McBru Social Media Case Study - Reaction Design


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McBru customizes LinkedIn forums to create exclusive mindshare for Reaction Design: A small elite group of engineers and scientists from around the world can share ideas, questions and contacts in an exclusive LinkedIn group created and managed by McBru, keeping Reaction Design thought leadership and product capabilities forefront in their perceptions.

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McBru Social Media Case Study - Reaction Design

  1. 1. REACTION DESIGN CASE STUDY McBru Customizes LinkedIn Forums to Create Exclusive Mindshare for Reaction Design
  2. 2. Summary Getting the media exposure that your client wants is never simple, even for pros at influencer relations. But if your client’s products serve a very small, niche market, and their top customers are resistant to publicly acknowledging they even use the products, then driving recognition is even more difficult. That’s the situation that McBru faced as it guided the influencer relations efforts of Reaction Design, a San Diego-based developer of combustion simulation software. Calling on its expertise in tech B2B and social media, McBru crafted a one-of-a kind social media campaignMcBru transformed an off-the-shelf using LinkedIn networking groups to grab the attentionsocial media discussion group into of influencers, industry leaders and potential exclusive, members-only forum. By making Reaction Design’s LinkedIn channel a curated space open only to a targeted group, McBru transformed an off-the-shelf social media discussion group into an exclusive, members-only forum. In the process, McBru raised awareness for Reaction Design with a key audience, and positioned the company as technology innovators and thought leaders in their industry space. 2
  3. 3. SituationReaction Design develops computer simulation andmodeling software that automotive, gas-turbine, energy,and transportation companies use to automate the analysisof chemical processes. Technologies from Reaction Designcan be used to simulate combustion and fuel effects invirtually all types of automotive and aircraft engines, aswell as engines used for electric power generation. Thiscombustion simulation software helps these industriescreate cleaner and more efficient engine designs andintegrate greener, more efficient technologies into reactorand combustor designs. A small, elite group of combustion engineers use Reaction Design software to design the next generation of engines and turbines.Reaction Design asked McBru to help boost the company’sprofile as an industry leader and innovator to trade press Reaction Design’s customers and research partnersand influencers. However, that’s not so easy for a company represent some of the world’s biggest energy producerswhose products have perhaps and auto manufacturers, andonly 300 to 400 users in many of these companiesthe world – even highly are unwilling to publicly McBru recognized the opportunity to increasetargeted advertising would acknowledge and discussbe too blunt an instrument visibility of Reaction Design and its executives the technologies that keepto reach this tiny, though through an exclusive, moderated focus group. them on the cutting edge.very desirable audience. In With few referenceableother industry segments, customers, it’s hard to buildcustomer case studies and testimonials could broadcast an inventory of case studies or testimonials—even thoughthe benefits of a company’s software and services. But Reaction Design has excellent customer relationships 3
  4. 4. the Clean Combustion Design forum on LinkedIn for “designers of clean and efficient combustion systems and fuels through the application of detailed chemistry.” Reaction Design was initially wary of using social media as a tool to reach its key audiences—would automotive professionals, academics, and energy researchers take a social media site seriously? McBru felt that LinkedIn was a good channel for building Reaction Design’s visibility and built a campaign that focused on serving the needs and interests of this smallMcBru saw how an exclusive, moderated focus group on LinkedIn but influential group. However, this required that McBrucould house highly specialized content and conversation. strategically place guardrails around the LinkedIn forumand is considered a critical partner to industry-leading to ensure that it maintained editorial balance and value toautomotive and turbine manufacturers. a very exclusive group.Strategy Tailoring LinkedIn ForumsMcBru needed to find a targeted and compelling way for Elite Participationto gain exposure and recognition for Reaction Design— McBru began by getting buy-in from key Reaction Designwithout outing their customers and partners. McBru turned executives and lead engineers, obtaining their commitmentto LinkedIn. Research revealed few LinkedIn networks to act as contributors and moderators for the site on antargeting the topic of clean combustion and simulation ongoing basis. This not only ensured that the quality oftechnologies. McBru recognized the opportunity to increase the information and interaction within the group remainsvisibility of Reaction Design and its executives through high but also placed Reaction Design spokespeople at thean exclusive, moderated focus group and established center of an influential industry forum. 4
  5. 5. restrictions help maintain interactions at a level suitable for a high-level executives and industry thought leaders, and enforce a sense of belonging to an elite, members- only group—perfect for attracting the participation of big gun academics and business people. Customer Participation: A Brand-Neutral Space for the Elite to Meet Though many of Reaction Design’s customers had been unwilling to engage in traditional case study promotions, McBru developed an alternative way to attract participationThough the LinkedIn group is sponsored by Reaction of industry heavy weights on Reaction Design’s LinkedInDesign, the forum moderators are very conscious of forum. McBru produced and filmed a Distinguishedkeeping an objective approach to industry information: Speakers Series, a set of videos that captured executivesThey never use the channel for overt product promotion. from such key companies as General Motors discussingThe moderators seed discussions from time to time, basedon technical or industry insights, or links to content suchas videos or webinars. Though Reaction Design-sponsoredcontent is available on the site, forum discussions are far-reaching and not limited to proprietary technologies.Additionally, the LinkedIn forum limits the kinds ofcontent available on the site to focus on higher-levelindustry topics and insights. For instance, the forum doesnot accept job postings; does not allow HR or recruitersto join the group; and doesn’t allow event postings. These 5
  6. 6. combustion simulation and topics related to Reaction Design Resultstechnologies. The videos (available through YouTube butlinked through the forum) were carefully scripted to avoidproduct promotion, showcasing partners and customers in Reaction Design’s LinkedIn group quickly became a key social media resource for the small, exclusive network of innovators in clean combustion technology. The group now numbers over 1000—industry executives, academics, scientists and influencers—who come to the site to share knowledge, brainstorm ideas, and engage in dialogues on topics that affect the automotive and energy industry.way that does not threaten brands or customers’ sensitivityto exposure.Though not traditional testimonials, these videos positionReaction Design as an industry leader and make clearthat its technologies are used successfully by some of thelargest, most innovative manufacturers in the world. 6
  7. 7. McBru took the problem of creating buzz and thoughtleadership for a company with a very small—thoughinfluential—base and few referenceable customers,and used social media to turn these challenges intoadvantages. From a near-ubiquitous social media channel,McBru crafted an exclusive forum for industry insiders “ We were initially uncertain if social media was the right tool for building thought leadership and industry recognition for our company. Thethat boosted Reaction Design’s profile with a highly selectaudience. McBru also created a series of videos that play group we want to reach and influence is verydown overt brand advertising to focus on the company’s small and its members function at elite levelsthought leadership—all the better to market to this highly within their organizations, so generic socialdiscerning audience. media channels didn’t seem a good match. But McBru customized LinkedIn forums to create an exclusive online space where industry leaders can interact comfortably with their peers on topics surrounding combustion simulation. Hosting the forum raises our profile and keeps us top-of-mind for influential ” consumers of our technologies. Verly Flores, Marketing Communications Manager, Reaction Design 7
  8. 8. Elise F. Burke Director of Marketing and Sales direct: 503.546.1017 mobile: 503.459.7545 www.mcbru.comLET’S START SOMETHING. @mcbru McClenahan-Bruer McClenahan-Bruer McBru McClenahanBruer McBru McClenahanBruer