TCC is the largest Verizon Premium Wireless Retailer in the country. Since its founding in Marion, Indiana, in 1991, TCC has successfully launched over 1,2000 retail locations coast to coast.
The Project + The Challenge
Despite their massive size and tenured position in the wireless industry, TCC’s digital presence was non-existent. There were no social profiles, no email marketing, no paid campaigns, no blogging, no location management, no reputation management, and no community management. The company’s sole online asset was their extremely outdated website. After several conversations with key leaders within the organization, I was able to convince them that TCC was leaving thousands — if not millions — of dollars on the table by neglecting their digital footprint.
I was hired as the Digital Marketing Manager and charged with developing and executing a comprehensive digital strategy that incorporated traditional marketing, public relations, IT, operations, and human resources (for recruiting).
Additionally, TCC was not using any tracking tools to measure Return on Investment (ROI) from their traditional marketing efforts. I committed to developing a closed-loop tracking system for traditional marketing while building the digital strategy.
- Create digital marketing strategy fully integrated with traditional marketing, public relations, IT, operations, and human resources (for recruiting).
- Launch and organically build online community through creation of critical social media profiles: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+
- Drive sales through both new customers and existing customer referrals through digital promotion
- Devise cradle-to-grave closed-loop reporting systems for both digital and traditional promotions to track ROI and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) with precision
- Relaunch company website and establish blog
Projects & Tactics
Since TCC was starting entirely from scratch, the company was extremely hesitant to invest funds beyond labor into building the digital strategy. No money was allocated toward digital advertising for the first year. Identifying the target online audiences was vital to the success of this project. After seeing the power of organic online promotion, TCC was ultimately spending half a million dollars on paid advertising annually.
- Competitive analysis: TCC already knew who the other key players in the space were, but there hadn’t been any discovery work to identify their weaknesses and strengths. Thorough research resulted in a comprehensive assessment of competitors revealed the other companies had already established a foothold online, but their community outreach and engagement was inadequate. Basically, they were online, but they weren’t doing it right. I was able to seize this incredible opportunity for TCC to kick in the doors as the new kid online but as an established 20-year-old company.
- “Buyer” personas and action plans became essential in order to develop, grow, and engage with our fledgling online community. With a $0 advertising budget, understanding the interests, pains, and aspirations of our audience was our only hope of being able to increase targeted site traffic, leads, and conversions. These personas and crafting their accompanying campaign funnels was a pivotal ingredient to social platform recommendations, creating content assets that resonated with the community and driving conversions.
- Content strategy, calendars, and distribution plans were created to align with the overall digital marketing strategy, which outlined company goals, values, objectives, tactics, and forecasting. Content plans drove blogs, email marketing campaigns, and social publishing. In addition to building a new blog from the ground up, processes were put in place for content production, distribution, and performance tracking. Keyword glossaries were created, and SEO, SEM, and PPC plans were put in place.
- Reputation and crisis management were managed directly through the reviews on TCC’s many location pages across Google, Yelp, and Facebook in addition to proactive growth models by overseeing and collaborating with the outsourced PR firm, DittoePR.
- Barcode coupon tracking system was developed in close collaboration with operations to ensure traditional marketing promotions like direct mail, newspaper inserts, shared mail, or handouts were tracked precisely. This same coupon system was used in digital promotions to close the loop on attribution.
- Marketing & IT Stack Analysis meant understanding the site visitor path, working with and overseeing the existing IT systems, and conducting an internal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and action plan.
Results by the Numbers
- Established a strategic content plan that grew the email list from 0 to over 450,000 engaged subscribers while developing automated drip campaigns based on lead or customer behavior and triggers.
- Worked in close partnership with Operations and IT departments to create new internal products to enable customer-transactional data mining and intelligence opportunities which cut average marketing spends by 37%.
- Established all digital marketing programs including email, CMS, social media, search engine optimization, pay-per-click, local search for each location, and various forums.
- Existing customer “delight” and referral campaigns reminding customers to purchase accompanying accessories and alerting them when their contract was running out so they could buy a new phone at the best deal possible.
- Aggressive social, SEO, and SEM initiatives resulting in over 260,000 monthly visits to the site.
- Generated over $1.2 million in additional revenue solely from cross-channel digital campaigns.
- Paid online promotions consistently produced ROI in the 6:1 – 9:1 range.
Automation + Email Marketing = WIN!
Before our engagement, TCC had never activated their customers after the sale. I worked with operations to implement a new point of sale email collection field in addition to creating online-exclusive promotions that were email-gated. These initiatives grew the email subs from zero to over 450,000. Emails collected during purchase were segmented for automated drip campaigns based on their purchase history as well as their contract expiry dates. These lists were also used for seasonal promotions.
Social Media Organic & Paid
After a year of showing substantial profit and growth on a $0 social advertising budget, I was granted a 500,000 partial co-oped budget for paid advertising. We consistently produced ROI in the 6:1 – 9:1 range making digital marketing the most successful program in the history of the company, ultimately yielding $1.2million in cross-platform promotions.
Relaunched Website + Blog = Massive Visit Increase
The old website had not been updated in almost 10 years and it showed. I worked alongside the IT department to launch a new, responsive website supported by the content strategy with campaign-specific landing pages, split tested pages, and a blog that was updated weekly. The optimized site saw website visits increase from 36,000 monthly visits to 260,000 — a 622% increase.