Alessio Di Rini - Trade Marketing Specialist at Advice Group

How can you communicate with consumers using new digital strategies?

As far as we are concerned, we develop promotional and digital loyalty mechanisms. Underlying all our work is a key message which we use to start a dialogue with consumers: “Buying this product gives you a chance to win something”. The user thus buys a product and enters the unique in-pack code, or is given a promotional card by a hostess – in-store or during the event – then tries to win. On our side, from that moment we are able to map their subsequent behavior “in progress”, in terms of frequency and type of products purchased, but also through activities disconnected from the purchase, such as social or viral actions. All this information allows for targeted communication with an individual, encouraging other actions which may offer additional values.

Therefore the brands you work with may access information about their customer profiles?

Definitely yes. A Progress Marketing program has two main advantages for the brand. First of all it provides benchmark data for any promotional action in progress. This means that the brand does not need to wait for the promotion to be completed to assess its redemption value, because measures can be taken all along to improve its performance. Secondly, through a digital instrument the brand can restructure its database, enriching it with behavioral information. In other words, not only will I know that Alessio Di Rini has entered such and such a prize contest, but also what device he used to do so, if he answered a survey, if he has contributed to making the promotion go viral. Based on people’s responses we define new behavioral profiles to which companies would otherwise never have access.

Are prize contests still very appealing channels to involve customers?

Prize contests are still highly appealing: if you browse through a few consumer blogs, you will certainly realize how attentive they are to these channels. Moreover, by monitoring user conversations it is also possible to know about how the world of rewards is evolving, and hence about the most appealing prizes for users; at the moment, for example, shopping and fuel vouchers seem to be especially appreciated.

Is Italy opening up to these new digital scenarios?

Italy is indeed joining new trends, most notably as regards new tools for final consumer engagement. In any case, our Progress Marketing approach, that is to say the concept of measuring performance in progress and using these data to improve sales, is more deeply rooted in Anglo-Saxon countries than in Italy, where the traditional creativity message is still dominant.

One last question: what is one mistake you should avoid in advertising?

One should avoid the absence of direct communication with the final consumer. With specific reference to a promotion or prize contest, the first thing you need to tell a consumer in order to encourage involvement is not “you should buy” but rather “you can win”, and – starting from there – establish a continuous dialogue targeted towards behaviors.