Digital

#FindNewRoads and #CruzeToLA

Company Analysis: Chevrolet

When someone says describe Chevrolet, one mark seems to always come to mind with consumers and that is the Chevrolet bow-tie emblem. This slanted plus sign has been the logo identity for the company since 1913 and is featured on the front of most if not all Chevrolet models. Wiki defines Chevrolet as the following, “Chevrolet colloquially referred to as Chevy and formally the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company, is an American automobile division of the American manufacturer General Motors (GM)”. In North America, where we will focus on the Domestic marketing efforts of this project, Chevrolet produces a variety of automobiles from compact cars to trucks to sportsters. Chevrolet has been around for over 100 years selling cars under the GM brand. Chevy became a volume leader in 1919 selling mainstream vehicles to compete with Henry Ford’s Model T. By 1929, Chevy became known as the best selling car in the United States overtaking Ford. Since the company’s inception, the goal of the company has been to be a leader in the automotive world. Despite fierce competition, Chevy has done a great job at remaining mainstream. That’s not to say that in years past, Ford and Dodge haven’t edged Chevy out for best vehicle awards and overall brand popularity, but Chevy is making it’s way back to number one. In 2015, Chevy had three vehicles rank number one for the J.D. Power Initial Quality Award. The Silverado LD won in large light duty pickup category, Malibu took the midsize car category, and Equinox for the compact SUV category. For 2016, Chevy won Motor Trend Car and Truck of the year for their updated design and innovative features in the Camaro and Silverado! With momentum like this, it is imperative for Chevy to continue marketing their vehicles to consumers with an integrated marketing approach. It isn’t 1913 anymore where newspapers were the primary form of advertising for cars. Now more than ever, it is time to think about television everywhere and how every screen and platform is an advertising opportunity.

The goals and objectives for Chevrolet’s overarching brand are as follows:

Goals/Objectives

  • Reach moms and families and build awareness of Chevrolet brand.
  • Increase purchase intent for Chevrolet vehicles especially the Cruze and Equinox.
  • Build awareness of the cool factor and connectivity of Chevrolet vehicles.

The primary target audience for a campaign featuring the Chevy Cruze and Equinox is moms and families. The vehicle features for these models entice both moms and their families when purchasing such a big-ticket item. Everything from gas mileage to innovative technology features to comfort is analyzed before signing the purchase or lease agreement of a brand new vehicle. Moms want to know if the vehicle will entertain their children, is it safe to drive from point A to point B, and is it cost effective. Kids influence the model purchase by the cool factor.

Notably, the automotive industry as a whole is very competitive in design and available features. The biggest rivalry in American Motor history is between Chevrolet and Ford, closely followed by Dodge. The American automotive industry has the most competition between US brands, but lest not forget about the various other automotive companies out there vying for a piece of the auto pie like Toyota, Honda, BMW, Volvo, and Volkswagen just to name a few.

With such a competitive environment comes much opportunity!

Opportunities

  • Ability to create innovative features and products offered first or only available in Chevy models.
  • Become more innovative and try edgy attention grabbing marketing promotions that resonate with the current market.

Strengths

  • For 2016, Chevrolet won two categories… Motor Trend Truck and Car of the year. These awards help boost sales and visibility of the brand.
  • Integrated Technology – Keeps moms and families connected to everything and everyone by introducing Wi-Fi feature within the vehicles. (Up to 7 devices)
  • As of May this year, Forbes noted Chevrolet as the sixty-second most valuable brand in the United States.

Why Leverage an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Plan Traditional marketing has always been about brand awareness and having the media platforms push advertising campaigns out into the world for people to consume. Traditional advertising campaigns are time-consuming on the front end due to the production lead-time required and the extensive planning of media buys.

With a growing number of social media options, which are far less costly than traditional media, the question arises about why spend so much money on those pricey TV, radio and print ads. However the answer is simple, using both traditional and new media together, as opposed to one versus the other, you can move your message further and reach a larger audience.

“IMC is not a new concept, but it’s more important than ever, as there are now more marketing channels than ever before. Back in the 50’s, marketing campaigns relied heavily on print, radio, and television. It didn’t take much to keep these aligned. But, now with digital media, we have everything from newsletters to social media campaigns. Our marketing tool sheds are filled with new and effective tactics that range from broad messaging (your website’s homepage) to targeting more niche groups (via Instagram),” states Kyle Eliason from Pi Portent.

Quite simply put, your social footprint is just as important as having a website for consumers to find information about your company as is the television spot for additional brand awareness. The platforms all work together to reinforce your marketing message to your targeted consumers.

