Depending on the era in which you came of age, you might remember the Japanese electronics company Casio for something different. In the 70's, their electronic calculator was a popular choice amongst students. In the 80's, their electronic keyboards enabled budding musicians everywhere to tickle the ivories with a funky backbeat. If you ask a child of the 2000's, they're apt to respond that it is a great brand of wristwatches.
John Lauro, digital marketing manager of Casio USA, is responsible for all marketing initiatives online. Lauro started out with the company about five years ago, just as the company had launched its Myspace page. When he started, the big question was whether they should do the same on Facebook.
As a sales subsidiary of a global company, the main goal of social media efforts has been to drive traffic back to the websites, and ultimately to in-store that sell Casio products. Notions of creating community or influence were secondary to sales. John's team was tasked to look for new ways to reach new markets. By cross-promoting with other brands Casio has been able to reach wider, established audiences with there offerings.
A notable example was a promotion with Gears of War ®, a popular video game franchise created and owned by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Studios. The promotion included a third brand, Torneau as well as Casio's G-Shock brand watch. The star of the show was a Casio LampFree®, projector, a product primarily targeted towards a B2B market. Instead of just focusing on current purchasers, this campaign was designed to create more awareness with the next generation of AV equipment purchasers still in college.
Casio gave away 30 packages that included projectors, Gears of War, XBox, and watches. In the process, they introduced their LampFree®, projectors to fans of life-size gaming. In return, the brand's Facebook page garnered an additional 20,000 likes.
This campaign had the added benefit of introducing the brand to even more potential markets, such as life-size sporting events.
When asked about desired outcomes, Lauro said, "Our biggest goal is to drive traffic to stores so customers can purchase our product."
In addition to creating marketing alliances with other brands, Casio has also had success in creating content that helps to place the products in context with consumers. Lauro added, "What we try to do is to create unique content posts that our fans would engage with and share. We tie-up with clothing stores and designers having them take pictures of our watches with compatible products trying to reach different audiences- for example people who might be interested in sneakers might be interested in watches as males tend to wear and collect both."
Casio has been using Pinterest fairly extensively. Lauro describes their thinking around Pinterest in emotional impact: "we use Pinterest for a mood element; trying to show our followers who we think our watches represent- things that might relate to that follower so that we can ease in our product line to those consumers to show how our products fit that particular demographic."
In discussing the notion of frequency, he added, "there's only so many times you can reach out to the customer per day before they consider you spamming them. We try to create content around what's going on; what's relevant in the world - that we can relate to with our products."
Each type of business has unique challenges in social. For a global sales subsidiary, it appears that Casio has hit on the right approach to social. In closing, Lauro shared that the brand measures success based on how many people come back to the website to explore from social. "Social for us is our number one referral for our websites. That's why we will continue to expand there."
The Big Brand Theory is an exclusive column for Social Media Today written by Ric Dragon that explores the social media strategies of big brands, both B2B and B2C. Look for the next installment next week. Logos by Jesse Wells.