Location Data and Digital Marketing Helps Football Fans Find Velveeta Before the Big Game

Like it or not, every mobile phone has the ability to track our movements and, with “location services” enabled, every mobile phone can communicate with a beacon to identify our precise location. Neil Sweeney, head of Freckle IoT, a provider of beacon hardware and software, had helped CPG marketers get closer to their customers by understanding their store shopping habits with location data. Neil saw how dominant the mobile marketing channel was, connecting advertisers with on-the-go customers by understanding their shopping habits with location data.

Mondelez, owner of Velveeta and other prominent consumer packaged goods brands, was at arm’s length from consumers purchasing its products in stores, and the data they leave behind. The Company knew that Velveeta cheese was great for making nachos for Sunday football games, and highly available in convenience stores where football fans go to pick up beer and snacks before the big game.

Beer and chips go together, but what if Mondelez could get these shoppers to take their game-time snacks to the next level with nachos? Location data from mobile phones could tell Mondelez how far its customers were willing to travel to shop for their snacks, as well as what stores they were shopping in. Mondelez could measure the success of its mobile campaigns and tie successful purchases to other messages customers were exposed to.

Mondelez knew location data was the key to cracking the puzzle, so Freckle started with an in-store beacon deployment, which allowed them to know exactly where shoppers were in the store. They used latitudinal and longitudinal data from satellites and cell phone towers (known as “geofencing”) to measure people in certain locations. Freckle also targeted competitive convenience stores to capture users who were shopping at other local convenience stores.

The plan was to locate users once they came within proximity to the store, and then use SMS messaging to deliver a coupon offer to their phone, follow them into the store to a display with the cheese promotion and product, ask them to present the mobile coupon for a discount, connect with the store’s point-of-sale system to see if Velveeta was purchased, and look to see what else was purchased, hopefully chips and salsa.

The plan was ambitious. Mondelez was pursuing real-time, in-the-moment marketing. It was linking a physical display with digital marketing, two disciplines that rarely intersect. It was trying to measure visits to other stores to get an idea of shopping habits and was measuring the effectiveness of its SMS campaign by seeing whether the coupon delivered was redeemed. It was attempting to analyze shoppers baskets to see what other products cheese buyers were purchasing and measuring the effectiveness of offline promotions by seeing how many consumers stopped in front of the store display and tying that data to people who purchased the Velveeta. Finally, it aimed to match in-store, mobile and purchase activities against all other digital campaigns that customers had seen previously.

“The problem marketers are trying to solve today is the same one they’ve been working on for years,” said Neil Sweeney. “How many ad dollars did it take me to produce an actionable outcome? Today, the purchase data available to marketers comes highly modeled and way too late to impact ongoing campaigns. But now we have the data, using beacons, that can tell us if a consumers walked into a store, and we can marry that with ad exposure data and see how our marketing dollars moved the needle. It’s a more precise and actionable way to close the loop on attribution.”

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We are a crew of proven technologists, go-to-market assassins, and seasoned entrepreneurs launching and growing new tech startups. Learn more at: superset.com