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Molex brand-awareness effort offers Recovery Act help

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HOW MOLEX USED INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN TO PUSH SAFETY PRODUCTS, SOLUTIONS Objective: Molex Inc., a global supplier of electronic interconnects, wanted to enhance brand loyalty of its Woodhead brand, increase awareness of its safety and code-compliant products and position itself as a thought leader that could support contractors trying to take advantage of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. Strategy: The company last year launched an integrated campaign that included a microsite, print and online advertising, safety seminars, a public relations effort and promotions. Results: Advertising has generated more than 500,000 impressions, and the microsite has received over 10,000 impressions. More than 200 participants have attended the safety seminars. The PR campaign resulted in coverage in more than 150 print and online outlets. Molex Inc. sells an extensive product portfolio that includes electronic, electrical and fiber optic interconnects, switches and application tooling. The company markets its Woodhead brand, which features lighting and electrical products designed for use in harsh environments, to contractors and suppliers in the commercial construction and utilities industries. When Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—which included funding for such infrastructure projects as the construction and repair of roads and bridges—Molex determined that it wanted to position itself as a thought leader and solution provider supporting the country's rebuilding effort. It also wanted to enhance good will and brand loyalty of the Woodhead brand, and increase awareness of its safety and code-compliant products and solutions. “We wanted to leverage the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA] and to help our customers—electrical distributors—with product packages and pricing that would provide an incentive for their customers to use these products in rebuilding and recovery act projects,” said Larry Wegner, director of global marketing communications for Molex. The difficulty, Wegner said, was that Molex must target its direct customers—distributors—while at the same time reaching end-users. “The challenge is to get everyone on the same page and to have the distributors then go to their customers and talk up your product as opposed to a competitive product,” he said. “With the economy being in such turmoil when we introduced this, that was a huge challenge, which is why we did special pricing and special bundling to make sure the end user can afford to use these products.” In September, the company introduced its Rebuilding America Together program, which highlighted five product packages priced at 15%-to-50% off the manufacturer's suggested retail price. To promote the program, Molex launched an integrated marketing campaign. Created by Berea, Ohio-based b-to-b advertising agency Sonnhalter, the campaign centered on a microsite (www.rebuildingamericatogether. com) that featured detailed information about Woodhead products, safety application briefs, information and registration for on-site safety training seminars, information about ARRA projects and details about a quarterly giveaway promotion. The effort also included print and online advertising in trade publications such as Contractor's Tool Source, Electrical Contractor and The Electrical Distributor (TED), as well as a monthly section in Electrical Contractor featuring reader projects that used ARRA funds. A public relations program included press releases and media outreach that resulted in coverage in more than 150 print and online outlets, including Bloomberg Businessweek, EC&M, Electrical Business, Electrical Contractor, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The PR effort also drove booth traffic at the National Electrical Contractors Association trade show in Seattle in September 2009, where the Rebuilding America Program was officially launched. To date, advertising has generated more than 500,000 impressions, and the microsite has received more than 10,000 impressions, according to Sonnhalter. More than 200 participants have attended the safety seminars. “We've had a lot of people interested—a lot of visitors to the website and a lot of people going in to find out more about the products,” Wegner said. Plus, he said, people reading the microsite are visiting, on average, three of the five main pages, indicating a high level of interest in the content. M
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