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CASE STUDY: How to Market a New iPhone Case

Boosting Sales of Durable Mobile Phone Case

by Francine Martindale





To boost sales in the case where a paid search campaign is happening already, the first thing I would want to do as the Marketing Manager of the company is an audit of what is happening with the brand online now. I’d be keen to know:

· What are the business goals of the company, and what were the marketing goals of the paid search campaign?

· How successful has the paid search campaign been in reaching these goals? How much traffic did it drive, and where did it drive the traffic to? Is our goal now to reach these original sales goals, or to set new goals?

· Was there awareness created about this new iPhone case product? Did the company have a successful lead nurturing system in place, and how much of this can be used for our social media marketing campaign also? If there were places in the funnel where potential customers fell out instead of proceeding to a sale, what were they and can our new campaign address this?

· Were people engaged with the current campaign? In what ways? Was any lead information gathered about them (email address, mobile phone number, name, etc.), and where is this information kept? It will be ideal if this is being stored in a database that is linked to systems that can make use of it easily, such as email management systems like MailChimp, SMS management systems, or within social sites, such that we can reach out to fans and followers there.

· What was the creative and messaging of the current SEM campaign, and should our campaigns in other channels follow this, or do we believe it would be better to come up with new creative?

· Can we assess how many buyers were repeat customers already in our database, vs. new customers? Is our database set up to gather this information in this way?


With the answers to these questions, we will be able to better plan our new digital marketing campaign.



SETTING CAMPAIGN GOALS


From this research, we can then discuss with our management team about their corporate goals, and establish marketing goals for this digital marketing campaign. SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) that allow for a range of outcomes from desired minimums, to expected likely outcome, to best possible maximums should be agreed upon now. The two key metrics to watch will be: Revenue Engine Effectiveness (Total Revenue/Total Marketing and Sales Spend), and ROI by channel as measured by Cost-per-Conversion by channel so that we can adjust the campaign as it unfolds to optimise the outcome, however, there are many more metrics we will track once the campaign begins.


Our sales goals here may be derived by being equal to or more than the sale of previous models of our iPhone case covers if we’ve sold others, or based upon our expected market share vs. competitors, factoring in actual iPhone sales trends of the model this new case is for. Specific marketing goals to achieve this will be mapped out in our planning.


TARGET MARKET


If the search campaign has been unsuccessful, then I would want to re-examine whether we have correctly identified the target market for that. In these new digital channels, we will be able to target people based on a variety of traditional demographic data points, behavioural and psychographic information, geographic location, and even the mobile model that they are currently using. I would want to research current and likely users of protective iPhone equipment. This could include:


· Young people under 25, skewing male

· Adventure sports enthusiasts ages 18-35 (skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing)

· Secondary target market of other sports enthusiasts (hockey, football, tennis, etc)

· GoPro owners; Jeep and Range Rover owners

· MMORPG gamers (who play first-person shooter video games)

· Outdoorsy hobbyists- campers, and amateur paramilitary

· Apple product enthusiasts/mobile phone owners

· Likely to be primarily suburban

· Likely to be at least high school graduates

· Middle income to upper-middle income (lower incomes may not be able to afford this or afford iPhones, and high income earners may feel they can easily replace damaged phones, and care more about case aesthetics than protection).

· Psychographically, people who believe they are rugged and need protective equipment.


If there are existing customers in our database who bought other iPhone cases previously, it could be worthwhile to test targeting them, as iPhone users frequently upgrade their models, hence they may need a new iPhone case.


More information from our company could help to pinpoint which market the primary target audience might live in, which will inform which geographies we would want to target first. Also understanding where they consume online- what the habitual touchpoints of our core target personas are- will also help us to understand better which media channels and methods we should use to advertise to them.



