WEDNESDAY 30 JUL 2014 2:13 PM


Today’s consumer is constantly switched on, connected, and ready to interact. With necks bent and fingers tapping they use their smart phones to send messages, find directions, check the time, listen to music, read books, play games, and even do the weekly shop.

According to BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor (ORM), grocery-related searches on smartphones have grown by 94% in the past three months. The research shows that people are using their phones to search for recipes, blog about food, compare supermarket prices, and play food-related games. Retailers across the UK are integrating their online shopping offers with recipe websites and gaming apps.

Brands should tap into the collaborative potential of digital media. By working with bloggers, app producers and other independent content providers, brands can become fully integrated into the publics’ online experience. Due to mobile technology, the amount of time that a user can spend online interacting with a particular brand can be far more extensive than through other forms of marketing, and the experience can be far more immersive for the consumer. Through mapping online activity companies can learn more about what their customers want. With brands creating more and more interactive websites and gaming apps, the line separating brands from content providers is increasingly blurred, allowing brands to be far more creative with their digital strategies and thus more engaging.

Dan Cohen, regional director of performance marketing company Tradedoubler says, “Capturing customers on the move is something that retailers need to embrace through solid mobile and tablet marketing in conjunction with their digital and traditional routes.”

Sainsbury’s is an example of a company that is working hard to tap into this mobile marketing trend. As part of their ‘Live Well For Less’ campaign, they have already provided quick and affordable online recipe ideas for parents to use over the summer. To further increase their online and mobile presence, they have now launched a branded gaming app.

The Sainsbury’s gaming app, called iSPIES, is based on the original I Spy game. The free-to-download app lets children challenge their friends and complete tasks in a variety of virtual locations, including the beach and garden. Each week during the summer holidays a new "universe" will be launched, adding a new dimension to the game.

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), Sainsbury’s is not alone. It predicts that UK brands spend over £30m a year on mobile campaigns. Nestle, for example, held a location-based competition in the UK by fitting certain chocolate bars with GPS enabled tracking devices. In Charlie and The Chocolate Factory style, the lucky consumers were located by the Nestle delivery team within 24 hours and given a cheque for £10,000.

The future of mobile is increasingly focused on the multi-screen, and adapting content so that it has maximum impact across a range of devices. It is important that communications teams are open to new ways of delivering content digitally and that they avoid applying the same old habits to brand new technologies.