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Case Study

Simplifying mobile marketing automation for FMCG & retail brands

Simplifying mobile marketing automation for FMCG & retail brands

With big data, consumer journeys, and real-time rewards all top of mind these days, I still often see many businesses and brands overwhelmed by it all; scrambling around trying to figure out some way to package it and make it into something of value to their clients.

These terms have been buzz words for a while now, but it rarely seems to get down to an executable workflow, a packaged solution, that will actually make a difference.

Take FMCG and retail brands for example; a truly competitive and fast-moving industry to be in. How do you add value to an in-store consumer good whilst convincing consumers to give you valuable information about themselves? It can be daunting and time-consuming.

What we've come to realize is that companies need an effective, closed-loop mobile marketing automation solution that will simplify this process radically.

The consumer journey

Our mobile marketing automation platform, and the technology behind it, allow us to generate unique codes to be used on-pack (behind a label, under a bottle top, on a till slip, or on a scratch card). We record each unique code against an identifier so that our system knows exactly which brand, pack and even location each entry is coming from.

The activation campaign drives the consumer to buy the product and, as a result of the unique on-pack code, the brand has a myriad of options of how to interact with them. It’s a crucial moment: An opportunity to collect valuable information about them, whilst making sure that they have a great, interactive brand experience.

This interaction can happen via a marketing channel of their choice - SMS, USSD, an app, a website, a WAP site, or even a social media channel like Twitter. Most importantly, the consumer must be able to choose the most convenient channel for them.

Data enrichment

As the consumer engages with the product and responds to the on-pack trigger, the code comes into the Grapevine platform for validation.

This is where things get interesting: Organizing and structuring the big data that starts streaming into the system in such a way that it becomes more than just data; but instead a valuable and enriched consumer profile, ready to engage with your brand based on shared value. That's the holy grail of marketing.

Once the code has been validated and the brand knows it’s a legitimate consumer that’s purchased the product, two things need to happen: Thank the consumer and possibly reward them for their behaviour; and aim to learn even more about them and their consumption behaviour.

The system is able to quickly and dynamically look up the details to match a specific person with a specific mobile phone. It can either be through a CRM system; an existing database that we might have; or through a third party database to find out who that cell phone number belongs to. We can find out whether they are male or female, what their age is, or even which region they are from.

Based on that enriched information we can then send the appropriate response to that person. In other words, the brand's response is dynamically engineered to be customised for that specific profile.

Closing the mobile marketing automation loop

Next, we can ask them for some information about the brand.

Let’s say this particular brand is a chocolate. The brand might be interested in knowing what other types of chocolates that person likes to buy; or they might want to find out how many children that consumer has. All of these questions can be asked through the response mechanism.

Of course it’s a constant exchange of value, and each request for more custom data or repeat purchase needs to be backed with an offer of reward. These rewards must be instant and fully integrated into the brand’s infrastructure. For example airtime, cash, vouchers, points, etc.

And just like that the loop is closed and the mobile marketing cycle has been automated:

  • The consumer was given some kind of trigger that's concealed on-pack or on the till slip;
  • A variety of channels for interaction with the brand was supplied;
  • The consumer was validated;
  • There was an opportunity for data enrichment;
  • There was an appropriate response with custom content;
  • A reward or incentive was supplied to thank them for giving their profile information;
  • Up-sell or cross-sell was encouraged.

Everyone wins: the consumer, the brand, and the retailer are all satisfied.

Over the years, we’ve created over a billion on-pack codes for brands, managed over 100 million interactions, and provided roughly R500 million worth of rewards and incentives. From experience the brands that get the mix of engagement, rewards and targeting right, have shown exceptional response and ROI rates.

This methodology is most applicable to FMCG and retail brands but can actually just as easily be applied to any brand or product, loyalty process, or rewards process. It’s quite widespread. You could even take a consumer on a journey from a TV commercial onto a mobile device, ask them for some information, and then offer them an incentive or reward right there and then on the mobile platform.

A closed-loop mobile marketing automation solution that creates value is not something that requires a lot of technology or software. With Grapevine's solution, no integration to the brand’s backend systems is necessary. It’s user-friendly, practical and, most importantly, easily executable.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our mobile marketing automation platform, contact us on +27 702 3333 or email article was first published on 15 December in Grapevine's press office on

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