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Hidden Valley leaps into beacon marketing for in-store meal inspiration

In its first foray into proximity marketing, Clorox has launched a mobile-focused fall campaign for its Hidden Valley Ranch and Soy Vay brands that seeks to engage shoppers with quick tips ? or hacks ? for dinnertime. 

Recognizing that one of the biggest challenges parents face as school-year routines are reinstituted is figuring out what to make for dinner, Clorox wants to highlight the versatility of its products for whipping up simple dinners. With smartphones increasingly an indispensable tool for busy parents, the consumer packaged goods company built the campaign around mobile, including banner ads, in-app messaging, push notifications and more. 

?Mobile is really the primary focus here,? said Sarah Ortman, associate director of national shopper marketing at Clorox

?In partnership with inMarket, we are delivering all of the messaging through mobile with targeted mobile banners and messaging,? she said. ?Then with proximity marketing in-store via targeted push notifications leveraging beacons.?

Cooking hacks
The national program is currently in approximately 14,000 mass merchant and top grocery locations. It runs through October, leveraging geo-targeted notifications and an iBeacon overlay. 

The campaign is built around making sure the target audience has access to cooking tips when they are close to or inside a store. It is also designed to ensure that shoppers know where the products are in the aisles by encouraging them to scan products to earn points. 

Leveraging geo-fencing and inMarket?s Mobile to Mortar iBeacon platform, Clorox is messaging users of the List Ease and CheckPoints apps ? which are offered by inMarket. 

Users of the CheckPoints app, which provides rewards for shopping-related activities, will receive push notifications when they are in-store encouraging them to swipe for an easy dinner solution and drive them to the location of Hidden Valley and Soy Vay products in the store. Users are also delivered an interstitial encouraging them to look up recipes.  

Scanning the products earns users points that can be redeemed for gift cards.  

The shopping mindset
Users who do not have push notifications turned on will see a home page product placement when they open the app in store. 

Users of the List Ease shopping list app will see a banner ad encouraging them to tap to add Hidden Valley or Soy Vay to their list before they get to the store. When users are searching for products, these items have priority placement in the results. 

Users of several other shopping-related apps, such as Epicurious, will also receive push notifications encouraging them to find the products in-store. 

No coupons or special offers are part of the program. 

By reaching consumers in apps that they are already using for shopping, Clorox is attempting to be less disruptive by engaging users when they are already in the shopping mindset. 

?We were trying to balance the use of technology that lets us communicate to her when we know what retailer she is in, but in a way that is not disruptive,? said Molly Hop, vice president of emerging media at TPN, Clorox?s shopper agency of record. ?This really was a good fit.

?There are a lot of networks with beacon technology that can ping thousands of apps, but we were wary of those,? she said.  

?This is very tailored to her location and mindset as well as to whether she has chosen to open the app or not.? 

In-store inspiration
For Clorox, the campaign is a way to bring some of the inspiration that shoppers are getting from sites such as Pinterest when they are at home and replicating that in-store. 

?The objective really is to be this helper for the shopper who is really looking to make her meal more interesting and more flavorable without a lot of extra burden,? Clorox?s Ms. Ortman said. 

?We are experimenting here and trying to bring a little bit more inspiration into the store,? she said. 

?Often times our tools are somewhat limited physically in the store because retailers control that environment. From a mobile standpoint, the shopper can click through as many times as she wants to find out our more.?

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