INTRO: Integrated Marketing Success Stories
BY KATE MADDOX
As the economy turned around in 2003, business marketers with increased budgets launched major integrated campaigns to introduce new products, reposition their companies or continue to build awareness of their brands.
But mindful of the hard-learned lessons of the downturn, marketers sought to make every dollar work harder, and the result was an increased focus on using a wide array of marketing vehicles, including TV, print, online, outdoor, direct mail, collateral, viral marketing and internal promotions.
According to a BtoB online poll conducted last month, 29% of respondents said they used three elements in their current integrated campaign; 19% used five elements; 17% used four elements; and 13% used two elements. Twenty-two percent said they were not currently doing an integrated campaign.
"When you're a company like ours, with 11 different businesses, brand is really important in pulling the identity of the company together," said Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer-corporate VP of marketing at General Electric Co., which launched a rebranding campaign in 2003. "Integration was important in communicating the brand across the organization and to all of our constituents."
In making its selections for this special report, BtoB considered more than a dozen campaigns nominated by staff, agencies and marketers.
The four campaigns profiled here represent outstanding examples of successful integrated campaigns that combine striking creative with sound strategy across a broad range of media.
GE launched its "Imagination at Work" campaign to raise awareness of its products beyond lighting and appliances.
Novell's "We Speak Your Language" was created to boost awareness of the company's services, including identity management and resource management.
United Parcel Service of America extended its "What Can Brown Do for You?" campaign to change the perception of UPS from a ground shipping company to an international logistics business.
FMC launched "Mustang Max" to raise awareness of a new pesticide product.
âImagination at Workâ
Reposition GE as a provider of more than lighting and appliances and raise awareness of such GE businesses as wind power, water technologies, security systems and jet engines.
Duration of campaign:
TV, print, online
Perception of GE as being âinnovativeâ increased 35%; perception of GE as offering âhigh-tech solutionsâ increased 40%; and perception of GE as being âdynamicâ increased 50%.
BBDO New York and atmosphereBBDO, New York
When General Electric Co. set out to rebrand itself in early 2003, it was faced with the challenge of changing perceptions of the company held by its customers, investors, employees and business partners.
"We wanted people to know that GE is more than just lighting and appliances," said Judy Hu, general manager, advertising and brand, at GE.
"We wanted to highlight some of our 'wow' products and services-things that were unexpected and that people didn't know GE was involved in," she said. Some of those businesses include jet engines, wind power, water technologies and commercial financing.
To accomplish this, GE turned to its ad agency, BBDO New York, and interactive shop atmosphereBBDO to create an integrated campaign with the tagline "Imagination at work."
"The overall objective was aligning our market position with our future and creating a truly integrated campaign," said Beth Comstock, GE's chief marketing officer-corporate VP of marketing.
"It had to be global, touch our external and internal constituencies and use as many different types of media as possible."
The campaign was launched in the U.S. on Jan. 19, 2003, with TV, print and online ads. One week prior to the campaign's launch, GE held a companywide meeting with promotional items for employees, including mousepads and door hangers, and an online trivia contest about the company. The winner of the contest won a trip to the Golden Globe Awards, during which the first TV spots broke on NBC's broadcast of the event.
"We wanted everyone to understand why we were doing it and what it meant," Hu said. "It was a big move away from 'We bring good things to life,' " GE's former ad campaign, which was also developed by BBDO.
A series of TV spots used humor and innovation to showcase GE's different businesses. In one memorable ad, a GE jet engine is attached to the Wright Brothers airplane. In another, human images formed by water carry out a concert on stage to demonstrate how GE Water Technologies can improve the performance of water.
"GE makes products that make people go 'wow,' " said Don Schneider, executive creative director at BBDO New York.
"The campaign 'Imagination at Work' celebrates the magic of big ideas that comes before the products. A jet engine is an impressive piece of hardware, but that first notion of the possibility of flight-that's where the 'wow' story really is."
TV spots ran on NBC and cable channels including Discovery Channel, ESPN, A&E and CNBC.
Print ads also used the "wow" factor to highlight GE's various businesses. The ads featured dramatic photos of products such as a wind turbine, Evolution locomotive and GE image-guided surgery, while providing additional information on the nuts and bolts of the products.
