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Best Buy writes the book on internet marketing

August 3, 2009

If you’re in marketing at Best Buy, it would’ve been easy to just sit back. You could throw up your hands, blame the economy and hope that congress dreams up a “Cash For Clunker’s” program for old TVs (not out of the question…)

But, Best Buy DIDN’T do that. No, the 900-pound gorilla of the electronics world launched my favorite new marketing campaign of the year, with their “Twelpforce.”

Alone, the Twelpforce Ads on TV would have cracked my top 5 commercials of the year. They do a great job of highlighting products that Best Buy sells. My favorite is the “Cell Phone” commercial below.

Woman: “Don’t I need to go to my carrier for that?”

Best Buy Employees: “No, we’ve got it all.” I guarantee that earned Best Buy at least a point in market share of cell phone sales. I would have asked the same question that woman asked, and I just might buy my next phone at Best Buy now.

But this is not an article just to applaud a cool TV Commercial. No, more importantly, Best Buy actually used Social Networks to better serve their customers. Their web presence actually IMPROVES their brand.

If you want to improve your companies web presence, go right now to the Twelpforce Twitter feed. Seriously, I’ll wait. Open it up in a seperate window, then come back.

Let’s examine the web presence.

1) Does it drive traffic (and hopefully sales)? Yes, it does. In fact, the twelpforce idea has links to a number of Best Buy products, all in response to people’s requests on Twitter.

2) Is it frequently updated? Even at midnight eastern time, there were still active Tweets going on. That’s serious customer service.

3) Is it user-friendly? It certainly seems to be. If you submit a question to the Twelpforce, they respond back. I don’t know where you could get lost doing that…

This is a great use of the web. The problem with online shopping has always been that if I have a question, I can’t get it answered (unless I’m willing to sit through an awkward Live Chat function with a “customer service specialist”.)

Now, with Twelpforce, I’m a tweet away from an answer. Wanna know when the newest Window’s is coming out? Twelpforce. Got a question about digital cameras? Twelpforce. Want a recommendation for a strong netbook? Twelpforce.

This is how you sell products in the digital age. It’s amazing, but there isn’t a single company that does something like this. Best Buy has the scale to do it, but so do about 30 other retailers. This is like Geek Squad, on steroids.

And it’s not just their Twitter. There’s a facebook page for Best Buy with gift ideas. Forgot it was Mom’s birthday till Facebook reminded you? Figure out what she’d like, on Best Buy’s facebook. There’s a best buy connect page online. There’s geeksquad.com.

So there it is. As of right now, Best Buy has the BEST internet presence of any corporation. If you can think of another nominee, leave it in the comments. I’ll do a follow-up post on Friday after diving into your suggestions.

Follow Devin on Twitter at www.twitter.com/devinkunysz

Follow Twelpforce as well: www.twitter.com/twelpforce

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Charlie Antosca permalink
    August 3, 2009 4:15 pm

    Interesting post, but I can’t help but have some doubt about the usefulness of a twitter-based support service. First of all, despite what the media would have me believe, most people don’t use twitter. I’m a little fuzzy on the source, but I believe it was Time that said only 5% or so of internet users actually have twitter accounts, and that most don’t actually tweet (is that the right nomenclature?).

    Not only that, but I can only assume that if one is an early adopter of a piece of technology like Twitter, then it also stands to reason that they could use the infinite resources of google and bing to find an answer to any question they may have.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that, if you are really having a huge technical issue with something you bought from Best Buy that you simply can’t solve on your own, or you need a blue-shirt to tell you what laptop to buy, then you probably have no idea what twitter is.

    If you ask me, the smarter thing to do would to spend money redesigning their website, because it is one of the worst I’ve seen from a major corporation.

    The only downside of course is that they don’t get to market themselves as cutting edge, with hip, uber-cool tech like Twitter and Facebook. And that’s what this is really about.

  2. Devin permalink*
    August 3, 2009 5:43 pm

    I see your point Charlie. But, here’s the thing. First, the Twelpforce isn’t designed to answer seriously technical questions. It’s designed to answer things like:

    I’m going on vacation, need good point and shot, under $120.

    Twelpforce:”Try Canon xxxxxx…. (Like to product on Best Buy Website).

    And Twitter may not be adopted by that many people, but the majority of it’s users are 35 and up (about 60% or so). It makes sense that those people might have a question about a digital camera or a cell phone, and they may want to use Best Buy (who they trust) versus trusting a random site that Google brings up for them.

    And, if Twitter goes mainstream, (the way Facebook did), Best Buy will have cornered the market.

    If nothing else, it’s very cool…

  3. August 27, 2009 3:46 pm

    Found a great article on Twitter Marketing…Can it get me more traffic?
    http://groups.google.com/group/tweet-adder/web/tweet-adder

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