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Showcase #2: Crouch, touch, engage

From mere shouting to engaging—how Ubiquity creates better connections

Auckland City's 'Listening Post'

Auckland City’s ‘Listening Post’ platform has deepened engagement with staff and citizens

Firing off emails to all and sundry, hoping someone out there will buy your product is a bit like sending a love letter in the form of a brochure. You might get wide reach—but plan for zero engagement.

In industry parlance, the move from shouting to engaging is called Customer Engagement Marketing and it’s revolutionising the work of digital marketing specialists Ubiquity and its clients.

“It’s not enough to simply deliver email and txt campaigns,” says Ubiquity director, Nathalie Morris. “Everyone can be more sophisticated in the way they communicate at all points of a customer’s lifecycle; from the minute someone becomes aware of your brand, to the point they decide to become a customer, across every opportunity to upsell and cross-sell and retain their business, and if they finally leave you finding out “why?”

Citywide

Ubiquity has been working with Auckland City Council on engaging more closely with its stakeholders. As the second largest council in Australasia, with a population of over 400,000 within the city boundary, Auckland City Council needs to collect feedback from ratepayers on libraries, dog registrations, art galleries, Auckland Zoo, parking services and more.

Prior to using Ubiquity’s technology, conducting primary research was complicated and time-consuming for the council. Surveys were conducted in a number of ways—from physically mailed questionnaires to spreadsheets emailed to respondents. Collating and analysing responses was done using spreadsheets. Turnaround times could be as long as two months, limiting the amount and type of research the council could conduct.

Rugby World Cup work

Ubiquity helped Auckland leverage the Rugby World Cup through other events

Auckland City Council now uses Ubiquity’s platform to engage with a wide range of groups including:

  • Web-based input from the public on major projects
  • Ongoing research through online ratepayer panels
  • Website feedback from visitors to Auckland City websites
  • Reviews of services provided by suppliers
  • Staff feedback on training workshops

As well as direct access for participants over the internet, Auckland City Council researchers and call centre staff can use the online survey interface to easily enter paper or phone-based survey responses. As a result, Auckland City Council has significantly improved its research capability, with faster turnaround times and reduced administration for its research activities.

Rugby the winner

Ubiquity also helps Auckland’s Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) Regional Planning Team to create marketing communications channels through a campaign-based approach. “Over summer Ubiquity helped us to promote Auckland as a RWC 2011 host city,” explains Simon Roche, Auckland’s RWC 2011 communications manager. The campaign ran at major events in Auckland, such as the Heineken Open tennis tournament and Auckland Cup Week. Attendees were invited to text entries into a competition and immediately notified if they won a prize. Those who didn’t win were invited to complete a survey on Auckland’s RWC 2011 website to receive further information around the event and go into a second draw. It was a highly automated campaign requiring little team resource to run it.

The campaign created an extensive database of those interested in Auckland’s RWC 2011 preparations. “We will continue to add to the database as Rugby World Cup 2011 comes closer,” says Roche. “Ubiquity’s technology enables us to continue to develop our relationship with this audience and be able to give them information that is relevant to them; not just blanket communications that are of little interest to them. It makes it much easier to be effective when you can work with your ‘customers’ to find out not only what information they need but knowing when they need it.”

uEngage

Introducing uEngage

“Globally there is an increasing focus on creating opportunities for companies and their customers to engage in two way communications and to make that process as easy as possible for both parties,” says Ubiquity director, Guy Bibby.

“Our new uEngage platform allows clients to develop customer engagement programmes in a modular fashion covering all points of the customer lifecycle. What starts out as a simple email based welcome programme can, over-time, turn into a full programme of mini-surveys, panels, competitions and loyalty programmes. The key in keeping your customer hooked is to establish a close relationship with them and then deliver real value throughout your engagement with them.”