Print ads ran in general business publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Forbes and Fortune, as well as trade magazines including Power Engineering, Building Operation Management, Plastics Technology and Automotive Design and Production.
The interactive component of the campaign extended the theme of imagination. atmosphereBBDO created an online ad effort that took users to a landing page where they could use a virtual pen to draw illustrations, controlling the color of the ink, the background color and the size of the lines.
The "Pen" campaign also had a viral element. When users finished drawing illustrations, they could e-mail them to friends. "Our challenge was to bring 'Imagination at Work' online," said Andreas Combuechen, CEO-chief creative officer of atmosphereBBDO. "The viral component empowered users to put their own imagination to work. It also enabled us to demonstrate GE's 'wow' technology."
Following the U.S. debut, the campaign was launched in Europe, where it included outdoor advertising, and Asia.
The integrated campaign succeeded in changing perceptions about GE.
According to market research done since the campaign's launch, perceptions of GE as being "innovative" have increased by 35%, perceptions of GE as being "dynamic" have increased by 50% and perceptions of GE as offering high-tech solutions have increased by 40%.
"The research has shown that when customers know we're involved in more than lighting and appliances, perceptions change," Hu said.
âWe Speak Your Languageâ
Raise awareness of Novell brand, market positioning and products among C-level executives. Raise awareness in segments including identity management, resource management and Web services.
Duration of campaign:
TV, print, online, outdoor, direct mail, collateral
Brand awareness and campaign awareness had double-digit increase during first three months of campaign; purchase consideration rose 4% to 5% during first three months of campaign.
J. Walter Thompson USA, New York
Novell, a Walthan-based, Mass.-based company best known for its collaboration software, wanted to raise senior business executives' awareness of its diverse product line.
It accomplished this with an integrated campaign created by J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, and launched in January 2003 with the tagline "We speak your language."
"Many customers, particularly C-level executives, associated Novell with particular product sets, such as NetWare [network services platform software]," said Debra Bergevine, chief marketing officer of Novell. "We wanted to make sure we were known as much more than an infrastructure company."
Novell wanted C-level executives to know about its leadership position in identity management, resource management and Web services, Bergevine added.
To do this, in the fall of 2002, it started looking for a new ad agency that would be responsible for launching a new identity and integrated communications program. Its previous agency was SicolaMartin, which was purchased by Young & Rubicam.
"We needed a very highly integrated campaign that would use a variety of techniques to reach C-level executives to explain the businesses we are in and the value we could bring to their business," Bergevine said. "JWT did a wonderful job, and they really understood us from the very beginning."
In its pitch for the account, JWT delivered a poster, rather than a traditional narrative, with more than two dozen phrases that used common technology terms to define how Novell could solve business problems.
Bergevine said her favorite phrase was, "We believe that people who want to rip and replace should be ripped and replaced."
Novell liked the creative pitch so much that it not only awarded JWT the account but also used much of the spec work in its final campaign.
"It's rare that work from the pitch is actually used," said Toby Barlow, group creative director at JWT.
The agency was charged with building a campaign that would create a new identity for Novell and communicate it across all media and marketing materials, including advertising, packaging, internal communications, collateral and the Web site.
"Our big idea was, 'let's bring their technology terms to life in ways that are relevant to the C-level audience,' " Barlow said.
So JWT took common technology terms and redefined them in the context of business problems that Novell could solve.
For example, RAM was defined as "Attempts by certain large vendors to shove their proprietary technology solutions down your enterprise."
Cursor was defined as "A CIO who discovers that his expensive new integration system needs yet another integration system."
JWT framed the terms in red boxes, which were used in TV spots, print ads, online, outdoor, direct mail and collateral.
"The media strategy was to surround the CXO throughout the course of the day," said Bill Power, senior partner-management director at JWT.
"When they wake up, there we are in the newspaper. When they flip on CNBC in the office, we are on TV. When they go home at night, we're in The Economist. Late at night, watching ESPN, we are there."
The TV, print and online ads broke simultaneously. In addition, Novell placed outdoor and airport ads in major markets.
Novell also launched a direct mail campaign using the technology terms to invite executives to contact Novell to find out more about its products, and it used the campaign in invitations to Novell events.
The campaign launched in 20 countries within two months. In some cases the technology terms remained the same, but in most cases they had to be translated and customized to meet local business needs.
