MCLEAN, Va. — Mars Wrigley debuted a new insights platform that incorporates test-and-learn results and new data on consumer behavior to customize impulse shopping solutions for its retail partners.
The Accelerating Impulse Moments (AIM) platform seeks to shape impulse throughout the shopper journey and provide an effective retail experience through curbside pick-up, online or in-store shopping.
According to NACS, the company recently concluded its first in-market test-and-learn of its Innovative Merchandising Incubator. First launched in 2019 in partnership with Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go, the partnership reimagined the store layout, triggering confectionery purchases as well as purchases of products in adjacent categories. It ultimately delivered strong results and growth.
"Though the way people shop and interact with our category is evolving, we're more committed than ever to connecting with our consumers and delivering relevant, innovative new products," said Tim LeBel, president of sales at Mars Wrigley.
Mars Wrigley plans to work closely with retail partners to implement solutions that reimagine impulse at checkout and identify new spaces in aisle, as well as digitally optimize category presence and drive conversion.
The four-pillar AIM platform consists of conversion strategies for retailers across all channels in stores and online:
- Snacks Aisle Optimization,
- Secondary Display Growth,
- Transaction Zone Reinvention, and
- Digital Solutions Execution.
These strategies are designed to help retailers shape impulse throughout the shopper journey to create an effective and engaging omnichannel experience, according to the company.
Mars Wrigley is also using a new tool, Agile Creative Expertise (ACE), to track up to 150 different emotional and behavioral reactions to its digital ads. The proprietary technology uses EEG, biometrics and eye tracking, combined with artificial intelligence, to measure consumer actions, such as how long someone watches a video and how their attention changes as they watch. ACE then rates the ads from one to four stars based on criteria such emotion and attention.
Mars Wrigley's internal benchmarks for emotional levels and attention were developed with partners such as Nielsen, YouTube TrueView and Realeyes.
"We are firm believers that emotional responses drive brand recognition and memory structures, and we wanted to understand how consumers behave and how they think, both consciously and unconsciously," Sorin Patilinet, global marketing insights director, Mars, told Business Insider. "But we're also very focused on sales, and ACE is helping us with that."
ACE was used to analyzed more than 450 pieces of content in 2020. The company set the goal of surpassing 1,000 videos in 2021.
The neuromarketing is only used to test ads and not use when the ads actually run, Patilinet added.
"The industry is moving toward recognizing the importance of overt attention as a measure of quality of the impression, but we're still some time away from full acceptance," he said. "Maybe one day we'll also be able to measure people's reactions to TikTok ads in the native app environment."