Retail media company SMACK has been acquired by leading retail-insights firm Field Agent, creating a more comprehensive solution to help brands deliver a compelling first impression for their products. SMACK’s online properties, Aisle 9 and Product 1, as well as its marketing products, Digital Demo and sponsored content, will immediately become the basis for Field Media, a new marketing division within Field Agent.
The result? Even broader disruption to tired, “top-down” advertising methods, and even greater opportunity to generate product sales organically through “everyday influencers.”
“Field Agent’s panel of 1.4 million shoppers just became our audience of 1.4 million shoppers,” said Sean Womack, SMACK founder and publisher of Field Media. “We’ve been working with Field Agent for over two years developing our publishing technology, so joining forces truly makes sense.”
With the acquisition, Field Agent will enjoy new opportunities to leverage its ever-growing mobile panel of over one million U.S.-based shoppers, while providing companies new, shopper-driven methods for powering retail sales.
Front & Center: The Digital Demo
SMACK’s popular Digital Demo program will now become a staple of Field Media’s custom media solutions, as the program continues to drive sales for the world’s largest brands and disrupt the way brands think about shopper marketing.
Digital Demos direct real shoppers to “buy and try” specific products in-store or online, and provide feedback about their “first impressions,” all through the Field Agent mobile app. This user feedback then becomes the basis for premium-quality, user-generated content published on Aisle 9 or Product 1.
“We build awareness through the audience members themselves by turning them into everyday influencers,” Womack explained. “It’s friends talking to their friends. This is the best kind of influence, and since it’s an article they wrote, it doesn’t feel like a sales message.”
Field Media will operate separately from Field Agent’s research and auditing arms, while effectively closing the distance between the collection of shopper feedback and the use of that feedback to influence awareness and sales. According to Rick West, co-founder and CEO of Field Agent, Field Media will specifically serve marketers and brand managers who previously lacked a targeted media solution, building on the company’s current client base of Fortune 500 sales, operations, category, and research teams.
“For years we’ve been connecting companies with their core consumers,” West said. “With this purchase we’ll now start using our crowd of consumers to build awareness of new products and ultimately move those products off store shelves.”
The bottom line: Two growing companies, one a research firm, the other a marketing media firm, have come together to provide brands and retailers a turnkey method of collecting product feedback and then harnessing it to create buzz about the product online.