3 Marketing Innovations: Are You Ready for the Next Big Thing in Consumer Engagement?

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Apr 07, 2011 @ 12:21 PM


Isobar’s work on adidas miCoach won a Stevie Award for Best Consumer Products-Durables Web Site in the web awards categories of The 2010 American Business Awards.  Bryant Shea, Isobar’s VP of Innovation, looks ahead at what’s on the horizon in consumer marketing.

Bryant SheaThe rate of change in the world of marketing is constantly increasing.  Just when you felt comfortable with the Web, along came Second Life, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, smartphones, tablets, and a slew of other communication channels all claiming to be the future of consumer engagement. Some have crashed, some have prospered, and the jury is still out on many—but what's next? Let's take a look at three technology innovations that will once again change the way brands engage consumers.

Interactive Billboards
Two emerging trends will change the world of outdoor advertising forever: Smartphones, and 4G.  In the near future, expect to see more and more digital billboards that leverage wireless technologies to create two-way interactions between displays and consumers. Imagine a scenario where a consumer can customize a shoe on a billboard using their mobile phone; share the shoe on their social networks; and have a link to purchase the shoe sent directly on their phone. Or imagine a virtual scratch ticket that can personalize rewards based on past purchase behaviors, time of day, or proximity to a particular store.  With wireless-enabled interactive billboards, consumers no longer have to remember what they see—the transaction happens right there.  Moreover, marketers can leverage the technology to better track the results of their outdoor advertising efforts.

Touch-screen phones and tablets seem to be all the rage, but what about taking the concept of a personal device and integrating it into the in-store experience? For example, imagine a table that combines what is great about being in a store—actually interacting with the merchandise—with the power of interactive technology. What if you could take a piece of clothing off the shelf, place it on a table, and interact with it to see product information, as well as related items and where they are located in the store? With touchtable technology, customers will soon be able to build virtual product collections and instantly send selected items to their mobile devices for sharing, saving, or purchase.

Connected TV
From Apple TV, Google TV, and Yahoo TV to Boxee, Roku, Samsung, and Sony, just about everyone is trying to get into the Connected TV space—and with good reason.  The next few years will bring a complete transformation in how people use their televisions. More and more people are watching TV while using their mobile phones or tablets. They’re already creating an interactive TV experience, but it's not directly linked. Expect to see much stronger interaction between your TV and your mobile device in the very near future.

These are just three of the many innovations that will reshape consumer engagement in the near future, but no matter what the technology, one thing is certain: Consumers expect engagement.  The technology is here, and the time is now to create consumer experiences like never before … are you ready?

About Bryant Shea
As Vice President of Innovation for Isobar, Bryant Shea is responsible for devising and applying cutting-edge technologies that not only facilitate the fulfillment of consumers’ needs, but also introduce them to fresh, new ways of interacting more meaningfully with brands. Among the global brands he has counseled are Nikon, Adidas, and Staples.
Previously, Shea was vice president of content and mobile for Molecular, now part of Isobar, where he established the company’s content management practice as a nationally recognized leader in the space through innovation and world class delivery, and managed projects for Fortune 500 companies.  
Shea is a seasoned speaker on the topics of digital technologies and has presented at many conference nationwide, including the Internet Retailer, ECM West, Gilbane and the AIIM Conference & Expo.

About Isobar
Isobar is a modern communications agency that brings people and brands together in new ways. Isobar fuses creative thinking with technology know-how to uncover the best ideas and execute them across any platform or channel anywhere in the world.  Isobar’s unique combination of creatives and creators ensures the best ideas never end up on the cutting room floor, enabling the company to consistently deliver innovative and intensely relevant brand experiences for the world’s largest brands. With locations in Boston, New York and San Francisco, Isobar US is an Aegis Media Group Company and part of the global Isobar network of over 50 offices in 30 markets.  For more information, please visit http://na.isobar.com.

The final entry deadline for The 2011 American Business Awards is April 27.  Learn more at www.stevieawards.com/aba.

Want to win website awards as Isobar did for adidas? Read our tipsheet, 10 Tips for Winning Web Awards in the Stevies.

