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August 2010

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Qdoba in our Qmmunity

By Ground Floor Media

It is an exciting time to be in the creative marketing field-whether your role falls within public relations, traditional marketing or advertising. More and more companies are embracing social media with less re- luctance and are looking to their agency to dream up dynamic online programs that move the needle and con- nect with customers on a truly personal level. According to a recent Burson-Marsteller survey of the top 100 companies on the Fortune Global 500 index, more than one-half (79 percent) of companies are using at least one social media platform.

You do not have to be based in New York City, however, to drive cutting-edge social media programs. Colorado, and Denver in particular, has quickly become a launch- ing ground for award-winning local, regional and na- tional social media campaigns. Agencies across the state are paving the way for “what's next” within the social media realm and redefining how companies approach engagement, brand building, crisis communication and measurement across all of these platforms.

We asked a handful of Denver agencies what some of their favorite social media campaigns were in order to demonstrate the breadth of social media not only na- tionally, but also in this “cow town.”

Pure Brand Communications shared their Tweet-a-thon campaign, conducted for NCM Fathom, a division of National Cinemedia. Last March, Fathom partnered with global humanitarian organization CARE on a one-night release of the acclaimed documentary, “A Powerful Noise.” For every tweet containing the hashtag #apowerfulnoise, Fathom made a donation to CARE. Traditional media relations, combined with extensive blog and Twitter outreach and a well-promoted social media release, resulted in more than 2,500 Tweets in four days (the second trending topic on Twitter at one point), and most importantly, a dramatic increase in ticket sales to the event and a sizeable donation to CARE. Larry Hold- ren of Pure Brand Communications, reminds us that, “Although social media is a great arrow in a marketer's quiver, it's can't constitute an entire campaign. How well social media campaigns integrate and work with other components of the marketing program will, in the long run, determine success.”

Xcelente Marketing worked with the 2009 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention (USHCC) in Denver. The bilingual campaign included three concurrent, unique strategies to reach the diverse group of conference-goers. Attendees were encouraged to “tweet the fun” throughout the conference, while the organization's Facebook page served as a platform to disseminate important facts about topics being discussed at the convention. Attendees also engaged in conversa- tions in Spanish by visiting the USHCC's president's Facebook page. “By presenting information in Spanish 'from the eyes of the president,' followers experienced the convention from an insider's point of view. Spanish speakers received updates in their first language, which drew them closer to the leadership of the USHCC,” commented Toti Cadavid of Xcelente Marketing.

Who isn't familiar with Room 214's Talk to Qwest campaign to provide social media business intelligence, strategy and tactics for launching Qwest into social me- dia? Identifying a need to improve brand perception, the Talk To Qwest campaign successfully launched as a pilot program to help Qwest leverage Twitter for customer service. The results spurred Qwest into other areas of social media (Facebook), with the Talk To Qwest chan- nel demonstrating a 15 percent better retention rate than traditional customer service channels.

It was great to hear from other agencies about their favorite campaigns and we'd like to share one ours. GroundFloor Media had the opportunity to maximize the benefits of social media through a cause-marketing campaign for Qdoba Mexican Grill. We worked with Motive: A Hybrid Agency to develop the award-winning Qmmunitiy campaign last fall. Through the Qmmunity microsite, consumers were encouraged to nominate people who had worked to improve the lives of every- one around them through their own volunteer efforts.

Qdoba committed to donate $1 to Starlight Children's Foundation (up to $25,000) for every “action” taken in- cluding nominating, sharing and voting via e-mail, Face- book and Twitter. The top Qmmunity nominee won a donation to the charity of her choice and a Starlight Fun Center donated in her name to a local hospital. In all, nearly 260 nominations were received and more than 72,000 votes cast. We also conducted a media relations campaign to promote the effort, which resulted in more than 12.6 million media impressions.

Laura Love of GroundFloor Media explained, “The viral nature of social media allows good news to spread like wildfire, and the Qmmunity campaign was a great example of the power of social media. Since it was a truly integrated effort, we were able to maximize our clients' budget and achieve meaningful results.”

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