VTA 2010: Non-Traditional Marketing to Spark Ridership (Extended)


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Extended version (with live links and more goods) from that presented at the Virginia Transit Association Conference, June 11, 2010. Please download for Notes, talking points or more thorough look through – PPT file.

Presented by Pulsar Advertising
Felicia Woodruff, J Grant Mizell, Ray Shea

Published in: Travel, Business, Technology
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  • RAY: USA Today, in March, cited a study showing 26% of Americans get news from a mobile phone. That breaks down further to 65% under 30 and a remarkable 15% over 50 who receive news off their mobile. The New York Times reported in 2009, cellular data use surpassed talk time. And if this doesn’t prove how quickly we’re taking to the Mobile environment… In just 9 months after inception in 2008, Apple’s App store passed 1 Billion (with a B) downloads.
  • Apple’s platform has been an overwhelming success breaking barriers beyond any expectations. This comparison shows it’s dramatic subscriber base 11 quarters after it’s inception.
  • Morgan Stanley Research recently reported both Mobile browsing and Mobile App use singularly doubled from April, last year. And smartphone sales are now set to outpace netbooks and desktops combined, in 2012. iPad, debatably the first Laptop-Netbook crossover, reached 2 million sales within it’s first 2 months on market. The newest iPhone annouced on Monday and due to release by the end of the month, will include video chat, a unified inbox, even in-phone HD video editing. It’s clear we’re becoming a mobile, information-rich culture.
  • In this digital age, it provides us as transit operators and marketers a unique opportunity to feed the information rich, cost effectively by Going Paperless. Though in many cases a completely paperless system may be impractical it’s a growing trend because: Printed materials cost: • Production; • Distribution; and • Environmentally The growing market penetration of the internet, cell phones and PDAs makes digital distribution of information easy Sophisticated trip planning programs make it easier on line than navigating complex timetables and maps It saves money
  • Different systems are using different approaches, however whether going 100 percent or partial require specific steps. Careful planning: A high degree of confidence in existing website, cell and PDA systems A transitional information program for customers Eliminating duplication, (i.e. timetables vs bus books) Gradual Reduction, phases • Establishing maximum electronic access before reducing paper media availability • Being selective about what types of electronic or printed information is available • Taking the long term view that digital information will inevitably become more popular than paper if implemented correctly. Reducing cost: •  Use-off-the-shelf programs: For information system software development (i.e. Google mapping and trip planner) Schedule database add-ons ( i.e. Hastus information system) • Look to similar systems: Some systems have developed systems for situations similar to yours. Investigate sharing. • Use unified purchasing: Form consortiums for program development (i.e. State DGS system)
  • RAY: The traditional purchasing funnel had us spending a lot of marketing on awareness and targeting potential riders to get them to try it, and hopefully convert them to regular riders.
  • GRANT: But with the inception of Web 2.0 and the immediate back & forth, or viral sharing between consumers, the funnel’s reversed out. It’s expanded. Redistributing resources into the bottom half of the funnel to provide better, more engaging experience to current riders, in turn enticing them to turn around, share their experience and bring new riders in – thru authentic content. The timing couldn’t be better…
  • GRANT: We’ve got competition like never before…
  • Automobiles have made leaps and bounds within just the last 5 years. We’re competing against cars that park themselves. That’s a powerful motivator.
  • How have buses improved in the last 5, 10, 15 years? How do you compete? With this new realm of marketing, we have an opportunity to level the playing field using the digital and non-traditional landscape.
  • Through rapid sharing of information and experiences, we’ve left Word of Mouth behind. Now we’re dealing with the World of Mouth.
  • This data from Nielsen came out in the latter half of last year.
  • Surmise it to say… Consumers are listening to each other. Our riders are creating their own, authentic content and passing it on. It’s that same authentic content, we want to tap into. How many of you have used Yelp!, Zagat or Google to check reviews of restaurants?
  • So it stands to reason, by engaging current riders they’ll in turn engage others, sharing their stories and experiences, building our brand awareness.
  • So we have to go where the conversation is already taking place. We may not be able to control what’s said in social circles, but we can help shape the conversation as long as we’re a part of it. But before we look at the channels, we have to understand the marketplace.
  • Traditionally, we’ve taken a BIG IDEA, crafted a message from it, then formatted it – usually in print – and supported with radio, billboard or broadcast.
  • Now we have to use the medium to craft the message. Finding the right media mix to get the message out, is just as important.
  • Ok, how do we start?
