It’s almost time to reveal the secret location and videos of the hinted-at debauchery of Bud Light’s Party City! BBDO’s campaign, called “Up for Whatever”, has been promising Millennials the opportunity to be invited to the party of the year on Labour Day weekend at a yet-to-be revealed Bud Light town called “Whatever USA.”
Along with the obligatory social and digital media advertising, Bud Light street teams have been in bars videotaping auditions, which are essentially 10- to 20-second videos asking party-going hopefuls to prove they’re up for whatever by answering questions such as “what is your favorite dance” or “what is your spirit animal?”
The resulting content produced by the auditions and shared on YouTube (100,000 auditions received to date), as well as the buzz generated by those auditioning across all social channels, has been a bonanza of earned media for Bud Light.
According to David Daniels, Bud Light’s brand director, “This is content marketing on steroids. We’re capturing content all summer long in the on-premise promotions all the way up into and through the event. And our plan is to release some of that content in broader media channels immediately following the weekend.”
Having the budget to create a full multi-media and cross-channel campaign doesn’t hurt. Bud Light has produced television commercials, 11,000 on-trade promotions, and fake news reports produced by The Onion to support the user-generated content produced by wannabe partiers.
How Is This Campaign Being Measured?
The 100,000 auditions received (to date) and the massive online chatter would certainly be viewed as a success; however, what are the actual metrics being used to gauge success? Daniels made this statement on what success looks like for him:
“We’re looking at numerous metrics. We expect not only some movement in brand health and perception, but we’re also trying to drive persuasion. We’re seeing some positive results in markets where we’ve executed the promotions. We’re seeing some positive performance in the off-trade for Bud Light. And we’ll have some consumer analysis—pre, during and post studies—to see if we’ve moved the needle in brand perception. Those are the top-line things we’re trying to achieve.”
Daniels referenced some key factors in how social media marketing efforts should – and can – be measured.
1. “Movement in Brand Health and Perception”
The health of customer relationships can be a definable and critical factor in measuring the success of campaigns. Of course, your brand must first know what the health of your customer relationship is, otherwise, how would you measure success?
Customer relationships – or the perception of that relationship by customers – can be calculated by tracking the delta between a customer’s satisfaction with the various touch points your business has with them and the value those touch points have in how they rate their satisfaction with your business. These touch points can range from your marketing materials, to employee engagement, to invoicing, to website ease of use.
Why is this important?
Often businesses put a lot of effort and budget into perfecting a customer touch point (for example, the accuracy of invoicing or website content) when, in reality, that touch point has little to no effect on the customer’s decision to purchase, remain a customer or refer the business. There are many factors that play into customer decision making processes and without understanding how each customer touch points affects those decisions, the success measures become meaningless to the C-Suite.
Learn about Sensei’s Customer Relationship Index.
2. “Performance in the Off-Trade”
“We’re seeing some positive performance in the off-trade for Bud Light,” said Daniels, referencing the sales increases measured in retailers outside of the bars where the promotions are occurring, such as corner stores, liquor stores, etc. This demonstrates the influence that the campaign has had on the purchase decisions of consumers after they’ve engaged in the brand experience with the bars where auditions were held or after experiencing the campaign online.
Those who follow this blog know that we always look to real sales and profit numbers as the true measure of campaign success. We’ve criticized campaigns or marketers who report soft metrics like brand mentions and earned media as a success measure. Such metrics are important but remain contributing factors to what we consider real measurement: Gross sales, profit, and customer lifetime value.
Influencing purchase decisions is not just the realm of traditional influence marketing campaigns, often relegated to campaigns that encourage people to share brand messages online. True influence marketing is based on swaying purchase decisions, which can be achieved through the advocacy of relevant peers or brand engagement and measured against a historical baseline. The key is to know the baseline first and to build in the the tracking/measurement within the campaign strategy and execution.
3. Moving the Needle “in Brand Perception”
I’m highlighting this third metric referenced by Bud Light’s brand manager despite the fact that I just called out sales, profit, and customer lifetime value as true campaign measurements in order to highlight the fact that we don’t discount the value of soft metrics such as brand perception.
When executing customer acquisition or customer development campaigns, the ultimate goal of the campaign is to sway consumer purchase decisions and/or behaviors. B2C or B2B customers make decisions for a variety of factors, not least of which is their emotional attachment to a brand. Purchase decisions based on some emotion will see the purchaser seeking to justify the decision using rational logic. Humans are not completely practical, nor do they make decisions based solely on feelings.
The key for measurement is to ensure that you’ve benchmarked current brand perceptions among the campaign’s target audience. Next, be sure to plan how you will gauge changes in brand perception as affected by the campaign and how those changes (or lack thereof) contributes to revenue, profit or customer lifetime value; otherwise, measuring the brand perception metric will be meaningless come budget review time.
How effective are user-generated content campaigns in swaying consumer purchase decisions?