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20 May 2010

Campaign update: The success of Make it so

We are pleased to report the phenomenal success of Make it so, the online competition held by Engineers Australia that was managed by Bienalto.

The competition, which ran for 12 weeks and closed on 15 May 2010, smashed its targets and delivered huge results for our client. Engineers Australia has set a new precedent when it comes to using a CRM and the digital channel to connect with their audience.

Make it so. Animated Re-cap:


A quick re-cap on the campaign

A benchmarking study conducted in May 2009 found that, despite high levels of advocacy (at 59%, engineering came in second behind medicine as one of the most respected professions), engineering was poorly understood by the broader public (only 37% of people knew what engineers actually do).

So Engineers Australia devised Make it so, a national publicity campaign with the tag, “If you can imagine it, engineers can make it so.” The campaign sought to change the face of engineering in Australia and attract more students to the profession.

To do this, a national competition was launched in February, inviting Australians to share their dreams and ideas – with the winning idea being turned into reality by a team of engineers.

Before this, Engineers Australia spent six months recruiting its members and asking them to get them on board as advocates. These advocates would essentially become the ‘worker bees’ of the public campaign.

We shared how successful this phase was in a previous blog post.

Make it so the public loves engineering

Phase two – in operation since February – has involved driving traffic to www.makeitso.org.au and encouraging the general public to submit their ideas. Following on from the success of phase one’s purely digital approach to recruitment, we implemented a similar digital strategy to spread the word about the competition.

Make it so was promoted in a range of cost-effective and memorable ways via the digital channel, such as via social networks, EDMs, blog posts and online advertising.

Some of the highlights of the campaign results are outlined below:

  • Engaging with members: Of the 85,000 members, 52,000 had opted-in to receive communications from Engineers Australia. Of those who had opted in, 8,000 people signed up as advocates. This represents 16% mobilisation of members.
  • Cleaning up the database: Before the campaign, the bounce rate on the Engineers Australia database was high. Following the campaign, 6000 permanent bounces – or 7% of the database – were cleared. The database now holds 52 fields per contact (many of which represent new data such as graduation dates), so campaign managers are more responsive in using the data to shape strategies on an ongoing basis.
  • Facebook: there were very strong results through Facebook. Entrants could promote their ideas on their Facebook site, and encourage friends to visit the site and vote. This proved a highly effective channel.

We kept a monitor on the results using Google Analytics. “We were particularly impressed with the traffic graph. It peaked when we launched, then we witnessed another peak with our ‘Make it so towel give-away’. Then, as soon as we bumped up online advertising – through cost-effective channels like Facebook – it grew massively again,” said Charlie Graves-Morris, Campaign Manager, Bienalto.

Long-term outcomes for Engineers Australia

In addition to these great results, Engineers Australia has also laid the foundations for future success – by engaging with its members like never before.
This deep level of engagement will have positive repercussions for some time to come. For example, Engineers Australia has achieved:

  • An up-to-date database, with richer information about members to enable more targeted marketing in the future
  • Identification of active members through the “Make it so Champions” micro-campaign
  • Activation of new, cost-effective channels of communication like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

For an organisation that exists for its members, relationship marketing is critical. The professional association has demonstrated a new and incredibly effective way of engaging with members – via a CRM – and building a bridge between engineers and the wider community.

The Make it so campaign exemplifies new and successful ways that an organisation can engage with its membership and the broader community – cultivating lasting relationships that will reap mutually beneficial rewards into the long term.

Competition update

Engineers Australia is now busy selecting a winning idea, which will be announced on 7 June 2010.

This idea will be made a reality by an engineering team, and regular updates about their progress will be posted at www.makeitso.org.au.

The www.makeitso.org.au website will now be used by Engineers Australia as a public interface – a place where engineering news, stories, events and forums can be promoted. It will build upon the organisation’s original goal to change the face of engineering in Australia.

Visit www.makeitso.org.au.