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From the Trenches

How the Ravens WOWed with Digital Marketing

Alecia Farley | January 26, 2012

I’m a huge Ravens fan and I like all things Ravens.  Of course I have season tickets, and I also wear purple on Fridays, have Ravens license plates, listen to talk radio about the Ravens to and from work, have Ravens collars for my dogs, bought a string of purple lights for the porch for playoff season…need I go on?

I’m also passionate about helping companies find unique ways to engage their customers and prospects through digital media. It’s rewarding to assist our clients with a campaign and then to see the positive impact it had at the end of the month.

Two weeks ago these two worlds came together for me when I saw a tweet from the Ravens about their Ravens Week of Winning (WOW) promotion.  WOW, as I found out, was a very well thought-out digital media engagement promotion.

Background on the Ravens’ Digital Marketing Efforts

Before getting into this particular promotion, I have to say that the Ravens excel at interacting with fans on many different channels.  They are on Facebook and Twitter, they have a mobile app, provide an SMS feed, have several eNewsletters from which you may choose, and keep their website fresh with a wealth of information.  I knew about all of these channels, but found that I used some, like Facebook and Twitter, more than the others.

About the WOW Promotion

The WOW campaign pulled people like me, who primarily followed the Ravens in one or two places, into all of the Ravens’ marketing channels.  Each day the Ravens would send out a special code fans could use to enter a drawing.  The Ravens used a different digital media channel each day to reveal the code.  On Monday the code was sent in an SMS message; on Tuesday it was in a tweet; Wednesday, on Facebook; Thursday in an eNewsletter; and on Friday in a blog post or news story on their website.

The Raven's Fan ZoneFor me, I was using everything but the SMS messaging, so last Monday I signed up for that.  Yes, I got my special code, and no, I didn’t win a prize (darn).  I don’t know why I hadn’t signed up for this in the past, but now I’m on the list.  This is a win-win: I have benefited by getting up-to-the minute updates and the Ravens have benefited by further tying a fan to the brand and growing their subscriber base.  As an aside, when I signed up for SMS messaging I was also notified that there was a mobile app I could get if I didn’t have it already – the perfect message for a heavy mobile user.  On Wednesday, when the code was on Facebook, I had to go the Fan Zone tab on the Ravens page and share a post on my wall to get the code.  This was smart, as I hadn’t gone to this tab before.  I previously read the posts on the Ravens wall but found this tab to have a nice summary of information of interest to me.  Also, by sharing a post saying that I was participating in the WOW campaign, I spread the word to my network of friends who hopefully participated as well.  Friday was a challenge for me.  While I couldn’t fit Friday’s more time intensive promotion into my schedule, this is a perfect way to get fans more engaged and exposed to the depth of content on the website and blog.

From the Ravens Beak

I happen to be in a marketing roundtable with Michele Andres, Vice President of Digital Media for the Ravens.  I was looking forward to seeing her this morning for our monthly meeting to congratulate her on such an interesting campaign.  When I asked her how it went and if she could share any information about the fan response, Michelle told me the campaign was “extremely successful – not only in the number of fans that participated and won prizes, but also in terms of increasing subscriptions to the various digital channels.”   She said, “This was the most successful digital promotion we’ve ever run. The prizes were great and it wasn’t difficult [for fans] to participate.  We know that at this time of year, our digital channels are getting a lot more exposure than normal. So, having a promotion that draws them in – and then hopefully exposes them to our great content and keeps them coming back – is the goal.

We spoke about all of the work that goes into coordinating a campaign of this size and she told me, “Week of Winning was actually an evolution from what we did last year which was Winning Wednesday. Imagine trying to fit what we did this year into a day – that’s what we did last year. Wouldn’t do that again!”  Like many organizations, The Ravens are continually evaluating their programs and looking for ways to improve internal processes as well as the experience for the fan (the equivalent of a client).  I look forward to seeing what they have planned for next year….aside from winning the Super Bowl.

Do you have an example of a great digital media campaign?  If so, please share.

Action Sports Photography / Shutterstock.com

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About Alecia Farley:

Alecia Farley is Project Director at Right Source Marketing, where she makes sure client projects run smoothly and on time, and improves and creates new internal processes to ensure that the Right Source machine runs efficiently. Alecia has a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Delaware. Learn more about Alecia on LinkedIn.