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Zatarain?s is first CPG brand to leverage beacons in-store

McCormick & Co.?s Zatarain?s claims to be the first consumer packaged goods brand leveraging beacon technology to engage directly with shoppers while they are inside a retail location.

The in-app beacon campaign enables shoppers to receive grocery list reminders and loyalty points from the food and spice brand on their mobile phones. The effort is launching in southern California retail locations, with plans to expand nationally.

?Our 'Mobile to Mortar' platform creates a ?mobile concierge? for shoppers improving their in-store experience with America's favorite shopping apps,? said Todd Dipaola, CEO and co-founder of inMarket, Venice, CA.

?When consumers walk into a store, they get a helpful reminder from their favorite app in the context of the store, coupled with special content from Zatarain's,? he said.

Zatarain?s worked with inMarket and agency partner Peter Mayer on the program.

Hyperlocal engagements
Beacons burst on the scene last year as a way to leverage the Bluetooth technology embedded in most smartphones to enable marketers to communicate with consumers at the hyperlocal level, for example by sending them coupon for diapers when they are in the baby care aisle.

To date, much of the interest in beacons has come from retailers, malls and live event venues.

However, there is also significant potential for CPG brands ? many of whom already have robust shopper marketing programs ? to engage with mobile users inside retail locations to gain a better understanding of their customers? shopping activities (see story).

Zatarain?s is leveraging inMarket?s Mobile to Mortar beacon platform, which launched in January, to drive shoppers to its products when they are inside a store.

The retailer-agnostic network initially rolled out in 150 grocery stores in Seattle, San Francisco and Cleveland.

Relevant content
The network leverages beacons to recognize when consumers are nearby a retail location and works with shopping apps to alert users to relevant shopping-related content on their phones when they need it.

At launch, the campaign will run through inMarket's CheckPoints and List Ease apps, with other shopping apps expected to be added.

During the Zatarain's campaign, these users will see an ad encouraging them to try one of the brand's items. Users will also be able to tap to get recipes or find the Zatarain's section inside the store.

The ad appears after users swipe the beacon message.

The Mobile to Mortar network could also be made available inside retailers? or brands? apps.

For consumers using the List Ease shopping list app, they may receive a reminder that an item has recently been added to their list when they enter a participating retailer's location.

The shopper ecosystem
In the CheckPoints app, which enables users to earn rewards such a retail gift cards for activities such as watching advertising videos, shoppers will receive a notice when they enter a store where they have points that can be redeemed.

Zatarain?s has been working with inMarket on mobile campaigns in-store since 2013.

Other marketers that have launched in-store campaigns with inMarket include Coca-Cola, Kraft, Levi?s, Nestlé, and Procter & Gamble.

?In 2014, the shopping ecosystem has many relationships with the consumer,? Mr. Dipaola said. ?CPG brands already have robust relationships with their consumers in-store, as do the apps.

?It's a two-way conversation that's been happening in the aisles since smartphones and shopping apps became popular," he said. "Beacons enhance the experience for everyone in the ecosystem.

?It creates an unprecedented opportunity for marketers; for consumers in that they're receiving highly relevant offers at the point-of-sale; and for retailers because it increases the overall basket size.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York