A Case Study for a European Wireless Speaker Company Launching Their Products in the U.S. for the First Time.
Launching a new brand of consumer electronics products is always a challenge. To raise brand awareness and drive the eventual purchase of a new product takes effort and time. The consumer electronics category is by its very nature competitive with short product cycles and shifting consumer expectations.
Beasley Direct and Online Marketing, Inc. was approached by a European speaker manufacturer to launch a new brand of high end, wireless speakers in the US market. The company decided only to launch into the online channel, focusing its efforts on selling direct to the consumer and not via retail. While this made for a more efficient sales model from a cost perspective, it did present a challenge around building brand awareness.
The visibility of a product on the shelf in a retailer, with the ability to interact with it in person, can be a compelling experience that adds to a brand’s awareness and eventual sales. The “touch and feel” element, along with the experience of the speaker’s sound in person cannot be underplayed for a new brand. The downside of filling the retail channel is of course the product sitting on a shelf, with its revenue being frozen as it waits for a customer to purchase it.
We Implemented a Three-Step Brand Awareness Building Process for Launching this New Brand Online
We worked with our client to overcome the challenges inherent in launching a brand online in a very competitive category by developing a three-step strategy:
- Raise awareness through display advertising and social media
- Remarket to consumers who have seen the first “touch” with additional display ads and focused search ads
- Take advantage of the awareness created by online media, driving the customer directly to the company’s website and giving them the chance to purchase either directly or with a “Buy with Amazon” link.
This approach allowed for the brand to go from being unknown with virtually no sales early in the year to meeting its revenue and margin goals in time for the holiday season.
Step one involved identifying the right target profiles and reaching out to them using the Google Display Network and Facebook. The client came to the table with a robust profile of who the likely target buyers were based on focus groups and product research. We used that profile to put the ads in front of the right consumer. The profile shifted over time as dynamic purchase data replaced static research. This was done by paying close attention to click metrics, time on site, add to cart and other metrics with a focus on marketing channel and campaign attribution using Google Analytics.
As the marketing outreach progressed, we embarked on the second step of launching remarketing programs, testing both marketing channel sources (Facebook, specific sites on the display network, mobile vs. desktop traffic) and geographies. Over time, the focus of these campaigns was narrowed to a select set of cities that demonstrated a high propensity to buy.
We Discovered Branded Ads Performed Better Than Product Feature Ads
One surprising result of the monitoring and testing of the messaging for search in AdWords was that the branded campaigns performed exceptionally well over time, but the general feature/benefit campaigns remained lackluster. Many of the individual feature/benefit campaigns were paused due to under-performance no matter how much the ads were tested and revised. Paying attention to the data was key in this decision to shift spend to where it performed the best.
The third step in the process, not necessarily linear, was to update the website to optimize it for the traffic once it arrived. The site went through two iterations in design with input from us, improving overall metrics. But most importantly, it was recognized early on that a challenge existed with brand recognition and trust for the consumer landing on the site. This was addressed in two ways: shifting reviews to a more prominent location on the site and by adding the “Buy with Amazon” button in the checkout. This created a level of trust and endorsement from the Amazon brand, as well as allowing for an easy checkout process.
Throughout the campaign, the success metrics, sales, add to carts, time on site and repeat visits were refined and tied to actual revenue. This allowed for a continual testing program that narrowed focus on supporting what was successful.
Net Revenue Goals Were Achieved in Time for Holiday Sales
The wireless speaker launch and follow-on marketing were very successful by the holiday season despite being part of an incredibly competitive segment of the consumer electronics category. The brand met its goals in both raw unit volume and overall net revenue. This success of building brand awareness would not have been achieved without a well thought out strategy that had a willingness to revise underlying assumptions and a high degree of flexibility resulting in implementation changes as the market dictated. Constant testing and refinement of messaging, targeting, ad creative, landing pages and the shopping cart were key to this success. By paying close attention to the real-time results of the marketing initiatives, constantly building off of successes and quickly ending poor performing campaigns, the brand, with our help achieved its goals and positioned the company for future growth.
By John Thyfault, Vice President of Search and Social Media Marketing
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