Monday, April 21, 2008

Case Study Monday: eROI and Wacom

Welcome to another edition of Case Study Monday. This Case Study comes to us from a conference up in Portland, Oregon, that Suzanne attended last week. The conference was an e-marketing summit called Innotech. eROI was one of the many companies who presented at the conference. They are a leading e-mail and interactive agency. They presented this case study at the conference, and we found it so compelling we thought we'd share it with you. We hope you enjoy this great example of using creativity to create a community -- and how eROI helped their client, Wacom, effectively utilize social marketing.

Wacom -- Power of the Pens, Building a Community Wacom products have become such an essential tool to digital artists. The company bridges the gap between fine arts and today’s digital workflow. So much so, in fact, that even those who have never used a Wacom product know the brand by name.

For this campaign, we wanted to share that connection of experienced and new artists. We wanted to turn brand awareness into full-fledged adoption. We did this by bringing in a group of experienced artists and asking them to document their creative process, and ultimately, share some final work.

We really wanted the participants to express themselves freely, so we tried to keep
the creative brief open — restricting artists never leads to great work. The only direction we gave was in choosing artists who represented 12 different areas of expertise that we knew would produce visually interesting work: graffiti, animation, flash, poster art, illustration, photography, air brush, graphic design, apparel, motionography, toy design and Portland’s cut & paste winner (a Wacom-focused art event).

To help focus the campaign, give it consumer relevancy and create a sense of time, we formatted the campaign around a wallpaper calendar. Each artist was tasked to create a month for the calendar, using their specific talent. As predicted through our strategic selection, the body of work produced was extremely diverse, and all produced using Wacom technology.

On top of the campaign highlighting the artistic potential Wacom offers, and pushing the connection to the artist community, we wanted to help increase direct sales through Wacom’s online store. To do this, we not only shared the 12 pieces of fresh art, and the thought process behind it, but also the making of the art and the tools used. This allowed us to work the product in for each artist without seeming pushy, but rather informative and helpful.

We called it the designer toolbox, and it worked out really nicely, highlighting a wide array of products from multiple pens and pen tips, to on-screen tablets and special edition tablets. The varied products in each artist’s designer toolbox, and the soft sell they created, allowed us to send an email for 12 straight days (a non-standard practice) without losing the interest of recipients.

Instead of consumers receiving product heavy calls to action, which can feel overwhelming during the holiday email push, they were receiving interesting content with tantalizing artwork. This artwork drove to the site where the wallpaper calendar resided. Again, the marketing was very subtle with the wallpaper highlighting the art, and only allowing a small Wacom logo to reside next to the calendar in the upper right. The beauty here, is that the logo gets placed on someone’s desktop for a year-long exposure. People actually choose to look at it and become evangelists.

The site produced a real community, spurred on by a glimpse at the professional artists, their process, their work environments and, perhaps most of all, by a user-generated independent digital art gallery. Building the artist profiles in a blog allowed for the community to offer numerous comments. To wrap up the campaign, the user-generated artwork with the most votes was selected to win Wacom’s new cintiq12wX.

We took our thinking beyond this holiday campaign, with the idea of a continued community built from the ground up for Wacom’s impassioned artistic followers. Utilizing the power of Wacom’s house list, we were able to promote the campaign site to a list of over 200,000 Wacom news subscribers. This list included all opt-ins who wished to receive information from Wacom (newsletters, product updates, etc.).

To help market the campaign, we used a small PR push from Wacom’s internal team and a banner ad placed on the Wacom America home page. Marketing was limited because the concept behind the site was to have the creative community do the promotion by uploading their art and communicating to their audiences that they want to win a new Wacom product.

The hope (and these days it's a good bet), was that members of this community would have blogs or some other communication methods to help draw people to the site. That means free advertising from artists embracing the site and encouraging folks to vote for their work on their blogs and various message boards. The goal was to have the campaign be entirely organic with no internal message board or blog seeding, really making it all about the artists and the work.

At the end of the 14 day campaign, over 61,000 unique visitors from all over the world had come to the site, over 2,000 user generated images were uploaded, over 150 comments were left for the 12 Wacom artists. Wacom added over 2,000 new subscribers to their house list A success? We think so.

That’s the power of the pens!


Ryan said...

Thanks so much Nancy for spreading the word on such an awesome campaign - Wacom really connected with their audience in building a powerful online community with

thx again!

Nancy Arter said...

Hi Ryan,
Thanks for your comment -- and congratulations on such a great success story! We're glad to spread the word. : )