Early Proof that Geolocation Marketing will Succeed

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A case study describing an early success utilizing the geolocation platform Gowalla to use expiring inventory to great advantage--in this case, tickets to a New Jersey Nets basketball game.

Text of Early Proof that Geolocation Marketing will Succeed

  • 1.Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010

2. 2 A new social campaign and partnership between the NBAs New Jersey Nets and geolocation platformGowalla developed and facilitated by VaynerMedia that accomplished its market place objectives whiledelivering unexpected results.Objectives - There were 3 overarching strategic and tactical objectivesTo prove what geolocation platforms can deliver in the event marketing space. Specically: Willthe right brand(s) and incentive, combined with a targeted consumer campaign move the needle. To conrm that geolocation is a viable marketing program option, in the broader context of theNets rapid strategic marketing commitment to the utilization of social media platforms. Specically: The strategic and tactical use of geolocation as an in-market campaign would make theNets the rst professional sports team to truly embrace geolocation. To introduce a new consumer target demographic to Nets basketball, while providing a superbexperience for Gowalla users. Specically: Can these two brands partner to improve brand loyaltyand brand equity at a low cost. i.e., no marketing spend was allocated to traditional marketing(e.g., television, radio, print) or typical online marketing (e.g., banner ads, Facebook ads, etc.). Thetwo brand partners, via VaynerMedia, wanted to determine the viability of using Gowallascommunity to broadcast the campaign via word of mouth.Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 3. 3Based on the results of this campaign we have developed the following viewpoints: VaynerMedia is convinced that geolocation is a signicant business buildingopportunity for live events and expiring inventory (e.g. hotel rooms, conferencetickets, daily deals). As a result, VaynerMedia hypothesizes that in the near future, many of the majorsports teams (and live event organizers) will experiment with geolocationmarketing in order to create incremental prots from selling merchandise, food/beverages, parking and other value-added services. Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 4. Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 5. 5The New Jersey Nets is a team in the National BasketballAssociation, and a VaynerMedia client. Gowalla is a geolocationplatform that allows users to check in to physical destinationsand events, pick up virtual items, and redeem them for realrewards.VaynerMedia sees a great opportunity for geolocationin the events space, and we decided to organize a campaignthat would prove that business opportunities exist.The NetsGowalla What is Geolocation?Geolocation & BrandsGowalla is just one of many geolocationPartnerships between brands and geolocation platforms are (also referred to as location-based) starting to become prevalent. platforms. These platforms are primarily utilized from mobile devices, and allow users to check in to and engage with physical locations and events. Each platform takes a different approach. While some are more about the social aspect (e.g. where are my friends?), others are more about the gaming aspect (e.g. picking up, trading, and dropping items). Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 6. 6While VaynerMedia sees excellent value in otherVaynerMedias strategic concept was to utilize geolocation platforms,VaynerMedia chose to utilize Gowalla for *one reason: Gowalla placesGowallas item-based game mechanics to emphasis on virtual items which can beplace redeemable virtual goods, in the formredeemed for tangible prizes, which wereof Nets tickets, in the New York City area.fundamental to VaynerMedias concept. *Please note: VaynerMedia co-founder, Gary Vaynerchuk, is an investor in and advisor to Gowalla. With that being said,Gowalla dropped 250 pairs of VaynerMedia will always work with the best platforms for our clients. This includes upcoming projects with FourSquare.tickets within 75 miles of IzodCenter, the Nets home arena, inEast Rutherford, New Jersey.This is an item Gowalla created in a partnership withAdobe. Users who receivedThe campaign targeted sports this virtual item also receivedthemed and outdoors locationsa free copy of Adobe CS5.in order to reach an audiencethat was either enthusiasticabout sports or active. This is an item Gowalla createdin a partnership with Sweet Leaf Tea. Users who receivedTo extend the experience, virtual this virtual item could redeemgoods redeemable forit for actual cans of tea.memorabilia would be given outduring the game. Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 7. 7 On April 2, 2010 Gowalla released a post on their blog to ofcially launch the campaign. The following week, the Nets releaseda press release to highlight the partnership. Soon after these announcements, VaynerMedia began to see buzz on Twitter.While the initial coverage was predominantly positive, one article on Business Insiderhad a negative title. Near the end of the article, they stated, If this stunt helps bringfans in, it would [be] good for Gowalla. It would show that it can moveconsumers.Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 8. 8Buzz on Twitter continued over the next week. VaynerMedia saw positive brand sentiment from fans of otherfranchises in the NBA as well as the NHL. VaynerMedia also saw how surprised Gowalla users were with theconcept of obtaining a pair of virtual tickets that were redeemable for real tickets to a real New Jersey Nets game.Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 9. 9An important driver of the campaign was engagement from both Gowalla and the Nets. The exchange below is an example that features one lucky winner, and Andy Ellwood from Gowalla. The exchange below is another example that features one more winner, and the Nets brand on Twitter. Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 10. 10Virtual Location Winners were instructed to enter the IZOD Center and proceed to the box ofce. Upon arrival, the winners were directed to a Gowalla branded table where they were rewarded with t-shirts, stickers, and their tickets. We reminded users to check in to the event (top-left graphic above) to have a chance to win one of several jerseys the Nets provided for the campaign.Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 11. 11Of the 500 seats we allocated to this campaign, we were thrilled to have lled up 76 of them. This means 15.2% of Gowalla winners attended the game. We knew we had a great idea and exciting product (free entry to an NBA game), but at the same time we understood certain limitations that were out of our control. Why We See This As a Success1. This year, the Nets nearly broke the NBA record for most lossesin a season, nishing with only twelve wins. The combination ofunfortunate injuries and poor performance resulted in the Netsrecording the lowest home attendance in the NBA this season. 2. The tickets were redeemable for a Monday night game. Gamesduring the week typically draw a lower attendance than during theweekend. 3. The IZOD Center is extremely difcult to get to, especially forNYC residents via public transportation - a typical trip features a 45minute commute consisting of both a train and shuttle ride. Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 12. 12During the game VaynerMedianoticed many pictures being takenand many public twitter messagesbeing made highlighting theexperience Gowalla winners werehaving at the game.Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 13. 13During the games halftime, an announcement wasmade and displayed on the jumbotron, reminding fansto check in on Gowalla for a chance to win one ofseveral signed and unsigned Nets jerseys. Jerseywinners were instructed to proceed to a speciclocation in the arena to redeem their rewards. We felt that keeping Gowalla winners engaged, and introducingthe concept of being able to win free Nets merchandisethrough Gowalla to other Nets fans was an important aspect ofthe campaign.Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 14. 14After the game, several of the winners commented about their Several days later,VaynerMedia saw a conversation experiences that night, and thanked both the Nets and Gowalla. between two ticket winners who connected at the game.Material cannot be copied is not for publication or use without written permission form VaynerMedia LLC : info@vaynermedia.com Sunday, April 25, 2010 15. 15 Josh Williams, Gowalla founder & CEO, thought that the backbone of Gowallas business model was ... being able to move crowds to a single point and time. As mentioned earlier, Business Insider remarked that ... if this helps bring fans, it would show that Gowalla can move consumers. The campaign was able to drive attendance to the