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Wearables, beacons and smart diplays: Eight tech startups to help Mondelēz tap Millennials

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

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Tomorrow's world of digital marketing: Mondelēz to leverage wearable technology and bluetooth transmitters to communicate with consumer devices
Tomorrow's world of digital marketing: Mondelēz to leverage wearable technology and bluetooth transmitters to communicate with consumer devices
Mondelēz International’s director of field shopper market shares details on eight technology startups that will help promote power brands such as Trident and Oreo.

Mondelēz received hundreds of applicants for its 4th​ annual Shopper Futures Program and invited 18 startups to pitch their ideas . Eight were chosen to develop a pilot program in partnership with a select retailer over 90 days, before trialling the tech in market for between two weeks and two months.

The Cadbury and Oreo maker chose technologies that it felt would influence a consumer’s path to purchase.

“The key question was: Could it truly impact the shopper journey in some form or fashion,”​ Kim Yansen, director of field shopper marketing

This means in the social space before consumers have even stepped into the store, encouraging purchases when near or inside the store and even inspiring return purchases when leaving a store, she said.

Wearables: ‘The Next Mobile’

One of the eight tie-ups will see wearable technology firm Strap partner with gum brand Trident and US C-store chain Kum & Go.

“Wearable technology is the future it allows us to talk to shoppers in a whole new way,” ​said Yansen.

Strap is a digital marketing platform for wearable technology that integrates with health software you may find on a smart watch such as HealthKit, Google Fit and activity applications like Run Keeper and Strava.

Strap allows consumers to receive offers on products after achieving goals on jogging or health apps. Photo Credit: Strap

Strap CEO and co-founder Steve Caldwell said: “Consumers opt in to share their human data, often in exchange for some sort of incentive, like coupons, loyalty points, or chances to win a contest.”

Yasen, added that the tech would likely promote Trident as part of an oral care routine.

“Imagine someone that has a bracelet that tracks what they are doing and we can reward them for their milestones….wearables are just growing like crazy so it’s a test and learn that we’re really excited about,”​ she said.

Eight startups partner with confectionery brand and a North American retailer

  • startup
    Sampler​ collaborating with Albertsons & RITZ brand, U.S.
  • Shelfbucks​ collaborating with Meijer & OREO brand, U.S.
  • Shelfbucks​ collaborating with Wakefern & HALLS brand, U.S.
  • Freckle IoT​ collaborating with 7-Eleven & OREO/belVita brands, U.S.
  • Strap​ collaborating with Kum & Go & TRIDENT brand, U.S.
  • Turnstyle Solutions​ collaborating with QuickChek & SWEDISH FISH brand, U.S.
  • Turnstyle Solutions​ collaborating with Mac's Convenience Stores (Ontario Division) & CADBURY brand, Canada
  • Aislelabs​ collaborating with Metro & TRISCUIT brand, Canada
  • Earshot​ collaborating with 7-Eleven Canada & DENTYNE brand, Canada
  • Aisle411​ collaborating with HALLS brand, Canada

Digital sampling

Mondelēz has paired biscuit brand Ritz with sampling technology startup Sampler. The tech firm will develop a pilot with American grocery chain Albertsons.

Sampler is a software service that can integrate marketing materials in social media, newsletters, video ads and blog posts.

“Consumers connect with Sampler to claim a digital sample of a cool new product, or share one with a friend on social media. Consumers can then claim the sample by entering a shipping address or picking it up in-store,” ​said Sampler founder Marie Chevrier.

Sampler also has an analytics service that will allow Mondelēz and Albertsons to gather insights on who is sampling products.

Beacon technology

beacon tech
Beacons could interact with a consumer's retail smartphone app to suggest a special offer

Another partner will be Beacon technology firm Freckle IoT that will develop a pilot with US 7-Eleven stores to promote Mondelēz’s Oreo and belVita brands.

“A beacon is a simple Bluetooth transmitter that identifies itself to other Bluetooth devices within a 50m range,”​ said Freckle’s director of business development Anton Vassiliev.

Yansen said the technology could be used to ping a buy-one-get-one-free offer to cell phones while consumers were at gas pumps. She said consumers would have opted-in by installing the retailer’s mobile app.

“When a beacon is identified, the app can serve a contextually relevant notification based on the user’s proximity to the beacon or it can simply acknowledge that the user has been there,”​ said Vassiliev.

Smart displays and Wi-Fi marketing

Shelfbucks Smart Display PR Image - without tagline
Smart display technology allows manufacturers to collect consumer data, says Shelfbucks

Mondelēz has also partnered with Shelfbucks, which claims to have a new form of point-of-purchase display that gathers data on traffic, engagement and conversion rates – a so-called smart display.

 “Much of the in-store marketing communication can be one-way, but the Shelfbucks chip offers a way to get shoppers to swipe their phone and interact with key brand messaging or couponing,” ​said Susan Pittner, associate director of shopper marketing atMondelēz.

Through the retailers mobile app, consumers can engage with the smart display to see product reviews and multimedia content on their cell phones.

Shelfbucks will collaborate with US supermarket chain Meijer for Oreo and US retailer Wakefern for Mondelēz’s Halls brand.

Other pilots will include social marketing through retailer Wi-Fi access in-store in partnership with Turnstyle Solutions and social media measurement tool Earshot.

Mondelez began its annual Shopper Futures program as Mobile futures in 2012. The company is still working with startups from previous years such as Waze, Roximity and Kiip.

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