CHANNELS AND TACTICS


We will want to determine the ideal role for each channel, and then determine the channel mix and timing, creative a seamless blend of paid media and owned and earned content so that the target customers can easily flow through our marketing funnel with minimum friction. When allocating the budget, we will start with “highly targeted, lowest cost channels”1 first, and then add the next best channels to the plan until we believe we will reach our goals. If the budget has been given to us by management, then we can advise on whether we believe it is too much or not enough; if we are creating it, we can advise on what we believe should be spent to achieve the goals and map out the timeframe too.



With a goal of sales, we will need to drive people all the way through the whole marketing funnel, from awareness, to perception, engagement, consideration, and then acquisition. We can use a combination of different digital channels in order to do this. Here is the channel mix I would recommend using:


CHANNEL: YOUTUBE- For Awareness and Consideration of Brand and Product.

90% of Americans 18-24 use YouTube, so we can reach a large percentage of our target market here in a number of ways.

YouTube Content Marketing: Firstly, we should create videos for our own channels to show how durable the case is in a fun, entertaining way, and sponsor these to reach a wider audience than just organic. We can also benefit from the YouTube algorithm to promote it to our chosen demographic as well as contextual matching to people who already watch this kind of content. These videos will help tell the story of the brand and product, as well as build trust in the brand positioning. We can also partner with Influencers who review these kinds of products to create content for their channel, and pay to promote that too.

YouTube: Advertising- We can create short pre-roll ads to raise awareness about the product, and drive click-through traffic to our landing page highlighting the features of the cases, and where page visitors can make a purchase.

YouTube: Text ads- to retarget people who have watched our long-form content videos or seen our video ads. These ads would lead to our landing page to learn more about the product with the option to make a purchase there, or submit their email address to hear more about the brand and this product.


Influencer Partnerships- Content could be created with YouTubers, Instagram stars, and Bloggers who each already have a sizeable following, and are known to review phones and related equipment. This will reach a wider audience that already has this interest, and could be keen to buy heavy duty phone cases. It would definitely build brand awareness and positioning, and build trust in the brand and product. This content can be promoted via our own channels (paid social, owned social, display), as well as via the Influencers’ channels. We can also partner with podcasters who cover this topic to create sponsored content with them, or allow them to interview our CEO or product developers to boost authenticity.


CHANNEL: FACEBOOK. For Awareness, Engagement, and Consideration.

Facebook enables advertisers to target by interests as well as demographics and other factors, so we can go deep here to reach our specific core target market.

Facebook Native Ads- This campaign should use paid Facebook ads, which typically have a high reach and low cost. I would use them to reach 25-35 year-olds, with one campaign targeted to the adventure sports and regular sports demographic/GoPro enthusiasts (each audience with its own trackability), and another campaign aimed at video gamers (with possibly a sub-group of the paramilitary hobbyists, depending on whether the creative will work for both). Over time, we would be able to see which group is making more purchases, and to put any unallocated budget toward reaching more of those people. These ads can be targeted to go into the newsfeeds of Facebook mobile iPhone users.

Facebook Content Promotion- We can promote our long-form video content on Facebook, not just on our own page, but with sponsored ads to reach more people that could match the demographics of our existing buyers. These can click-through to our landing page.

Facebook Live Event- A special event could be planned to invite viewers to watch us test our cases in a drop test, live on Facebook (co-livecast on YouTube, and Instagram Stories). Viewers can sign up to our mailing list at a link to a dedicated landing page during the live event to get a special discount promo code. In this way, we would capture their information to continue to nurture them as leads, by later sending them a series of emails to warm up their interest in making a purchase.

Facebook Display Ads- Great for showing retargeting ads, we can remind site visitors about our product, and convey a message that will help to drive the sale.

Facebook ChatBot- We should set up the chatbot in Facebook to answer common questions about the product, and link to the landing page, where appropriate.


CHANNEL: INSTAGRAM- For Perception, Engagement, and Acquisition.

