The Challenge:  Getting great Return On your Marketing Investment (ROMI).

Marketing budgets are getting tighter and tighter and tighter.  And whether you are a big or a small company there's never enough marketing budget to go around.  I want to show you an example of how you can blow the doors off the traditionally elusive return on marketing investment or ROMI if you can get the customers at the center.  I’m going to tell you about a campaign that we ran that did just this.  The campaign evolved over time and passed through three distinct phases.   One of my favorite recent examples is a campaign we call “Smoked by Windows Phone.”  Windows Phone is the latest version of Microsoft's mobile offering. 

Step One:  Find A Great Idea That Is Customer Centric

Step one is to find that great idea!  One of the things that we have been struggling with Windows Phone is how to break through the marketplace noise.  Recently one of our innovative marketers came up with a new variation on that tried and true marketing concept the “customer taste test”, which accomplished this goal in a way that was laser focused on the customer. Attached is an infographic that illustrates the story that I’m about to tell.


At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas last January, Ben Rudolph (that’s him in the picture), the marketer in question proposed a contest in which anyone can bring in a competitor’s smart phone and Ben would then race them using a Windows Phone to see who could more quickly accomplish common tasks such as taking and posting a picture to Facebook.  Now here's the kicker.  Every time Ben won, his opponent had to pose for a picture with their smart phone; whether it was Android, an iPhone, or some other phone; along with a poster that said, “I got smoked by Windows phone.”  The prize for anyone who could beat Ben was $100.


Step Two:  Use Social Media To Drive Scale And Prove The Concept

While Ben was running this contest, he was posting the results in real-time to Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook to drive excitement about the contest AND Windows Phone.  This brings up the second step.  Social Media.  In today's digitally immersive world it's possible to inexpensively reach tens of thousands, even millions of prospects if your marketing is laser focused on what the customer wants.  Ben won 96% of the contests!  As Ben posted these pictures plus videos of each contest, he drove incredible buzz that resulted in increased awareness and a positive perception for Windows phone.  Here are some of the statistics:

  • 500K+ views on YouTube
  • 30 articles in the press
  • Ben’s Twitter handle (@BenThePCGuy) jumped 25% to over 10,000.  1,350 tweets using the #smokedbywindowsphone hashtag reached 500K+ unique followers.

It was an incredible success.  And that illustrates how, using just a small amount of money, an innovative marketing idea that is customer centric, and social media, it is possible to drive big results. 


Step Three:  When The Customers Start to Speak, Scale It Out! 

The last step is to reinforce success.  Since January, Microsoft has put some resources behind the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign.  The campaign is now in 36 countries and here are the results so far:

  • 75,000+ wins and a 98% win rate.   
  • 8 million total views of Smoked by Windows Phone videos since it kicked off in January.
  • The videos are in 2 of YouTube’s top 5 most viewed lists in which Smoked videos appeared (“Most Popular from Around the Web – All Categories”, and we’re still in the top 5 on Science & Technology)
  • 95% of viewers who saw Smoked videos on YouTube liked them.
  • Myriad local variations run in the 36 countries.  Some favorites include Hong Kong’s game-show style event, Indonesia’s50-person mall takeover, Nokia India’s “BlownAway by Lumia”, and the UK’s massive “Dareto Live” campaign that is spanning retail, advertising, the web, and of course, in-person challenges.
  • 100 million people have seen, participated in, or read about Smoked by Windows Phone worldwide. This includes stuff like social and media impressions from our videos and ad buy, as well as media coverage social shares, tweets, and Facebook posts.


Conclusion:  Get high ROI with Customer Centricity

It has long been said that that the majority of money spent on marketing is wasted.  In today’s tight-budget, real-time, live-feedback world it pays to be ruthlessly customer centric and to use social media to quickly validate marketing concepts.  In this case, an investment of less than $10,000, at a typical industry event, by a single marketer, jumpstarted awareness and perception for an entire brand.  Amazing!

So what's the key take away? Combine exciting, innovative customer centric marketing with a low-cost social media experience you too can reach millions of potential customers.  And blow the doors off of ROMI!

As always, I’m interested in your thoughts!