AUSTIN, TX: Heineken, the brewing group, is experimenting with proximity marketing tools, such as beacons and near field communication (NFC), as it seeks to engage consumers at the precise moments that matter.

Amberly Hilinski, the organisation's Marketing Manager/Dutch Brands, discussed this subject during a panel session at South by Southwest (SXSW).

"We really do look at the traditional marketing funnel – high-level awareness from TV [commercials] all the way to selecting your Heineken in-store – as something where we can find points to connect that path, and help convert awareness to conversion in a much shorter span than the way we have ever been able to before," she said. (For more, including examples, read Warc's exclusive report: Heineken embraces "moment marketing".)

This idea fits into what many observers have called "moment marketing", a model that tailors messages to reflect a consumer's specific context and location.

"We're seeing a dramatic convergence of consumer and shopper. They are not two different people. It really is this overlap like we've never seen before," explained Hilinski.

"It's all one and the same, and it just kind of depends on what the mindset is and what the occasion is for that particular moment in time. They are swapping seamlessly back and forth."

Given this trend, technology like beacons and NFC offer Heineken the chance to reach its target audience anywhere from music festivals and sports stadiums to liquor stores.

"Clearly, the shift from TV spend, and in other areas, is moving much more rapidly towards a whole host of digital spaces – and particularly proximity spaces, where we can really shrink that gap and get much, much closer to the point of purchase in that retail, brick-and-mortar space that we've never had before," said Hilinski.

This opportunity will be magnified if marketers forge partnerships with platforms which are popular among consumers, rather than competing for a share of the smartphone home screen.

"We're trying to work with platforms like beacon technology and apps we know – like Shazam – that people already have on their phone," Hilinski said.

"That way, we're already tapping into existing behaviour; we're not forcing them to create new behaviour, which is much more challenging."

Data sourced from Warc