June 2015

Viewing posts from June , 2015

4 of 4 NCAA March Madness : The Boss is Looking, Quick hide in the Buick!

Buick was one of the sponsors of NCAA March Madness this year, giving them a strong advantage in available marketing space. In order to effectively capitalize on this advantage, however, Buick was still faced with the classic quandary in advertising – how to make their marketing not only known, but stand out above the competition. In the modern era of advertising, this competition is not just with companies within the same field. Buick may be an automobile company, but in the highly saturated March Madness advertising market, Buick’s advertising and marketing agency had to compete with every other advertiser for the finite attention of the consumer. Buick was not only competing with Infiniti — the only other automotive corporate partner of March Madness — but the likes of Coca Cola, AT&T and Oreo.

Buick’s advertising and marketing agency was posed with this critical issue: “How can an auto company compete with other products and services during basketball?” Retail, food and alcohol companies have an easy time because everyone wants to enjoy a delicious snack such as Reese’s or refreshing cold beverage while watching the game in a Nike sweatshirt with a team logo on it. Those companies already had a built-in demand tailored into the event. A car company would have to work harder for the attention of March Madness fans during a game because, as most Americans would agree, commercials get in the way of watching Basketball. The challenge was to create brand relevance during an event where people may not be thinking about your product or service.

Buick’s advertising and marketing agency came up with a brilliant solution to the problem. In order to maximize impact and generate an appreciable ROI, companies need to create a campaign that sticks in the mind of the consumer and to generate organic growth through creating market buzz. Buick needed to create a clever tagline and their advertising and marketing agency delivered in spades with their rendition of the “Boss Button”.

The idea is simple. At some point or another, we have all been on the computer at work looking at something we probably shouldn’t’t be at while our employer is paying us, right? Some of us have had to resort to a tricky move like keeping a webpage open that looks like “work” in case the boss walks by. Quickly and discretely we can click the other page and BAM! It looks like work is being done. Well, unfortunately checking on your March Madness brackets or streaming games at work is probably not the best use of company time and equipment. The Boss Button is the Panic Button for March Madness fans.

Originally developed by CBS’s marketing and advertising agency in 2006, Buick cleverly created a two-prong advertising tie-in. Buick decided to take advantage of this chicanery and develop the Boss Button. Clicking on Buick’s version of the Boss Button wouldn’t take the user to a boring excel spreadsheet like the original CBS version. It did take the user to a screen full of stats, but they were Buick stats! Now the user of the Boss Button was exposed to what Buick really wanted in the first place — the reasons why Buick is the next car they should buy.

This is good and effective advertising. The visible promotion is not for Buick cars. It is a sophisticated advertising campaign that relies on advertising without advertising, so to speak.

Buick’s Boss Button strategy, then, was able to do two things. It utilized a successful technique to reach the suspicious public and it created brand relevance to March Madness where there wasn’t any. By using the old “hide what you’re doing from your boss” gag, Buick was able to create a rapport with potential customers. Even if an audience member wasn’t looking to buy a car, the button was fun to look at and subconsciously got them thinking about Buick. In psychology, this is known as “psychological rapport”, or rapport which is sneaky, for lack of a better word. Essentially what Buick’s advertising and marketing agency did with the Boss Button was say “Hey, we know you’re watching the game at work, so here’s a button to hide it from your boss! We’re Buick; we’re looking out for you!” Again, this is genius.

Whether it was a result of the Boss Button or clever advertising in other commercials, The Elite 8 and National Championship game showed a dramatic increase in purchase consideration in Buick autos (the Enclave primarily). For the National Championship game, consideration was up 122%! This is an astounding increase, even for a major televised event!

For a brief report on Psychological Rapport and how it is used in business click here.

3 of 4 NCAA March Madness : Health Care Marketing and utilizing America’s love of a “Dark Horse”

Since Americans love a dark horse, it’s no surprise that Duke’s 2015 upset over Wisconsin netted the highest ratings and viewership for the NCAA March Madness in 22 years. With only 9.3% of espn.com brackets calling for Duke to win, over 33 million people tuned in to watch the final minutes of that game. Of course, Duke wasn’t the only team to win the 2015 March Madness; Health Care Marketing agencies also won in a big way. With an average of 11.3 million television viewers per game according to Nielsen, the only post-season sports programming with more viewership is the NFL playoffs. The NCAA also reported more than 80 million live internet streams of the tournament.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. In 2012 Millennial Media reported that 88% of avid March Madness followers used their mobile devices to follow the tournament. Needless to say, where there are mobile devices, there is social media.

This year, 201 companies together spent over a billion dollars on television and live-streaming advertising, beating this year’s Superbowl in ad revenue. This advertising money benefited handily from the force multiplier of social media; this year, approximately 1.5 billion social media conversations occurred about the NCAA March Madness corporate sponsors. The most successful advertisers this year were the ones who were able to actively engage their audience by using social media.

It should go without saying that health care marketing agencies need to be aware of the potential rewards of social media advertising during an already existing multibillion dollar advertising event. According to a 2012 Mediabistro study, more than 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health. With a huge audience interacting via social media in real time, March Madness is an ideal avenue for health care marketing agencies.

There are two important factors in any social media marketing campaign: relevance and engagement. A successful March Madness advertising campaign must tie the marketing to March Madness. There were two successful health care marketing agency campaigns during March Madness. The first was by the Obama administration, promoting reasons to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Marketing to the March Madness audience, the Obama administrations health care marketing agency invited the American people to participate in a Sweet Sixteen bracket on the ACA website and vote to determine the best reason to sign up.  A survey by Genesis Media, one third of Americans planned to watch at least some portion of March Madness. The American Gaming Association estimated that roughly 40% of those, or about 40 million people, would fill in approximately 70 million brackets. The tie-in is clear; the public loves to fill in brackets even if they are not avid sports fans. The health care marketing agency for the ACA made a brilliant play; relevance and engagement.

