light have each taken advantage of modern technologies to implement inventive promotions, quickly, and closely engage today’s consumer, who is already on-line.

Big Bold Grolsch

Grolsch, the Dutch beer brand known internationally for its swing-top bottles, is one of the most recognisable icons in the worldwide beer industry. In 2012 the brewer, Molson Coors, ran a national sampling campaign utilising online and on air advertising channels along with i-movo and their network of over 25,000 PayPoint retailers.

The character ‘Journt’ – The Netherlands’ most notorious police officer – was introduced to consumers through an interactive video and mobile experience, which encouraged consumers to text Journt their name. If Journt ‘recognised’ the name, he would reply with an i-movo secure digital voucher for a 4-pack of Grolsch; a high value product that surprised and delighted it’s recipients.

This campaign was also noteworthy because the ‘Return-on-Investment’ was known in advance. Molson Coors and i-movo guaranteed the success of the campaign by committing to run the activity until the brand’s acquisition target was met. This removed all commercial risk from the campaign and set a precedent for fail-safe results.

Coke Zero with Vouchercloud

Vouchercloud is the UK’s leading location-based consumer offers app with over 3 million downloads. In 2015, Coke Zero ran a location and demographic targeted sampling campaign, which benefited from Vouchercloud’s considerable audience and its sophisticated ‘geo-fencing’ capability, as well as from i-movo’s secure digital voucher redemption capability in over 55,000 UK retail stores.

Vouchercloud sent push-notifications to opted-in users, within the target demographic, who had crossed into the perimeter of the ‘geo-fence.’ This notification offered the consumer a free Coke Zero. With the customer in close proximity to the retailer, the journey from ‘awareness’ to ‘redemption’ was fast and effective. Customer-acquisition forecasts were met ahead of schedule and the campaign delivered an impressive redemption rate of 22%.

This campaign was also noteworthy because the ‘Return-on-Investment’ was known in advance. Vouchercloud and i-movo guaranteed the success of the campaign by committing to run the activity until the brand’s acquisition target was met. This removed all commercial risk from the campaign and set a precedent for fail-safe results.

Coors Light: A Damme Fine Campaign

In 2013, Molson-Coors launched a campaign that pushed the boundaries of online and mobile marketing. Molson-Coors ran a TV

advertisement, aimed at 18-24 year-old men, that featured brand ambassador Jean-Claude Van Damme in a satirical portrayal of himself. Reaching out to consumers, literally, he gave consumers a ‘cold call’ to personally involve them in the promotion…

The TV ad directed its audience online to the Coors Light website or Facebook page, where participants could enter

the details of a friend for them to receive a ‘cold call’ from Van Damme. At the end of the call Van Damme would say: ‘have a beer on me’, and a digital voucher, valid for four free bottles or cans of Coors Light, was immediately sent to their mobile phone.

Each voucher also contained a store finder, which directed consumers to the nearest of 6,000 stores, which stocked the product

and where they could collect their beer. Retailers simply scanned the voucher using their PayPoint or Payzone terminal, and, like every i-movo campaign, were automatically reimbursed within seven working days.

This inspired promotion set a new benchmark for web-to-store campaigns with a remarkable redemption rate of 52.69%. Each element – faultless technical execution, striking graphic design, and the imaginative use of an entertaining brand ambassador – came together to make this a groundbreaking campaign that actively engaged consumers in the promotion and with the Coors Light brand. By first intriguing its target market, and then placing a Coors Light beer in their many thousands of hands, it certainly was a Damme fine campaign.

Conclusion: Closing the Loop, Making the Sale

Many marketers will be familiar with the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

In ‘Online Promotions: Winning Strategies and Tactics, 2004’ Bill Carmody explains, ‘If you have a good product at the right price available in the right places, then all you need is an effective promotion to close the marketing loop and make the sale’.

Secure digital vouchers ‘close the loop’ in two ways: they empower brands and retailers to bridge the gap between brand awareness and product purchase, and, simultaneously, to make that vital connection between promotional activities and real-world sales.