Pulling Off A Supermarket Sweep

Crisp Media hints at how it optimizes a location-based campaign for a consumer packaged goods brand.

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 Penney and 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
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 Kraft, Pampers, and Johnson & Johnson among 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
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.