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How Hershey Chooses Its Marketing Technology Partners

November 1, 2017 | Marketing Technology | Social Media

The marketing technology landscape is already busy—throw in emerging tools from players like Facebook and Snapchat, and it becomes tough for brands to make choices about what technology investments to make. The Hershey Company recently worked with Facebook to launch a marketing campaign for Twizzlers, using a combination of the social giant's audience targeting capabilities and its new creative tool, the Camera Effects Platform.

Hershey’s Noelle Perez, senior manager of digital advancement and innovation, Inri Mouchette, senior manager of sweets and refreshments, and Brian Kavanagh, senior director of retail evolution and insights-driven performance, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about how the company makes marketing technology decisions.

eMarketer: What are the biggest challenges associated with choosing marketing tools today?

Noelle Perez: One challenge is knowing what tools to test and when to engage. Even if something is new, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re ready to jump into the opportunity—we have to conduct proper evaluation and research first. Before we engage with marketing tools, the technology has to be proven to work. Plus, beyond that, there should always be continuous, ongoing improvements and post-learnings to ensure a flawless consumer experience.

“We want to ensure all online efforts that leverage new technology are memorable and well worth consumers’ time.”

eMarketer: How do you typically go about choosing the right technology for different campaigns?

Perez: We always look for strategic partners that have innovative technology and can reach the right audiences for the Twizzlers brand. We work with partners that can help us do smart experimentation. We want to ensure all online efforts that leverage new technology are memorable and well worth consumers’ time. We want them to engage with us, but in order for them to enjoy the experience, we have to get everything right while incorporating the essence of the brand.

eMarketer: How did you use Facebook’s technology for the Twizzlers campaign?

Inri Mouchette: On the technology side, we wanted the campaign to be an extension of our TV commercials, but with a more targeted reach. On the creative side, we leveraged Facebook’s Camera Effects Platform and created a Twizzlers Camera Effect for consumers to share their smile with their friends—also known as “Twizzlering.” The campaign featured serious people being unexpectedly poked and prodded by the iconic, extra-floppy Twizzlers Twists.

“Stores must become destinations that adapt to consumer preferences and deliver special experiences. Technology has to enable retailers to do that.”

eMarketer: How are industry changes driving technology changes for Hershey’s?

Brian Kavanagh: The grocery industry is consolidating and innovating at a rapid pace, which brings opportunities. Consumers’ shopping and consumption preferences have evolved, and the physical store now has to deliver a compelling response to the value proposition of online shopping. Stores must become destinations that adapt to consumer preferences and deliver special experiences. Technology has to enable retailers to do that.

eMarketer: What technology changes are you making internally?

Kavanagh: The Hershey Company has a Global Customer Innovation Center where we develop our consumer understanding and gather shopper insights, to build customized marketing and selling solutions in collaboration with our retail partners. The center is an immersive, future-forward retail powerhouse that showcases what the future of shopping can be and how Hershey fits into the experience.

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