May 04, 2022
Case Study

Customer Engagement: Marketing case studies from Coors Light, a professional soccer team, and a private jet charter


A customer touchpoint is a golden moment of marketing value.

Do you make the most of those touchpoints?

Customer engagement marketing can mean many things – loyalty, satisfaction, connected experiences, etc.

But above all, it means this – having a plan to make the most of these golden moments.

To help guide your strategy and spark your next great idea, read on for examples of customer engagement tactics that are simple (copywriting), intermediate (interactive marketing), and complex (cross-channel experiential marketing partnership).

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

Customer Engagement: Marketing case studies from Coors Light, a professional soccer team, and a private jet charter

This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

“The Marketer needs meaningful work and meaningful relationships,” Flint McGlaughlin taught in Above-the-Fold Energy: How to engage the prospect’s mind with a carefully crafted opening.

Those relationships can be with your business colleagues (a topic we frequently address in the How I Made It In Marketing podcast).

But you should have a relationship with your customers as well. So you can put yourself in their shoes. So you can better understand the customer experience.

Interact with customers through your social media, mobile, digital, and experiential marketing to strengthen that relationship, to foster an emotional connection between your customers and your brand and improve customer engagement.

To give you ideas for building a customer engagement strategy, in this article we bring you three marketing case studies. First, we start simple – a private jet charter company shows us that even if you don’t have the perfect optimized copy for an opening paragraph, just adding those few lines is more engaging than having nothing at all. Next, we bring you a more complicated tactic – the interactive marketing a professional soccer team used to improve data collection and fan involvement. And finally, the most complex – Coors Light’s experiential marketing partnership.

Quick Case Study #1: Private jet charter company gets 17% more inquiries after adding opening paragraph to homepage

Before we dive into our first case study, a few words about MarketingSherpa case studies in general. When we publish case studies where marketers offer up specific creative samples or strategies, sometimes we get letters critiquing the strategy or offering a reader’s advice on how to improve the creative.

So, a little word of caution. No case study we publish has a perfect creative sample. Or a perfect strategy. However, these case studies do offer real-world examples showing the copy and strategies your peers and competitors are using, how they’re executing their marketing campaigns, and what is actually working for them (or, in some cases, not working).

And each case study offers a broadly applicable lesson for marketers. Not from vague “thought leadership” ideas. From real world, down in the trenches, nitty gritty, do-or-die tactics marketers are using to serve their customers and hit their numbers.

While I might execute any of these campaigns differently, or you might, we’re not in these marketers’ shoes. We’re not dealing with their very real time, budget, and performance pressures. We are not (to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt) in their arena.

Or as Flint put it in Session #15, “Best is better than better, but better is still better than bad.”

With that said, let’s see what we can learn from how one entrepreneur made his marketing better.

The video had lots of great information. Flint did an amazing job explaining the topic,” said Kyle Patel, CEO & Charter Director, BitLux.

“In this video, Flint explained the need for relevancy and urgency in the opening paragraph. In our webpage, we also did that and tried to keep everything relevant to our customer base,” Patel said.

The jet rental company’s homepage had a that read “The Unique Private Jet Charter Experience.”

Below that subhead, the team tried to communicate the company’s unique selling point by adding an opening paragraph that read: “Our clients represent industry trailblazers. We think of ourselves as the same. With an efficient, premium service offering, charter your next journey with BitLux, and experience why we are the first and leading provider of private jet charter services through cryptocurrencies. Click here to check out the locations we serve.”

Creative Sample #1: Jet rental company homepage with sub-headline and opening paragraph added

Creative Sample #1: Jet rental company homepage with sub-headline and opening paragraph added

The team felt that its customers wanted to have the privacy and convenience of making anonymous payments with cryptocurrency. So, they stated that in the opening paragraph to pull the customer’s attention and achieve a "micro-yes" which leads the potential customer to read further down the page.

The added opening paragraph has reduced the bounce rate by 24.9%. The company received 17% more inquiries from potential customers regarding flights. And there was a 12.8% increase in ROI compared to before when the homepage didn’t have the opening paragraph at all.

“It’s actually astonishing that only adding a few lines to gain their attention could lead to such a huge impact. When we didn’t have that section people were coming to our page but didn’t engage any further. It especially helped with our call-to-action rate when someone landed on our page from ads,” Patel said.