Instagram Promoted Content- This can be used to share cool visuals and short videos of the product, and connect via hashtags to people interested in durable phone cases. We can pay to sponsor posts to reach more of our target demographic here, creating a native ad experience. These posts can then link back to the product website page, so people can learn more about it and make purchases there. 95% of Instagram users are under 353, which matches our demographic.


CHANNEL: TIKTOK- For Awareness, Engagement, and Consideration.

TikTok Videos- TikTok reaches a younger target market- the youngest that we would be aiming at and may have missed on Facebook as the age gap is becoming more separate between these two channels. Here, we can boost awareness and brand/product perception, and strongly encourage the target market to create their own content using or about our product to share with their friends. Creating TikTok-specific vertical video content that is fun and entertaining, could help our company connect with a segment of our target here. This can lead them to the next stage of our funnel, for consideration or conversion at our ‘buy now’ product webpage.


CHANNEL: KICKSTARTER- For Awareness, Consideration, and Acquisition.

Kickstarter Page- This durable iPhone case product may be well-suited to marketing via emerging marketing channel, Kickstarter. Kickstarter’s model focuses on matching innovative tech products to people who are willing to fund their development and launch, and want to own the product when it’s first available. The platform increasingly offers social features, where users can see what other users have funded, and follow certain categories. The demographic of people who visit Kickstarter matches who we should be targeting for this product, and people who use the site are already in a mindset to ‘buy’ interesting, new tech products like ours.


CHANNEL: TWITTER- For Awareness, Perception, and Engagement.

Twitter Promoted Tweets: This channel can be used for awareness and engagement, to promote content from the blog and video channels, linking back to it to draw people to our website for product consideration. On Twitter itself, we can engage in conversations about the product. Twitter’s demographic matches that which we are aiming to reach, as it skews male, and under 294. We can find our target customers on Twitter by targeting Promoted Tweets by location, interests, and keywords/hashtags that they follow.


CHANNEL: SPOTIFY- For Awareness.

Spotify- Our target demographic heavily uses Spotify. Using creative involving the sound of mobile phone glass breaking would get the attention of listeners, where the ad can go on to explain that this mobile phone case will end that sound for users. We could also create an extended remix of its ad theme music, reiterating the message that it’s OK to drop your phone as it won’t break inside this case (ie. “Drop it, rock it, you can still talk it…”). If possible, having a famous musician involved in the production would be ideal, and suitable for this channel.


CHANNEL: DISPLAY ADS- For Awareness and Consideration.

Google & Site-Specific Display Ads- Clickable display ads can be a part of our awareness media channel mix, with some ads aimed at early awareness, and other ads aimed at people who have had some interaction with the brand already, and are being re-targeted. We could also place sponsored content into tech equipment magazine websites. Both can lead to landing pages with corresponding messages to learn more or buy now.


Buying these ads programmatically will maximise our ad budget’s effectiveness in reaching the target audience. This would also mean that geography and channel could be considered in conjunction with where and when online our key target customer personas can be found, rather than missing opportunities to reach the right people because we have bought ad space on a specific website or time. This may also help us to reach people in ways that make it easy to order this product from whichever device they are on, be it mobile or desktop. Working with a programmatic team can also help to get insights into their recommendations for advertising efficiently online through them.


We would set aside a sizeable portion of this budget to ensure that these display ads are shown on mobile iPhone devices, with a click-through call-to-action to a landing page with a ‘buy now’ option.


CHANNEL: Out-of-Home Advertising- For Awareness and Consideration.

OOH- If the budget allows, it would be great to reach more of our target market via OOH advertising, at places where young people gather, such as malls, rock concerts, and sports stadiums. We would follow the recommendations of OOH media owners as to the demographic matches of locations that we’re looking to find and times of the day or week to place the ads. Our short video ads could be appropriate to play here, with a QR code link to our product landing page.


