Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Customers Engage with TurboTax

Posted by Becky Carroll on April 15, 2008

by Amit Gupta Today is the day many Americans dread: the day when their income taxes are due to the government.  TurboTax decided to make it fun for their customers with some cool contests which promote customer engagement.

TurboTax is made by Intuit and is a tax preparation software program.  TurboTax’s focus is on making taxes easy.  Intuit’s focus is squarely on the customer. 

I recently spoke with Brian who does online marketing for Intuit.  Brian shared information with me about the two customer contests run by TurboTax, TurboTax Rap (2007) and Tax Laugh (2008). 

TurboTax Rap was a contest to promote customer engagement, with rapper Vanilla Ice as their celebrity spokesman.  Consumer submitted their own original “rap” video about TurboTax.  The contest site included all the rules/tips for submission.  Here is an example:

“Props are always good.  We are not just talking about a leaf blower or a hairbrush microphone.  But actual shoutout’s to TurboTax or Vanilla Ice.  Let them know how special they are.”

The entries were then also posted on YouTube.  The results were unexpected.  It generated lots of interest, curiousity, as well as some awesome content!  There were 450 entries, and although most were not stellar, about 30 of them were really quite good.  Per Brian,

“These customers were passionate.  They included the core reasons to believe in their videos.  I am not sure an agency could have done some of this!”

The winning entry has had over 330,000 views on YouTube (and the winner took home $25,000 to boot).  It didn’t cost Intuit much money to put on this contest, and they had a lot of customer engagement as a result.  For your viewing pleasure, here is the winning video:

Of course, just like any social media activity, customers have the opportunity to share their thoughts.  Some viewers didn’t like the winner (“Too many special effects”) and preferred the low-tech video which won 2nd place.  A learning for TurboTax was to have customers and other viewers rate the videos or vote on them.

This year, TurboTax created a TaxLaugh contest, with the tagline, “Comedy is hard.  TurboTax is easy.”  The top 20 videos/finalists were chosen through voting on YouTube.  Fewer entries this year (hey, comedy is hard), but again, great quality and passion that can only come from customers.  I especially liked this one, which wasn’t really comedy but was very clever and still promoted TurboTax – using ping pong balls!  You’ve gotta watch this (which has had over 500,000 views):

This year, TurboTax also sponsored a Promoter Contest.  Those viewers who were the best at promoting a video won prizes like a trip to Southern California to see the TaxLaugh celebrity comedian spokesman Jay Mohr or a Flip video camera.  Winners included the most viral TurboTax promoter and the most viral TurboTax choice.  The winning promoter had over 100,000 views!  Talk about using word of mouth to get things buzzing.   Also, check out the interesting viral map put together by Brickfish, who helped with the viral promotion.

While taxes may not be a laughing matter, TurboTax has found a cool way to connect with their customers, to promote themselve to non-customers, and to increase engagement in both categories.  Plus, they are part of a very customer-focused company.  You rock, er rap, TurboTax and Intuit!

(Photo credit: Amit Gupta)


Posted in Customer experience, Customer loyalty, Customers Rock!, Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

How Teens Shop Online

Posted by Becky Carroll on December 12, 2007

ipod.jpg Customers Rock! focuses on companies with the attitude that their customers are important, no, critical to their business success.  A big part of this is communicating with customers, and potential customers, in the way they prefer.  If your company is reaching out to teens, their preference may well be YouTube over your company website.

According to a new survey by Online Testing eXchange, in conjunction with the eCrush social networking website, most teens do their actual purchasing in stores. However, 65 percent of teens say they learn about cool new products on the Internet, compared to 62 percent from friends, 54 percent from TV ads and 48 percent from magazines. (Thank you to bizreport for the survey info.)

About that online research.  I had an interesting conversation with my teen yesterday.  He is in the market for a new iPod (he already has an older-version Nano).  Interested in the iPod Touch (which he is buying with his own money, BTW), he is ready to move towards purchase but wanted to learn more about it. 

Here are the steps of his experience.

  • “I wanted to see what the iPod Touch was like, so I went to Apple‘s website.”  He went to the iPod section from the toolbar at the top.   From there, he saw what looked very promising: “iPod Touch – A Guided Tour”, so he clicked to watch the video.

This is where the Apple website fell down.  Instead of making the video easily viewable, my son was required to download Apple’s QuickTime in order to see it.  He tried this, but he couldn’t get it to work properly.  At that point, he gave up on the Apple site.

  • Next stop: YouTube.  Why?  “I knew that a lot of people make videos of the things they buy and how they work.”  My son quickly found a video tour of the iPod Touch (it looked like it could have been put out by Apple) and spent the next 14 minutes glued to the PC screen.  “Wow, this is so cool!  I really want one now, and I already know how to use it just by watching the video.”
  • His comment about how he intends to proceed next time: “From now on, I am just going to go to YouTube first!”

To recap: A potential teen buyer wanted to spend big bucks on new electronics, but he wasn’t sure yet.  He went to the company website but ran into problems trying to get the information he needed to make the decision.  He went to his trusted source for information, YouTube, and found exactly what he needed to make his decision.

Where are your customers doing their research?  Does your company’s website make the grade?  Should you put together a cool YouTube video about your product to reach out to your customers?  The answer lies in knowing your customers, their preferences, and their trusted sources.

One more thought.  As my son is already an Apple customer, Apple could have reached out to him, through his email or through iTunes, to let him know about their new products.  This would have made him feel special and “in the know”, and it could have moved him to purchase sooner – that is, if he had saved up enough money!

(Photo credit: ronen)

Posted in Customer experience, Marketing, social media, Videos | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »