October 17, 2012, 11:21 AM

A cleanser manufacturer cleans up with a mobile marketing app

Jelmar used the Checkpoints app to encourage store shoppers to view video ads.

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Cleaning products manufacturer Jelmar had stuck to TV and radio ads to promote its CLR and CLR Bath & Kitchen products for decades, says Matt Cote, director of emerging media at Eicoff, Jelmar’s advertising agency. But in September the manufacturer tested a national campaign that encouraged in-store shoppers to scan CLR products with their smartphones and the CheckPoints mobile app to view Jelmar video ads.

The ads garnered 50,000 views in about two weeks—faster than expected—and a before/after survey revealed that more consumers recognized the CLR brand and expressed intent to purchase CLR products by the campaign’s end, though Jelmar did not disclose exact numbers, Cote says. Jelmar is working with stores now on turning the in-store app activity into sales, he says. He adds that more consumers used CheckPoints to engage with CLR at large retail chains like Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and CVS Caremark Corp. than at smaller stores. The CheckPoints app is available for Apple Inc. or Android devices, according to the company that developed it, inMarket Media LLC, which reaches 20 million U.S. consumers in its network.

The app offer consumers points for completing activities after scanning products in stores. For example, they may be prompted to watch a video, take a survey, play a game, search the web or complete brand offers. They can then redeem those points for prizes ranging from a $1 gift card to a Nintendo Wii gaming system or an Apple TV. The app uses geolocation to tell consumers which stores are nearby and what products are available in those stores to scan for points. 

“It’s an ideal situation for a marketer to be able to hit someone in the store while they’re holding the product and scanning it,” Cote says. His agency is looking into future campaigns that could use games to engage customers in stores, he says.

On average among CheckPoints clients, consumers spend 90 seconds interacting with a brand’s campaign on the app after they scan a product—three times longer than the average TV ad, an inMarket spokesman says. Additionally, consumers who pick up and scan products on average report in surveys a 30% higher intent to purchase, he says.

The CLR campaign carried almost no risk for Jelmar to try, Cote says—inMarket’s clients pay a fee only when consumers engage with their brands on the app, which in Jelmar’s case was when they watched the video after scanning a CLR product. In that campaign, the fees were less than a dollar per view, Cote says, though inMarket says the rates vary between clients and campaigns.

CheckPoints is one of three mobile apps inMarket offers designed to engage in-store shoppers. The others are Extra! Extra!, a coupons and deals app that displays offers based on votes from users, and List Bliss, a collaborative shopping list app that allows, for example, everyone in a household to see which kitchen supplies have run out and either add items to a collaborative list in the app or mark them off when they’re bought.

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