October 10th 2011
As my Marketecture colleagues are aware, my main passion in life (marketing, husband and hamster aside) is grub. Indeed I love food so much I created a foodie blog with the sole purpose of scoring free stuff to review. Well the only thing better than food is FREE food. So when I stumbled across a story that combined my love of marketing and food I had to share it with you.
Macaroni cheese is, in my opinion, the King of Foods. It’s food that warms the cockles of your heart and puts a smile on your face, but from a brand perspective, it gets a bad rap. Sold in bad chain restaurants as kid’s food, gloopy over cooked kid’s food at that, Kraft decided to rebrand this comfort food classic and give it back to the grown-ups. The result was the ‘You know you love it’ campaign, created by advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, firmly with the social media age in mind.
The Social Media campaign
Offering free Mac & Cheese as bait (strengthening my case about this importance of free food) the campaign identified those tweeting about ‘Mac & Cheese’, and using the real-time nature of Twitter offered users the change to ‘win’ five boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese by competing against other tweeps. Resulting in a 400% boost in followers, generating 1.5 million tweets and 300 mentions of ‘Mac & Cheese’ a minute at the height of the campaign (thus becoming a Twitter Trend) the campaign was a resounding success.
As well as the initial Twitter strategy however, the campaign also threw a social media experiment into the marketing mix, converting one fan’s tweet into a TV ad in just 48 hours (with a further four selected tweets converted and shown on the company’s Facebook page). And with the introduction of ‘Smile Tagging’, Kraft’s own version of the Facebook ‘Like’ button, allowing users to take a picture of them smiling whenever they saw something they liked on the web, the campaign attempted to connect with the emotional aspect of Macaroni Cheese.
In total the campaign netted about 13,000 users and greatly increased brand awareness. And although clearly a consumer and (if the telly ad is anything to go by) very American ad, there are clear lessons for UK based b2b marketers.
One thing’s for sure, customer expectations in our online social age are higher than ever before and the business world needs to be agile in order to embrace the opportunities that real time engagement offers us as marketers. With b2b decision makers using the social web to help them with their research, communications and relationships, the impact of social media channels will only intensify over time and with consumer brands engaging with customers in real time you’ll need to keep up in order to meet growing expecations.
But it was the integrated approach of the Kraft campaign that really caught my attention and where there are clear lessons for the b2b arena.
Top tips for greater integration
What’s the problem? Before you start any campaign know what you want to achieve and why. It sounds simple but you’d be surprised how many marketers think tactics before identifying the real reason for embarking on marketing activity. The approach should fit the need, not the other way round.
Think differently. As discussed above, the old tried-and-tested marketing techniques are no longer enough to keep you ahead of the game. With a variety of new marketing tools available, and growing customer expectations you need a more creative approach.
Think about your target audience. Again, you’d think this was a given, but you’d be wrong. It doesn’t matter how great your creative idea is, if it’s going to take an hour out of your target customers’ very busy day the chances are it will fall on its arse. Focus on what is likely to engage your target audience, what can you do to entertain, engage or make them look good.
Test, learn and adapt. Metrics are great, so make sure you use them. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches to see what has the greatest response, and don’t be scared to change the message if it’s not working the way you hoped.
Unfortunately too many b2b marketers still think a scattergun approach to marketing is acceptable. If you are passionate about results however, you need to think smarter to guarantee real ROI.
And on a final note I’d like to point out that my foodie soul dies a little at the idea of boxed macaroni cheese. So for some decent recipes why not check out The Greedy Girl (shameless self promotion).