Social marketing drives user interaction
BMW of North America wanted to introduce its new entry-level car, the 1-Series, to 18- to 34-year olds — a demographic younger than its usual target. However, the car manufacturer was looking for more than just a way to create buzz around the car launch — it wanted a way to keep the target engaged and interacting with the brand.
BMW tapped Socialmedia.com and relationship marketing firm DotGlu to develop the company’s first social network marketing initiative, which launched in May.
BMW Joyride and Road Trip applications were created for Facebook, giving users the opportunity to customize a virtual 1-Series by color and style, then invite friends to take a virtual “joyride” with the vehicle, selecting destinations (such as, “go to Paris”) and activities (“to get cultured”) from drop-down lists. This introduced a two-pronged viral element: The joyride appeared on the site’s news feeds; and users who accepted a friend’s invitation had the BMW 1-Series image placed on their profile, along with a message about the trip.
“You want people to discuss your brand with their friends,” says Seth Goldstein, CEO of Socialmedia.com. “This was a chance to advertise between consumers, not just in front of them,”
The applications were promoted through interactive banner ads on the Facebook site. “It wasn’t a standard display banner that said ‘click here,’” Goldstein says. “It asked which friends you’d like to take along on a virtual joyride and included the names and photos of some of the users’ friends in the ad.”
Since May, nearly 90,000 BMW applications have been installed by Facebook users. —Mary Elizabeth Hurn
B-to-b campaign displays results
Approach: Print firm Weyerhaeuser was looking to create its first business-to-business campaign for its retail solutions division. Its agency, Catalyst, developed a three-dimensional mailer and e-mails directing Weyerhaeuser’s house file of 697 mail addresses and 2,093 e-mails to a dedicated landing page. Telemarketing was also used. The six-week campaign launched in April.
Results: The campaign generated a 17% lead rate. —Nathan Golia
Customer research informs site design
Approach: Supplemental insurance provider Combined Insurance relaunched its Web site in March with the help of iCrossing. The site’s architecture, creative and keyword strategy were all based upon research into the online behavior of potential Combined Insurance customers and job applicants.
Results: The average time spent on the site has increased 52%, and the number of online job applications is up 88%. —Chantal Todé
Gene Lewis, partner and creative director, Digital Pulp
This may seem harsh, but when I saw the BMW campaign, I did something I’ve done so many times when checking out a Facebook app — I sighed. It’s a cute idea that I’m sure some Facebook users will enjoy. But it doesn’t really leverage the platform’s potential. Many companies feel invisible pressure to have a Facebook app before considering whether they should. This concept doesn’t have legs and gets old quickly; I’d love to see something that really leverages the inevitable Facebook BMW fan base.
Who doesn’t like getting a package in the mail with a large title that reads “Open their eyes”? Exciting — but then you open the package from Weyerhaeuser and two bloodshot eyes and a tome of copy greet you. Hmph. This should have been a great marketing moment for a company that claims to deliver “eye-catching retail displays.” Imagine Weyerhaeuser using a direct mail piece as an example of its abilities, and not just a series of copy-heavy and relatively boring communications components. Just because it’s b-to-b, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring and lifeless.
The creative execution for Combined Insurance does its best to keep things as simple and direct as possible. Highly visible toll-free numbers, up-front explanations of common questions and concise customer stories give visitors the information they need. It might not be art, but it’s solid marketing communication