Crisp Voices Blog

Pulling Off a Supermarket Sweep

19 Aug 2014 - Katlyn Dickinson

This article originally appeared on August 5, 2014 on

Mobile advertising platform provider Crisp Media works with a variety of brands in a number of trades – from auto titans like Ford and Jeep, to casual dining chains like McDonald’s and TGI Friday’s, to mega retailers such as JC Penneyand American Eagle. The New York-based firm also does a fair amount of work with brands in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space. While no two Crisp campaigns are identical, the agency has concocted a basic recipe for running an effective CPG program. And geo-marketing plays a prominent, multifaceted part in most every one.

Jim Selden, SVP of Marketing at Crisp

“We work with a lot of leading CPG brands,” says Jim Selden, SVP of Marketing at Crisp, declining to mention brand names without direct legal approval. Crisp’s website, however, boasts of work with KraftPampers, and Johnson & Johnsonamong many other CPG advertisers.

“I think that what [CPG advertisers] like about us is our ability to take what they’re doing digitally and elsewhere and repurpose it for the mobile platform in a way that really takes advantage of the unique benefits mobile offers,” Selden says.

In Stock, Near You

One such unique benefit mobile can offer a CPG brand campaign is a deep and varied locational context. Crisp goes about creating this frame of reference in a number or ways. The agency, Selden notes, has partnered with G/O Digital’s Shoplocal to bring digital newspaper circulars and product advertisements into its CPG campaigns.

“Recently, these CPG brands have been trying to drive people in-store,” Selden notes.

Via its mobile platform, Crisp touts the ability to show shoppers which products are available in nearby stores. This not only helps consumers find what they need, it gives the retailer and brand a chance at nabbing a sale they may have lost to a competitor. 

Creative Forecast 

Steve Sutton, SVP Operations at Crisp, speaks of how the summer heat is presently figuring into a Crisp mobile campaign for a certain CPG client who shall remain nameless.

Steve Sutton, SVP, Operations at Crisp


“The client came to us looking to promote a frozen treat in a select chain of grocery stores,” Sutton says. “They felt like the best environment in which to advertise the item would be on nice, hot, sunny days.”

Crisp applied weather targeting to the campaign such that mobile ads would only be served to users when the forecast called for an ice-cold snack. The creative of the ads were dictated by the intensity of the temperature in one’s area.

“For example, if the temperature is in a certain range there will be one type of creative. If it’s in a warmer range, there will be another piece of creative,” Sutton explains, adding that this “isn’t a simple swap in texts, but a situation where material changes and there is a change in messaging.”

Know Your Audience

Weather-specific advertising was just one aspect of the geo-targeting methods Crisp deployed with this particular mystery campaign. The CPG brand also wanted to reach a specific demographic, “primarily moms,” says Selden, and so Crisp sought out the “mom types.”

To target the maternal folk, Crisp consulted the women’s channels it had access to within its network. Crisp homed in on “parenting magazines, or similar types of magazines, and whatever else that was obviously a good fit,” says Selden. The agency also partnered with Neustar to use third party data for targeting purposes.

“[The campaign] actually began with the desired target audience in mind,” Sutton says. “Then we applied weather targeting to further narrow it down to the ideal conditions to present the offer.”

CPG’s Mobile Habitat

The mystery CPG product campaign is presently running and “performing very well” according to Sutton. In addition to geo-targeting techniques, the ads also provide a discounted offer.

Crisp’s work on this as well as on other CPG campaigns is demonstrative of the agency’s focus on driving consumers to a local point of retail to make a purchase. This focus isn’t limited to the CPG industry; the QSR sector, for instance, is also an area where Crisp is dedicated to making mobile ads a pathway to in-store dollars spent, Selden notes. But CPG is a space where Crisp is making prominent progress.

“Our footprint in CPG/retail has grown by 28 percent in 2014 so far, compared to 2013, and together represents over 3/4ths of our business,” says Selden, adding that it’s the agency’s existing strength serving these categories that drove it to focus on it more exclusively.

