Mars eyes mobile shift in Government-backed scheme

FMCG giant Mars is tasking start-up firms to help it measure the impact of mobile advertising on chocolate sales, one of a host of organisations seeking to hone their digital marketing as part of a Government-backed competition aimed at encouraging young entrepreneurs. 

Mars is tasking start-up firms to help it measure the impact of mobile advertising on chocolate sales

Mars is participating in the Technology Strategy Board’s IC Tomorrow competition, which attempts to pair-up large organisations and start-up firms, with up to £100,000 of Government-funding on offer.

Each of the participating contest partners, which also includes the IAB, UK charity Nesta and media agency Vizeum, will partner with the eventual winning start-ups, offering them a three-month trial of their ideas.

The confectionary manufacturer, alongside it media agency MediaCom, will field pitches on how brands in its sector can better measure the impact of mobile advertising on sales figures, so it can channel advertising budgets more effectively.

Stefan Bardega, MediaCom’s managing partner and head of digital, says tracking the effectiveness of a digital campaign is increasingly hard to implement, especially as consumer purchase journeys take place across devices.

He adds: “Start-up firms are flexible, agile and collaborative in the way they work, and offer a different perspective on solving an established challenge. What’s more they will also have the opportunity to test their product on one of the biggest brands in the world.”

Similarly, Nesta is participating to find “hyperlocal advertising” technologies that can be offered to local media owners struggling to transition to the digital media landscape.

Also participating in the Technology Strategy Board contest is the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), which has asked participants to present new social media analysis tools to its Social Media Council – a body with representatives from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Kristin Brewe, IAB director of marketing and communications, says its members are increasingly looking to build relationships with the tech community.

Meanwhile, Aegis’ Vizeum, an agency that works with brands including BMW, Burberry and Ikea, is also participating in the IC Tomorrow event to search for a way to use digital channels to improve engagement with TV audiences.

The event is held in association with the IPA and deadlines for entry close on 6 January, 2014.  

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