Founded by Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita on May 7, 1946, Sony (Sony Corporation) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation , with it’s headquarters located in Tokyo Japan. Sony has primary focus on the electronics business (including TV, gaming consoles,music systems ,refrigerators), gaming, financial services and entertainment sectors. I tis one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of electronic products for the professional and the consumer markets. On the Fortune Global 500 companies list of 2014, Sony is on the 105th rank .
In today’s dynamic changing world, customers have ever changing needs that keeps on evolving with the dynamics of the market. Today’s consumer are more connected and engaged as compared with the consumer of yesteryear’s. Consumers, today are connected to the brands through mobiles/smart phones, personal computers, tablets etc they are bombarded with information in the form of mails sometimes the same one. Thus the interaction between brands and their consumers have increased due to the mailing activities. But in this multi-channel/multi-device world connection with the users just via email is not enough.
The most important thing in an email is its relevancy. This refers to how you create your email campaign in terms of the message it carries, customization and it’s timing based upon your knowledge about the customer at a given time. The idea is to attract the attention of the consumer at a particular moment in time and then use email to facilitate consumers to take next action, that is the specific reason why today email must connect the consumers with the brand at specific points in the life-cycle of customer , across all touch-points.
Email can engage, inspire, motivate and can become an essential part of an overall rich customer experience—but seldom it can do this all by itself. This case study servers a good case in point of how Sony Electronics leveraged combination of email with Pinterest, a social network platform that enables users to “pin” images or pictures on their digital “pinboard.” The result of this activity was a unique view of the users achieved by engaging cross-channel marketing, in real-time.
Business Objectives of Sony Electronics
In an attempt to drive engagement with users and grow the Pinterest profile, Sony Electronics developed a digital campaign combining email and Pinterest. The goals of the campaign were:
- Using email for spreading awareness about products among the users over and above the email channel
- Educating subscribers/users about social platform Pinterest, and the associated Sony Pinboards thus encouraging more usage.
- Leveraging the social content so as to increase user engagement via email.
Strategy/Approach adopted by Sony
Sony started off the campaign with dedicated mailers of Pinterest to it’s huge database of email subscribers promoting the Pinterest’s pin boards, educating users unfamiliar with the social platform Pinterest and at the same time inviting viewers to express themselves by “pinning” their favorite products. The strategy of promoting the social channel in the subject line proved quite crucial, as this email campaign was able to drive one of the biggest open rates around 67 percent above the goal for Sony Electronics.
The emailing campaign came out as the main game-changer. The launch mailers in itself were able to double Sony’s Pinterest followers and also at the same time helped driving 16 percent click-through rate over the goal. Other step in the strategy was after few weeks of the first Pinterest dedicated emailing campaign, the company continued the same campaign by re-sending the same mail to all those readers who had not open the email that was sent first time. This resend again proved to be quite effective as it accounted for a significant jump of almost 15 percent in the number of followers.
After introducing Pinterest as a part of email communications, the company adopted the strategy of bi-monthly e-mailers to the consumers. These used to include exciting visuals on the various product lines of Sony with a “Pin It” button strategically placed next to each image, thus keeping Pinterest at the top of mind and at the same time encouraging subscribers to include Sony’s products in their personal Pin boards. One of the very first of these promotional e-mailers were the launch of the new Sony VAIO Summer Line-up category.
Apart from promoting Pinterest and Pinboards, Sony also brought back the social content into the emails by adding Pinterest’s “most pinned” image banner along-with the top-pinned products each month. This reflected that the products have a social buzz around them at the same time this encourages greater interest in the audience for these items.
Results Achieved By Sony
The addition of the “Pin It” button in the launch email campaign produced an effective customer engagement with around 3,000 clicks to “pin it”. Overall the campaign was a hit and generated revenue to the tunes of 172 percent per delivered email goal.
Following are the learnings from this case study:
- The strategy was effective in a way as it successfully coordinated the integration of Pinterest’s “Pin It” buttons in the emails which helped in driving social engagement on Pinterest and subsequently Pinterest’s social content helped in fueling interest in services/products and delivered results in the form of more traffic/revenues. This again shows an efficient integration of different social media platforms helps us to achieve better traction.
- Email marketing can be an efficient tool in reaching your target markets. It can be prove to be an excellent tool in sending and re-sending communication to your specific target consumers.
The campaign helped Sony in increasing it’s email engagement and created opportunities for better customer involvement via Sony’s Pinboards. It helped in driving revenue for the brand and at the same time highlighted the opportunity of increasing social engagements through e-mailers, operating as an integral part of an overall integrated marketing efforts for all brands and marketers .
*Image Source(technobuffalo, econsultancy, socialmediaexaminar, blog.tailwindapp, digitalmarketingstrategy.ucd.ie, pure360, juanmerodio,blog.vigoratedigital)