How do you dethrone Google temporarily? You execute one of the most creative marketing campaigns of the year. It yielded 1.1 billion media impressions, took precious market share from Google, and got a book on the best-seller list. Bing teamed up with Jay-Z to launch his new book Decode by plastering all 320 pages of it — one page at a time — in different locations and in very unusual ways around the world for 30 days before the book was released for sale.
Primary Goal of Campaign
To drive millions of people away from Google to start using BING for Internet search and maps.
They began by staying true to each brand weaving Jay-Z’s very personal story, his journey through life and where it took him around the world, into Bing’s search and mapping technologies every day of the 30 day campaign. Each page of the book was reproduced and put into the real world in a number of innovative ways including on billboards, the top of parking garages, on building walls where Jay-Z grew up, to the bottom of a swimming pool. A website was created for the campaign where each day new clues were released on Twitter, Facebook, and Bing. You would then use Bing’s search and maps to “decode” the clue and find the location of the page and be the first to locate where the pages released that day were around the world. Over the 30 days, all the pages of the book were released so by the end of the campaign, you would have read the book.
Average time a person was on the campaign’s landing page was 11 minutes.
Bing got 11.7% increase in visits to their search engine which finally tipped them into the Top 10 of most visited websites in the world.
The campaign yielded 1.1 billion media impressions
Jay-Z’s Facebook page grew by 1,000,000 fans
Jay-Z’s book, Decode was on the best seller list for 19 straight weeks.
Every major news channel and newspaper covered the campaign.
Large numbers of people started using BING for search and mapping over Google
This campaign became part of popular culture for an entire month.
A large online retailer who many of us buy from on a regular basis sells thousands of products online in dozens of categories. They noticed a big drop in conversion rates and revenue per client and didn’t know why.
They went to McKinsey & Company for help, who did a 20,000 person study on consumer behavior and how selling and marketing to consumers has changed. They identified where efforts should be directed to yield the highest return on marketing efforts. Click here to read a great brief about the study – “The Consumer Decision Journey.”
They dug deep into existing online analytics to study the correlation between purchases and quantity of product per category
They used segmentation to calculate likelihood that customers in each category would “cross the aisle” and buy something in another category
After digging into the data, they found the lifetime value of a toy buyer increased greatly when they bought in other categories
Conversely, consumers who bought a lot of pet products did not buy frequently in other categories
After studying their consumer decision journeys they developed cross-selling and category penetration techniques to grow the lifetime value per customer
6 months into this project yielded a jump of 25% in email conversions, 60% increase in on-site conversions, increase in overall sales of 20% and and overall ROI of 30%.
Harvard Business Publishing, a subsidiary of Harvard Business School, manages the HBS blog with 500,000 subscribers worldwide and tens of thousands of pages on the site with new content posted daily.
You can’t overlook their secret weapon – content creators – some of the smartest people in the world work for the HBS blog. If you take that variable out of the equation I don’t know if they would have 500,000 subscribers – statistics show it would be closer to 500 or less if you compare it to similar blogs lacking in great content creators. Leads us to the saying, “Content Is King.” I don’t believe that. I think – great content creators who are gifted in storytelling is King.
The HBS content creators are given tools (SharePoint) to manage new content during the create and edit process. I would not recommend SharePoint. There are so many other more robust and less costly tools for editorial management of content available. I like DivvyHQ for a paid system or for free, I created one you are welcome to try out on Google docs - click here.
All content creators are given guidelines on how to communicate – the persona, voice, tone, personality are all outlined but at the core they are encouraged to be storytellers not bloggers.
Leverage – they always think about how many channels a single piece of content can be re-purposed on. If it can’t, they don’t create the content.
They are good at broadcasting (pushing) their message on social media channels.
They use social media to listen to conversations around keywords – primarily “entrepreneurship” to find ways to then push their content to channels that are talking about what they write.
Then, they monitor spikes in conversations around the world in those keyword areas to see if the HBS content is floating to the top of conversations.
What They Are Not Good At
They are not good at the “social” part of social media. They do not have a team in place to quickly and regularly communicate back to the hundreds of thousands of people trying to reach out and talk to them.
Random House launched a website Random Buzzers (http://www.randombuzzers.com) in their initiative to promote a teen-focused book community/social platform that encouraged teens with an interest in writing to interact with their peers in the co-creation of writing projects, engage with Random House authors in weekly discussions, have their reviews featured throughout the official Random House site, and read books exclusively before they hit shelves. The teenage readers were empowered with tools, information, and incentives to facilitate Word of Mouth endorsements. The results were exceedingly positive in the terms that the program received a participation of more than 36,820 teen readers with an average age of 18.5 years. Apart from this, over 17, 500 photos, 5,600 comments and 1,100 book reviews were posted. Case study
Affinitive in collaboration with Random House worked together on a project aimed at promoting a teen-oriented book. Based on the success of the program and demonstrated passion of teen readers, the program was expanded and resulted into the launch of “Random Buzzers” which was a teen-focused book community/social platform. It aimed at creating a network of teenage readers and writers. Random Buzzers provided them information, tools and an opportunity to interact with peers, authors and participate in writing projects. The program has recorded a participation of 36,820 teen readers and counting since its inception and the count is still going on. Case study
Conde Nast magazine Golf Digest initiated a viral marketing program and online survey through its “Drive for the Green”, an online golf game. The game where the registrants played a fun, multi-level golf game, with opt-in, survey was featured on various websites, blogs and newsletters. The campaign received Over 4,000 opt-ins in a month and stood out to be a better marketing tactics than sending emails. Apart from this the company gathered valuable survey data. Case study
With Rose Communications, Kaplan Publishing promoted the book – Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneurs Guide to Launching a Multimillion Dollar Business by Randall Pinkett. Emphasizing on his success, they started the campaign to guide students. They got support from teachers, entrepreneurs, bloggers and media along with a media campaign. ‘A Most Promising Campus CEO’ contest and campus-centric tour was organised. Media coverage in 200 outlets, positive reviews on blogs and participation of 50,000 people was generated. Case Study
The New Jersey State Library partnered with INFOLINK to sponsor the Super Librarian Video and Comic Contest as a replicable model that libraries could use to seek out teen influencers. The goal was to create a low cost campaign utilizing free or minimally priced web 2.0 tools to allow “influencers” in the teen community to spread a positive message about libraries.
The contest announcement was accomplished through the efforts of local libraries inviting kids to create a video or comic. We used iWeb, YouTube and Blogger to create an online presence. The online voting was conducted with PollDaddy. The public voted for two winners, one for video and one for the comic. Winners received a MP3 video player.
Apparently the Library of Congress has been blogging for more than 2 years now, and while they don’t post very frequently, the manner in which they write content is fun, engaging, and puts some personality and humor back into the Library. Most of the posts are made by Matt Raymond, whose humor and relevancy keeps audiences engaged (with most posts experiencing double digit comments). Who knew that library’s could have a sense of humor? Case Study
Random Buzzers is a teen-focused book community/social platform that allows teens with an interest in writing to interact with their peers in the co-creation of writing projects, engage with Random House authors in weekly discussions, have their reviews featured throughout the official Random House site, and read books exclusively before they hit shelves. Case Study