Are my products placed in the right shelves? Is my in-store activation plan executed perfectly across all super markets? These are questions marketers of major brands face on a daily basis, and Roamler may have found the most innovative solution to answer them so far!
Major consumer goods enterprises have always relied on field teams to evaluate whether their designed marketing strategies were well-executed in-store. A rather time and resource intensive endeavor, seeing as these would have to travel between all different supermarkets present in our country. The Dutch start-up Roamler noticed how this was causing a problem for major brands and thought up a creative solution to simplify the process. Seeing that most people have smartphones with cameras these days, why can’t we let consumers themselves do the work?
Roamler has made smart use of a number of trends including the power of crowdsourcing, the mobile trend, the trend of gamification and the fact that apps can now operate location based. These features are built into a slick looking mobile interface in order to bring the concept of value co-creation to the retail industry. In principle, Roamler allows for consumer goods organizations to ask questions or set out tasks to users of the platform. The users closest to the task’s location will get an update and may opt to complete the task in return for either money, points or badges. Typically, such tasks will include evaluations of the shelf backed up with a photograph.
According to Saarijärvi et al. (2013) it is important in any value co-creation effort to have a clear picture of what value is created for whom. In this scenario it is the information that is of value to the companies. Companies can use this real-time information to quickly assess where the retail execution could be improved, and mobilize their field employees to make quick adjustments accordingly. For the users it is the monetary reward as well as the possibility to ‘level up’ and unlock new features that creates value to them. In short, the company quickly gets the information it needs, while the user earns some instant benefits for a minor effort. A classic win-win scenario.
Not surprisingly, this simple but effective use of co-creating value between consumers and consumer goods brands was not left unnoticed. In 2011, the year Roamler started, the start-up won the Accenture Innovation Audience Award in the category Media, Communication & High Tech.
Having read about this easy way to earn some extra cash, you may have already whipped out your smartphone and opened up your appstore. Unfortunately, Roamler follows a rather strict entry program and only users who have received a personal invite may participate. Such an invite can only be sent by Roamler users who have at least reached ‘level 3’. When selected, Roamler offers a training program which the new user needs to complete before being sent out on real tasks. This way, Roamler tries to build an exclusive community of high quality Roamlers which can be chartered to participate in tasks of the various clients.
Saarijärvi, H., Kannan, P., & Kuusela, H. (2013). Value co-creation: theoretical approaches and practical implications. European Business Review, 6-19.