Heineken France has developed a way to address the particular issue that plagues all FMCG brands – the lack of a direct relationship or connection with their customers.

At the recent I-COM Data Creativity Awards in Malaga, Frederic Joseph, global chief activation officer of “marketing engineers” Artefact, described an award-winning approach that involved a simple front end and a “very complex” back end.

Artefact built a Facebook Messenger-based bot – Scanobar – through which people could take photos of beers in a bar or their till receipts in store, and forward them to be redeemed for cash value. (For more read WARC’s report: Heineken France connects direct to consumers.)

Simple for the consumer – especially since the process was all based in Messenger and didn’t require them to download yet another app.

The complexity arrived in the back end of the system, which had to be able to recognise the names of the products on the receipts as well as the branded glasses that would signify a purchase.

As well as working across both image recognition and text recognition, the system also need to work across a third data stream – location – which would verify the bar or supermarket. And it’s an ongoing process to keep the whole thing up to date.

But Joseph suggested that the Scanobar program offered a number of benefits: for consumers, it’s cashback without too much friction; for the retailers and bars, Scanobar brings value through the loyalty that is built into the program.

And for Heineken itself, it’s the creation of a database of consumer insights.

“We were able to segment by persona and audience,” Joseph reported. “We were able to take action,” through a data integration that had never happened in the past.

The results have been encouraging enough for Heineken to look at expanding the Scanobar idea into new markets.

Sourced from WARC