Crisp Voices Blog

How Mobile Will Power a Renaissance for Shopper Marketing

10 Jul 2014 - Katlyn Dickinson

Originally published on July 10, 2014 on AdExchanger

If you work in shopper marketing today, take note: Mobile will do to your business what the Web did to direct response.


To see what I mean, consider the history of direct response. Back in the days before the Internet, direct response and direct marketing (DM) were pretty much the bottom of the marketing barrel. TV was where the big budgets and big brands went. Direct was where big brands spent their below-the-line marketing dollars and where second-tier brands clogged up mailboxes.


Why was DM an afterthought? A lot of it boiled down to a disconnect between content and data. On the one hand, direct mail was universally recognized as the gold standard for customer insight and ROI. If someone called your 1-800 number, it meant your marketing worked. But on an engagement level, direct TV ads, mailers and catalogs were no match for the most engaging channel of all: television. Brands were left with the hard choice between data-driven marketing and engagement-driven advertising. Brand engagement won and direct marketing lost.


The Internet changed all that. Suddenly, marketers could deliver impactful rich media ads that came with the magic pixel: the piece of code that measured the real impact of granular actions against an ad unit. Brands could now create powerful experiences akin to TV and carry engagement information across touch points in a way that was previously inconceivable without a response to a letter or a phone call.


Powerful brand experience and data-rich marketing could now go hand in hand. Marketers started putting hard numbers against their branding efforts and applying data to target consumers across multichannel campaigns. It wasn’t long before the celebrated new-found alliance between the CMO and the CFO began to form. Ad dollars followed. It wasn’t just creative and media budgets that grew, either; the power of data-driven engagement quickly turned organizations’ marketing departments into new centers of technology.


Branding and DM got a lot closer, and DM became the hot new thing. DM has become so hot today that more than half of all digital dollars are direct-response dollars, and the world's biggest brand-centric ad agencies are shifting to pay for performance payment metrics.  Not a bad turnaround for the forgotten stepchild of the marketing world.


Shopper marketing is a lot like DM. Both are aimed at driving consumers to a specific action. Both serve as a bridge from product awareness to purchase. Both have incredible analytics on the back end, especially when you throw loyalty programs into the mix. And both are relatively easy to achieve on the low-tech portion of the spectrum, such as paper coupons and circulars, but extremely complicated to mimic at the level of real brand engagement like that of TV or rich media. And so, like DM, shopper marketing has done well for more than a century, but it's hardly taken its place at the forefront of the ad business.


Much like DM eight years ago, shopper marketing has quietly waited for its data and engagement moment.


The problem is that engagement and data for shopper marketing is a much harder technical proposition than for direct marketing. That’s because DM works in a very controlled environment, such as the tight framework of a letter or a computer screen. Shopper marketing, by contrast, deals with the enormously complicated world of walks down the street and browsing real-life shelves. To create anything close to what the desktop Web has achieved, shopper marketing needs to develop an immersive data and engagement framework that followers customers basically everywhere, in-store and out, and that can plot data across the entire conversion path.


The task gets a lot easier with a device that tracks data, promotes deep engagements and that people carry around a lot. This brings me to mobile devices.


Connecting the app ecosystem and the Web, mobile devices have access to consumers’ past activity. As tools that consumers carry with them everywhere, theyre able to both measure and leverage data specific to where a shopper stands, at any given moment, from using weather data to deliver weather-targeted creative to leveraging location data to target and guide potential buyers the moment they walk by a store. As Apple’s iBeacon and other in-store geotargeting technology takes hold, shopper marketing data and engagement will only become more powerful. If you want to understand how immersive an engagement experience mobile can be, I have two words for you: Angry Birds.


Mobile creates a framework for data and engagement from desk to store, and everywhere in between. That’s the groundwork for a revolution the likes of which we haven’t seen since the desktop Web made DM hot.


It’s also a formula for driving a lot of in-store sales, which is exactly what pushes shopper marketing far into the C-suite.


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Introducing Crisp Air

31 Mar 2014 - Tom Limongello

We are thrilled announce the launch of Crisp Air: mobile retargeting for the real world. Crisp Media has prepared a fleet of unmanned drones connected via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors so that users can be retargeted after visiting their favorite retail locations. 

This Spring, Crisp Air will be available in the five boroughs of NYC, and will support 300mm x 250mm, the first IAB Rising Star format for 3D-printed Out-of Home (OOH) advertising.

You can learn more by watching this short video. 

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Will the IAB SafeFrame specification find adoption with publishers?

19 Mar 2014 - Xavier Facon

Today marks the one year anniversary of a new IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) supported digital ad serving specification called SafeFrame. The standard helps advertisers and publishers with serving expandable rich media ads on (non-mobile) web pages in a more secure, more reliable and more measurable way.

