Good morning, and it’s a digital experience newsletter today.

You don’t need us to tell you why digital experiences are now critical to marketing: for the most part, those are the only experiences available (okay, yes, direct mail). What we can do is tell you how some major brands have elevated digital experiences, and identify the technology that’s helping them.

In the first story below, we learn how Bacardi, the world’s largest privately-held liquor business, is transforming its digital properties across the board — while increasing operational efficiency — to serve the stay-at-home, shop-at-home, drink-at-home world.

In the second story, we take a look at how multi-billion dollar candy maker Mars found an innovative way to deliver a Halloween experience: it didn’t just put up a website to sell candy to people.

If any other innovative brand DX initiatives catch your eye, let me know: kdavis@thirddoormedia.com.

Kim Davis
Editorial Director, MarTech Today

 
 
 
DX
 

How Bacardi served up a new digital experience for consumers

“The last six months have been all about cocktails at home as a response to city and venue closures,” said Bacardi Senior Director of Digital Marketing Chris Windebank. “We have been helping users discover their inner mixologist by showing recipes and tools online. People have been learning how to make cocktails as a way to upgrade the at-home celebrations, or reminisce about their favorite bar or a special get together.” 

In order to meet their objectives of delivering an enhanced digital experience, Bacardi hired EPAM, a software development and design company to improve brand consistency and perception, while accelerating time to marketing and delivering significant cost savings. 

EPAM streamlined Bacardi’s digital environment by implementing a digital platform for multiple brands, a DevOps automation platform resulting in 16 times greater website deployment capacity, and a 42% reduction in infrastructure costs. EPAM also got a handle on some 150 websites, allowing Bacardi brands to deliver distinctive experiences. And because in many countries liquor can’t be sold direct-to-consumer online, partners like Amazon and Instacart are part of the ecosystem.

Read more here.

 

Compare 13 top marketing automation platforms

MarTech Today’s “B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for B2B marketing automation software platforms. This report includes profiles of 13 leading B2B marketing automation vendors, capabilities comparisons, pricing information, and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.

Get it now »

 
Affiliate DX
 

Mars presents: a spooktacular digital Halloween

A virtual Halloween meant a challenge to the Mars Wrigley division of global petcare and candy giant Mars. Shubham Mehrish, VP Digital Demand at Mars, explained why. “It was back in April or May that we started worrying about the longevity of the pandemic. Halloween is a big event for the Mars Wrigley business.” Product plans are set 18 months in advance; production lines are running by February — hence the imperative to sell online. “But we challenged ourselves. We said, ‘we can’t just solve for Halloween by putting everything online; it has to be something that enhances the experience.’”

The result was Treat Town, a highly complex app-or-browser virtual trick or treat experience. Users can sign up as candy givers or trick-or-treaters. The former design and decorate their virtual doors, the latter dress up their Halloween avatars. Points collected by knocking on doors can be exchanged for candy online, or for QR codes allowing in-store pick-up.

The experience was built on Acquia’s Drupal CMS. Other components include credit card processor Stripe, Microsoft’s PlayFab to tokenize the points, and Mapbox to allow geo-location of the virtual doors on a map. “All of these components have to scale together, and we had to be confident they would play nicely with each other,” said Mehrish.

Read more here.

 

4 ways to craft an engaging e-commerce experience for the holidays

Sponsored by Cloudinary

Brands with an e-commerce presence this holiday season have a big opportunity to engage with the rising number of online consumers and take a piece of the growing pie. To grab market share in an uber-competitive environment, they must invest in the right digital tools to create an engaging online customer experience.

From enhanced product views to shoppable videos to microbrowsers, these tactics will help you make sales as well as increasing customer satisfaction and reducing returns. 

Read More »

 

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Data
 

Narrative announces partnership with AnalyticsIQ

Streaming data platform Narrative has launched a partnership with AnalyticsIQ, a data company that mixes cognitive psychology with data science. AnalyticsIQ data will now be available on Narrative’s data streaming platform. 

Narrative will offer AnalyticsIQ’s data capability to link an individual’s consumer profile at home to their professional profile at work. The new partnership provides a resource for marketers to access more comprehensive consumer data, while being able to create efficient campaigns with customer communications. 

Why we care. Adding data from AnalyticsIQ has the potential to take Narrative from being a raw data streaming service to the next level. Engaging with the right audiences requires more than the traditional data broker model.

 
 
 
Quote of the Day
 

“Businesses of all kinds are experiencing two years’ worth of digitization compressed into months. That’s evident in healthcare, education, and, yes, financial services. All of these industries have historically been slow to adopt new technology, due to the complexity of the systems involved and regulatory oversight. Now the forcing function of social distancing is overcoming that inertia.” Rex Salisbury, Andreessen Horowitz(a16z) fintech deal partner.