Quick Case Study #2: Valencia Football Club leverages interactive content to collect zero- and first-party data, gain 5,808 new newsletter subscribers

Data has been called the new oil of the digital economy.

Sounds good at first, right? But then think about all of the problems that come with oil, from pollution to dependence on other nations. Which is why many businesses and governments are working to shift their economies off of oil.

There are similarities in data, as many businesses and governments try to shift data collection practices away from third-party data (like tracking cookies) towards zero- and first-party data due to privacy concerns.

Zero- and first-party data

Valencia Football Club (Valencia CF) sought to get to know its customers better by collecting zero- and first-party data. Valencia CF is a professional football club (or as we would say in the United States, professional soccer team) in La Liga, the top men’s professional division in Spain.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Valencia CF suddenly felt a significant disconnect from its fans when stadium doors were forced to close. No longer able to interact with them in person, it chose to accelerate its digital transformation, developing a data collection strategy and reinforcing its online presence to meet its supporters’ expectations from afar.

Zero-party data is defined as information that customers intentionally provide (for example, filling out a form, taking a quiz or poll, or entering a sweepstakes). First-party data is defined as information an organization gathers from observing customer behavior on its own properties (such as website traffic or A/B testing).

“Zero- and first-party data collection allows brands to establish more genuine relationships with their audiences. As consumers are involved in data collection and willingly provide information about themselves it becomes part of their experience with the brand,” said Quentin Paquot, CEO, Qualifio (Valencia CF’s data collection and interactive marketing platform).

Data collection and community engagement priorities

In March 2021, Valencia CF decided to start relying increasingly on digital animation to engage with remote audiences while lockdown measures were gradually being eased across Spain. The marketing team of six had four primary marketing objectives:

  • Grow its database by collecting new newsletter subscribers
  • Know supporters better by collecting valuable insights and feedback from them
  • Increase sponsors’ visibility by including interactive advertising formats within its offering
  • Engage its database through fun and interactive games

The club uses interactive formats to better get to know, monetize, and engage its community of fans not only on match (game) days but on a recurrent basis. Every week, the marketing team organizes a meeting to discuss the performance of its campaigns, plan the next ones depending on Valencia CF games or the sponsor they want to highlight, and brainstorm campaign ideas.

Collecting email newsletter subscribers

This is Valencia CF’s number one objective.

Originally, the organization struggled to get new newsletter subscribers and found that interactivity was an excellent way to collect first-party data by combining interactive formats such as quizzes, polls, tests and games, with opt-in forms.

For example, Valencia CF launched a poll that asked supporters to vote for their favorite new jersey. To validate their choice, fans had to fill out a form (first name, last name, email, date of birth, city), in which Valencia CF proposed a newsletter opt-in. As a result, the team managed to collect a total of 2,907 new newsletter subscribers in only 15 days.

Creative Sample #2: Favorite jersey poll

Creative Sample #2: Favorite jersey poll

“The goal of this campaign was to get as many new subscribers as possible. We knew that creating a short campaign with a new season jersey to be won would be a good incentive. So far, this campaign has been the most successful one for us in terms of subscribers collected,” explained Cristina Garcia, Digital innovation and E-commerce Analyst, Valencia CF.

Getting customer feedback

According to Garcia, listening to the club’s audience and understanding them better must also be a high priority. To achieve this, the football club uses product battles to collect zero-party data, gather customer feedback and find out what they like. The concept is simple: fans vote for their favorite product between two options, with the chance to win one of them.

All the data collected through these battles is then sent to the ecommerce shop’s managers. Thanks to these inputs, they know the fans’ preferences and can adapt their product stock accordingly or launch promotions and specific actions around the most popular products. This is also why Valencia CF launched its first product battle in September around children going back to school when the online and physical shops receive all their new stock.

In addition to the ecommerce shop’s managers, Valencia CF also sends all the data it collects to its mailing tool to send emails tailored to fans’ preferences.

Creative Sample #3: Product battle where fans can vote for their favorite products

Creative Sample #3: Product battle where fans can vote for their favorite products

Increasing sponsors’ exposure

As a football club, Valencia CF is committed to giving great visibility to its sponsors, both offline and online.

Garcia explains: “We give exposure to our sponsors through an ad disguised as a game. It’s a win-win: we get a lot of participation, thanks to the prizes proposed by our sponsors, and they get the views.”

