Hillshire Brands Sees 20% Jump in Purchase Intent With Beacons

Sausage brand claims initial success with mobile

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Hillshire Brands and IPG Mediabrands-owned agency BPN are announcing an interesting case study today about how beacons (the devices set up in brick-and-mortar stores to trigger location-based offers) increased purchase intent and sales for American Craft link sausages. While marketers have hyped beacons for a while now, Hillshire’s campaign is one of the first proof points that back up the use of the in-store technology.

"The real, groundbreaking news here is that this is the first-ever data release from beacons in terms of their effectiveness in shopping and retail," said Todd Dipaola, CEO of inMarket, a shopper marketing platform that worked with the brand.

A mobile campaign ran from April to June to push American Craft link sausages in the top ten markets in grocery stores within the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The campaign targeted consumers who had downloaded one of the apps in inMarket’s network (which includes Condé Nast’s Epicurious and Gannett-owned Key Ring). The network claims to hit 50 million consumers.

Consumers who used these apps in-store were sent a branded push notification from Hillshire Brands. The campaign also included banner ads within the app that linked to a full-page ad with a coupon and content. "The challenge for the client was launching a new line of link sausages in a pretty crowded space on a pretty limited budget," noted Chris Hiland, chief growth officer at BPN. "One of the things we knew was that in-store and high-proximity messaging can be very effective in the grocery category."

After the campaign ran, inMarket surveyed groups of app users who didn’t see the ad against those who did. The location-based offers claim to have lifted purchase intent by 20 percent and brand awareness by 36 percent. Some 6,000 engagements were measured during the first two days of the campaign, which measures the number of times someone received, opened and viewed a push notification ad while in-store. To compare, inMarket’s internal data finds that the average consumer packaged goods brand sees about 3,000 views with content in one week.

Based on the campaign’s success, Hillshire Brands and BPN plan to roll out a similar campaign this fall for Jimmy Dean sausage. "Jimmy Dean’s in a similar situation [as American Craft]—they’ve got some products that they’ve launched, and they’re trying to drive awareness with some of the other media budgets that our brand has, but also drive the down-funnel intent using similar campaigns," Hiland said.

@laurenjohnson lauren.johnson@adweek.com Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.