The advantage of SafeFrame for advertisers who look to serve engaging and expandable ads more easily is significant, especially for those who seek to execute campaigns through programmatic means. Without this standard, enabling expandable ad formats is mostly handled by publishers as a one-off using a so called Pub File or iframe buster. This Pub File alternative is not easily manageable, is not scalable and thus not possible on programmatic inventory. Another advantage when advertisers use SafeFrames is the support for viewability measurement. In other words, better assurances that the impressions that the advertiser buys are actually viewed by someone.

For publishers, who have to do most of the heavy lifting to implement IAB SafeFrame, the advantage is better control over their user’s privacy and less risk that the ad content will interfere with their web content. This is significant improvement over a slightly different iFrame best practice called Friendly iFrames that only simplified the traditional practice of iframe busters. 

One year after its launch, SafeFrames are supported by Yahoo!, who is the main publisher driving the development of the specification. However, very few other major publishers have support for it. But now that Crisp and 22 other vendors have already made their technology compatible with SafeFrame, why is there still so little support from publishers?

A negative comment I have heard in the ad tech community is the supposed questionable need for changing anything. I heard similar feedback from the industry when the team here at Crisp was pushing for MRAID - the mobile counterpart to SafeFrames - several years ago. Over the past three years, MRAID has been adopted on about 80% of all mobile app ad inventory. Just like with MRAID, the initial reaction to stay-the-course is the wrong one. Instead, publishers that are able to embrace SafeFrames will be ahead of the curve and able to profit from the standard.

In terms of the timing for the SafeFrame specification and adoption, MRAID mobile did beat SafeFrames display on such things as expandable rich media via programmatic channels, publisher control and viewability. It is also likely that mobile and display standards will converge some time in the future. But for the next few years, we think it will be very productive for publishers to implement SafeFrames instead of sticking to the old Pub File approach.

Privacy and security, viewability, scale / programmatic delivery and richer more engaging ads are all key priorities for advertisers, for Crisp and for many other vendors. SafeFrame is designed to meet these priorities, so my best bet is that IAB SafeFrame is here to stay.

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Mobile First Digital Ad Spending

24 Feb 2014 - Naftali Goldsmith

Mobile advertising strategies and tactics today frequently take a back seat to traditional media. At Crisp, we are often tasked with optimizing ad creative for various mobile devices, in order to help drive the overall KPI’s of a campaign. 

In 2013, research* showed that for the first time mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51% of time spent online. This number is even more pronounced for the younger 18-24 demographic, which spends 59% of its time on mobile and tablet devices.

Advertisers are catching up to this massive shift, which creates an unprecedented opportunity to redefine digital ad strategies around users, starting with how and when they use the technology in their lives. The capability to present consistent messaging across devices, each with its own appropriate goals, tactics, and KPIs, is a powerful paradigm for advertisers. 

To engage consumers across multiple screens, advertisers are increasingly designing holistic digital strategies. This approach leverages the unique capabilities of each device to serve the overall objectives of the campaign.

There are a number of ways to help advertisers achieve their goals:

  • Cross screen targeting and re-targeting
  • Coordination of an open app with a TV commercial or program
  • Rise of HTML 5 rich media on desktop browsers
  • Rich Media on Smart TV’s 

More than ever, strategic plans are starting with mobile. ‘Mobile First’ strategies begin with defining media and targeting plans, and then proceed to setting a creative direction based on known patterns of how users react to specific types of ads, on specific devices.

In order to capture mobile users time and attention, and get them to indulge in an advertisement, users want to:

  • View product and promotion detail (online and in-store) as part of general awareness and decision making
  • Browse products for immediate purchase, or save opportunities for future purchase consideration
  • Participate in larger social initiatives and share brand messaging
  • Search and find where to go for a particular product or service
  • Play and interact with brand sponsored games and immersions

To be successful with a mobile first campaign, advertisers must have sufficient creative assets to execute common tactics across devices and screens that represent the majority of rich media user engagements: animated messaging, video views, gallery views, data capture, and various click-through CTAs. These tactics can be spread across screens based on available ad placements and the optimal user experience for each device. Device specific tactics (e.g. click to call on phones) are also included as appropriate.

A number of combinations of objectives and tactics can work for any given advertiser.  Sector dynamics, market positions and an appetite for risk taking are all factors that go into strategic planning and campaign execution.  As big brands and their agencies experiment with mobile first, and as ad technologies emerge that can handle innovation that scales, we will continue to see significant changes in how brands and consumers connect through technology.


*Comscore & Jumptap, “Screen Jumping”, September 2013



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Crisp Nominated for Best Mobile Video Advertising

20 Nov 2013 - Lindsay Beach

Crisp Media was named a finalist for the Digiday Video Awards in the Best Mobile Video Advertising category for work on Kraft Fresh Take with Starcom. The Digiday Video Awards honor overall excellence and breakthrough achievement in video media, marketing and advertising. Crisp is honored to be among the handful of brands, agencies, publishers and technology providers who were nominated and continue to push the industry forward. 

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