Kraft Foods iPhone Assistant Appeals to Time Starved Consumers

Enhancing CPG mobile marketing with Artificial Intelligence Apps

Kraft Foods iPhone Assistant has been on the top 10 list of iTunes.
Kraft Foods iPhone Assistant has been on the top 10 list of iTunes. The strategy was to drive consumer behavior linking mobile apps with large library of over 7000 recipes. Kraft Foods

Hope Fulgham is a pro in the digital technology world. As CMO of E+M Advertising, she develops/implements a wide range of digital marketing strategies like mobile commerce, mobile app development, virtually anything that provides a seamless multi-channel marketing environment emerging new shopper segments. The emerging mobile shoppers are - Mobile Surgical Shoppers, Mobile Deal Seekers and the Expanding Apple Shopper (consumers who are using iPads in new and unexpected ways for retail purchases).

Hope Fulgham says "E+M is a brand response company - a hybrid of designing and executing Advertising and Direct response. We live by Measurability and Optimization and Targeting the right people with the right messaging. " They help drive incremental sales with the new mobile consumer.

Mobile Marketing and the Brand Fan

Hope has coined the term "brand fan" also referred to as a brand evangelist. So what is a brand fan? Hope says "Any time a brand fully immerses themselves with consumer, the consumer on their own free time seeks out the brand. It is a person that not only stands behind the brand but interacts at a very frequent level" Smartphone apps and in particular Artificial Intelligence Apps take advantage of making it easy for the consumer to interact with a brand whenever and wherever they want.

Kraft Foods iPhone Assistant

Hope was part of the team that developed the Kraft Foods iPhone Assistant 18 months ago and has been on the top 10 list of iTunes.

The strategy was to drive consumer behavior linking mobile apps with large library of over 7000 recipes. Since the mobile app is on the smartphone…and we are attached at the hip to our smartphones… the consumer can browse for ideas . This directly solves the problem of " It's 4pm… What's for dinner ?"

According to Steve Johnson, grocerant consultant and foodservice guru tells us that " 81% of American consumers don't know what's for dinner at 4pm!" Once you enter the "virtual store" on the app, you open recipe of the day and the app pin points all of the ingredients you need. To address the whole affordability issue in consumer products, the Kraft Foods iPhone Assistant associates any coupons to the ingredients and puts them on your phone. Take your smartphone to the register and the supermarket scans the coupon… can't be any easier!

When consumer gets home they can watch the recipe being created by a chef.

One of the biggest surprises for Kraft - some of their higher priced products were purchased more often. No surprise that the most frequently used app was the recipe app but the real surprise was the video were being viewed by the consumer multiple times.

Artificial Intelligence App

What is so special about the Kraft iPhone Assistant is the inclusion of artificial intelligence (AI) on the app. For example the AI algorithms can tell if you have a family of 4 based on the recipes you download. The app's intelligence learns as you use it allowing the app to learn more about you in order to suggest.

It will tell you the nearest grocery store that has the recipe ingredients and make recipe suggestions with the leftovers from prior recipes you used. Everything is there in one touch of the app which will be appealing to time starved consumers; how-to videos, recipe search by keywords, instant shopping lists for the recipe; enter your own family recipes, dinner tonight or Russian roulette, great short cuts for 20 minute meals, snack ideas and holiday recipes.

The Kraft iPhone Assistant is gaining in popularity since everyone is on a budget. What I like is the positive reinforcement, or rewards, the consumer receives based on their activity the app is storing - simply put, the more you buy, the more you get.

Behavioral Pattern Recognition

Tracking consumer behavior occurs regularly and you might not give it much thought.

Do you have a loyalty card for one or several supermarkets? As you purchase and use the loyalty card, the information gets stored in a database that retailers use to provide targeted promotions on items you buy or items that are similar and/or synergistic.

The Kraft iPhone Assistant insures their message is on target and getting to the right people. It allows the brand to tweak the message to you! As they send you "messages", the artificial intelligence knows if you interacted. They know if responded positively, meaning you went from undecided to decide on a purchase OR did they peak your interest but not enough to motivate you toward trying a new product or purchasing more of existing products you buy.

Does this sound intriguing? Wait. Let me show you an example of what can be done today at a typical retail supermarket.

Here's What One Retail Supermarket Would Like to Do

We see how Kraft is using this to understand your consumption behavior and potentially nudging the consumer to modify their behavior. Can a supermarket use mobile technology along with artificial intelligence apps to execute an mcommerce strategy to understand more about you and tailor messages and promotions? Walmart is already doing this with theirMy Holiday App along with their My Local Walmart Facebook App.

Here is an example of a program that will be rolled out by a major grocery retailer.

You are passing by your store and the retailer sends you a message to your cell phone asking if you want to opt into their mobile marketing program.

If you find the message intriguing, you opt in which then send you a series of questions to see what you are interested in. So it might ask you a question with a list of brand for you to choose. It then would see if you are attracted to certain brands that are deemed healthier. If you select these healthier brands it could give you options of organic and natural brands. All of this is stored on your phone AND back at the retailer's database.

Once there is the initial brand selection, the supermarket sends you coupons based on your selections. The powerful positive reinforcement is this - once you start using the coupons the store will double the coupon offers!

All of your brand selections, purchases, coupons AND your total activity is stored… this is how they will track your behavior in shopping the store.

Now this is the really intriguing part of AI apps. As you shop the store there are these gadgets on the shelf, called proximity triggers that use blue tooth technology to connect with you as you walk around.

So for example, let's say you are in the cereal aisle AND the AI app knows you are a healthier-for- you shopper. It might send you an offer for one of the natural and organic granolas.

Because the system is connected to you real-time, it can tell how long you are in the cereal aisle. Your longevity in the aisle along with other data they have learned about you might lead them to the conclusion you are a heavy user of better-for- you foods and if you purchased or decided not to purchase. They are connected to you and if you they can send you incentives to get you from undecided to decided that breaks new ground in consumer packaged goods. Now you just can't do this with conventional marketing tools.

Implications to the Food & Beverage - Mobile Brand Engagement

All brands strive to learn what will trigger the consumer… the stimulus that motivates them to purchase. This "mobile engagement" allows the brand to interact with the individual consumer in the environment when they are ready to buy. Friendly reminders sent to your smartphone… that is way more than just a "cool" app. The brand learns about the consumer at a granular level, which means a very detailed level of the consumers wants and needs.

It is knowing the wants and needs, not by asking, but buy learning the individuals shopping and usage behavior.

Food & Beverages are only successful when the consumer makes repeat purchases. The repeat purchase can lead to "food fatigue". People get bored with frequently purchased food products and often switch brands to try something new and different. AI apps can figure out other ways the consumer can use the brand… ways that the consumer probably won't come up with on their own and avoid food fatigue.