“The collaboration with Facebook to run the Ramadan bot pilot on Messenger was very insightful. It is a very powerful and innovative way to create relevant and customized brand experience.” – Rainer Mueller, communication and marketing services director, Middle East & North Africa (MENA).
Ramadan is an extremely important season for brands wishing to connect with their customers and raise awareness. For food and beverage giant Nestlé, the opportunity is even more strategic, considering that in the region, a vast majority of people celebrate the holy month and have eating and drinking at the top of their minds during that period – indeed, food conversations increase by 25% during Ramadan.
This is why, in partnership with Facebook’s Creative Shop, its media agency Zenith MENA, and bot development agency Chatlab, Nestlé Middle East developed a bilingual, informative bot for Messenger that would support users in a variety of ways, based on their location.
People could ask the bot simple questions across five categories – food ideas, general information about Ramadan, health & wellness, entertainment and gifting ideas – and receive in a conversational way, relevant product suggestions, recipe ideas, and Ramadan-related information. For instance, if asked about what to prepare for Iftar (the evening meal), Suhoor (the morning meal) or snacks, the bot could direct people to Nestlé’s various brands like Maggi or Nestlé Sweetened Condensed Milk. By using the bot, people could also subscribe to daily food notifications, and share a basic customized greeting card with their friends on Messenger.
Moreover, with online sales increasing by 35% during Ramadan, Nestlé’s Messenger bot was well-equipped to make gift suggestions from Nespresso and Nestlé Dolce Gusto.
We talked to Rainer Mueller to know more about the campaign:
What was the main goal for the campaign that ran on Facebook’s platforms?
The holy month of Ramadan is the peak season for advertising, with an abundance of content and high clutter on platforms. Nestlé Middle East’s communication task was to raise awareness of the content and services provided by its brands during the holy month in a personalized and interactive way on the one hand and to gain insights about our consumer’s eating habits and preferences on the other.
To achieve this, the Nestlé team created an informative bot on Facebook Messenger, providing cooking recipes, product tips, useful information for a healthy diet during the fasting period, seasonal greetings, in both branded and non-branded content. With 83% of people in the Middle East celebrating Ramadan, the campaign had widespread resonance across gender, age brackets, and nationalities. The Facebook Messenger bot campaign ran in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.
What made you choose Facebook’s marketing solutions out of many alternatives?
Messaging is the form of communication with the highest penetration rate between people in our region. Facebook was the platform of choice to take advantage of the high penetration of Messenger in our target markets. Furthermore, all Nestlé brand campaigns were running on Facebook at the same time. The bot allowed us to redirect consumers to our branded content in Messenger. First-party data was collected throughout the campaign, enabling a retargeting and personalization journey in marketing efforts across all participating brands to consumers who had interacted with the bot.
Could you share the results of your campaign? Did you achieve your goals?
The bot was able to connect with over 7,000 users that opted in and spent over three minutes interacting with the content on the platform, which is almost three times the time spent on our owned internet platforms. 35% of the users interacted with the bot during more than one session, of which almost one third registered for the daily recipe section. The first-party data accumulation has been ongoing: the successful activation has driven Nestle to keep the bot running since Ramadan 2019.
What would you recommend to other advertisers who want to find their potential customers?
The Facebook Messenger bot was an insightful pilot to engage with consumers in a personalized and relevant way during the holy month of Ramadan. It allowed us to collect first-party data and meaningful insights about Ramadan eating habits and food choices, which will help us develop even more consumer-relevant content and communication in the future.