EqStable Case Study

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EqStable Case Study

  1. 1. CASE STUDY: ZOETIS EQSTABLE EQ (EQUINE) STABLE: MUTUAL PASSION CONNECTS BRAND TO CONSUMER EXECUTIVE SUMMARY With a brand transition from Pfizer to Zoetis, the need to build and strengthen relationships, and the desire to grow the business beyond an already well-established consumer base, Zoetis looked for new ways to extend their influence and grow the business. The company made the determination to expand into social media with a highly-regulated business, choosing the experienced social community strategic leader, LiveWorld, to take the helm. The goals, to dialog directly with horse owners, reinforce the brand transition, and extend the premium customer experience, have been successfully met in just six months.
  2. 2. THE CHALLENGE Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health), with 4.3 billion in annual revenue, is singularly focused on animal health — providing quality products, services, and a strong commitment to their customers. Traditionally, Zoetis has had an indirect relationship with their end customers, leveraging veterinarians as the conduit for their products. Zoetis determined it was time to take the next step — to a solid and direct relationship with those who use their products — with an eye toward growing their business by offering the premium sales experience to those not already engaged with the brand. Also, the industry is tightly regulated and, as such, Zoetis needs to carefully balance regulatory and legal requirements with a more free-form social media experience. To implement the effort, the Zoetis Equine team asked social media leader, Liveworld, to create and deploy a social media strategy and program guided by these key goals: THE SOLUTION EQSTABLE Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health), with 4.3 billion in annual revenue, is singularly focused on animal health — providing quality products, services, and a strong commitment to their customers. Traditionally, Zoetis has had an indirect relationship with their end customers, leveraging veterinarians as the conduit for their products. Zoetis determined it was time to take the next step — to a solid and direct relationship with those who use their products — with an eye toward growing their business by offering the premium sales experience to those not already engaged with the brand. As a caveat, the industry is tightly regulated and, as such, Zoetis needs to carefully balance regulatory and legal requirements with a more free-form social media experience. To implement the effort, the Zoetis Equine team asked social media leader, LiveWorld, to create and deploy a social media strategy and program guided by these key goals:
  3. 3. SOCIAL ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM The program, a series of interviews, workshop sessions, and planning meetings, effectively combined customer, brand and social knowledge into a cohesive design to connect Zoetis business goals to social media. The social architecture program resulted in a socialized view of the brand, the creation of a social cultural model as a basis for customer experience, a roadmap for brand participation, and integration across the marketing spectrum. The plan was to create a passion-driven community based upon members’ love of horses, and it focused on individual owners and the handler/trainers who were also likely to be enthusastic participants in social media. Secondary strategies were crafted to approach other audiences. IDENTIFYING THE CULTURAL MODEL To create a social-cultural identity for EQStable, developers likened the experience to a party: If EQStable were a party, what type of party would it be? It was determined that the gathering would be informal, conversational, and focused on local communities, with “BBQ at the Fair” as the overarching concept. In short, it was to be an enjoyable virtual place for discussion of topics that mattered to fellow horse owners and lovers. This experiential vision was the basis of the culture that, through content and moderation, Liveworld would deliver to the Facebook community. VALUE-DRIVEN CONTENT It was clear that success would require meeting both practical and emotional needs of the EQStable audience, the recreational horse owner and the equine handler/trainer. The aim was to help our target audience: Connect to other businesses, families, and communities with similar interests and values Build their businesses by delivering solutions from our equine connections, Zoetis, vets, and the community Stay current on important matters of horses’ health CHOOSING A PLATFORM An in-depth review of the social media spectrum considered channel strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of content type; legal and regulatory concerns and limitations; target audience penetration and access methods; cultural brand fit; and brand resources and risks. As a result, the final recommendation to engage audiences was a primary focus on Facebook, a secondary effort on Pinterest, and a supporting role for YouTube. OWNER Brag and share pictures of my horse(s) with others that have the same passion level Tips from the pros thay help me care for my horses
  4. 4. HANDLER / TRAINER Newsletter Current trends, animal health, legislation, local flavor, etc Let me demonstrate my skills and grow my or my stable’s brand Invite me to be an expert and share my skills. Share with me videos of others I consiter peers INTRODUCING.... EQSTABLE Based upon the established cultural model and venue determination, LiveWorld developed a comprehensive social content programming plan, launch strategy, and growth plan; followed by launch, ongoing management, content programming, engagement, moderation, and strategic refinement; guided by in-depth insights gleaned as the program evolved. The “About” page sets the stage in this mission statement: “Zoetis Equine is driven by our passion for horses and their well-being, and for the equine industry and those it supports; this is the force behind our Facebook page. The consequences of disease and lameness impact not only the animal but the owner as well. We stand with you to provide you and your veterinarian with the best products to help your horses enjoy long, healthy lives.” LAUNCH PLAN The launch plan included specific actions designed to share the excitement with three distinct groups: • Ensuring the Zoetis team was educated and excited about EQStable • Sharing the word with existing customers • Encouraging partner participation (breed associations and sponsor partners) Enthusiasm mounted as EQStable was featured on Zoetis.com, in marketing communications and
