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Facebook Fans Speak for Eight O’Clock Coffee: Q&A

By Jun 24, 2010

Eight O’Clock Coffee has ventured for over a year into the somewhat unknown world of Facebook marketing. And for the first time it is using those fans in advertising.

The name of the program, “Taste What People are Talking About,” centers on the fact that the brand not only has a loyal following, but also a growing number of dedicated Facebook fans. (Remember your own grandmother or mom grinding fresh Eight O’Clock Coffee at A&P stores?).

Capitalizing on that, agency Think 360 put together the program to build awareness and trial for the brand by letting Facebook fans tell their own stories about why they love Eight O’Clock coffee. Some fans were asked if their images and quotes could be used throughout the advertising campaign, including to start an online “Bean Board,” where others can now add their own quotes and photos. The board, at www.eightoclockcoffee.com, is refreshed daily and those that post get the chance at a free bag of coffee.

Under the ad campaign to get more fans to Facebook—and to the grocery stores—which has close to 30,000 fans, radio and rich media ads are rolling out in 10 markets using Facebook fans as the main creative ingredient. Twitter and e-mail blasts to 90,000 registered users in Eight O’Clock’s database also support the promotion.

During an event on Monday, commuters traveling through Grand Central Station in New York City will be offered a cup of the coffee and a coupon, and if, on the spot, they call and tell a friend that they liked the coffee they’ll be entered into an instant-win sweepstakes to win one of 12 iPads being given out that day. The brand reps are also talking up the “Bean Board” and directing people to the Web site.

Alisa Jacoby, the senior brand manager for Eight O’Clock Coffee, shares her thoughts on the six-week promotion, which runs through July.

PROMO: Why Facebook?
JACOBY: It’s literally that one-to-one connection with our consumers. We’ve added Facebook and social media in general to try to reach out to a younger consumer than we traditionally have been able to reach. They’re spending time connecting with friends and family and we know that a lot of people get recommendations for buying products from a family or friend or other reliable source. If we can use our fans as brand ambassadors for us it all makes sense.

P: Do you think marketers really understand the value, if any, that Facebook can bring to a brand?
J: Some marketers know they should be using social media but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are using it in the best way. It’s not enough for a company to advertise itself to the fans. You need the fans to create brand awareness and spread the word, otherwise it becomes just another company talking to you.

P: What value does Facebook bring to Eight O’Clock Coffee?
J: The value is leveraging our fans as brand ambassadors to spread the word about our brand. They are really our best advertisement. Word of mouth is a very important piece of marketing a consumer brand and social media really helps us do that. We’ve been grappling with Facebook and I think we took this further by including our fans in our advertising.

P: Do you personally participate in the Facebook promotion?
J: We have an agency, S3, that manages our Facebook conversations, so they create conversations and monitor and respond for us, but we are involved.

P: How will you measure the ROI of the campaign?
J: Most importantly it’s making sure that, yes people are becoming fans, but that our fans are getting their friends and family to try our coffee. That’s the ultimate goal. It’s really leveraging word of mouth to drive trial. It’s going to be looking at consumption during the time of the campaign.

P: Has there been more emphasis on marketing the brand since TaTa purchased it in 2006?
J: Yes, TaTa recognizes the value of a high quality brand and is giving us some resources to build the brand. During the last fiscal year 436 million more cups of coffee were sold than in the prior year and a lot of that came from different sources talking about the great taste of our brand.