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Attempts to develop and improve social media networking platforms are never-ending. But there also is a marketing and advertising component to the burgeoning medium, and a Canadian start-up is promising its new platform will create a symbiotic partnership between social media users, retailers and product brands.

Adcquire’s business proposition promises to influence consumer behavior by allowing smartphone users in stores to access interactive brand content and receive immediate incentives and rewards.

“We are a discovery platform that helps both consumers and the brands,” says Adcquire co-founder and CEO David Snir. “Consumers get value for their participation, but they also get to learn about new products in a far less intrusive way than regular advertising. It also helps them to get more information about products that they might otherwise pass in an aisle through all the clutter.”

With the free Adcquire app, consumers are guided to particular products and then interact with them by scanning product barcodes. To receive a redeemable reward, consumers engage with content about the product.

Customer-based action
Snir describes Adcquire as a “pay-per-grab” model of reverse-targeted advertising where consumers take the initiative to seek out engagement. “It is a form of marketing that is direct between the brand and the consumer,” he says.

The app prompts consumers to interact physically with items in stores to learn more about the product – called a “grab event.” The Adcquire technology processes each grab event in real time; brands and retailers can receive reports with demographic information, including age, gender and geo-location.

Snir cites an example of a lip balm event where consumers are given a simple question, such as if a person’s lips are a part of her skin and need to be moisturized as well. In many instances, the consumer will need to read the product packaging to answer the question. If she answers incorrectly, the app will prompt her to continue with other questions to receive the reward.

“At the specific moment when [customers] hold the product and they read about it, they really are enticed and focused about the information,” Snir says, “as opposed to just seeing it randomly in a store.”

Snir says the fledgling company is speaking with major U.S. retailers about incorporating their products into the platform.

Supplemental advertising
Adcquire co-founder and COO Babak Motamedi says the platform also offers market intelligence, like foot traffic analysis, to brands and retailers. In addition to receiving rewards, consumers may elect to participate anonymously in surveys to generate analytics on products preferences and reactions.

Interacting with products allows users to acquire credits that can be redeemed in the form of cash or gift cards. In difficult economic times when disposable income is tight, Motamedi believes consumers will be compelled to stop and engage with products in order to obtain the rewards.
“The consumer does it at their own leisure and they get a positive experience out of it,” he says. “They do it on their own time and they get paid for it.”

Snir says Adcquire isn’t trying to displace traditional advertising, but supplement it.

“We see the value of great campaigns — we’re not here to ruin TV or magazines or anything like that,” he says. “We still think there is a lot of great content in advertising that is done very right. We’re sort of an extra channel. It is more direct. It is faster. It is sort of like the Twitter of advertising.”