Additional Integrated Marketing Communications: Ideation 

Additional IMC marketing efforts that I would love to see executed in this cross-platform #CruzeToLA campaign are Print, Outdoor, Email and Social.

Flyers

At On The Road To events, custom co-branded flyers would be passed during the festival and to those that visited the Chevrolet booth on site. These flyers would provide all the details for the #CruzeToLA sweepstakes from what you could win to how to enter and earn more entries. The backside of the flyer would call out all the new features of the Chevrolet models they want to tout during this promotion. Additionally, due to the partnership with Nokia Theater, flyers can be handed to those leaving other events held at Nokia Live during the week of March 14 – 20 prior to the sweepstakes closing. Again, these flyers would be co-branded and tout features of the Cruze, but also the #CruzeToLA promotion. Granted these folks are probably from LA, but they can still be entered to win tickets to the RDMAs and a chance a keys to a new Cruze!

Email

Send sweepstakes promotion to the current Chevrolet email-marketing database to provide their super fans the opportunity to enter and just general awareness of the promotion.

Outdoor

Produce co-branded flag banners featuring the Chevrolet Cruze and RDMAs along the surrounding blocks of Downtown LA. This brands the outdoor space of the festival at Ardy’s Pre-show Party and adds to the overall brand awareness of Chevy’s presence and sponsorship of the RDMAs. 

Pin-Party

Chevy and Disney to host a week long Pin Party encouraging moms to re-pin the custom promotional pin (found on Chevrolet’s Pinterest page) to their own boards for a chance to win $1,000 and a trip to the RDMAs. Should any of the Pinners also write a blog post about the promotion, and Tweet about it on their social handle hash tagging #CruzeToLA, they will receive 5 additional entries to the sweepstakes. This will be promoted on Chevy’s Facebook page and one of the main hero images on their website.

Pre-roll on YouTube

:10 second Chevrolet branded ad as pre-roll placement prior to main performance at the RDMAs.

For example, their branded spot could lead in to custom video content such as this:

View Here

Proximity Marketing

Those that opt in and accept to receive the offer from Chevy at the On The Road To tour and Ardy’s Pre-show Party will receive a free oil change at any Chevrolet dealership. This gets moms on Chevy lots to look around at the new models they saw at the RDMAs. There would be on-site signage at the pre-show festival about the opt-in offer.

Analysis: #CruzeToLA Sweepstakes Promotion

Analytics would be measured by sweepstakes entries, page views from the digital site and social engagement and impressions pulled from Sprinklr.

Thank you for your time and consideration of the pitch #CruzeToLA Sweepstakes presented by Chevrolet. This IMC promotion will meet your objectives and provide brand awareness to the cool new features of the Cruze!

 

Push, Pull, and Integrated Marketing

A push marketing strategy is when a brand advertises its product to garner awareness from their target demographic, while the pull strategy released content in the market to reach audiences, which have an existing interest in the brand or product. Below is a closer look at the integrated marketing efforts that Best Western International currently has in the market and I will be identifying which of these marketing platforms are push and which exhibit pull marketing.

“The newer pull strategy has been viewed as a shift in power from advertisers to consumers, and so requires a more adaptive approach by marketers.  With the increase of social networking platforms and users, social networking has become a major and focal part to music marketing adopting the pull marketing strategy. Pull marketing shifts the emphasis and attention onto the customer, trying to market in the correct places by knowing who the target audience is. Consumers are increasingly customizing to better suit their individual needs.” (Wikipedia)  The main idea here is that Best Western is hyper focused on the needs of their customers and are pushing content across all of their digital and social channels which then draws or pulls their audience to their brand.  Most businesses will use a combination of push and pull strategies in order to successfully market a product as Boundless points out. In my opinion, Best Western falls in this successful combination of marketing for their hotels.  Most of the items below are examples of pull marketing, but Best Western does have quarterly promotions that they push out such as their partnership with Disney Media every summer (which is showcased in my previous blog post).

BestWestern.com:

Best Western’s website includes links to all their social sites. The website also includes a booking widget and hotel locator to assist in planning your next vacation. In addition to their hotel directory, the navigation bar includes travel tips, member rewards and travel deals to assist in planning your travel. The latest offer available is located in the hero slider touting the stay 2 nights and earn a $25 gift card. In reviewing Best Western’s sites, you’ll find that this offer is being promoted on multiple media platforms. This offer is a smaller promo compared to bigger tent pole marketing efforts executed by Best Western. Best Western continues to execute integrated marketing efforts no matter the size of the promotion.