To help implement the campaign, JWT created a brand guidelines book for Novell's marketing communications staff. Novell used the book to make sure the brand identity, images and messages were consistent across media and in corporate communications.
Within months of being launched, the campaign generated positive results.
In the categories of brand awareness and campaign awareness among C-level executives, Novell had double-digit increases in the first 90 days, Bergevine said. She declined to give exact numbers. In purchase consideration, which is harder to move, Novell had an increase of 4% to 5% in the first 90 days.
The research was conducted by publications in which ads ran, including BusinessWeek, Bergevine said.
"The preliminary results show that the campaign was a success," she said.
"It works well with our shareholders, customers and partners, and it is a very flexible campaign. All the elements come together and support each other."
âWhat Can Brown Do for You?â
Goal: Change perception of UPS from being a ground shipping company to being a multifaceted international logistics business
Duration of campaign: March 2003 through the end of 2003, with some ongoing elements
Integrated elements: TV, print, radio, online, outdoor, direct mail, collateral
Results: International shipping increased by more than 9% and awareness among shipping decision-makers grew in key measures such as âhelps my operation run more smoothlyâ and âoffers a broad range of services.â
Budget: Not disclosed
Agency: Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
At the beginning of 2003, United Parcel Service of America was known as "brown and ground." The brown referred to its signature color and the ground to its package delivery capabilities.
However, UPS had evolved during its nearly 100-year history to become much more than that. Its capabilities had expanded to include international shipping, logistics, customs brokerage, systems integration and supply chain management solutions.
In order to keep growing, UPS needed to expand those businesses along with shipping. So it set out to expand its reputation and sales relationships with business customers.
The rebranding of UPS began in March 2003 with an integrated ad campaign targeting business decision-makers, from shipping managers to front office administrators to senior executives.
Created by the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., the campaign broke in March 2003 with both broadcast and cable network TV spots featuring the voice of actor Ed Harris and visuals showing a series of package delivery situations and discussing the range of UPS services.
The ads built on the framework of the multiple services UPS introduced with the "What Can Brown Do for You?" campaign in 2002.
In April 2003, UPS added four TV spots-on supply chain solutions, small-business solutions, shipping and office management-designed to reach target audiences.
"It's absolutely essential that our campaign be integrated, because we have multiple target audiences from the shipping room to the boardroom," said UPS spokesman Steve Holmes. "Additionally, we use a broad range of media to reach our customer base, which is so diverse, from small businesses to multinationals."
That diversity was at the core of the ad buy strategy to locate and reach specific targets within a national campaign.
UPS zeroed in on four groups: Shipping managers, front office staff, small-business people and senior executives. The media buy took into consideration each of those groups' viewing preferences and "appointment" TV programming and delivered appropriate content.
For example, a commercial that ran during "Law & Order" featured the office management creative execution, because "Law & Order's" audience demographics included small-business managers, and senior executives.
"What Brown can do for each one of those four groups is different and so we needed to come up with very different media plans for each," said Barbara Joynes, partner, integrated services, at Martin. "Everybody watches something, right? But we wanted conviction media, that is media that prompts the audience to action, for each group. So we found the equivalent of 'must-see TV,' and print and radio and direct mail."
The TV launch was followed two weeks later by direct mail. The mailing went to all the target groups except senior management and used a "pull" strategy. That is, it included an offer to those managers to meet certain goals, depending on the existing level of business with UPS.
For instance, if the company spent more money with UPS on services such as additional shipping or adding a logistics service, it would be rewarded with items such as miniature UPS trucks or remote-control Dale Jarrett UPS NASCAR toy cars.
The initial mail drop was followed by two additional mailings. That direct mail proved successful, achieving a 10.5% response rate, with 36% of those respondents buying more services. Among those companies that received the mailing, package volume increased by more than 4% and revenue increased by more than 5%.
Radio broke next, followed by print ads in general business publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Fortune, as well as trade publications, including Supply Chain Management and Logistics Management.
Internal communications played an important role in extending the rebranding deep into UPS. The mission was to give employees a unifying "rallying cry" and connection to the brand.
The increase in awareness generated by the campaign was significant. Historically over the past 10 years, UPS ads generated between 20% and 40% attribution, meaning people who saw the ad would remember not only the ad but also that it was a UPS ad. With this campaign, 95% of the audience correctly attributed the spots to UPS.
