Magnum is a leading innovator in NATO approved military boots, high performance combat boots, sandproof desert boots, safety boots and tough work boots. The brand developed the Elite Force 8.0 WPI boot, revolutionary footwear for the uniformed services that uses ‘Ion-Mask’ technology to make it waterproof and blood born pathogen resistant, and needed an innovative campaign to launch the product worldwide.
Digital Marketing agency 9xb was appointed to develop and implement a strategy that would drive product visibility and awareness globally, create brand advocacy, and drive word of mouth. The agency looked to social media, developing a brand community for customers to interact and add value to the brand.
From qualitative research the 9xb team identified and defined Magnum’s online audience and their online behaviour, in particular the type of dialogue they had within the digital community.
Through this, a strategic framework was developed around the concept and tagline, ‘Field Testers Wanted’, in order to recruit brand ambassadors. This played on the fact that the majority of Magnum’s customer base were in the uniformed services and Magnum’s overarching strategy was to attract advocates through the usage of their products.
Whilst Magnum Boots had existing presence on the most popular social media networks (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), these channels were deemed unsuitable for one-to-one dialogue with customers, as the discussion would have been open to view by the general public.
Therefore, an exclusive brand community was developed to present a platform on which Magnum consumers could interact and add value to the brand. The community was to act like a catalyst to drive word of mouth further afield, with incentives given to advocates to encourage them to promote the product within their own social networks.
The campaign call to action invited the general public to become ‘Field Testers’, encouraging the consumer to demonstrate their loyalty to the Magnum Boots by uploading content to either the main community or onto social media sites.
Field testers were encouraged to sign up for an account on the website and were then asked to submit one or more pieces of content to support their application: a YouTube video of themselves wearing their Magnum Boots in action or testing them in any setting; images of themselves using their boots uploaded to Flickr; testimonials or reviews of the product to be syndicated out to Magnum’s social media platforms; or a social bookmarking submission commenting about the Magnum brand.
Following submissions, the Magnum Boots marketing team reviewed the applications and depending on the quality, the user could be awarded ‘Field Tester’ status. The new Field Tester would win a free pair of boots and became a brand ambassador for a year.
Within two months of launch the website was within the top five results for the search term ‘Ion Mask’, with references across 75 personal and industry related blogs.
The call for field testers generated over 1,000 applications across 131 countries, with a select 35 becoming full time Field Testers. Over 3,500 pieces of user generated content were submitted, including 150 YouTube videos (ranging from people falling down stairs to soldiers filming themselves in Afghanistan), 1,500 likes and mentions across the web 2.0 community. In the first six months, the website generated 29,324 visits, of which 82% were new visitors and total visits over the lifespan of the campaign numbered over 80,000. The resulting online word of mouth developed over 1,500 natural SEO links within the first two months.
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