In addition to Best Western’s website being the hub for all the social link outs, it has so much information located within the site. Not only does the site allow you to research and book your next vacation, but you also have access to the history of the hotel-chain but also their senior leadership.

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The social media marketing Best Western has in market is a combination of push and pull marketing, however, leans more heavily on the strategy to focus on the pull.  In the social media platforms below, you will see that Best Western is providing a ton of information (specific to the social platform and audience) without a hard sell on booking travel accommodations.  Yes it is about the bookings, but it goes further with the Best Western brand with the focus on the traveler and their experience.

Facebook:

The cover photo touts the current promotion.  Multiple posts daily keep content up to date.  Best Western does a great job of sticking to current events.  In today’s post, they remind their audience it is Talk Like a Pirate Day and share a short pirate inspired video to go along with their post.

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Twitter:

Best Western just recently hosted a Twitter chat with two travel experts asking their audience travel questions, and had the two travel experts answer the chat questions.  Best Western is an industry leader in the hospitality vector because they truly are targeting their audience and communicating with them on each of their advertising platforms.

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Pinterest:

Pinterest boards can be seen as a great example of pull marketing.  Best Western created a travel dream board showcasing their hotels and available destinations. Their pins are incredible and when planning a vacation, you could find a ton of information on locals, not specifically Best Western hotels.  This shows how Best Western is providing information about these destinations and popular things to see and do while visiting.

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Blog-site: You Must Be Trippin’

Best Western is digitally versed and you can find a presence on social platforms that include Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ as well their own blog-site named You Must Be Trippin’. Best Western’s You Must Be Trippin’ blog-site has fresh content that is relevant to current events and trending travel topics. Way to go Best Western with the catchy blog-site title!

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YouTube:

Best Western leverages YouTube as a hub for all their video assets.  Everything from travel tips with Tessa to linking to their You Must Be Trippin’ blog articles with video.

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The Mobile Experience:

I was expecting Best Western’s mobile site to be responsive and look like the home page of their website, Facebook and Twitter branding, however, BestWestern.com on mobile takes you straight to the booking feature. I believe that the mobile experience could be enhanced to allow for Best Western branding and easier navigation of the mobile experience.

Email marketing:

E-blasts are examples of push marketing.  Best Western sends out weekly email blasts with their top deals and promotions that are being offered.  The email includes links to all of their social sites to help easily connect their consumers to their content.

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About Best Western International, Inc 

Best Western International, Inc is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,000-plus* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers five types of hotels to suit the needs of our guests for any travel occasion: BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS®, BEST WESTERN PREMIER®, BEST WESTERN PLUS EXECUTIVE RESIDENCYSM and BW Premier CollectionSM. 

Integrated Marketing Summer Promotion

I love Best Western International, Inc because not only do they want the best experience for their customers when they are traveling, but they also want the very best for the individual hotel owners.  I also love the Best Western brand because they are a travel and hospitality leader in digital and social executions.  I believe BWI has found much success in leveraging multi-platform marketing efforts to promote travel during summer months.

Their most recent summer promotion with Disney Media was anchored in the property Teen Beach 2.  Looking to target moms and get their families excited about summer vacation, BWI offered a promotion for 1 lucky winner to have the opportunity to meet Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell at their very own dance party on the beach.  BWI knows the keys to success when it comes to integrated marketing and spread the word about this promotion across linear, digital, radio, social and in the lobbies of their hotels across the United States and Canada!

Let’s take a look at some of the marketing they did this summer!

Linear Platform

Custom television spots promoting the sweepstakes and chance to meet Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell.

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Branded sponsorship on Disney Channel (click below)

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Digital Platform

Sweepstakes Destination, Co-branded Media, and Custom Video Content 

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Click below to see Extreme Poolside Sports

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Radio Platform

National sweepstakes spot and promotion on Radio Disney App

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Social Media Platform

Twitter Party with talent, Promotional Posts across Facebook and Twitter, and Talent Engagement 

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Organic Fandom re-sharing of sponsored content and Teen Beach 2 content

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In-hotel/Retail Platform

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In the lobbies of all Best Western’s in the US and Canada, you could find branded standees and tent cards.  These in-hotel marketing pieces triggered an augmented reality experience allowing you to take a selfie with Ross Lynch and/or Maia Mitchell. The app also had custom content and a quiz featuring who would your travel BFF be from Teen Beach 2!

Additional Social and Digital extensions

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