Proximity equals success

Coca-Cola radically increased click-through rates on online ads with the use of technology from Unacast

August 13, 2015

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Read about how Coca-Cola uses proximity to increase engagement and sampling in-store, and how they radically increased click-through rates on online ads with the use of technology from Unacast.

Read about the case in The Drum and in GeoMarketing

Proximity has the unique ability to both communicate digitally with consumers as they experience the physical space, and to connect that consumers to their digital self. In effect enabling targeting and retargeting in digital domains based on granular physical behavior and intent.

The case results

This is exactly what Coca-Cola set out to achieve when they recently took advantage of these new possibilities as CAPA, a member of the largest commercial cinema group in the Nordics, installed proximity sensors (beacons) in one of their largest cinemas. The proximity technology and retargeting possibilities was offered by Unacast, and the ads was displayed in VG, Norway’s largest newspaper.

Coke entered into this venture with three objectives and questions:

  1. How could Coke use proximity to reach customers at the location (cinema) to trigger sampling of their products?
  2. How many of these customers could then later be retargeted and actually click on the ad?
  3. How many of these customers could be persuaded to venture back to the location?

The campaign ran for close to eight weeks, and Coke offered to give a away a free soda to visiting cinema-goers, and a free cinema ticket to the revisiting cinema-goers. And the results are quite extraordinary.

The single location, limited campaign period and generous offers are factors that may influence the findings. That said, the results speak for themselves in demonstrating the power of proximity:

  1. 24% clicked on the offer at the location to collect a free soda
  2. 60% clicked on the retargeting ad later shown online
  3. 25% returned to the location to collect the free cinema ticket

VG, Norway’s largest newspaper, normally has a 0,18% click-through on online ads, pointing to a massive 300x uplift.

It is not to be expected that these kinds of uplifts can be maintained over time as proximity campaigns become more common, but any retailer or brand serious about improving their customer relevance and controlling marketing spend should take notice: If you don’t now look into how proximity can improve your customer communication, your competitors surely will.

And Coke has already done so.