Topics: website awards, marketing awards, web awards, best websites, adidas, marketing award, isobar

How Efes Beer in Turkey Used Social Media to Overcome Marketing Obstacles

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Apr 05, 2011 @ 05:01 PM


With the early-bird deadline for The 2011 International Business Awards coming up on April 12, we thought we'd look back at Efes Beer Group of Istanbul, Turkey, which won a Stevie Award for Marketing Campaign of the Year for a Product in the marketing awards categories of The 2010 International Business Awards.  Here we look at how Efes successfully launched their new beer brand, Gusta, without the use of advertising.

Efes BeerAy Ay Ay, Me Gusta!
That’s what they’re saying in Turkey about Efes Beer Group’s Gusta brand after
an innovative marketing campaign spurred a major boost in awareness and sales.

Obstacles: Market and Societal Forces
Turkey’s beer sector is relatively young, and is dominated by Efes Beer Group, a subsidiary of the Turkish conglomerate, Andolu Group.

Efes had a major challenge to grow sales of its Gusta brand in 2009.  There is a ban on advertising alcoholic beverages in Turkey, and the increasing influence of the country’s religious right added social pressures.  At the same time, with the global economic downturn, unemployment in Turkey was increasing and consumers were tightening their belts.

Two-step Marketing Strategy
The Gusta brand managers at Efes responded by devising an innovative marketing campaign targeting young urban consumers and aimed at getting them involved with the product. The highlights of the campaign were:
• Gusta Map: a web-based involvement program
• Gusta Expert: an on-site sampling program

The overall aim of the Gusta marketing strategy was to increase sales by winning customers in a social way through brand experience and product sampling. Further objectives were to increase brand awareness, to strengthen the brand image, and to reach new consumers for the Gusta and Gusta Dark beers.

There was some risk to this marketing strategy in a society that discourages young people from mingling in bars. To overcome this, the two-step marketing program first involved people via their computers, and then in person, facilitated by wholesome, young—but not too young—women who were the hosts of the program, delivering the brand promise: Gusta!

Gusta Map
First, Efes created Gusta Map, an online social networking platform designed
to appeal to web-savvy young people. As its name implies, Gusta Map was a site to share experiences, music, recommendations—and to find real-time locations where Gusta was served and rated by other Gusta Map users.

Gusta Expert
To make the experience real, the Gusta Expert program recruited and trained Gusta girls who were placed in selected restaurant and bar outlets. They worked as servers and invited customers to try Gusta. They also recommended menu items that were compatible with Gusta. To reinforce the fun of Gusta, consumers were offered branded gifts, including beer mugs (33cl), coasters, trays, ice buckets, and bottle openers.

Even Efes exclaimed “Gusta!” when the brand’s daily sales average increased by 38%.
In the first three months, Gusta Map attracted a whopping 61,000 page views, plus 300 Facebook fans and followers. The popularity of the site motivated more restaurants and bars to apply for inclusion. The launch of the Gusta Expert marketing program was so successful that it was expanded to include the Gusta Dark brand. For Gusta Expert, the initial three locations quickly mushroomed to one dozen. The program has been so popular that there are now five permanent Gusta Expert locations.

Gusta is the talk of the town in big cities across Turkey where “Ay ay ay, me
Gusta!” can be heard in the wee hours of the morning…

About Meric Aksoy
Meric Aksoy has risen through the ranks at Efes Beer Group to become Product Manager for Gusta.  He started out working on the popular Efes Pilsen brand in 1999. At that time, he served as a sales representative, advancing to sales supervisor until his promotion to his current position in 2004. He earned his B.A. in business administration from Dogu Akdeniz University in Turkey.

About Efes Beer Group
Efes Beer Group was founded in Turkey in 1969, and today consists of sixteen breweries in Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Georgia, and Serbia, with headquarters in Istanbul. As the 8th most popular European brand by sales volume and the 5th largest European brewer on combined production basis, the group is ranked 12th in the world beer market.

About Anadolu Efes
Anadolu Efes Biracilik ve Malt Sanayii A.S. undertakes the beverage operations of Anadolu Endüstri Holding A.S., one of Turkey's leading conglomerates. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009, Anadolu Efes, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a system of companies that produces and markets beer, malt, and soft drinks across a wide geographic area including Turkey, Russia, the CIS countries, South Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Want to win marketing awards like Efes did? Read our tipsheet, 10 Tips for Winning Marketing Awards in the Stevies.

Topics: business awards, marketing awards, stevie awards, marketing award, efes, gusta