Merkle (www.merkle.com), a leading technology enabled, data driven customer relationship marketing (CRM) firm and the nation’s largest privately held agency, today announced that it has been honored with an Internationalist Award for Innovative Digital Solutions in the Humanitarian category. Merkle was recognized for its work with USAA’s #HonorTheFallen initiative.
The goal of the #HonorTheFallen campaign, launched in May 2013, was to raise brand awareness for both active military members and veterans, while also generating goodwill on Memorial Day. The initiative was perfectly aligned with the USAA brand mission and identity. Harnessing the intimacy and immediacy of the Twitter platform, the program promoted brand messaging, increased engagement and generated advocacy surrounding the initiative. The program used Twitter’s new keyword targeting in timeline, which targets users who have tweeted a particular keyword. This approach allows the USAA brand to join the conversation without having to create it.
With over 60% of USAA’s engagement occurring on mobile devices, the #HonorTheFallen campaign topped all engagement metrics @USAA had seen from previous Twitter activity. ‘Promoted Tweets,” with rich media and keyword targeting, performed 57 times better than the brand’s previous promoted-tweet engagement rate average.
“Merkle and USAA are proud to receive such high recognition from the Internationalist Awards for the innovative digital strategy implemented on the #HonorTheFallen campaign,” said Paul Steketee, head of paid social and emerging media at Merkle. “The Twitter ads also proved significantly more cost effective than other online advertising. The simple Fallen Soldier Flag image proved to be extremely powerful because the image spoke volumes to our audience.”
The Internationalist Award for Innovative Digital Solutions demonstrates how social media shines in building brand advocacy. The winning solutions are an acknowledgement of how today’s marketing strategies are affected by the media and the technology revolution in the post-digital age.