Collaborating to Drive Sales in a Mobile World

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Collaborating to Drive Sales in a Mobile World

By Patrycja Malinowska - 10/03/2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- The ability to follow shoppers through a store or while they are shopping online, and to connect both digital and physical data sets together, is key to delivering the kind of individualized marketing experiences that consumers expect today.

During a keynote presentation during the Path to Purchase Expo on Oct. 3, Facebook's director of CPG, shopper marketing and e-commerce Dave Sommer asserted that a "mobile first" approach will be integral to figuring out the future of shopper marketing for CPG companies and retailers.

Consumers are spending north of three hours a day on their phones, Sommer said, with Facebook and subsidiary Instagram owning one third of that time. Although Facebook's shopper solutions aren't fully cooked, the 14-year-old company is working to stay ahead of disruptors and innovate for the future, with a focus on impact and driving sales both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

"If you get the interplay between [digital] devices and in-store, you will have the most valuable customer possible," Sommer said. "Our best results come when we take what we know and what you know and we come together to create an audience."

Retailers have the luxury of capturing loads of data, and Facebook is in early discussions to develop collaborative solutions with Walmart, CVS/pharmacy, Albertsons, Walgreens and Boxed.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning drives the personalized targeting, interpreting billions of intent signals such as when a consumer watches a video or adds an item to a digital cart. When done well, a CPG algorithm will actually search for the right people to target, Sommer said.

One experiment brought together Coca-Cola Co.'s Coke and Walgreens for a Facebook post made by the retailer using creative from Coke's "Happy Hour" promotion. Another involved CVS and L'Oreal plugging the retailer's semi-annual beauty sale with the brands' creative. In these partnerships, the data for targeting comes from the retailer and everyone measures results together.

Sommer also called attention to the high adoption and usage rate of Instagram Stories, which offer a full-screen, short-form interactive experience that feels more playful than feed posts. Half of stories are videos and 60% of those posts include audio. "This is the biggest consumer behavior change that we have seen," Sommer said. "Build for stories because it's going to be massive."

By partnering to build that link between what happens on mobile, desktop and in the store, CPG manufacturers, retailers and Facebook can get better at reaching the right people with the right message and providing measurable results.