Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Think Big Partners Helps Our Lady of the Presentation Reach 3rd Place in Kohl's Cares Program

Think Big Partners, under the direction of Herb Sih, and in collaboration with Paul Evans, president and CMO of Evans Media Group, have proved that social media marketing is not just today’s biggest fad, but is also a fundamental shift in the way the world communicates.  When Sih and Evans teamed up to promote the Kohl’s Cares Program, a program that rewards $500,000 to the top 20 most-voted schools via Facebook, the goal was to get Our Lady of the Presentation, a local Lee’s Summit high school, in that top 20.  The efforts put forth by Sih and Evans did not just land OLP in the top 20, but, quite remarkably, in 3rd place.

Think Big Partners became involved in helping OLP win the $500,000 when there were only two short weeks left in the program.  Upon involvement, Our Lady of the Presentation was in 75th place.  Not settling for anything but the top 20, Sih and Evans used the expertise they have in social media to help the school make its way to number three.  Sih actively promoted votes via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and emails.  The Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Free Press, and the Social Media Club were also immediately notified.  In the first 48 hours of Think Big Partner’s involvement, the school received 7,000 votes.  Evans worked just as hard with his team of Sarah Paxton, Evan Miller, and other Evans Media Group partners to use both social media and effective marketing strategies to bring OLP to the top.  Evans and his group also successfully utilized Twitter, Facebook, mobile media, e-mail, and local media outlets to promote the Kohl’s Cares program.  TBP then watched Our Lady of the Presentation go from 75th place, to 35th, to 17th, and then to 6th throughout the weeks. Because of the effective use of social media, OLP finished in 3rd.  

Think Big Partners and Evans Media Group have used social media to help their own community, but in return, their effective use of social media has also benefitted themselves.  Because the two have focused so much on social marketing programs, they are not only receiving brand recognition, but bonding and engagement with the consumer.  This, in the long run, helps to develop long-term relationships with all sorts of people.  Paul Evans notes that social media is “all about building relationships.”  Social media allows for word-of-mouth recognitions in exponential amounts.  When 78% of all customers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertisements, it’s hard to disagree.

TBP has done its part in transforming today’s marketing strategy from “word of mouth” to “world of mouth.”  When 96% of people utilize a social network, both positive and negative marketing can be spread simply by friends telling more friends.  Social media marketing is only predicted to grow faster and stronger.  It only took Facebook nine months to reach 100 million users, when it took radio 38 years, television 13 years, and Internet four years to reach only 50 million.  Social media is becoming one of the most important marketing tools in today’s business world, and when used correctly, can become extremely effective.  The effective strategies utilized by TBP and Evan's Media group prove that when a Kansas City small business and social media come together, everybody wins.

To see an example of how Think Big Partners utilized social media and helped OLP win the $500,000, check out this past TBKC blog.  

Written by Allison Way.  Allison Way is a writer and videographer for Think Big Partners and bizperc.  To read more of Allison's articles, please visit the Kansas City Entrepreneurship Examiner.  

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