It would be wise to share with the company management which channels we are not using and why. For this campaign, we would not use LinkedIn, as this product does relate to people’s careers and this channel has a formal business connotation with a lot of B2B communication, while we are marketing a consumer product, which is B2C. We would not use Snapchat, as the demographic there may be redundant with our target market already reachable on other channels, likewise with Reddit. We also would not plan to use Clubhouse or Houseparty, as these channels are still being established and may not have adequate reach for the effort and cost that we would have to put in to advertise effectively there. We also won’t use Pinterest, as it is not a good demographic match.


CONTENT TYPES & MESSAGES


Our company is marketing an iPhone case that is extra durable. This unique selling point will be a benefit to people who need a rugged phone that can take being knocked around, hence our messaging should highlight this benefit and address the pain points that the target market might have with regard to phone protection.

The core demographic we are targeting is a digital native generation, hence, they are ad savvy and don’t like interruptive ads. As such, I would recommend leaning toward using native ads where possible: In-stream ads that blend into social media news feeds, and match the form of content of its host page on channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. This also needs to be mobile content compatible, as more and more people use their mobile devices to access these and other sites.


The ads in this campaign should all have a consistent look and feel, matching the overall brand tone and aesthetics. Creating videos and graphics that demonstrate the product benefits in a way that appeals to our target market, especially if done in an entertaining way, could lead to extra content shares and views. Ideally, these videos should still get our message across without sound: Including subtitles could be something that we A/B test. If the budget allows, we can customise content for each channel. If not, we will create custom content for core channels, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Display Ads, and re-purpose this content on secondary media channels in our marketing mix. These will likely include:


Video- Long-form, horizontal videos for YouTube, Facebook (under 2 mins), and Twitter (under 30 seconds).

Video- Short-form 15 second ads for YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter; square format for Instagram.

Video- Short-form vertical videos- for TikTok


Display Ads- In all formats necessary for still graphic ads to be displayed on networks such as Google, Facebook display ads, and programmatically across networks that we choose.

Carousel Ads- for Facebook


Mobile Ads- Mobile-first ads which take into consideration technical requirements of mobile.


Landing Page 1- Should be clear and focused on the call to action to ‘buy now’.

Landing Page 2- Would be used to gather contact information (name and email address) to start a lead nurturing process.

We could possibly create device-specific landing pages, so that potential customers are sent to a page that corresponds to the model of mobile device that they have, even if not the core one that we are advertising in this campaign.


When choosing which channels to use to place our ads, we should bear brand safety in mind, and be sure to blacklist any topics or websites that do not fit with our brand’s values. These may be political, ethical, or otherwise contentious in areas that the brand does not want to be mired or associated.



METRICS TO MEASURE


As mentioned as part of our original goals, the key metrics to measure overall in this campaign will be:


1) Revenue Engine Effectiveness (Total Revenue/Total Marketing and Sales Spend),

2) ROI by channel as measured by Cost-per-Conversion by channel where trackable.


We will want to know what the campaign’s effect on total sales of units is and whether running this campaign was financially worthwhile, as well as which of our channels are performing best, and whether they are doing better than the existing SEM campaign. Throughout the campaign, we will also monitor and analyse metrics that will help us optimise our campaign. These include:


AWARENESS- to see how many people are being exposed to our message.

· Total reach & effective reach in each channel; views on video channels such as YouTube (partial and full)

· Reach by demographic segments; Total coverage, Frequency.


ENGAGEMENT

· Click-Through Rate- Traffic to the landing page from each channel

· Social media engagement: Engagement and shares by ad/post on each channel

· Website visits, duration of website visits over time, pages visited, page drop offs


CONSIDERATION

· Total form fills for more information; growth of number of names in the CRM

· Total clicks on ‘Buy Now’ buttons

· Cart abandons (as a % vs. completed sales)

· Total traffic to the website

· Leads generated by channel

· Email open rate


PURCHASES

· Total purchases by channel (using ‘any’ touch attribution)

· Cost per purchase


LOYALTY & ADVOCACY

· Product rating average from post-sales reviews

· Content shares

· Net Promoter Score


Metrics such as total reach, frequency, click-through-rate, video views, website visits, newsletter signups, and social engagement rate will help to inform our campaign along the way, and allow us to make best possible decisions about what to optimise about our campaign. Total Page Visits vs. ‘Buy Now’ clicks, and cart abandons will help us understand if there are problems with our lower funnel sales closing.