  5. 5. newsletters, and in subtle reminders of Zoetis social media participation, such as employee signatures. Existing relationships were leveraged to encourage sharing of EQStable proprietary content, as well as to invite active participation and content sharing across those partners’ social media venues. In coordination with Underscore, the EQStable launch included Facebook advertising and promotion, including elements focusing on quality, key demographic and interest groups, and targeting partner sites with similar interests. These efforts included strong calls to action, along with banners, promoted content, marketing, and joint promotion with the EQStable App — resulting in rapid initial growth. Long-term growth strategies include creating ongoing partnerships with organizations such as the American Quarter Horse Association, Home for Every Horse, and Time to Ride. Such alliances — for both content sharing and referral traffic — are designed to touch on the emotions and passions of those who share the love of horses, while serving the needs of both EQStable and partner participants. Images of your horse, seasonal events and contents, heartwarming stories, etc Sharing content from others, engaging in dialogue Peer-recommended trainers to join discussion, give tips, share videos of them, etc Solution offerings, testimonials, profiles of staff, etc L ink to newsletter for deeper information CONTENT STRATEGY While advertising was a key driver in the initial development of the community, the key to retaining interest is strong content that shares information and relays the pleasure of being involved with equines. Many brands make the mistake of talking mostly about themselves in social media, as if it were a broadcast medium — and the content thus falls flat with the target audience. Successful social media efforts focus on the attendee, just as a great party host focuses on the guests having an enjoyable experience. Engaging the audience to encourage ongoing participation, to provide the opportunity to meet other interesting people, to discuss topics of interest with the brand and each other, and to share experiences and stories of general interest — these fuel a strong social media presence. An optimized content mix of 40 percent social, 40 percent category-specific (horse-related), and 20 percent brand focus was adopted as the strongest path to growth and ongoing engagement.
  6. 6. To drive EQStable activity, monthly content themes centered on viewer interests and Zoetis business focus, including seasonal activities and health-related trends, events, and product timelines. In addition, these stimulating and recurring content items continue to draw in and encourage active participation on the part of EQStable members: • • • • • Engage Discussion: quotes, captions, must-smile video Targeting Audience: horseplay, stable club Define the Company: personification of hosts, profiles, events Demonstrate Expertise: veterinarian tips, nutrition health Display Brand Content While pre-scripted content is at the core of community posts, engagement with the community generates real-time content via conversations and trends. The LiveWorld team focuses on day-to-day management and engagement, making micro changes that maximize the discussion topics, passion areas, and interests of the community. Ongoing, we analyze post performance to fine-tune and improve scripted programming, resulting in a highly engaged community of equine enthusiasts. The content calendar, while planned monthly, rapidly responds to news that matters to an audience focused on equine-related events. For example, members responded strongly to a June 18 post following the Black Forest Fire in Colorado. Data indicated the post was widely shared and liked while LiveWorld hosts actively engaged fans in the comments to enthusiastic response. In addition, LiveWorld reviews those posts that resonate best with the audience, with an eye toward developing fresh content that meets both member expectation and brand goals over time. Beyond the oft-quoted Facebook likes, we conduct deeper research looking at activity levels, sentiment, passion levels, topical analysis, and timing.
  7. 7. TOP POSTS
  8. 8. THE RESULTS GOAL 1 CREATE A DIRECT DIALOGUE WITH HORSE OWNERS The EQStable Facebook page was launched on March 7, 2013. After one month, the Facebook page had 107,000 Likes and a 29% engagement rate—more than TRIPLE the average ratio for communities of this size among the top 1,000 brands on Facebook. Our visibility in member’s newsfeeds is high, thanks to a good balance of brand content with highly engaging social content and continued, personalized and focused interaction with the fan base. Other key metrics include: The EQStable fans posted 35,173 comments to EQStable. Community members actively ask and answer questions. Member posts are 97% positive. Less than 1% are reportable. The page drove 200+ downloads of parallel app. Aquistion costs are under fifty cents, compared to a dollar or more for other methods. GOAL 2 REINFORCE BRAND CHANGE FROM PFIZER ANIMAL HEALTH TO ZOETIS Created a vehicle to share brand-centric community involvement, industry support, and sponsorship stories to reinforce brand position Successful initial personification of team members GOAL 3 EXTENDED PREMIUM CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Extended brand engagement with 15,000+ interactions Customers self-source content and images (400+) The site delivers high quality wellness content that has demonstrated value to fans, measured via survey, activity, and comment sentiment.
  9. 9. Contact us at: +1 (800) 301-9507 or by email at hello@liveworld.com

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