Buzz marketing challenge part three


In part two of this blog we looked at how the campaign was created and planned. Now in the third and final part we look at how the campaign was implemented, results achieved and most importantly the lessons learned.

There were some regulatory and administrative hurdles to overcome, but there was nothing difficult about the process. Launch date was set and the implementation was started to ensure that the 12 month marketing strategy would be off to a good start. New signage was designed and installed on the building, weekly advertising space was booked in advance and systems and processes were put in place to ensure that all went smoothly. It was just like any other project you would undertake. Once you have a clear plan and goal, implementation is often the easy part.

How it worked was at close of business on a Sunday, a report was run to provide a list of customers who had finaliased their purchases that week. One of the weekly transactions was selected at random to be the customer that would get their money back. Each week, a customer was notified via telephone. As a customer was called and told they were getting their money back the reactions were just awesome.. Often you could hear the positive reactions of family and friends in the background. To collect their winnings or money back, customers needed to come into the store.

To create a memorable experience for the customer, they were given an official envelope with letter and money to the value of their purchase. Photographs were taken with smiles, handshakes, congratulations and fanfare all around. These customers were going to talk about their experience. From the purchase process which had been streamlined to make it easy for the customer to get their goods, to the refund moment where they were rewarded for shopping with Furniture Direct.

To supplement the word of mouth buzz that was being generated by customers who had received their money back, photographs of the winners being handed their winnings were published each week in the local newspapers and the pictures of the winners were also placed on a winners board in the store and on the company website.

Nothing for the first three months. It felt like we had made a big marketing blunder. At times it was frustrating but we knew we needed to sustain a consistent message to get a return on the marketing investment. Marketing isn’t about running an advert and waiting for customers to come in through the door. It’s all about repeating the same message over and over again.

And then it kicked in. The results of this campaign were astounding. As expected there was a delay in any increase in sales from our efforts and at times there were heated discussions about the value of the marketing campaign. Eventually after around three or so months into the campaign we started getting feedback from customers they had heard of us and were recommended by family and or friends or had read about the happy winners in the local paper.

The “win your money back” buzz marketing campaign was run for 12 months. There were 52 winners, one for each week. Overall the results were way above expectations with between 20% and 25% increase in sales revenue with no additional marketing costs or increase in our marketing budget. For a short time we had broken through the clutter and the noise.

These are the important lessons we learned.

  • Brainstorming ideas will enable you to find new ways to get your message out to your select customer.
  • Target your message, and who better that to target your existing customers. They will be the best referral you will ever get from anywhere.
  • Ensure your business systems and processes are in place to support any marketing campaign you implement.
  • Create buzz about your product, services and what you do, but at the same time support those efforts with mainstream media like radio and print.
  • Planning is key to any good marketing campaign.
  • Your existing customers are your best advertisers.

If you have any specific topics you would like me to address…. let me know.



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