Friday, September 26, 2008

Graco moves into Social Marketing for brand success

If you’re a parent and a bloger you can play a major role in Graco’s new integrated marketing campaign that is being rolled out THIS week. I told you the big guys were coming to Social Media Marketing and now they are here!

Their “Ready for the road ahead” campaign kicked off on September 8th with the launching of a web site by the same name in which they are aiming to help parents pick the right car seat for their children as well as addressing the needs of parents who travel with children. The site features a car seat selection tool and videos showing how to install the seats as well as offering other parenting tips.

Starting this week the site has been supported with more than 1 million emails, online ads, paid search and a partnership with family magazine Wondertime. There will also be an in store sweepstakes in Babies R Us stores through the end of September.

In addition Graco will be using Twitter through out the campaign to communicate daily with the online community about car eat safety and traveling tips.

Graco began this fully integrated marketing program because they cam to the (strange) conclusion that the sum of the parts to be greater then the whole. The additional outlay in spending for online is consistent with the companies other major channels.

The campaign is meant to mold parents into loyal customers for the entirety of the time their children need a car seat. Graco has done will with infant and toddler seats but was getting left in the dust in convertible seats (the seat category between infant and toddler).

One way the campaign is addressing loyalty is with the “Ready. Safe. Go” club, a loyalty program that offers additional tips on care seats and special offers from several other manufactures. In additional for every 10 people who join the club though the end of December, Graco will donate a car seat to a family in need. Nice play on being a good corporate citizen at the same time.

Graco has done some smaller initiatives in Business Social Media Marketing before this effort. One such effort was having a contest where parents could submit there child’s picture for being a Graco catalog. They received over 6,000 entries in this contest. Graco has also launched a corporate blog featuring employees sharing parenting experiences which receives thousands of UNIQUE visitors each month.

According to what I hear, this is only the start for Graco. There next step into social media marketing is a national Graco Nation Ambassador Program which will invite anyone who is a fan of Graco to become active in championing the brand

Larson note: I have been saying for the last 6 months the big guys are trying to figure out how to get a handle on Business Social Media Marketing. Have they? In some way shape or form, Graco might have a good model that lager companies can work into. It hits all the right buttons, locking in customers on multiple platforms and on multiple levels. Look it over, what can you use and what can’t you use in your own program?

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

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