Marketing Campaign: Child Safety Alert System
An agile digital and traditional marketing campaign.
Qualified Leads Generated
New Customer Acquisition
Revenue in 6 months
In 2015 a Whittier, California school student tragically passed away after being left unattended on a school bus for many hours. SB 1072, authored by a California Senator, passed requiring school buses in California to be equipped with child-safety alarm systems.
The plan seemed simple. Yet, the execution and heavily regulated school bus requirements in California created panic amongst school transportation officials as they raced to understand the new law, implement the new law, and install a child safety check system in all of their school buses.
Before SB 1072 became law, the A-Z Bus Sales marketing team swiftly capitalized on the opportunity to establish the company as a subject matter expert, communicating policy updates and offering service installations.
Three challenges faced our marketing initiatives:
- We had to do our best to interpret the upcoming law and make certain assumptions, but be ready to update our assumptions as new information became available and communicate the information quickly to our customers.
- To get ahead of the installation service rush we anticipated, we had to understand the law ourselves and train staff while remaining flexible to change at a moment’s notice.
- Our marketing assault included our customer base and competitor’s customers. We needed a solution for managing installation while maintaining our expected customer experience requirements and meeting the state’s deadline.
A combination of traditional and digital marketing channels
Our marketing strategy consisted of a mix of traditional and digital marketing channels. Because most of our base customers were not tech-savvy traditional marketing would serve as a significant message driver for that target audience. On the other hand, to capture the up and coming demographic customer, the millennials needed a digital component for the tech-savvy user.
Communication would be the fulcrum of the creative and customer experience aspects of our campaign. We knew the information was fast-changing, and customers had questions. If we were going to position the A-Z Bus Sales brand as the leading expert in safety check system installations, we needed to frequently interpret the law and communicate our news to our audience.
Our communication toolbox included:
Traditional Marketing Channels:
- Trade publication advertising
- Trade Show Promotions
- Printed communication collateral
- Direct mail campaigns
- On and off-site training for technicians
Digital Marketing Channels:
- Email Communique to participants that signed up
- Email promotions and FAQ updates to existing customers
- Optimized Landing page to capture service leads
- Social Media awareness campaign
- Google Ads
The campaign landing page was a critical marketing tool that drove leads for our service sales team. Both digital and traditional marketing activities drove traffic to the landing page to capture leads. The landing page design included:
- An above the fold download button of the latests specification sheet and FAQ page for the product and service.
- Interactive image highlighting features and the value of the Child Check product when a visitor scrolled over the image “hot spots.”
- Regularly updated SB 1072 information, optimized for search.
- Product video demonstrating the value of the product and our service center installation.
- Updated FAQs as new information was distributed from the state.
- Lead generation form capturing customer data and service/product request. On-click the page would redirect to a Thank You page with cross-sale opportunities for our parts department.
Solution to the Marketing Challenges
Challenge 1: Customer Communication
To combat the information uncertainty, the marketing department established a communications network between the new school bus sales team that was out in the field daily to gather customer data about their concerns and needs. We monitored the SB 1072 state government website for new information on a weekly basis. We established communication with contacts at the California Highway Patrol office in Sacramento and the department of transportation. Receiving, interpreting, and disseminating the necessary information quickly was critical to positioning A-Z Bus Sales as the go-to source for installation and parts.
Challenge 2: Training and Legal Interpretation
We created a training program for our service technicians and maintained training updates on a bi-weekly basis as new legal requirements where established. The goal was to keep our service technicians updated with the latests installation requirements by the CHP so that once the final decision was released, our service techs would be ready.
Challenge 3: Managing the Influx of Business
The state mandated a specific date when all California school buses must be equipped with a child safety check system. our marketing campaign not only increased product and service awareness, it generated almost 200 service request in the first 90-days. The request were from existing customers and new customers from competing brands. Our solution to meet installation and dadline requirements was to create a program where our service center can install the system at one of our facilities, or provide mobile service installation at the school district transportation department. A third alternative was to sell the safety units to school districts and provide free training for their service technicians to install the units on their own. With the amount of school buses in the state and the tight deadline to service the buses, it would be virtually impossible to keep up with demand without adding mobile and training services.
The marketing campaign results were staggering. Because we preempted the SB 1072 passing and began our marketing campaign before the bill passed, we were able to position A-Z Bus Sales as an expert in the Child Check Safety System installation and legal requirements. The consistent optimization of our digital channels allowed us to capture web traffic — new customers — and convert the visitors into qualified service leads. In the first 90-days of our marketing campaign we generated 196 qualified leads for our two service locations in California. We increased our service customer base by beating the competition, who would seek advice from A-Z Bus Sales on installation requirements. Using our school bus sales team, service sales team, and parts sales team, we were able to capture information quick, share the information, and convert leads to customers.