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InMarket’s Insights & Real-Time Activation Connect Brands With Target Customers

Anyone with an email address or a smartphone knows what it’s like to be inundated with ads. It can be exhausting to try to sift through the onslaught of promotions and sales to find deals you care about. Unfortunately for most brands, their ads often get lost in the shuffle, even if their customers would respond to them positively in the right context. Reaching customers in the moments when they’re most likely to look for and value promotions is the Holy Grail for brands and marketers. 

InMarket, a real-time marketing and measurement platform, giving marketers the ability to sense and respond to consumers’ needs when and where it matters most: while they are shopping. Using advanced analytics, predictive artificial intelligence, and real-time technology, InMarket helps brands connect with their customers to create breakthrough interactive experiences that offer value and drive sales.

“We offer analytics so brands can discover more about their targets, including prospects and customers,” says Michael Della Penna, InMarket’s chief strategy officer. “But we also have a real-time activation product that’s unique in the market in that we can light up or wake up a mobile phone as a consumer is walking into a physical location and serve up valuable offers that provide contextual value in the moment.”

Identifying Purchasing Patterns With Predictive AI

InMarket has applied its data and AI-based strategies for a wide variety of major brands across categories, including Michelob Ultra, Wendy’s, Kraft Heinz, Welch’s and more.

In its recently released Breakthrough Moments report, InMarket recognized brands who achieved exceptional results over the past year. Combining timing, context and relevance to create unforgettable brand experiences, Breakthrough Moments winners shattered industry benchmarks, driving click-through rates up to 9.55%, which is 15.9 times the industry average.

What the company’s campaigns share, says Della Penna, is a laser focus on identifying the right customers and then using real-time data to drive engagement with well timed and well designed promotions. This is a process that relies heavily on sifting through data, and AI plays a crucial role, particularly in predicting purchasing behavior and identifying new opportunities. 

“We use AI to look for patterns,” he explains. “Maybe you usually shop at Walmart or Costco on the third Friday every month. AI can help us know to serve an ad Thursday night to remind people to pick up X, Y, and Z when they go to Costco on Friday.”

“So when people are in the market for a particular product or service or visit a particular location, we’re able to help our clients get to that consumer before the actual purchase happens.”

InMarket’s Real-Time Data and In-Store Activation Strategy

While predictive AI is helpful in identifying and reaching customers before they shop, InMarket’s unique value proposition is its ability to combine this top-of-the-funnel analysis with real-time in-store activation at the point of purchase, what it calls its Moments platform.

According to Della Penna, when building audience awareness was combined with real-time in-store activation through this platform, engagement improved significantly, compared to campaigns that didn’t incorporate comprehensive funnel strategies.

He described a campaign for Stihl, a manufacturer of battery-powered garden and lawn equipment. The campaign initially focused on building awareness and consideration for Stihl’s products through targeted digital media outreach among its target demographic of outdoor gardeners.

This broad, top-of-the-funnel approach was then integrated with precise, location-based advertising, triggering promotions in real time as potential customers entered specific retail locations and independent hardware stores. Customers in proximity to these stores received messages about promotions in specific aisles for Stihl products.

The campaign boasted an 18% engagement rate for its swipeable ad units, over 30 times the engagement rate typically seen from mobile advertising and demonstrating the effectiveness of combining widespread digital outreach with strategic, real-time in-store promotions.

In the dining space, Della Penna pointed to a campaign for Frisch’s Big Boy aimed at increasing the chain’s breakfast traffic. The campaign targeted competitors’ customers and individuals known to dine out for breakfast. By targeting these potential customers near Big Boy locations during breakfast hours, the campaign significantly boosted visits. This precision targeting yielded an impressive return on advertising spend, with the cost per incremental visit pegged at about 25 cents, while the average revenue from each visit amounted to approximately $12. The campaign also won two Outstanding Achievements from the Internet Advertising Competition for Best Restaurant Online Ad and Best Technology Online Ad as well as a Digiday Media Buying and Planning Award for Best Use of Data.

The success of these programs is a direct result of taking the time to truly understand the audience and what they value,” says Della Penna of the Moments platform. “When you combine that with providing value and meeting consumers when and where it matters most — while they are shopping — magic can happen as proven by these engagement rates.”