  • We don’t have a lot of time, so I want to explain some of the options, some of the mediums, and give you some examples that will hopefully inspire you moving forward. At the end, I’ll provide the link for download through SlideShare, with enhanced statistics, links and even a section on convincing the boss! Environmental is a broad term that can describe guerilla, non-traditional, ambient or interactive advertising, that engages the rider or consumer in the real world, on the ground.
  • Spit-balling some ideas around the office, we though we push the idea of sidewalk-chalk artists meets bus stops… invite a contest of chalk artists, your riders are bound to share the results, creating authentic content, and driving new riders to the bus stop. Plus, it’s minimal cost. And whether you’re able to go paperless or not, think about incorporating a barcode tag when replacing your next stop sign. Most smartphones have apps that can read special barcodes by the in-phone camera, which links to online data. Think about snapping a shot of the sign and quickly bringing up the most updated bus schedule, online.
  • Location based services gives you the ability to engage riders on-the-go. BART has done a great job at this, establishing themselves as local tour guides, they leave tips for local explorers associated with every stop. Whether it be a great concert venue or the best hoagie in town.
  • Social sharing, I’m sure most of you here are guilty of in some degree as individuals. VDOT’s use of youtube and more recently, flickr, came out of a need for data storage and a lack of funding. Now they send press to download their own photos, and use YouTube for video press releases. Some food for thought, as your thinking of how to supply content for these sites… localize as much as possible, and consumers love learning how things work. Create some online videos spotlighting the mechanics that keep the buses running or a bus getting wrapped for ads. Create some engaging events you can cross-promote, socially, like a local pub-crawl or tour.
  • Crowdsourcing is a name you may not be familiar with, but you’ll recognize the M.O. Digg is user-rated web, but localizing the rating system can give great opportunity for feedback. NextStopDesign.com was created to give riders the chance to design their next bus stop. Hugely successful with hundreds of designs submitted, they recently completed their 2nd stop! Blacksburg planning officials teamed up with some Tech graduates and came up with a Google Map, users can draw their bike route or routine walk path. Planners will use that data when distributing funds toward bike and ped improvements.
  • Sometimes our riders aren’t sharing fast enough. To expand your reach beyond only current riders, look to social and search advertising. At cost-per-click, it’s extremely cost effective because it may be shown along a search sidebar a hundred times but you only pay when someone actually clicks it. Facebook advertising offers unprecedented Return on Investment, mainly because of its user profiling-ability. Google AdWords recently started offering Click-to-Call and Click-to-Map links when searching on a mobile phone. Think about co-branding an ad near with a local vendor and attaching the local bus stop address and the bus schedule’s link. These options make great, cost-efficient tools for competition promotion, giveaways, event support, while increasing traffic and broadening reach.
  • Text messaging has even broader reach than a mobile phone, and wonderful data collecting services. And email is still the widest form of communication, though Facebook is close behind. For a few hundred dollars a month you can secure a 5-digit shortcode and service that collects numbers and schedules out-bound messages. Email newsletter systems like Constant Contact or more robust systems, can be maintained from $30 to $80 a month.
  • VPSI proved a recent social marketing success using email marketing for a photo contest to win an iPad, cross-promoted through their blog, facebook and twitter. They even took entries through twitter using a hashtag, the shortcut for turning words or phases into search terms or bookmarks within twitter. I’d love for them to have also added a group pool on flickr and allowed users to populate their photos there.
  • 400 photo submissions and 28,000 votes.
  • We all have choices riders, skeptical they could make the leap to go car-free. The Car-Free Diet put it to a challenge, asking car-dependant folks to try it for 30 days. We divided it into phases, starting with the announcement and recruitment for applications. We promoted heavily using street teams, facebook advertising, and AdWords.
  • For a year’s worth of free transportation, a bike, a gym membership and a new pair of sneakers, these two battled it out on the bus lines, the sidewalks and in the blogosphere and twitterverse. What did we get? Post campaign, we saw a 30% rise in our Fb fan base, double our twitter followers (now reaching close to 2k), our Skeptics branded YouTube channel and videos received over 2500 views, and the website received over 26,000 vsits with an average of 2 page views. 7,500 on AdWords and Fb Advertising. Jay Fresche
  • Like we said, know your competition. And Ford is certainly it. The strongest of the 3 Domestics after rejecting the bailout, Ford has also proven their risks aren’t so risky. To launch the Ford Fiesta they planned on snagging from their European market, Ford decided against traditional advertising (and all good sense) and gave 100 cars away to 100 socially-savvy, but otherwise typical, consumers for six months with the requirement of several missions. These missions, after completion, had to be submitted through social channels such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr.