Other results included increases in both revenue and volume, with overnight volume up 9% in 2003 over 2002. Non-package revenue at UPS almost doubled to $2.7 billion last year. And for the first time in a 10-year tracking study by NFO Research, UPS led Federal Express in image measures among senior-level decision-makers.
-Beth Snyder Bulik
Mustang Max, âMaximum Performance. Maximum Results.â
Establish the new Mustang Max pesticide brand with growers and retailers nationwide, and build market share quickly in the highly competitive and crowded category
Duration of campaign:
March 2003 through end of growing season
TV, print, radio, online, direct mail, collateral, public relations
Mustang Max awareness among growers surveyed went from zero to a high of 54% in the South, and an overall awareness of 36% nationwide by the end of the campaign.
NKH&W, Kansas City, Mo.
In 2003, FMC Corp. developed a powerful new pesticide to treat infestations of a wide range of pests on a variety of crops. The only problem was, the product was a pyrethroid, a common class of insecticide.
That might not mean much to an average consumer, but to a grower or retailer in the industry, the introduction of a new pyrethroid is like the introduction of a new brand of aspirin-it could get lost in the clutter.
FMC's agency, Kansas City, Mo.-based NKH&W, took up the challenge with an integrated, geographically targeted approach to reach the very different farming markets in the North and the South.
The first task was changing the name. The new product would replace FMC products Mustang in the North and Fury in the South. The client and agency each liked the power of both names, but even though Fury was the stronger brand, FMC decided to build on the Mustang name. And so Mustang Max was born.
"We not only had to replace the two brands but, because the insecticide pyrethroid market is so extremely competitive, we also had to get significant share and voice to compete in the industry," said Thom Ludtke, NKH&W management supervisor.
The next issue was the budget. Mustang Max insecticide would work well for all types of crops and insects, so it needed a national campaign. But, with a minimal ad budget, oversaturating every market was out of the question.
NKH&W completed an intensive media analysis to determine the markets in which the competition was strong and where Mustang and Fury were entrenched. It also identified four major crops to target: corn, alfalfa, cotton and soybeans. And because Mustang Max would be sold in both the North and the South, the supporting media plan needed to be both integrated and targeted by region.
The agency developed a campaign that included broad print, TV, radio, Internet, sales support materials, direct mail and public relations but also had specific content to appeal to the two regional audiences. For instance, specific pests such as cut worms and beanleaf beetles are mentioned in northern ads and bollworms and stinkbugs in the southern ones. Crops, too, were differentiated, such as cotton in the South and corn in the North.
The national campaign rollout of "Maximum Performance. Maximum Results." began in March 2003 with two TV spots, one version for the North and one for the South. Those spots were followed by radio ads, with two creative executions each in the North and South.
Print carried the campaign forward, appearing in 11 grower and retail publications through May, including Progressive Farmer, Farm Journal, Dealer and Application and Crop Life.
Also launched in March was a self-mailer that directed growers to send in a card for more information. The response was better than the industry average of 2%, although FMC declined to give an exact number.
Two additional direct mail pieces followed, one breakthrough awareness postcard and a followup closer to the pest outbreak season.
"Mustang Max is a rescue product, so it was a big deal to go out early, before growers were even thinking about outbreaks," Ludtke said. "But it was also a new product, and we wanted to make sure we'd be out and known about when the outbreaks did happen."
The public relations effort followed the advertising buys and focused on promotions, such as farm radio interviews and feature articles about pyrethroids. An outbreak of aphids in Illinois and the success of Mustang Max against them drew additional media mentions and publicity.
Sales support materials were given to FMC reps for their offices. One large sign read, "No Trespassing. [blank] Killed on Contact." Reps could fill in the blank with the type of pest infesting their area at a particular time. That effort was particularly important in the South, where growers hire consultants to check crops and offer suggestions on pest control; in effect the consultant writes a "prescription" for the field.
Overall campaign results were significant. Both aided and unaided awareness were high for Mustang Max, and FMC exceeded its "aggressive" sales objective set before the product was launched. The ads also won a host of awards for NKH&W, including best in show from the National Agri-Marketers Association Awards and three national Pro-Comm awards from the Business Marketing Association.
-Beth Snyder Bulik