I recently came across a very unique campaign by PostNet. They are using their new Zombie Apocalypse marketing campaign to help them stand out in the crowded B-to-B services segment. PostNet is the chain of Neighborhood Business Centers that provide printing, shipping, graphic design and marketing solutions for today’s time-strapped small businesses and consumers. I had to know more about this idea so I interviewed Rachel Reynolds, Director of Marketing at PostNet to learn more.
Of course I just had to know where the idea for Zombies came from. Rachel shared “We were looking for an interesting way to introduce our new Online Print Center, a fully functional e-commerce website that allows customers to purchase print products online from our franchise locations. We launched our new Online Print Center on October 1, so a Halloween-themed campaign seemed to make sense. From the hit television show, “The Walking Dead,” to the wildly popular Plants vs. Zombies video game, zombies have become a pop-culture phenomenon and this is a trend we are hoping to capitalize on with this campaign.” I think this was a great idea.
Let’s take a look at what PostNet is doing. “We favor marketing campaigns that integrate tactics following the traditional marketing funnel touch points: Awareness, Activation, Participation/Purchase, and Evangelism. To increase awareness of the brand and of the new Online Print Center, we are running a national ad campaign on FM Broadcast radio, geo-targeted digital display advertising, and Facebook and LinkedIn advertising, all driving to a centralized microsite, www.BeatZombies.com.” These touch points are common and work well together.
Since the website is the focus, I wanted to know more about what users will be doing. Rachel shared that as well. “Once on the site, users can view the entire Zombie Apocalypse story by watching five 30-50 second videos. They can also sign up to win an all-expenses-paid trip to London where they can participate in a “Zombie Infection Experience,” allowing us to capture prospect contact information for subsequent direct marketing activities. Also on the microsite, they can learn a little more about the PostNet brand and how we support small businesses, and finally, click through to the Online Print Center where they will receive 20 percent off their first purchase.”
Some other ways they are reaching out to people are: “We are also using direct marketing to drive users to the microsite with a five-part HTML email campaign to current customers, where each email distributes a video to tell the Zombie Apocalypse story or the life of the campaign. We are utilizing social media content marketing around the campaign theme, primarily on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, where our primary objective is increased engagement and brand evangelism. We have also developed Zombie Outbreak Survival kits consisting of a campaign branded canvas bag, a 29-piece survival kit, a flyer and a PostNet pen, which we are utilizing in social media contests as a reward for submission of user-generated content, as well as in local center marketing efforts. Finally, we support the campaign in-center with window clings, posters, banner stands, vinyl banners, table tents, counter mats and A-Frame inserts.” This is a well-rounded mix of digital and print with multiple touch points in order to reach people where they are.
The idea to create entertainment that drives recipients to a deeper engagement is a popular one. However this campaign has really taken that to a new fun level with zombies. Rachel states that there are three goals for the campaign: “Continue to solidify our positioning as a vital resource for the small business community no matter what the emergency is – even if it’s a zombie apocalypse.; Drive awareness, account set up and first purchase on our new Online Print Center; and increase brand awareness, engagement and evangelism.”
The results they are tracking are “Earned media impressions through PR; paid media impressions through radio and digital display; digital advertising CTR; microsite unique visitors; sweepstakes entries; click throughs to the Online Print Center; number of Online Print Center accounts created; dollars sold on the Online Print Center; and social media engagement.” In this campaign, the biggest challenge is that they want recipients to take a lot of actions from “go to the microsite site, enter the sweepstakes, click through to the new Online Print Center, engage with us on social media, and share about your experience with others.” Since there is a big entertainment focus PostNet is counting on that to help keep them invested.
Since PostNet has franchises it can be a challenge to get buy-in from each of them. Rachel says that “Most of our franchise owners are excited about the campaign. Our HTML emails are performing very well, tripling open rates and doubling CTR from our previous campaign, so that spurs their excitement during the beginning of our campaign. Some franchisees feel the concept is too edgy, but overall we’ve gotten a very good response from our franchisees.” So it looks like they are off to a great start.
What is the most unique campaign you have seen lately? What have you done? Could you take an ordinary idea, turn it on its head and create something fun with it? Of course you can!