  • Their social channels are now overflowing with authentic content, highlighting the car in everyday settings. And has been shared, viewed and reshared, some hundreds of times over.
  • Adapting to the appeal, Ford cleverly incorporates it into their homepage for the Fiesta, literally allowing you to “experience” the Fiesta on your own or through other’s documented experiences.
  • Post the 6 month social awareness campaign, Ford found 37% pre-launch awareness among Millenials, almost identical to the Ford Focus several years ago with Millions in traditional advertising spend. James Farley puts it best, “You can’t just say it. You have to get the people to say it to each other.” Resulting from the Fiesta campaign, Ford has now moved 25% of their annual marketing spend to Digital/Social Media. What they’re paying hundreds of thousands to companies to run their social/digital, we can train from within and accomplish similar goals on a smaller scale.
  • http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/ http://oneforty.com/ http://mashable.com/twitterlists/ http://www.zdnet.com/blog/weblife/how-mass-transit-integrates-with-foursquare/1642 http://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2010/news20100505.aspx http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/creative/new-campaigns/e3i962c9998ff4ef12fcaf6d1f0f54f2e83 http://cotweet.com/ http://hootsuite.com/ http://ping.fm/ http://www.youtube.com/user/Socialnomics09 http://socialnomics.net/2010/05/05/social-media-revolution-2-refresh/ http://www.slideshare.net/mzkagan/what-the-fk-social-media http://www.slideshare.net/CMSummit/ms-internet-trends060710final http://mashable.com/2009/10/02/fiesta-movement-numbers/
  • The Secret Sauce of Social Marketing http://experiencematters.criticalmass.com/2010/05/19/the-secret-sauce-of-social-media-marketing-3-common-client-questions-answered/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+experiencematters+%28Experience+Matters%29 5 Tips to Convince the Boss http://www.newageofmarketingandpr.com/2010/03/5-tips-to-convince-your-boss-to-engage.html Adding Blogger Outreach to Your PR Plan http://mashable.com/2010/04/23/blogger-outreach-pr/ 10 Ways to Initiate Social Conversation http://expeditusmedia.com/10-ways-to-initiate-a-conversation-on-the-social-web Social ROI http://www.bitrebels.com/social/measure-social-media-roi/ Facebook Stats http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics Social Media Business Tools http://mashable.com/2009/10/26/socia-media-entrepreneurs/
  • VTA 2010: Non-Traditional Marketing to Spark Ridership (Extended)

    1. 1. NON-TRADITIONAL MARKETING TO SPARK RIDERSHIP Felicia Woodruff – Account Planner, Transit/TDM Strategy J Grant Mizell – Account Executive, SPARK Team • Ray Shea – Strategic Planner, Transit Marketing
    2. 2. Where do riders get information? 26% Americans who receive news through their mobile phone – USA Today, March 2010 2009 Americans’ mobile data use of text, email and internet surpasses voice data – CITE (via NYT), May 2010 9 Months to reach 1 billion downloads through the App Store. – Apple, April 2009
    3. 3. More mobile – Morgan Stanley Research, Q1 2010 stats 86 Million iPhone/iTouch users, versus 18 million Netscape users, at Q11.
    4. 4. 2010 US Mobile browsing and Mobile App use doubles from Q1 2009 Smartphone sales will outpace personal computer sales 2012 – Morgan Stanley Research, Q1 2010 iPad sales reach 2 million within 2 months of release. – Apple, March 31, 2010 More mobile stats Apple reinvents the phone. Again. – Apple WWDC, Monday, June 7, 2010
    5. 5. Paper Cuts vs. Job Cuts Going Paperless
    6. 6. • Plan carefully • Goal set, try phases • Shop systems • Digital first, then paperless Going Paperless
    7. 7. Traditional Marketing Funnel Awareness Familiarity Trial Behavior Change/ Conversion
    8. 8. Evolved Marketing Funnel Familiarity Relevance Conversion Involvement Ongoing Engagement
    9. 9. Cars Today
    10. 10. QuickTime™ and a Cars Today NTSC decompressor DV/DVCPRO - (Ford Park Assist) are needed to see this picture.
    11. 11. What about Buses?
    12. 12. WOR D of MOUTH
    13. 13. WORLD of MOUTH
    14. 14. Consumer Trust Index • 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know • 20% over a brand’s website • 30% over traditional advertising WORLD of MOUTH
    15. 15. Sourcing Ridership from within
    16. 16. Invading Social
    17. 17. broadcast idea message print billboard Traditional Media Mix
    18. 18. broadcast youtube message competition billboard idea tweet bus shelter web message banner New Media Mix
    19. 19. Where to start?
