All our devices get switched off at some point but packaging lives on in our shelves and cabinets. Described as marketing’s “dark horse”, technological developments like 3D printing, AR and NFC have dramatically increased the potential for packaging to serve as a marketing media platform, enabling brands to personalize and update promotional content on them.
Augmented Reality: For a 2016 Halloween promotion, Dr Pepper used mini cans of soda, cartoon monsters (MiniMonsters), and an augmented reality app. When consumers scanned two cans side by side, they unlocked a battle between the MiniMonsters. Because the app allowed for 15 different interactions in all, consumers were encouraged to buy multiple cans and flavors – and since the app included a sharing functionality, more than 10,000 of the app users shared their MiniMonster battles on social media.
Mobile and digital technologies allow brands to give customers truly unique, immersive experiences with their products. Virtual Reality, for example, can literally put users into brands’ worlds – done well, it can amplify word-of-mouth marketing through customer awe.
In a bid to set itself apart from the competition, The New York Times launched a VR app to immerse users in its storytelling. To get users to download the app, it shipped more than a million Google cardboard headsets to its print and online subscribers – who were effusive with praise and astonishment at the experience, making for unbeatable promotional lift.
PAID MEDIA TOOLS
FREE-STANDING INSERTS & COUPONS (DIGITAL AND PAPER)
Retailers’ circulars, which include coupons, still reach an estimated 50 million households per week. For amplification, retailers should keep in mind that coupons are still hugely popular amongst all demographics – and the only shifts have been in the channels chosen. While paper coupon usage only dropped slightly or held steady with older Americans, younger people are using online coupons or coupon codes more often.
- More than half of shoppers surveyed by Valassis say they have visited a store, restaurant or other business after receiving an offer on their mobile device when they were near the business location.
FLYERS AND POSTERS:
In an online age, there’s something to be said for going au naturel and exercising a little guerilla marketing. Put up flyers in local cafes and posters on corners.
BILLBOARDS AND OOH
The potential for traditional billboards and OOH (out-of-home advertising), although effective in themselves, going digital (DOOH), is exciting for amplification purposes. It means brands can be very responsive to on-the-ground marketing needs, enabling them to localize advertising, yet leverage the reach and scale of this particular channel.
Diageo launched a series of digital billboards using real-time weather-activated triggers to deliver Pimm’s ads when temperatures reached or surpassed 16 degrees. In addition, by adding in a beacon network, the boards counted the number of smartphones at local venues to tell potential customers where there were free seats to enjoy a jug of Pimm’s.
TV ADS & ONLINE VIDEO
TV is still the best for generating the broadest top-of-the-funnel engagement. Adding television to the media mix amplifies effectiveness by 40%. Microsoft found that in the 30 days after it launched a TV campaign, social media conversation around Microsoft lifted by 41% amongst people who tweeted during shows when the ad aired.
SOCIAL MEDIA ADS
There’s massive competition for eyeballs on social media. In the face of this uncertainty, many brands are making much more cost-effective use of ‘paid’ media rather than relying on organic message distribution.
- Research already shows that 2017 has seen a 61.5% increase in paid media spend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
- A 2017 emarketer survey found 42% of small and medium businesses consider Facebook and other social ads to be the most effective marketing method available to them.
The classic POS display still has emphatic impact for inspiring shoppers to purchase.
The National Mango Board (NMB) hosts an annual Mango Mania Display Contest during summer, designed to help stores pump up mango sales while educating shoppers about mangos. Retailers build eye catching POS displays, with nutrition information, mango recipes and samples, the most creative of which compete for prizes and incentives. Volume for participating stores more than doubles during the contest, driving incremental sales.
Brands are increasingly leaning on social influencers to amplify their campaigns, and with good reason. Their endorsements can be very effective
- 82% of people are willing to follow an influencer’s recommendation compared to 73% who would follow that of the average customer’s posted online.
To help Presidente reach DJ’s, a key influencer segment, and incentivize them to promote their product, Snipp created a custom program targeting DJ’s, where they can register on the brand’s website, and if accepted into the program, they can earn cash rewards by promoting Presidente on their own social media accounts. Snipp validates the hashtags #SoyPresidente & #Rewards and pays the participants via SnippPay.
EARNED MEDIA TOOLS
Top trusted formats for advertising:
- 83% – Recommendations of friends and family
- 66% – Online customer experiences
50% of consumers want brands to tell them what content to create, but only a measly 16% actually do that.
One of the best examples of a super-charged promotion incorporating user-generated content is the “Shot on iPhone” campaign. Apple showcases customer photographs to directly prove that the iPhone’s camera shoots breathtaking, print-ready photos. Since all the images from the campaign are created by their users, it amplifies the overall promotional reach through social sharing.
‘VIRAL’ AND ‘SHAREABLE’ CONTENT
Earned media starts with great content packaged in a way to encourage sharing. Content that is designed to generate an emotional response from the audience (i.e. laughter or enjoyment) will have the greatest impact.
- 26% of people are likely to share funny/entertaining content, especially on social media where people are usually leery of engaging with branded content.
PetSmart generated buzz via a branded hashtag and Halloween photo contest. For a chance to win a $1,000 prize, shoppers shared a snapshot of their costumed pet and tagged it with #MonsterCute. The campaign received nearly 10,000 submissions, while building awareness about what consumers could find in the stores. It also motivated pet lovers to stop by and purchase those same costumes.
Continue to amplify social media shares generated through other amplification efforts – set up alerts to monitor placements and social mentions, and then leverage these to magnify their impact. Whenever the promotion is shared or discussed online, reply to the person sharing and retweet it, thereby amplifying “chatter”.
REWARDS FOR SHARING
If users are offered rewards for sharing promotional content via social media, they’ll be much more likely to do so.
Flock to Unlock: An increasingly popular incentive for sharing content on social media is this Twitter tool, which can ‘unlock’ rewards that increase in number and value based on the number of shares.
NASCAR created a Twitter rewards campaign at the Daytona 500 stock car race, inviting fans to “race” for real driver gear – flags, helmets, bent metal from crashes – in real time, by tweeting specific hashtags at different moments during the live race. The campaign brought in 13,000 mentions in one minute – a record for the largest social media spike in history, according to Twitter. From the campaign, the brand saw a 22.5% increase in followers watching live and 640% increase in Twitter followers.