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How Packaging Becomes an Unlikely Ally in the Digital Marketing World

Posted By: SGK January 10, 2019

Deeper, digital experiences are expected along the path to purchase. Brands are getting very clever with applying connected packaging technology with their marketing strategy.

Most simply, connected pack is the connection between a physical package and a digital experience. With a phone in-hand, connected packaging offers more information, or information that can be structured and searchable in a way that cannot be achieved with the limited space on-pack.

READ: How Social Media is Changing Packaging Design 

Connected packaging offers unique flexibility that is new to the market. It allows connection to many different experiences that might leverage user screens and augmented reality, or geo-fencing to offer location-based experiences.

Now brands can offer new, and better content to an audience that is guaranteed to be qualified. Insights to be gained through this technology include: how, when, and where consumers are using products.

What is SmartLabel’s role in connecting the physical pack to the digital marketing world?

WATCH: From SmartLabel to SmartERLabel  

With over 38,000 pages, SmartLabel is one of the largest connected package initiatives to date. At the ground level, SmartLabel is a website for each FMCG product that gives consumers a standardized structure on both desktop and mobile to find key product information.

This includes the information on the pack and much more, including:

- Nutrition

- Ingredients statement

- Allergens

- Other information (sustainability statement, disclosures, etc.)

- Company/brand messages

The website can be created and owned by the CPGs, while retailers can create their own for private label offerings. In order to license the use of the platform and the SmartLabel brand mark, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has established a set of standards and rules to guide the creation of the content. That way, the structure of the page is consistent regardless of company, industry, or product.

At an initiative level, SmartLabel is a transparency platform — meant to be a trustworthy source for product information. These webpages can be accessed in several ways: mobile search, CPG/retail websites, directed by a code on-package using barcodes and QR Codes or other code options like Digimarc’s watermark.

This is not the industry’s first attempt at aligning on transparency method, but it probably the first large-scale connected pack instance. That’s in part because 30 percent of SmartLabel pages have an actual code on pack to connect to. Connected pack transparency programs solve for two concerns: variant management and accessibility.

As it relates to variant management, there are several variants of a particular product in the market that have the same UPC code, but the products themselves require different information. When there is an actual code on-pack, bringing customers directly to the content allows for greater transparency.

On the topic of accessibility; navigating content is much easier by navigating a direct link from the package to a webpage. This is an intuitive and instantaneous customer experience.

Connected packaging is an important innovation for brand owners to consider. Don’t be left behind — agile marketing demands connected packaging! Are you ready to take your consumer experience to the next level?