“In our space, a focused business model is important, and we know that mobile is in its correct habitat when serving consumers in the process of making purchasing decisions, near and in stores, using a combination of great, rich creative, next generation geo and behavioral targeting, and detailed measurement to close the loop,” says Selden.


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Mobile Infrastructure the Future for Physical Stores

1 Aug 2014 - Katlyn Dickinson

Originally published on August 1, 2014 on MediaPost

Will mobile, driving showrooming and online purchases, be the end of bricks-and-mortar? 

I'd argue the opposite: mobile infrastructure can make stores better at all the things they need to do: find the right shoppers, guide them to the storefront and give them an experience that makes them want to buy. 

Mobile provides unrivaled targeting data, unifying information from the desktop and mobile web, apps, third-party data, geo-specific information and more, all compiled through a shopper's personal device. And when you add real-time store inventory and dynamic ad creative into the mix, chains can ensure that mobile ads drive shoppers to the precise store outlets where items are in stock so shoppers aren’t disappointed on arrival. Stores then can match the right shoppers with poorly-selling items, in real-time. As data privacy standards develop, this kind of targeting will become even simpler to deploy without alienating.

Once you've found the right shoppers, you need to bring them into your store and toward relevant products. Next-generation mobile maps make it easier than ever to guide shoppers to a storefront from anywhere.  GPS advancements allow stores to pinpoint a mobile device within just a few feet, so merchants can draw passersby from nearby sidewalks or within malls. Take the CoreLocation API of iOS 8, for example, which leverages technologies such as motion sensors, cellular, GPS and WiFi to provide extremely accurate indoors positioning--technology stores can procure with ease. In-store interactive technologies like iBeacon and Bluetooth LE systems let stores or brands message shoppers when they near a specific product or a particular aisle.   

Once you've brought a shopper to the store, you need to provide a great experience. The moment a shopper approaches, mobile apps can share shopper data such as clothing size, color and style preferences, and key demographic information, helping salespeople greet shoppers with items they’re likely to want, a potential high-end concierge experience for every shopper.

Then there's the social aspect to shopping: when people involve friends and family, they buy more. Mobile devices are making store shopping more social than ever, largely through shoppers' sharing pictures of what they're looking to buy. As mobile cameras improve and data gets cheaper, it's increasingly simpler for shoppers to share photos and videos of what they're looking to buy, get fast feedback on from peers on their purchase decisions and ultimately buy more.

Eventually, bricks-and-mortar outlets will also go further in syncing their apps with social network APIs so in-store shoppers can more easily ask their Facebook friends if they should buy a pair of glasses.

Mobile infrastructure can help attract the right shoppers, guide them to storefronts, and give them an experience that drives sales. That's infrastructure for incredible opportunity. Welcome to the new era of mobile and the new era of stores.


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Crisp Media Turns Sunday Circulars Into Hyperlocal Mobile Ads

31 Jul 2014 - Katlyn Dickinson

This portrait originally appeared in Adweek's July 28-August 10 issue


Who (From left) Xavier Facon, chief technical officer and founder; Tom Jones, chief revenue officer; Stacey Hafers, chief financial officer; and Jason Young, chief executive officer

What Mobile ad-tech provider

Where New York office

Since launching in 2002, Crisp Media has been on a mission to convert Sunday circular promos to location-based mobile advertisers that change on the fly with personalized products. The New York-based mobile tech player has evolved from building rich media ads to developing hyperlocal mobile promos aimed at tracking the entire path to purchase for clients like Unilever, Walmart, McDonald’s, American Express and Chrysler. “We believe there’s a huge opportunity in the combination of mobile, digital and shopper marketing programming,” said CEO Jason Young. The tactic is paying off—Crisp’s revenue has grown 50 percent in each of the last two years. When they’re not looking for the next slam dunk in mobile, employees blow off steam shooting hoops at the office’s Pop-a-Shot basketball game.

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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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