Posts Tagged ‘advertising’


Transformation Influencers: Rust-Oleum’s 1,000 Projects Campaign

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

There are more than 100 million searches each month on “how to” do something. Rust-Oleum, a nearly 100 year-old company, came to the realization that people aren’t really passionate about products as much as they want to change and improve their living spaces, creating something beautiful that they can enjoy.

Photo: Pinterest Screenshot

Photo: Pinterest Screenshot

With the insight that people want to improve and/or change what they love, Rust-Oleum (along with its agencies) set out to create 1,000 compelling projects to serve as inspiration and demonstration to consumers. Leveraging paid media and using data driven marketing to share a transformation story through images and video, they empowered bloggers and every day influencers to share their own inspiration stories, in turn driving awareness and a new excitement—a re-introduction of sorts.

Lisa Bialecki, Senior Director, Integrated Communications at Rust-Oleum, shared their journey with attendees of PRSA St. Louis’ recent Digital Communications Summit.

They conducted fast data analysis to identify exactly what people are searching for and where they’re looking to find this information. Using this research data, they created a blueprint of projects that they needed to create and feature—for example, 14% of the project would be devoted to the garden tackling things like planters, fences and stones, while 5% would be devoted to garage revamping items such as cabinets, hardware, organizers and the garage floor.

Their strategy included media partners, consumers, professionals and brand projects. Rust-Oleum created “an army of project enthusiasts,” Bialecki said, leveraging volumes of content–using print, blogs, web, video, Facebook and Pinterest. They also hyper-targeted banner ads to their audiences and created a new website for project inspirations with a user forum section—creating a community.

But it wasn’t just all traditional print, social media and digital. Rust-Oleum hosted DIY conferences. They held multiple blogger innovation summits in an effort to generate excitement for these bloggers to write about new products. One such summit included 18 highly influential DIY bloggers (from 15 key blogs) over a three-day period. During the summit, they took them on a manufacturing plant tour, a corporate headquarters breakfast and tour which included a marketing studio “hands-on” session. Through these “in real life” events, they were able to build a stronger awareness of new products, strengthen existing and build new blogger relationships.

This integrated PR campaign not only supported Rust-Oleum’s retail marketing but has resulted in 250 million project impressions to date and 3 million project engagements. Pinterest has become their number two driver to the website. Most importantly, unit sales are up 40% year-over-year. This is a great example of PR, marketing, advertising, digital and social successfully working together!

When Marketing Tactics Mean Missed Media Mentions

Monday, December 9th, 2013

When Marketing Tactics Mean Missed Media Mentions Beijing Air Purifiers Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasThe toxic air in Beijing and other cities in China is an environmental and public health disaster, but it’s an enormous opportunity for air purifier providers – Beijing alone has an estimated population of 20.6 million people. The US Embassy in Beijing recently placed a massive order for “more than a couple thousand” but “under five thousand” air purifiers. They ordered from the US provider of Blueair, a Swedish company, but the article also mentioned Blueair’s competitor, IQAir.

I lived in China for four years, and for almost a year before becoming a magazine editor, I managed the Beijing branch of a China-based company with exclusive dealer rights to an American air purifier brand. The most notable thing in the New York Times article: The brand I sold wasn’t even mentioned, and they’ve been in China for years. What happened?

I learned a lot about marketing from watching what happened at this provider. Here are a few things I noticed when I was there that caused the brand to miss out on what could have been a very valuable media mention.

Disregarding market differences. The dealer I worked for is headquartered in Shanghai, but expanded to Beijing when I arrived at the company. Their advertising and marketing efforts had modest success in Shanghai, and it was decided that Beijing would employ the same strategy and tactics as Shanghai.

Both Blueair and IQAir enjoyed far stronger brand recognition in Beijing than they did in Shanghai. Our retailer didn’t need to advertise and market aggressively in Shanghai, so declined to do so in Beijing. As a result, even years after I left the company, there still wasn’t widespread brand recognition.

Lesson: Be willing to go through a trial-and-error process when targeting a new market or segment, and adjust your strategy to the actual market.

Marketing with tunnel vision. The company relied on print ads in one magazine and attending international school fairs. Unlike the Shanghai market, the Beijing target market has more niches and is geographically more spread out, and between the ads and the fairs, we reached a very small slice of the target market and saw little return on those tactics. We concentrated more on that small return than on long-term growth.

Lesson: Continually assess ROI from all your efforts, and diversify marketing strategies; you can’t expect different  results from doing the same thing. Don’t mistake making progress for getting results.

Not engaging the most influential media outlets. In Beijing, there are maybe half a dozen English-language magazines competing for the expat market, so advertising in these magazines is the best way to build recognition in the international community. Our brand spent almost all the marketing budget advertising in first one, then another, of the least-read of these publications.

The head office wouldn’t even talk to sales reps from the most-read publications in Beijing. They not only lost eyeballs on what could have been valuable advertising, but they also shut off any form of communication, meaning they couldn’t become experts or resources by providing comments or information in articles.

Whenever the big magazines wrote about air quality or air purifiers (which was fairly frequently, since it’s a prominent problem), our competitors, IQAir and Blueair, were mentioned and experts from their company quoted. The brand I worked for was never mentioned, which is exactly what happened in this New York Times article.

