P&G’s Tremor applied its word of mouth prowess to drive consumers to key downtown Cincinnati events held during the holidays. As a member of Downtown Cincinnati, Inc.’s marketing committee, I was recently briefed on this pro bono project and its extremely positive results.
Without giving out the whole recipe to Tremor’s secret sauce, here’s a snapshot of this unique campaign that used a mix of tactics to sell a city.
Leverage the Network. Nearly 7,000 members of Tremor’s Vocalpoint live in the Cincinnati area and were targeted to participate in this project.
Conduct (a lot of) Research. Pre-surveys were conducted online to determine barriers to coming downtown. As a result, parking, safety and family-friendliness were singled out as negative misconceptions the campaign needed to address. Campaign impact was measured with a final survey gathering qualitative and quantitative feedback.
Campaign Hook. Keep in mind Tremor needed to get busy soccer moms to steer clear of the malls into potentially foreign territory. Much of downtown Cincinnati was undergoing various phases of construction to upgrade and expand the overall experience.
The campaign turned the challenge of changing negative perceptions into an opportunity. In Pursuit of Cincinnati was a quiz-style campaign serving up downtown facts, figures and event trivia. Participants were invited to make a game of learning about downtown holiday opportunities.
Online/Offline Support. The campaign was launched in an e-newsletter which pushed to the In Pursuit of Cincinnati web site. Both were designed to present the facts about downtown. The next online campaign phase was designed to be more event focused and to get the mothers talking about the events.
A direct mail effort supplied print materials to Mom that reinforced the trivia concept and included event itineraries and maps they could hand out to friends. These were reinforced with online reminders.
BIG Results. Traffic increased at each event, meeting or exceeding program goals. One reason why is that half of the members contacted in the program told four more people about the downtown events. Positive perceptions of downtown also increased among Vocalpoint Moms as it relates to family friendliness (+85%), safety (+40%) and ease of parking (+10%)
The numbers don’t lie. The main reason I’m serving this story up is that, far too often, marketers seem to want a silver bullet that will incite word of mouth. As Tremor shows, it usually takes a lot of the usual preparations for a good marketing campaign…a deep understanding of the target market that drive the right mix of tactics to reach the program’s goals. Ho ho ho.
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