August 1, 2007, 12:00 AM

Putting Consumers to Work

(Page 3 of 3)

Hernandez says Logitech’s two main metrics going into the campaign were the number of contest entries and the number of contest viewers, with contest results exceeding original expectations on both counts. Logitech also dug into metrics such as registrations, the use of tell-a-friend e-mails and click-throughs on contest banner advertising. Though he did not disclose these results, Hernandez says Logitech is “very pleased, given that this is a demographic Logitech hadn’t previously targeted.”

Traditional online metrics were a lesser objective of this campaign, Hernandez explains. “I was more interested in brand awareness, product functionality awareness, growing the category and reaching that audience,” he says. Against these measures the campaign also performed well, he says.

He adds he was able to demonstrate to management how the campaign worked for Logitech and why it made money for the company by comparing its cost and return to traditional advertising campaigns. An added benefit over such campaigns was detailed information collected about how well the YouTube campaign hit the target audience as a function of being online.

Calculating ROI is a perpetual challenge in decisions about how to spend marketing money. This is one reason pay-per-click advertising has grown in popularity: It provides quantifiable information that directly tracks to traffic and sales. But in the quest to bring shoppers back to a site or a brand, marketers experimenting with consumer-generated video campaigns-as well as other forms of less-traditional customer outreach-are facing up to the fact that they need to do something more to bond with their customers than simply delivering them quickly to the opportunity to buy.

That is why at this early stage in the development of online video and other forms of consumer-generated content as marketing tools, the greatest value of such campaigns may not be so much in hard metrics but in the learning they provide.

“Some think the true benefit is the experimentation,” says Kates of ePrize. “To be a leader in marketing, you have to push yourself and your capabilities. If you wait for proven case studies where everything is documented, you could be left behind. So you invest wisely, and if you fail, you move forward from a learning standpoint.”

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