Lesson: Advertising doesn’t equal coverage, but don’t shut your organization off by refusing all calls. You can’t become a resource if you won’t talk to anyone. And if you’re going to advertise at all, make sure that outlet fits your strategic goals as well as your budget.

What Can Retargeting Do For You?

Monday, December 10th, 2012

retargeted adsOnce a website is set up and gains traction, it can become a targeted marketing sweet spot for companies looking for exposure. Companies or marketing firms analyze shopping habits by demographic and direct efforts accordingly.

When a website reaches a high hit count, it becomes that sought-after spot for displaying retargeting ads. Marketing firms will maximize retargeting strategies on such sites to realize the best percentage per post. Facebook is one such site. Facebook is such a big player it might shift the entire ecommerce and pay-per-click scenes.

First, What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is all about making a conversion based on someone’s expressed interest in a product or service. Search retargeting takes the keywords that users search for, and delivers relevant ads in a timely manner to a (hopefully) still searching consumer. Site retargeting shows ads to users who leave a site. Ads can show items abandoned in a cart, products that were clicked on, or even just a targeted ad. Retargeting’s main purpose boils down to converting more window shoppers into buyers.

In Front of More People

Retargeting on a venue such as Facebook is a high-profile maneuver for any business. This is because Facebook is at the forefront of the international social media scene. Joining in on the bidding process could potentially put ads before hundreds of thousands of people, not just once but as many times as is advisable.

The risk in investing in this, on the part of Facebook, is volume. Whether or not enough traffic goes through Facebook cannot be determined outside of assumption. However, the assumption is that there are perhaps millions of Facebook unique visitors on a daily basis. Facebook will regularly have upwards of over 150 million unique visitors per month. That tallies to just over 5,000,000 per day. That’s potential.

Retargeting and Pay-Per-Click

Watch groups claim that the shift from per-click prominence on search engines to high-hit volume sites like Facebook will have drastic effects on the pay-per-click game. Their logic is that search engine optimization (SEO) is limited to those searching for a particular item, whereas random visibility on a Facebook page will target others. And further, this will retarget one-time window shoppers and lure them back. The interest is there and the product is there; the assumption is that this will more likely lead to a sale.

Whether or not this new strategy by Facebook will drive pay-per-click or SEO strategies to the outer brink of advertising competition has yet to be seen. But it will be an important game-changer as Facebook and other companies continue to develop this strategy.

Some Shaky Ground

Facebook will reap more than just money. As advertisers “follow” more users around Facebook, it runs the risk of having too much access to personal information and behaviors. Facebook has already had to face the scrutiny of conspiratorial thinkers. Concerned users, competitors and governments demanded answers for such an infringement (at least as it is perceived) on personal privacy.

Assumptions can be made for similar attacks on Facebook Exchange, the network’s retargeting interface. Historically, however, Facebook has not shown much compliance to countries or individuals asking them to augment their operations, and there is nothing that says they’ll start now. The way in which this plays out and shapes the world of retargeting will be interesting as Facebook continues to grow.

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Felicia SavageFelicia Savage is a freelance writer, designer and internet marketer living in Indianapolis, IN. As a contributor to technected.com, she loves to discuss her adventures in public relations and marketing.

Digital Marketing Insights from the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Social media is boring, so let’s find a way to influence the physical world, says Peter Corbett, CEO of iStrategyLabs, when highlighting his latest projects during the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit on April 20. The full-day event, sponsored by the Capitol Communicator and Potomac Tech Wire, was held at Gannett headquarters and included insights from marketing, communications, advertising and public relations experts.

With many folks overwhelmed by the number of social media platforms available, one panel attempted to put the social networkings into perspective. Moderated by Geoff Livingston, vice president of strategic partnerships at Razoo, the panelists looked at several options beyond Facebook and Twitter and shared what worked for their organizations. All the panelists encouraged participants to find out what platforms their core audience use.

Commenting on Google+ users, Kevin Dando, director of digital marketing and communications at PBS, says the site is just a place for men to talk about being on Google+. However, you shouldn’t discount Google+ because it will help your website’s page rank. Additionally, Google+ and YouTube are becoming closer and will soon have shared search. On the other side of the spectrum, Pinterest has mostly female users and can be very effective for visual campaigns.

PBS, like other TV networks, needs to be on GetGlue, a platform that allows users to check into TV shows and other entertainment media. Dando says shows with live Twitter events have ratings one percent higher than those without. He commented Tumblr doesn’t drive a lot of traffic, but it does have a lot of engagement.

The role of chief marketer has become chief storyteller, says Debra Lavoy, director of product marketing at OpenText. You should use the story to pull the team together and that content marketing should be renamed substance marketing.

If his marketing budget was increased, Vocus’s Jason Jue says he would wish for more storytellers. (Download this PR Storytelling tip sheet from BurrellesLuce). Speaking of storytellers, when I asked the Beyond Facebook and Twitter panel if they could review Storify, they said they were all fans, especially for events. At SXSW, they said they barely left a session before someone would post all the tweets from the event to a new Storify.

Examples of brands using marketing and social media for good and helping causes were also abundant. For example, Terry Macko, senior vice president of communications and marketing for the World Wildlife Fund, discussed WWLF teaming with Coke to raise awareness about the environment. Despite backlash and confusion over the white cans, the campaign raised over two million dollars.

The summit inspired several great blog posts, including: