Martech: The future is here

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Published: March 27, 2018 3:07:58 AM

While, for the most part, using technologies such as AR, AI, geofencing or even NFC may be the special flourish or part of a larger campaign, bold brands are finding creative ways to use them.

martech, WARC report, AR, AI, geofencing, NFCA WARC report, Martech: 2018 and Beyond, finds that martech (the blend of marketing and technology) spends in the US and the UK alone could reach between billion and billion by the end of 2018.

A WARC report, Martech: 2018 and Beyond, finds that martech (the blend of marketing and technology) spends in the US and the UK alone could reach between $36 billion and $43 billion by the end of 2018. While, for the most part, using technologies such as AR, AI, geofencing or even NFC may be the special flourish or part of a larger campaign, bold brands are finding creative ways to use them. BrandWagon’s Shinmin Bali puts together shining examples where a handful of smart international brands have used martech innovatively to wow consumers

Geofence penalty

Brand: oBike

Where: Singapore

When: October, 2017 (ongoing)

Singapore’s bike sharing service oBike began making use of geofencing in October, 2017. Since the premise of oBike is for bikes to be used for first and last mile commuting, enforcing responsible parking behaviour can be a tough task requiring a fair amount of monitoring. In Singapore, oBike uses geofencing for over 1,100 parking zones, 150 bus stops, 50 mass rapid transit stations and more than 800 yellow boxes island-wide. The designated bicycle parking zones are defined by blue polygonal shapes and ‘P’ indicators in the oBike app. Those parking anywhere except at designated spots receive a notification on the app informing them of their mistake. The initiative is currently in a six month trial period, post which the technology will be used to penalise bikers. After the trial period, 10 points will be deducted from users who do not park within the geofenced areas each time. Once the rider drops to zero points, they will not be able to use the service. Conversely, responsible users will be incentivised with oBike credit points. These can be accumulated and can be exchanged for a range of rewards such as lifestyle products, shopping vouchers and hotel stays, starting from as low as 500 points. The technology is likely to be rolled out in most countries of oBike’s operations. To ensure a higher degree of accuracy, the company will launch and complete its beacon-geofencing by the second quarter of 2018.

Tipple on tap with NFC

Brand: Campari America

Where: United States of America

When: December, 2017 (ongoing)

Spirits manufacturer Campari America rolled out refrigerator magnets that were near field communication (NFC)-enabled, allowing customers to order their choice of beverage through a single tap. The instant-order NFC magnets allow customers to order from a choice of Campari, SKYY Vodka, Wild Turkey, Aperol, Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum and Espolòn Tequila. A tap on the refrigerator magnet takes the consumer to a product page on their apps on Drizly which is a beer, wine and spirits on-demand online marketplace. The NFC magnets are targeted at tech-savvy millennial spirit drinkers in New York City. Since magnets work in perpetuity, the brand expects consumers to use them for years to come. The company is using NFC to deliver products with speed and convenience while also providing an engaging experience. NFC, for the brand, is likely to play a role in future OOH, event or on/off-premise marketing activations. Campari America is currently testing and learning from new technologies to understand how best to use it in the brand’s future marketing initiatives. The brand will also consider how it can use geofencing in the future, assessed on a case-by- case basis.

Convicts, undead come to life with AR

Brand: Treasury Wine Estates

Where: United States of America

When: Mid-2017 (ongoing)

Australia-based Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) made use of augmented reality (AR) for its brand 19 Crimes, where bottles of the brand featured one convict per bottle that was transported from the UK to Australia, as part of a sentence. When looked at through the app, the convict on the label begins to tell the story of the crime that s/he committed. Following this initiative, the AR experience was expanded and brought to consumers through an app titled Living Wine Labels (currently brandishing one million downloads). The umbrella app allows the consumer to experience AR driven experiences for its brands such as Gentleman’s Collection, The Walking Dead, Chateau St Jean and Beringer Bros. Earlier this year, The Last Wine Company, a TWE brand, introduced The Walking Dead Blood Red Blend with an AR experience through the Living Wine Labels. The Walking Dead experience lets the consumer see a two-bottle AR interaction. When bottles of The Walking Dead wine range are displayed next to each other, characters on the bottle come to life virtually and appear to attack each other. For Beringer Bros, TWE looked to highlight founders and the origin story of Beringer Vineyards which was founded in Napa Valley around 150 years ago. The app shows brothers Jacob and Mark Beringer standing in front of the old distillery, flanked by workers, talking about their venture as they look to attract attention towards it. The call to action and active consumer engagement happens when the viewer is prompted to help take a photograph of the scene. This image then places itself as part of a story in a newspaper which announces the winery.

Taxiing around with geofence

Brand: American Airlines

Where: The UK

When: Sept-Nov, 2017

American Airlines (AA) in London was looking to focus on the ‘small but lucrative’ transatlantic business class market in an effort to increase purchase intent among frequent flyers. To this end, AA with MediaCom utilised geofencing by making use of the iconic London taxis. The target segment AA was aiming to reach was heavily concentrated in Canary Wharf and the city areas of London. Taxis were used to link these areas; 85 taxis based around the target locations were physically and virtually wrapped to enable them with geofencing capabilities. AA collaborated with Ubiquitous (for taxis) and Mobsta (mobile) to enable geofencing and targeting, given the moving nature of the geofence required for the campaign. AA identified exposed devices by connecting to the taxi API platform enabling the taxi GPS to be geofenced and capturing device IDs within this moving geofence. A demographic overlay was used to ensure that the brand only targeted devices that conformed to the targeting specifications. These individuals were then retargeted on their devices with a unique location-informed sequential messaging. People exposed to both taxis and mobile advertising increased their purchase intent by 34% and their brand familiarity went up by 20% during the campaign run.

A visual treat

Brand: Expedia

Where: Global

When: April, 2017

In 2017, Expedia invested more than $1.4 billion in technology to make it easier for travellers to search, click and book their travel. The company’s technology expenses are growing at 10% year-on-year. ExpediaLabs released a VR experience via Steam, a gaming site in 2017, where viewer could explore Seattle’s Space Needle, reach all the way up to its roof and look below. It allowed viewers to visualise a bungee jump off from a height of about 500 feet, furthering the use of VR. It is also looking at using VR to help potential customers see hotels and views from their windows to help make an informed booking decision. Expedia makes use of AI and deep learning to select the best pictures that describe a property, and then displays them depending on whether the customer is a business traveller or a leisure traveller. To handle queries in real time, it uses AI supported chatbots. In line with the ‘Test and Learn’ concept, the brand has three Expedia Innovation Labs in Singapore, London and Bellevue. Predictive modelling, machine learning and high-powered recommendation engines have improved customer experience and increased efficiency. The findings from the Test and Learn cycles were earlier released for four cycles per year, but have now changed to weekly releases allowing the brand to continually iterate with the platform.

Milk packs sing with AR

Brand: Yili Industrial Group

Where: China

When: February, 2018

Yili Weikezi, a milk brand from China distributed by Yili Industrial Group, rolled out an AR execution as part of its packaging in February this year. The 240ml cartons are available in four variants — coffee, strawberry, banana and chocolate. Each flavour corresponds to a different audio greeting from Chinese singer Han Lu. The audio greeting plays upon scanning the packaging. For the younger audience, the AR-enabled app brings to life models of planets that consumers can customise as per their preferences. Each planet displayed corresponds with its unique audio print. However, the AR activation also allows them to create planets on their own as per their choice and assign a new audio or voiceprint recorder by the user. New planets formed can then be shared with one’s social network, thus taking the activation outside the app, encouraging shareability and creating word-of- mouth.


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