THE MARKETING STRATEGY IN ACTION: OPTIMISATION


Once the marketing plan is underway, we will closely monitor and analyse it to optimise it as much as possible on a regular basis so as to get the best possible ROI. Areas we may adjust include:

· Target Market- We may need to broaden or narrow our target by either the customer persona demographics, psychographics, geography, or other parameters.

· Channel Mix- It is likely that we discover that some channels are performing better than others, hence we will adjust our efforts to be on the channels that deliver the best ROI for our goals. We will also watch for message timing, to discover if there is a best time of day to put out ads and related content.

· Ad Content Creative- By running A/B tests of different creative versions of our ads, we can see which ones deliver the best results, and put more budget behind those vs. others. This may mean we vary the visuals or message or call-to-action (“CTA”).

· Programmatic Bidding Strategy- We can monitor the results from the programmatic ad buys, and maximise their efficiency by adjusting our bidding strategy here.

· Landing Pages and Website Content- One of our landing pages may work better than the other; we can support the better one. Similarly, if visitors are dropping off our site from certain pages, we can change those to make them more effective or look at the flow of the customer experience to ensure that it is smooth and logical.



OTHER CAMPAIGN CONSIDERATIONS


There was no specification of where these cases are being sold, so I would want to know what the target geographic markets are, but without this information, I would presume that this type of product is available online at our own website, and possibly from shopping sites such as Amazon, and deliverable across America or the world.


It would be helpful to know the timeframe for sales goals, then we can create the timeframe for this marketing campaign, and budget. I would also need to know what the selling price of the product is, so we can be sure to have a positive ROI per product sold. Would the company be willing to give a discount in order to secure a sale? If so, we can set up a pop-up on our website to capture this visitor’s name and email address, to offer them this discount to complete the sale, or other promo codes from other channels.


We would need to agree with our management team what the attribution method will be for any leads generated and sales from digital channels. This may be a ‘first touch’ attribution method, or attribution shared across several touchpoints. We may need to work with our sales or finance team to access our CRM, and sales data, so we can fully see if our goals are being met.


With more information, we can make better decisions as to which methods of retargeting to apply. Some of this additional information will come once the campaign begins, but other pieces can be agreed upon ahead of time (such as the ideal sales geography, or existing customers that can be targeted or modelled to find more similar potential buyers).


We would need also to confirm what the creative will be, and convey the brand tone, and voice to any outsourced marketing personnel we contract, so that the campaign can communicate in a way that the target market will be expecting, and will sound authentic and resonate with them. We would also need to discuss the logistics of where source content is coming from- do they have staff which will create it, or will we, or a third party be creating it?


Lastly, it would be helpful to know whether there are any other campaigns running at the same time, so that these can be coordinated.



CONCLUSION


The goal of this, and all sales-based advertising campaigns, should be to focus on driving conversions. By setting SMART goals, and creating customer journeys that have minimum friction through the marketing funnel toward achieving them, we can ideally deliver a successful campaign to our stakeholders. Finding the right target customer personas, and engaging them with the brand should lead to not only increased sales for this product, but could set the company up better to sell other products in the future, either to this growing community of brand followers, or to new ones to be found using these same strategies. Our campaign will be successful if it meets or exceeds the goals that we set out to achieve.



END NOTES


1Britt Teravainen, MGMT 6650 Session 2__Strategy + Planning.pdf, Slide 14

2InfoCommunity, Social Media Statistics and Facts in 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5z8mOScYes (April 20, 2020) Minute 3:32

3Ibid. Minute 4:08

4Britt Teravainen, MGMT_6650_Spring 2021_Session4_Social.pdf, Slide 9.