For its sponsor, Zumub, a supplements brand, Valencia CF created a sudden death quiz promoted via its newsletter with eight prizes, such as vouchers, VIP tickets and signed balls. The quiz mixed questions about the sponsor’s products and the Valencia CF team. To boost participation, the club announced all participants would receive a €10 gift once registered — an incentive to turn anonymous visitors into identified fans and grow the database.

This sudden death quiz has so far been the game with the most participation, with a total of 4,242 participants in eight days.

Creative Sample #4: Sudden death quiz that mixes in questions about sponsor’s products

Creative Sample #4: Sudden death quiz that mixes in questions about sponsor’s products

Creative Sample #5: Prizes for sudden death quiz

Creative Sample #5: Prizes for sudden death quiz

Engaging on a recurrent basis

Valencia CF is using interactive formats regularly to keep its supporters engaged. For example, before every match, the organization publishes a prediction campaign with a regular prize.

These prediction campaigns are a great way to interact with audiences and help to build up the atmosphere before the match. As they are the most used campaigns by the club, Valencia CF has gathered excellent data and a few takeaways:

  • The club obtains better results when the prize is a free ticket for the next match. The second prize to bring more participation is the jersey, and a football is the prize that brings the least amount of participation
  • Instagram is the best channel to drive people to their campaign, but Facebook is the channel that has a better conversion rate, bringing most of the participation
  • The club only needs to publish two tweets on Twitter to get good results

In 10 months, the club created 82 campaigns, and collected 5,808 new newsletter subscribers with an average new opt-in rate of 14.3% per campaign.

With the pandemic now in the rearview, Valencia CF is able to strike a solid balance between in-person and digital engagement. Supporters have been back in stadiums for a long time now, but with its new digital engagement efforts, Valencia CF can interact with its global fanbase seamlessly, allowing them to feel more connected and involved with the club than ever before.

“We’re interacting with our fans, giving them occasions to spend great times with us through fun games,” Garcia said.

Quick Case Study #3: Coors Light gets 8M impressions by partnering with podcast for experiential marketing and brand activations

To drive engagement and brand affinity for Coors Light with authentic endorsements, the beer brand became the presenting sponsor of the podcast Pardon My Take’s 5th annual Grit Week in August 2021. “Authentic endorsement is the key to all podcast partnerships,” said Lisa Jacobs, VP of Media, Ad Results Media (Coors Light’s media agency).

Grit Week is an annual Pardon My Take (PMT) tradition. During this tradition, members of the podcast travel to different areas of the country to prove how much grit they have inside and out in an unpredictable fashion.

Marketing campaign objectives

The team at Molson Coors Beverage Company, which owns Coors Light, sought to weave the brand’s presence into the different facets of the show (audio, video, social, etc.) and leverage the loyalty of the PMT audience to help drive consideration across beer drinkers.

Cross-platform integration strategy

The PMT team traveled the country in a co-branded RV. They made stops at places like the Pro Football Hall of fame, at a disc golf course to play with a pro, and at a hot wing restaurant.

Creative Sample #6: Co-branded RV used on nationwide tour by podcast team

Creative Sample #6: Co-branded RV used on nationwide tour by podcast team

Each stop featured brand integrations such as product placement, merchandise, and co-branded logos throughout multimedia elements during the program’s activities and challenges.

Some of these brand integrations were quite simple, like a Coors Light logo on the background of a video interview. Other brand integrations were authentically woven into the content, like the time a PMT team used a member of their team who is colorblind and provided an opportunity to see color for the first time by using special glasses to see the blue mountains on a Coors Light can.

“Knowing that Grit Week is one of PMT’s most hotly-anticipated events, we created custom PMT X Coors Light cans and merch to bring the chill to the events, which received HUGE praise from fans nationwide,” said April Roberts, Associate Marketing Manager, Coors Light.

Brand campaign outcome

In total, 23 million minutes of Grit Week content was watched. The Coors Light brand received 8 million impressions and 166,000 engagements, the majority of which aligned with target demographics and top geographic regions for the Coors Light brand.

Related Resources

How Humana's Strategic Testing Drove a 60% Increase in Customer Engagement

Leveraging User Data: How a Canadian Automotive Maintenance Service Company Achieved Lift in Customer Engagement Metrics by Leveraging Data to Create a Personalized Experience

How to increase customer engagement through target marketing and personalization

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