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Burger King (Norway) Gives Away BigMacs to test the Loyalty of their Fans!

December 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Burger King has attempted a coup of sorts.. Their Norway operations decided that they wanted to identify and engage with their true fans who would not trade their whoppers for anything. 

They decided to test the loyalty of their facebook fans (~ 38000 of them). All their fans on Facebook got an offer, the “Whopper Sellout”:  

Burger King gave their fans an option to get a free “BIG Mac” (a product of McDonald’s, their biggest competitor) and get banned for life on their fan page or to stay a fan and join the new facebook page for the true fan. 

They sent out 50$ vouchers to all those who opted to get the free BigMac. They also sent along a letter thanking and informing them that they are forever banned from the BK fan pages.  They seem to have lost about 30000 fans on their page leaving about 8000 true fans.. 

Watch this short video that tells the entire story: 

 

 

This experiment is important in a couple of ways: 

  • Not everyone who likes your facebook page or ReTweets your tweets is not a fan or loyal customer. 
  • Marketers are now realizing that just having a huge number of fan following them on social media alone is not a good metric to aim for.
  • Marketers and brands are maturing in how they use social media and the changes in the metrics being aimed for. 

What needs to be seen is if this is considered to be a great marketing ploy or a tactical blunder! 

In my opinion, this was a great move by BK. This campaign did them well in the following dimensions: 

  • They have connected with their “TRUE Fans”, which means that the level of engagement will significantly improve. 
  • This entire campaign was also tongue-in-cheek and hence was able to garner a lot of free publicity (like me writing this blog ;-))
  • Sending the letter along with the vouchers could potentially be a great idea. No one likes to be told that they are banned from a site for life. 

By running this experiment, have they opened a pandora’s box? Will other brands follow suit? 

Or will this be relegated to be an interesting experiment in the social media space. 

We will get to know soon enough.. What do you think about this? Share your thoughts by commenting on the blog.. 

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Are Twitter Contests the Next Big thing in Customer Engagement?

August 21, 2013 Leave a comment

In the last 2 weeks, I have seen a flurry of twitter contests being run by various brands, including news channels (ABP News), Software Marketers, Film studios, Fashion brands, TV stations, Online retailers, Comedy shows and a lot more.

The common themes in all these contests were:

–       You are enticed to participate in the competition via the possibility to win a gift coupon or some sort of prize

–       You are required to follow the brand’s twitter ID.

–       You are required to answer a set of questions and retweet the questions to your followers

In my opinion, the primary aim of all these contests seems to be:

–       Get more people to follow them

–       Get more impressions (through RT’s)

–       Get their brands to trend on twitter

These are easy to measure metrics, which they can then use to show brand engagement and the Returns on the Investment.

This seems to be a quick win for the brands as the participation levels in most of these contests seem to be quite good and they are able to add significant number of followers to the brands twitter handle (though, that by itself should not be the primary aim for the brands).

What is not known so far is the potential for continued engagement of these people with the brand?

In my opinion, the questions that these brands need to answer are the following:

–       How do we continue to engage with the gained followers post the contest?

–       Do we make such contests a recurring event (weekly or fortnightly) so that the amount of engagement continues to be high? How long can this momentum be maintained?

–       How can we tie these contents to the other marketing campaigns that the brand is considering?

–       Is it possible for the brand to be able to tie these contests to a social cause that the brand can associate with so that, not only does the brand gain more impressions on twitter but is able to support a cause while at the same time get some good PR.

PS: Some brands that did run twitter contests this month are Audi India, Dalal Street Journal, Disney India, Domino’s Pizza, Dreamscape Film Co, Elle, Garnier, ICICI Lombard, Jockey India, Kiehl’s India, L’Oréal Paris India, Lakme India, LP – Louis Philippe, MadOverDonuts, MaxIndiaLtd, MaybellineIndia, Micromax Mobile, Myntra.com, Nissan India, OUATIM Dobaara (movie), Tata Nano, Veet India, Zee Studio, SAP India, ABP News, Apollo Hospitals, AXN India

Just the variety of brands indicates that this has been successful across sectors, industries and business models.

The State Of Social Media Marketing is Not So Depressing After All

July 5, 2013 3 comments

I recently ready a blog post titled – “The Depressing State Of Social Media Marketing” by Mitch Joel (btw, I highly recommend both his podcast and the blog) lament about how brands are not realizing the true potential of Social Media.

In my opinion, the vision being proposed by Mitch or by Chris Brogan, Seth Godin or Nilofer Merchant is the extreme end of the spectrum of possibilities for social media.

However, what we don’t realize is, that in order to be able to realize that vision of enabling connections/conversations, the entire marketing strategy and execution (to a certain extent, of the entire organization) needs to change. Such a change is not only too complex but lacks an owner/sponsor within most organization, due to which is not even attempted.

In my opinion, every brand has its own set of challenges and priorities and I think it is ok for each brand to use Social Media as they want to use it, as long as it helps them in overcoming these challenges.

What does that mean? A brand might decide to go the full way and want to realize the vision proposed by these stalwarts, i.e., start creating connections and having conversations. What does that mean for a company like Coca Cola or Virgin Group or a Dell Computers or Walmart or Zappos or Louis Vuitton? Will coca-cola want to have a connection/conversation with all their customers? I don’t think this is even practical for such an organization.

However, Louis Vuitton might want to connect and engage with all their customers. Now the question is what do they do?

  • In order to have a meaningful connection or conversation, the brand will need to know about the customer, his preferences, his past purchases, his interests (which are publicly shared on the various social sites) and
  • This is only possible if you have the CRM system running at Loius Vuitton is able to identify a customer through their social profile and collect and organize these information and create different personas for their customers and
  • Then create conversations around his/her interests.

This is no mean task if you have to do this even for a few hundred customers let along a few hundred thousand customers.

What Coca-Cola might want to do is to create an specific kind of association with their brand (Happiness). So, their content and social strategy would be very different. They would like to engage with communities instead of individual customers, which they have done very well in the past year using some amazingly integrated campaigns, which has led them to win the marketer of the year award at Cannes.

Some other brand might want to use social media as a channel for service and support. Their engagement with their customers is more in the real world than in the virtual world. That is fine as long as that is part of a deliberate strategy.

Expecting every brand to use social media from our own perspective is not being fair to these brands.

I think as long as the brands have taken a strategic decision (which supports their overall business strategy and goals) about how to leverage social media, they should be fine.

Though, I understand and totally agree with the vision that these experts have about social media and the impact it can have on businesses, I also think that the state of affairs is not so bad after all.

What do you think?