Intelligent marketing refers to the ability to provide relevant messaging to a consumer based on analytical profiling. Sophisticated vending applications include a machine mounted camera capable of ‘anonymous analytics,’ meaning that the gender, age, time of day and product selection behavior of a consumer can be captured at the point of purchase. Some applications also claim to be capable of deciphering the consumer’s mood at the time of purchase. These consumer analytics can be included in a search engine capability that will filter offerings or reduce the product choices available, based on what is deemed most appropriate for a specific class of consumer at a particular time of day (e.g. woman in her late 40s at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon at the vending machine).
Mobile devices have changed the way retailers go to market, and vending is no exception. With upcoming applications that allow consumers and the vending machine to engage each other with targeted promotions, the vending industry will have a new and exciting future.