New platform aims to connect brands with consumers via Internet of Things

Australian developed marketing platform's first client is Chemmart, which is using the technology to fuel behaviourally-based connections with loyalty club members

A new Australian marketing platform aimed at better connecting brands with customers via wearables and connected devices has launched and kicked off its first two campaigns.

ZIVA is a platform-as-a-service offering that facilitates brand engagement activities and consumer data collection through the Internet of Things (IoT). Described by its co-founder, Issac Elnekave, as akin to ‘middleware’, ZIVA synchronises with an end consumer’s chosen connected device or mobile app and collects as well as normalises activity data, sending it back to the vendor's brand clients.

Elnekave told CMO the idea evolved from work ZIVA’s co-founders had undertaken around connected devices in the healthcare space, such as blood pressure units and scales. ZIVA boasts of a team of eight with a variety of technology skills including data warehousing, systems integration, research and product development, telecoms and military-grade security.

ZIVA can connect with more than 200 devices and apps so far, including fitness wearables, apps, blood pressure devices and even Internet-enabled fishing rods. Almost no technology is needed on the brand side, nor the consumer side, to take advantage of the platform. Once consumers are informed of the campaign, they can opt-in digitally via a branded digital portal hosted by ZIVA, and the platform does the rest.

“The connected wearables and IoT market is a category fragmented with a number of different brands, each gathering data in different ways, and with devices that talk in different ways,” Elnekave said.

“All clients wanted the data originating from these devices, but none knew how to engage with the data and what to do once they had it. That started the evolution of ZIVA to a marketing platform for the Internet of Things. We’re enabling brands to create campaigns that drive growth and harness that data coming off the IoT and devices.”

ZIVA’s first client is Chemmart, which debuted with a brand initiative for loyalty club members that’s designed to reward them for healthier lifestyle choices, rather than just transactional purchases. The ‘Walk to Win’ campaign encourages customers to walk 10,000 steps a day to be in the running to win a $7500 Flight Centre travel voucher.

Launched on 13 October, Chemmart consumers opt-in and select their chosen connected fitness device, such as a Fitbit or Garmin, or a mobile app, via a branded digital link. The ZIVA platform then identifies and syncs with their choice and starts collecting data, providing consumers with a way to monitor their results, while also tying it back to a brand. The campaign is the culmination of 18 months’ work to develop the product and concept, Elnekave said.

Chemmart executive director, Duncan Phillips, said the partnership with ZIVA was prompted by the desire to evolve from traditional customer relationships based on rewarding purchases, to ones built on improving a member’s wellbeing.

“It’s another way we’re solidifying our brand as a health and wellbeing destination and ensuring we’re at the forefront of marketing innovation in the pharmacy industry,” he said.

Originally launched to Chemmart’s existing loyalty club members, Elnekave said one of the unexpected outcomes was that members began sharing the campaign on social, giving the brand the ability to engage with a fresh group of prospects.

ZIVA has since launched a second client campaign on 1 November in partnership with skin care products manufacturer, Medik8, and its online retail partner, RY. The co-branded campaign is again about aligning the brand with a fit and healthy lifestyle and rewarding consumers who embrace these kinds of activities behaviourally. Consumers are being rewarded with loyalty points and discount vouchers of up to $75 to spend on the RY website, as well as the chance to win a supply of Medik8 products.

“This creates fresh content for Medik8 and RY, plus exposure to each other’s databases – Medik8 is promoting this to its customer database, as well as through PR, and RY is doing the same thing, opening it up to consumers who may or may not known their respective brands,” Elnekave explained.

“The initial focus was helping brands to move loyalty programs away from just transactional to behavioural-based rewards, but there’s an opportunity for promotional or one-off campaigns as well.

“We’re working with clients who want to increase brand awareness – they create the event, ZIVA can help consumers engage with it.

“This also gives them an immense opportunity to gain insights into consumers, and to take this data set and work it into their customer data profile. It offers a more personalised, richer experience for the customers... and a more sticky and intimate conversation with them based on their interests and what they want to do every day. It’s not just about campaign performance, but gaining deeper insights into their customers.”

While it’s early days in terms of results, Elnekave said engagement rates so far had been greater than standard results and Chemmart was now investigating its next campaign using the platform.

“Because it’s an Australian first, no one really knew what to expect, but what we have successfully achieved is brand positioning for Chemmart,” Elnekave said, adding Chemmart suppliers were also showing interest in similar activities based on targeted consumer behaviour.

The ZIVA team continues to work on extending the number of IoT devices it connects to in order to future-proof the platform. Security is also paramount and data will be stored and backed up in Australia, and Elnekave noted the team's military-grade security experience as a key factor in its governance practices.

“The other area where we can add value given it’s early days in the IoT space is by providing clients with inspiration around how to engage consumers with these devices,” he said.

Elnekave said the business had, however, made a conscious decision not to play a role in the data analysis and interpretation space.

“We are not there to interpret that data, or create the campaign. We’re there to deliver the data and provide inspirations with how to use that data.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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