Southern LINC sells integrated digital wireless communication services to businesses in Alabama, Georgia and parts of Mississippi and Northwestern Florida. The services are complex and sell best from a bricks and mortar store where a sales rep can fully explain them.
Over the past year, Southern LINCs store sales reps noticed that they had twice the closure rate with foot traffic generated by the Web than any other type of marketing. (The yellow pages were in second place.) So, Southern LINC asked their agency Kilgannon McReynolds to create an online campaign to help them grow more store foot traffic. Michael Reineck, Kilgannon’s Principal and CTO told us the details.
Kilgannon realized the “noise” of other ads on the Internet could drown out their banner message, so they decided to compete by making Southern LINC’s banners noisier -- literally! The agency developed three Enliven rich media banners, each using video and audio. “Cha-Ching” used the sound of an adding machine, “Baseball” had the sound of a bat hitting a ball and “2001” featured the theme of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
The audio was “noticeable, turned up almost to the point where it could be annoying depending on how much you had your PC’s volume up.” Viewers could interact with the banner to turn the audio down and/or click through to a jump page featuring info on Southern LINC’s cost savings. But the banners held enough information about Southern LINC to stand on their own, driving traffic to stores without the need for a clickthough.
The banners ran from June-July 2000, for a total of 5-6 million impressions on zip code selected sections of The Weather Channel and regional business oriented sites such as Access Atlanta.
Result -- 14.45% of viewers interacted with the banners for an average of five seconds each. This means they “had mouse activity” within the banner -- not that they necessarily clicked through -- although Southern LINC’s site traffic did go up 18% over the prior month. The Baseball and Cha-Ching banners were equally successful with 2001 trailing behind.
NEXT STEPS: The campaign’s been so successful that Southern LINC is now considering other online marketing methods, including a “non-traditional linking campaign, search engine optimizing, opt-in email, looking for ad opportunities with newsletters and discussion groups, and online PR.” They are also exploring the idea of using rich media banners to capture opt-in email addresses.
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