DETROIT, August 29, 2012 — Chrysler and Wieden+Kennedy struck a nerve with their wildly successful “Imported from Detroit” campaign. Life is now imitating art as Detroit is becoming a center for renaissance. Pun inteneded.
ePrize is the latest company to be imported from Detroit. A leader in digital engagement, specializing in mobile, social and web campaigns. Last week they were acquired by Catterton Partners, a $2.5 billion company with a tremendous track record.
The deal may mark a turning point for Michigan-based creative. With investments being made in Detroit, it will encourage the creation of more start-ups and perhaps encourage more young professionals to remain in Michigan. “We have seen tremendous growth over the last year, and made two acquisitions which have broadened our abilities in analytics and mobile. Our team has grown to nearly 500 members. With Catterton Partners’ investment, we not only expect that growth to continue, but to accelerate” says CEO Matt Wise.
Jen Gray, VP of Marketing and Creative Services at ePrize, was happy to share with me her thoughts on the future of digital and mobile.
1. What are the keys to success in digital engagement?
The keys to success in digital engagement involve the “what” and the “where.” The “what” is the value you provide in the engagement campaign. What is interesting to your brand’s audience? What do they rely on you for? What should they rely on you for? What would be a surprise and delight that can make them a long-term fan?
The “where” is being sure your marketing initiatives are multi-channel. Don’t focus solely on web if 65% of your customers are using mobile. Be sure your marketing is mobile optimized, and that you have a presence in social. People want to interact on their own terms.
2. How can companies make better use of mobile in their promotions?
Mobile is here and in a big way – including this in your marketing mix can no longer be ignored. ePrize saw this coming and has since acquired a mobile company, Cellit, who has expertise in app development, mobile sites, and highly responsive SMS campaigns.
On the subject of SMS campaigns, they may not be the sexiest tool in the kit, but they’re definitely extremely effective. If you think about it, a text really can’t be ignored. And when you match up with a compelling offer with an opted in consumer, it’s marketing magic. We’ve seen mobile coupons generate as much as 8 times the response rate of the same offer sent via email. That shows huge potential in the mobile space.
3. What trends are you watching closely in social media?
We are reinventing the way consumers respond in social media. It’s no longer just about grabbing the Like and running like hell. It’s about sticking around and finding unique ways to engage those fans to the point of creating brand advocates and loyalty. We have powered the Facebook space with social loyalty tools from our foundation in incentives. We can now measure and reward user engagement, which becomes a win/win in the brand/consumer relationship.
We are also watching emerging platforms very closely. What comes after Facebook and Pinterest? How should we be using mobile? See an article on the marriage of TV & social for an interesting take!
4. What’s more important: The message or how it is delivered?
It’s a bit of a dance. Of course most people would answer, “It’s the message.” But it’s also being agile enough to communicate with a consumer on their terms. Do they spend time in blogs? Are they on Facebook? Do they prefer mobile? Your campaigns and associated messages should be wherever your consumers are, and that’s usually across multiple platforms.
5. Tell us about a current or upcoming campaign?
We have talked a lot this year about our social loyalty platform for The Scotts Company. It’s based on Facebook and rewards consumers for engaging with the brand and sharing with friends. In just a matter of two weeks, the number of people “talking about this” increased 5,000%!
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. Co-Founder of Status Creative, 2011 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and record holder for Most Strikeouts in Tee-Ball.
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