Influence Consumer Engagement: Interview with Ryan McManus of EVRYTHNG

Consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages on a daily basis. Making your message stand out and egaging the consumer is a vital part of the digital print for packaging industry. Smithers Pira recently sat down with Ryan McManus, SVP of Partnerships and Development at EVRYTHNG to gain insights into his presentation, Engagement through Smart(er) Packaging at Digital Print for Packaging USA 2016. 

Why are you interested in Digital Print for Packaging?

This event is a perfect fit for what we do at EVRYTHNG.  EVRYTHNG is working closely with a number of packaging and labelling companies to digitize products as they roll off the production line, and provide real-time data management and software intelligence in the cloud.

EVRYTHNG helps brands manage their products, down to each individual product, through active digital identities and data management. This happens across the lifecycle of how they’re made, shipped, sold and used. Being able to apply this data horizontally through the enterprise - from supply through to demand - is key to what we do and what sets EVRYTHNG apart.

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry right now? (print/packaging)

There are two big problems: data ownership and management, & changing consumer mindsets. On the data ownership front, brands often find it challenging to obtain, manage and leverage the massive amounts of valuable data generated by activated products. Many scanning or recognition app providers keep consumer generated data, giving brands no control over the user experience or the message.  

Getting consumers to interact with new technology isn’t always easy. Brands now face the exciting challenge of getting consumers to interact with their products. We are seeing a gradual shift where consumers view the purchased item as one part of the ‘value chain’, while the other part is the digital content or experiences that the product unlocks.  To do this, brands need to invest in innovative experiential marketing campaigns with direct calls to action directly on their product packaging.

What makes you hopeful about the future of this industry?

The Internet of Things brings massive opportunity to the digital packaging industry.  When smart packaging is combined with highly scalable and customizable Platform-as-a-Service capabilities, products can effectively be switched on and given real-time intelligence. The benefits include more efficient supply chains, products better protected from counterfeit and fraud, and innovative ways to engage customers and build brand loyalty. We expect an explosion in use cases over the next couple of years as brands become aware of the power of their products being ‘born digital’.  

What are some of the most innovative things happening in the industry? (including what you’re doing!)

Advances in smart packaging, which include sensory capability to better detect the environment around products, as well as things happening to the product itself, will transform the supply chain. Example use cases include perishable items with packaging that have embedded temperature and humidity sensors. These can transmit data in real-time, creating alerts and triggering a change in handling.

Other higher value goods such as wines and spirits, or medicines, can be fitted with anti-tamper printed NFC labels which can send alerts if the packaging has been opened before purchase.  

By digitally-enabling a physical product and linking each asset to its ‘digital self’ in the cloud, individual items become data-generating, trackable and interactive assets throughout their lifecycle.  This unlocks rich data insights, eliminating blind spots in the supply chain, and importantly provide visibility about products even after sale.  

Who do you admire in the field?

Avery Dennison and Thinfilm. They’re both doing innovative work that’s driving change and moving the industry forward.