American Express also known as Amex is a multi-financial company. Its headquarters is located in Manhattans in New York City, USA. American Express was established in the year 1850. Company’s most famous products are Travellers cheque, Credit Card and Charge card. It provides its services across the globe. With its financial service it has helped many big and small firms to succeed and grow in their business. With a motive of helping small businesses American Express created a campaign on Facebook and named it as “Small Business Saturday”. The campaign was for the moment to encourage customers to shop from small business and it was for a noble cause to help them. Let us look at how American Express leveraged Facebook and generated 28% more Revenue.
American express had 4 main goals for running the campaign they were as follows:
- American Express wanted to help the small business by bringing in the consumers into the local stores. Their mission was to helping small business to do business.
- They wanted to unite the U.S. consumers for a noble cause.
- American Express wanted to build a strong Relationship with its customers and
- American Express wanted to have at least 1 million fans to join this moment on the Facebook.
What was the American Express campaign objective?
John Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer of American Express says that we recognized the downturn had a big impact on a number of small businesses and that what they needed most was customers. Hence the company decided to have a moment of “Small Business Saturday” for increasing foot fall in small businesses. American express planned to roll out this campaign on the Saturday after Thanksgiving day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday—two of the America’s biggest annual shopping days. Hence it planned a perfect time to implement this strategy. Susan Sobbott, President of American Express commented that “Small Business Saturday is a demonstration of incredible drive around uniting American consumers to shop at their local stores and help businesses do more business”
American Express Facebook campaign Approach
As a first step they decided to use Facebook for the marketing campaign, as they think that the local business in the US can have a tremendous scope as consumer spend lots of time on accessing Facebook. Secondly local businesses have the presence on Facebook and Facebook also has a scope to define the target Audience according to their location, interest and behaviours which can help to promote the brand to the right audience. Further exchange of information also takes place through Facebook on their friend’s network which can raise the awareness among the people. Hence American Express thought using Facebook as a marketing platform will able achieves their goals by encouraging customers to engage more and gain maximum awareness compare to other social media platform. American Express launched a series of placement Ads which includes reach block Ads and Marketplace Ads which helps to direct to the small business Saturday moment Page.
American express created a clear call to action for all the consumers who participated in the movement of helping the small business, the participants were received a $25 credit when they spend $25 using their AmEx card to buy from a local shop that i.e. from small business.
American express also offered 10,000 businesses to advertise free on Facebook, they also provided them all the materials required to promote the event. Many of these small businesses had a presence on Facebook but they have never ever advertised on the Facebook platform, American Express inspired them to use this medium to achieve success. Small Business had a fair chance to experience Facebook.
American express received a tremendous response. They increase a fan base by million and half of the people on Facebook supporting them for the Small Business Saturday. Awareness of this campaign was made to hundred million people by promoting and that too in only two and half weeks’ time.
The partnership of American Express with the Facebook was very successful in promoting themselves, Sell of their Amex card, help Facebook by encouraging small business to use this platform for advertising for free as well helping small business by driving this movement of Small Business Saturday. American Express when compared the metrics they saw a positive difference of those who using Facebook as the source of awareness against the business that did not use the Facebook by connecting with the Small Business Saturday.
Small Businesses on the other hand saw the rise of 28% revenue compare to the previous year which was only 9% for all the retailers. This movement have impacted positively on these small businesses
Facebook was very effective in attracting the public by driving the awareness.
More than 10,000 0f small business owners downloaded the Point of purchase terminal required for Amex card and Promotional materials for Small Business Saturday Facebook Page, 10,00 small businesses also signed up to receive free advertising on Facebook which benefited American Express.
Over 1.4 millions of people joined the Small Business Saturday movement by liking the page on Facebook. Which means American Express fan base increased drastically and now brand can reach over 100 millions of fans and also with their connected friends on Facebook for branding.
Small Business Saturday received around 3000 mentions in the press release.
Facebook helped American express to create a community and mark a credible success to Small Business Saturday moment. American Express created a campaign in such a way that it became a community hub for the Small Businesses. They created a 360 degree movement by using cross media campaign on Facebook platform which complimented their campaign as they had a PR strategy, advertising Strategy partnership strategy and public official strategy for business around the small business Saturday campaign. There was a worthy chain between all the pieces of strategy which uprights the movement at a scale to achieve a success. As we can see that from the results, American Express and Facebook connected so well by applying this strategy which get them the overwhelming response and fame by their noble cause of helping others which inspired the nation and gain trust in the brand and increasing their fan base.
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