The second successful health care marketing campaign was directed by a loose association of doctors across the country, urology health care agencies specifically. Noting that the rate of vasectomies in recent years seemed to surge around the time of March Madness, sometimes as much as 50%, a number of enterprising urologists around the United States instituted the almost-alliterative Vas Madness campaign. Offering men the chance to have a medical excuse to watch four days of basketball on the couch, instead of having to go to work, do laundry, or watch a soap opera. Vas Madness promised men the chance to make the best out of the briefly painful procedure of getting a vasectomy. The University of Utah Health Care center went so far as to devote an entire page on its website to advertising Vas Madness, greeting fans with a banner asking them, “Are you ready for Vas Madness?” and a checklist: recliner, chips & dip, remote, and a vasectomy. Social media was abuzz talking about whether men would really do this. Utilizing some simple social analytic tools, we found that following the publishing of several articles on Vas Madness at the outset of March Madness, tweets using the word vasectomy increased from an average of about 200 per day on March 13 to a peak of almost 1100 on March 20.  It then leveled off to a more sustained average of about 350 per day with a peak of 600 on April 9. From April 5 of this year to April 9, “vasectomy” was tweeted by 1433 users with a potential outreach of over 5,320,00 people. Urologist health care marketing agencies had clearly done their jobs.

The idea for the campaign originated in 2008 with the Oregon Urology Institute. Following the merger of two urology groups, the Oregon Urology Institute was in need of a health care marketing campaign. They made the cutting edge decision to do a test run of a radio ad on the nationally-syndicated Dan Patrick show with an estimated cost of $500. This sort of strategy was ahead of its time because traditionally doctors only advertised through printed media.  It generated a flurry of media coverage, including Time magazine, creating an unbelievable ROI. The campaign’s slogan was “Snip City: Lower Your Seed.” The success of this campaign filtered through the urology profession to mutate into the Vas Madness campaign of today. Staying on the cutting edge of media advertising, health care marketing agencies are now linking to articles about the phenomenon using social media outlets such as Twitter, generating higher demand at their own practices.

There are undoubtedly more possible strategies for marketing during March Madness. The best way to take advantage of the immense marketing potential of next year’s March Madness is to have an innovative and effective health care marketing agency. In order to get your message out, you need timely, relevant, engaging copy, and health care marketing agencies such as Holland are here to help.

2 of 4 NCAA March Madness : Retail Marketing Agencies & March Madness. Be a part of the conversation.

Today’s retail customers are sharper than ever so you need a solid retail marketing campaign to get them to your store and keep them coming back. Retail marketing agencies, such as Holland Advertising: Interactive, can effectively use March Madness to stimulate conversation about a client’s brand and to generate brand awareness inexpensively in an often oversaturated market. The high level of interest and excitement from March Madness opens up new avenues to generate new leads and boost sales as well as join the conversation.

During the NCAA March Madness Tournament, a retail marketing agency has limited time to drive traffic to its client’s website, boost sales at stores, and strengthen communication with potential customers. Basketball searches spike dramatically around March Madness so coming up with keywords that relate to March Madness or basketball is a good first step. These keywords can be incorporated into whatever March Madness retail marketing campaign is being developed for their client, and can be turned into twitter hashtags. Branching out a little from just basketball, developing a campaign centered on improving one’s “game” is another way to build on the interest generated by the NCAA tournament. Be creative and think about other non-basketball marketing themes that still relate to March Madness and create interest among college basketball fans.  If there’s a local team that is in the tournament, this creates passion and presents a tremendous retail marketing opportunity. If there is no local team in the tournament, there may be a popular underdog team somewhere in the country. Consider coming up with an underdog theme that can be used in a retail marketing campaign. Underdogs generate a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and interest. Many fans, while they don’t have a local team to root for, watch March Madness because they want to see an upset.

Once the team of interest has been identified, there are a number of social media strategies that can be devised. A retail marketing agency should suggest to their clients to have some sort of contest for a free giveaway or a sale if the team wins, and social media can be used during the games to draw attention to this. A large number of March Madness fans are college students, so if a business has many students as customers or potential customers there will be opportunities here as well. Live-tweeting during games with your Twitter hashtag in the tweet is an effective way to raise awareness.

Lowe’s has had some success with March Madness. The home improvement business introduced “Super Fan Tips,” which use basketball language to tie-in with their products. Terms such as “throwing up the bricks,” “dominating in the boards”  “let’s hit the paint,” and “nail biter” were used, and they were paired with images. There are all sorts of basketball-related phrases that could be cleverly integrated into social media campaigns for businesses selling a wide range of products.

Oreo’s retail marketing campaign is another great example of a successful 2015 March Madness tie-in.  Throughout the tournament, Oreo used Twitter for frequent postings, retweets and game-time live-tweets.  Real-time live-tweets made up three-quarters of the firm’s posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google+, and Oreo was consistently creative in terms of its social media picture shares.  A retail marketing agency can help create a NCAA digital marketing strategy that will drive business to a client’s website or store by promoting themselves through March Madness.  The ability to interact with customers to grow brand awareness and create “buzz” is an invaluable asset that the NCAA has used to grow the tournament into the $11 billion dollar campaign it is today.  A retail marketing agency promoting brand conversation via a promotional campaign – in this case, March Madness -provides opportunities for brand interaction with fans, and encourages both new and repeat sales.

Using March Madness can open non-traditional doors to retail marketing agencies and create options in the digital creative side with social media. It pays for retail marketing agencies to be creative when using social media to promote a business, sale, or promotion. Focusing it around March Madness provides an opportunity to “ride on the coat tails” of an already existing, highly-popular event.