A marqued improvement
Renault’s Koleos marque had a relatively small market share in Australia and Renault wanted to increase awareness of the versatile family vehicle with the key decision-makers in the purchase of such vehicles – women, in particular mums.
With a confidence in the quality of its product and against competitors such as GM Holden, Toyota, Mitsubishi and their commensurately larger marketing budgets, Renault wanted to increase quality leads, motivating people to test drive the Koleos.
Some of the core issues the campaign sought to address were:
- Renault is not generally on the consideration list for a new car
- it currently has a low market share
- coupled with a low share of voice
- it was late to enter the SUV market with the Koleos, and
- credentials in the SUV market were relatively unknown.
- Key to the campaign’s goal was delivering the message of safety and versatility – important factors for mums considering a family vehicle.
- With any word of mouth campaign, the vital elements in a successful communication are authenticity and advocacy, both of which were central to the Koleos blogger review campaign.
Women, in particular mothers, have taken to the blogosphere with élan, using it as a way to close the distance that has emerged as families no longer live in an extended community, and to share information and insights into family life and childrearing.
‘Mummy bloggers’ have carved out a significant niche online and were the clear choice of the types of influencers to engage in the campaign.
Core to the success of these mummy blogs is the authenticity of the communication. What they discuss and recommend must be real and relatable to their readership, or it will be regarded with scepticism.
With this in mind, the mummy bloggers who participated in the campaign were involved in its entire development, so what they eventually presented on their blogs was something that presented value for their readership, rather than being a paid endorsement, about which their audience is quite cynical.
The campaign began by identifying the top tier mummy bloggers and briefing them on the project, as well as building a relationship with them. Once the qualified bloggers were brought into the campaign, they were welcomed and briefed on the expectations for the campaign and the tailored program was developed in collaboration with bloggers.
When the program was established an information booklet, personalised delivery and briefing from a Renault representative were organised for the bloggers, with them to test drive the car for one month, and share their experiences with their blog audience.
The bloggers were sent an online survey to gather feedback on the campaign and an audience survey was sent out. The bloggers were also informed of the impact their participation was having on the brand.
The Koleos test drive program shared its core elements with each of the bloggers who participated. These elements included:
- to test drive the Koleos for a minimum of two weeks, a maximum of four weeks
- to write at least one review/post of the experience of test driving the Koleos
- to write about an ‘experience with the Koleos’ on the blog (sideways support)
- to run a promotion on the blog that encouraged users to experience Koleos (test drive or online), and
- to let their audience know about an exclusive purchase offer for the Renault Koleos on website.
- Each of the five bloggers was handed creative freedom to build something engaging and interesting to their audience: one blogger took the Koleos for a family road trip to the Zoofari experience at Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo and blogged about it – combining a test drive with an interesting and engaging family expedition.
- The creative execution also tapped into the bloggers’ motivations by allowing them to build engaging content for their audience (not just a review).
The campaign achieved very positive and authentic Koleos editorial across all blog sites – the bloggers genuinely loved the car, which generated many positive posts.
The posts also have longevity beyond the campaign period and still appear on the first page of search results.
The campaign delivered more than one million Koleos conversations as a result of blogger posts and more than 35,000 people engaged with posts about the Koleos during the campaign period. It also contributed to an increase in interest (79 percent) and ultimately consideration for the Koleos among those who read posts on the blogs.
Outlined are some of the key performance indicators of the campaign:
- authentic communication: the bloggers reached a combined audience of over 118,000 with a credible engaging message about the car with an average frequency of six-plus times
- conversations: from the blogger reviews we predict we were able to generate 1.2 million conversations about Koleos
- brand engagement: 33 percent of those who visited the blogs read one or more posts
- shifts in perception: 79 percent of people who read the posts were more interested in the Koleos after reading
- action: 36 percent of people who read the posts went on to seek additional information (online) and 18 percent mentioned taking a test drive (in person or online), and
- media permanence: when people are searching for Koleos test drive information the blogger reviews are featured in four of the top 10 search results.