    20. 20. Purpose: Engage in consumer’s natural habitat Using: Any piece of the habitat, i.e. the bus, the seats, shelter, metro stairs/escalator, sidewalk, the fare card/machine, etc. Examples: HRT Happy Hour, GRTC iPhone app, VW Fun Theory Ideas worth stealing: Sidewalk-Chalk competition, barcode tagging, going paperless, theater on wheels, bus shelter digital tweet visualization display Environmental aka: Guerilla, Non-Traditional, Ambient, Interactive
    21. 21. Guerilla, Interactive aka: Non-Traditional, Environmental, Ambient
    22. 22. Purpose: Engage riders on-the-go Using: Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, etc Examples: BART, VisitPA Sample: @9th and Broad (GRTC): Recently renovated, National is the hottest concert venue downtown. Show your bus pass for at Gibson’s Grill before a show for a free Appetizer! Location-based Service
    23. 23. Purpose: Create conversations with riders & potential riders Using: Facebook Page, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, MySpace, Flickr, Twitpic, YouTube, Vimeo Examples: HRT, VPSI, VaDOT, CarFreeDiet, AmtrakVirginia Ideas worth stealing: flickr press room, bus rodeo, filmmaker contest starring buses, mobile sing-a-long, regional tours Sample tweet: Sudden threat of t-storms this eve, may be a good day to try the bike racks on the front of the bus. http://bit.ly/howtorack Social Sharing
    24. 24. Purpose: Encourage feedback, service ratings, etc Using: Digg, Survey Monkey, customized-rating system Examples: NextStopDesign, Blacksburg Bike/Ped Survey Ideas worth stealing: Flickr commute route/stop issues Crowdsourcing
    25. 25. Purpose: Increase traffic & broaden awareness Using: Fb ads, Promoted Tweets, YT Promoted Videos, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Behavioral Targeting, etc Examples: CFD Skeptics, Telework!VA Ideas worth stealing: Promotion during Earth Day [month] Search/Social Mktg
    26. 26. Purpose: Customer Relation Management Using: Email newsletter/CRM, SMS messaging Examples: Red Cross, VPSI, HCA Hospitals Ideas worth stealing: Special promotion support, general brand awareness Email/Text Messaging
    27. 27. VPSI Photo Contest
    28. 28. VPSI Photo Contest
    29. 29. Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge Phase 1: Announcement
    30. 30. Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge Phase 2: Voting
    31. 31. Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge Phase 3: Challenge
    32. 32. Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge
    33. 33. Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge Phase 4: Converts
    34. 34. Discovering your Route
    35. 35. • Provide access • Focus on the anytime/anywhere greater good • Make it easy • Be community • Provide tools to centric spread the word • Listen • Be authentic • Experiment • Tout your USP • Have fun! Rules of Engagement
    36. 36. Do one thing next week to challenge the status quo of your current marketing efforts. i.e. start a mass email of ideas around the office, place a box for marketing ideas in the breakroom, take an internal survey of social strengths/expertise, explore 1 new social site, etc Share it. Email me at gmizell@pulsaradvertising.com; OR Tweet me @mizellg, ending with the hashtag #vtamktg10 Challenge…
    37. 37. Extended… (psst, keep going) Felicia Woodruff: fwoodruff@pulsaradvertising.com Grant Mizell: @mizellg, gmizell@pulsaradvertising.com Ray Shea: suprag5130@aol.com
    38. 38. Ford gave away one hundred, pre-released Fiestas for six months. Case Study: Ford
    39. 39. And started a Movement…
    40. 40. Integrating Social
    41. 41. 37% Pre-Launch Awareness among Millenials 2010 - Ford moves 25% of Marketing Spend to Digital/Social Media “You can’t just say it. You have to get the people to say it to each other.” – James Farley, CMO Ford
    42. 42. Winning the Boss Over ( in two steps ) Exploration (Fire power) •Suvey internal expertise • Twitter: Mashable’s Guide, Apps, Lists • Foursquare: BART, VisitPA • Multi-updaters: Cotweet, Hootsuite, Ping Load-Up on Stats (Ammunition) • All Socialnomics vids & these stats • What The F**K is Social Media? • Internet trends • Can Social Media sell cars?
    43. 43. Winning the Boss Over Other resources. The Secret Sauce of Social Marketing 5 Tips to Convince the Boss Adding Blogger Outreach to Your PR Plan 10 Ways to Initiate Social Conversation Social ROI Facebook Stats Social Media Business Tools
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