Turning FMCG onto mobile: Kraft, Arla and Unilever case studies from the Mobile Marketing Forum Budapest 2008

Carlos Grande

This is one of a series of edited extracts from the Mobile Marketing Forum 2008. Other articles cover:

For WARC’s full coverage of the event, visit our conference blog page.


Has mobile marketing's time finally come?

This cry echoed throughout the 2008 Mobile Marketing Forum in Budapest. In truth, it has probably been heard at most events for a marketing activity which has often promised much - global mobile adspend forecasts for 2010 onwards vary from €1bn to north of $20bn - but has so far made little impact on planners' schedules.

For optimists, the gloomy current outlook for advertising will encourage marketers to use mobile as a direct response channel which, when used correctly and with other media, can eliminate the wastage of traditional response campaigns.

For pessimists, it is a minority activity which cash-strapped marketers will find easiest to cut from their budgets.

It is likely that the case studies presented at the MMF Budapest event will provide ammunition for the former camp's cause, even if macro-economic trends look more likely to aid the pessimists.

Case Study 1: Kraft's use of mobile to encourage sampling

Managers of Kraft's German coffee business had a problem. The profile of buyers of its instant coffee range, "3 in 1"/"2 in 1", was aging, and the brand suffered from the perception it was a poor quality, cheap alternative to brewed coffee.

Research suggested the overwhelming majority of coffee drinkers preferred filter coffee, though there were often occasions - such as when people were in a hurry or not near filter equipment - when this was not available. And when consumers tasted "3 in 1", they largely approved of as an alternative option.

The most evident solution appeared to be encouraging mass trial of the product. However, coffee was in a category usually considered to be low involvement - particularly in relation to digital and new media activities - and the company did not have a database of coffee drinkers to use as the basis of a marketing campaign.

Managers also thought it was important that since one of the product's selling points was that it was quick and easy to use, consumers should be able to trial the product as soon as possible after they received a trial sachet.

If a typical product sampling exercise - whereby people were handed samples in or outside a store - was used, consumers might lose their sachet and forget to use it.

Managers therefore argued there would be less wastage if the product was mailed directly to consumers, and decided that a mobile response channel was the best way to solicit and confirm consumers' requests for samples, and their address details.

Further research into the product's target audience of blue-collar German workers suggested they were both receptive to a free offer and were sufficiently comfortable with mobile devices to use a mobile response channel.

Working together with an agency called YOC, Kraft established some key stages of the campaign. These included:

  • Activation by providing an SMS/WAP prompt carried within TV and print advertising to ask users to cede their details in exchange for a free sample.
  • Participation - via the SMS responses to the offer.
  • Fulfilment - As speed of use was a central part of the product's offer, it was important that the sample arrived as soon as possible after the consumer had made his or her response. Most samples duly arrived within 48 hours of a request.
  • Evaluation of results.

A series of short TV spots launched the campaign, featuring a young couple on a train, one of whom makes a quick cup of coffee. The SMS prompt was clearly signposted on screen.

Later, a print campaign - featuring a similarly prominent SMS prompt - and web marketing also ran.

Participants received a WAP link to the sign-up via SMS. They needed to click this, and the sign-up included features such as an address finder feature, which meant people didn't have to key in all their details.

Results: The Kraft team estimated the campaign might prompt about 50,000 responses. In fact, 450,000 responses were received, with print and TV media providing the most effective prompts to action.

The clickthrough rate for the campaign's mobile element was a little more than 9%. Overall, the campaign is estimated to have gained the "3 in1/2in1" product a 3 percentage point rise in market share by July 2008.

Others benefits included increased trade support, the creation of database of opt-in addresses for further marketing and the learnings which are being used by Kraft teams to encourage wider use of mobile by the business.

Case Study 2: Arla Foods and mobile downloads

The milk producer and owner of brands such as Lurpak, and the cheeses Rosenborg, Buko and Puck, wanted to create an opt-in and engaging mobile tool in what is typically regarded as a low-interest category.

The solution from Golden Gekko, a company which provides the content behind mobile banners and links rather than banner placement, suggested a mobile and online cookbook.

The application was designed to be downloaded either directly to mobiles (it was a relatively light 150kbyte file) or to PCs. It could also be loaded from a PC onto a Bluetooth-enabled mobile - a process known as "sideloading", which sometimes appeals to consumers keen to avoid slow and expensive data downloads to their phones.

It was designed to be free to use, capable of working on 95% of phones in Sweden and, most importantly, useful to Arla customers.

The core idea was that the cookbook would hold several hundred recipes (images were optional to avoid large data files) containing Arla products, which could be bookmarked and searched. It could also incorporate seasonal updates, the ability to send users information on most popular recipes, current offers and, eventually, mobile coupons.

Results: Of a population of 8 million, 500,000 Swedes use the Arla website every month, and the cookbook was provided amongst other applications on the site, initially in a low key fashion.

In its launch month of October 2006, the application was downloaded 10,000 times, and following some offline publicity, 80,000 downloads had been made by the end of 2007.

The average user is estimated to access the cookbook once every eight days, and pass it on to more than two friends or contacts. It has now been cited as one of the most popular mobile applications in Sweden (alongside Google Maps).

The cookbook was later launched in Denmark, and there are believed to be plans to bring it to other European markets.

Case Study 3: Lynx/Axe and its mobile "weapons of mass seduction"

Unilever's deodorant brand for girl-chasing male teenagers has regularly combined digital in combination with its television campaigns, both created by BBH.

However, the brief for Golden Gekko, according to the firm's CEO, Magnus Jern, was to invent "fun mobile tools in the line with the brand".

The agreed solution was to create a variety of raucous mobile features which could be downloaded from the www.lynxeffect.com website (slogan: "Get In There"!)

The features mostly took the form of sound effects which could be used on the phone in flirting situations (they could be used to pretend the phone was a "girl radar", a device for detecting body piercings,  a deodorant can, the key to a luxury car or a piece of sports equipment, and so on).

A viral film illustrated how the Lynx customers who had downloaded the features could use these features as conversation-openers with women and members of the public was encouraged to film their exploits and upload videos to the site. The feature was free to users and could be accessed by texting shortcodes (as well as downloading to PCs).

What else does this article talk about?

  • Mobile & tablet effectiveness
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing, mobile web

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