The view of Fulvio Furbatto on Promotion Magazine

How can you involve consumers in a promotional activity that works on both high-spending and casual customers? One answer would definitely be to switch to a digital loyalty strategy. The 2015 Osservatorio Fedeltà of the University of Parma points out that currently only 35% of Italian companies have activated efficient CRM processes and believe that digital marketing provides added value for loyalty. For the remaining 65%, digital collections could provide a gradual introduction to the digital world.

Digital collection has transformed the traditional paper points collection scheme into a dynamic tool. By responding to the in-pack call-to-action, the user plays a code through multiple channels to win a prize. Whether the player wins or not, the game is an activation mechanism that allows the brand to establish a two-way dialogue with the customer.

From then on, the benefits for the brand are many: digital tools provide the opportunity of real-time mapping of user behaviour, which is then directed towards specific actions based on the needs of the brand. From repeated purchases to content generation and viral and gamification activities; the consumer is guided by support communications that speed up the collection path in exchange for gifts and increasing opportunities. At the same time, the brand builds a dynamic proprietary database that is boosted by new behavioural information which is useful for defining subsequent marketing activities and speaking directly to the public without the retailer acting as a go-between. Having a proprietary database allows independent management of promotional campaigns, promoting drive-to store and thus adding value to the brand. These features work on all consumption deciles, including occasional buyers, and generate new contact and acquisition opportunities during the promotion, aided by the use of low-cost digital rewards.

The first digital collection in Europe was done by Advice Group for Lavazza on the Carmencita brand in 2007 and was closely followed by players such as Barilla, Parmareggio, Casa Modena, Tena Lady and Nostromo. It is a useful tool, especially for brands that have a medium-high stock rotation where the brand does not need to have nationwide distribution to achieve optimal results: Mukki, for example, a renowned Tuscan dairy, is the first example in the high rotation fresh products sector.

Digital collections are a versatile and low-impact tool, considering the optimisation of paper and stamps. A survey conducted by AdviceLab in 2015 showed that packaging is becoming an efficient activator for digital strategies: out of a sample of 25,000 consumers, 22% claimed to have got to know about the promotion through notices on the packaging, second only to the 23% who claimed to have got to know about it through a TV advert. Digital collections are therefore a good starting point for companies wishing to embrace the digital world so as to improve their relationships with users and make a positive impact on sales. Consumers are already ready for the change, more than you might think.