CAMPAIGNS: Public Service
Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency

 

Summary

The newly created Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency (MVAA) is a civilian division of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. MVAA is the state agency charged with creating awareness of federal benefits, state programs and local resources available to Michigan veterans and their families. The agency serves as the central coordinating point for all veteran services in state government and is accredited by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to represent veterans within the VA system.

Edge developed a public service campaign to build brand awareness, educate targeted audiences on agency services and encourage veterans to contact the Michigan Veterans Resource Service Center’s 800 number (800-MICH-VET) and use the agency’s one-stop web portal, MichiganVeterans.com.

MVAA’s media campaign used the medium and message targeted to the intended audience.

 

Research

To successfully brand MVAA and their veteran services, due diligence was taken in thoroughly understanding the key audiences. Valid qualitative and quantitative research and considerable, thoughtful analysis proceeded the public service campaign.

Research included a survey of Michigan veterans who represented a variety of demographics, including age, military branch, and geographic location. The survey also captured the opinions of key stakeholders, such as legislators and veteran-related agencies. Qualitative research in the form of focus groups and one-on-one interviews tested and validated massaging, creative concepts and media consumption habits.

Edge, in partnership with MVAA, performed its due diligence in terms of research and analysis. Over a three-month period, both quantitative and qualitative research was gathered, reviewed and implemented in the MVAA public service strategy.

 

Planning

Edge Partnerships, a marketing, advertising and public relations agency, was selected through competitive bid to plan and coordinate all aspects of the MVAA branding initiative. Specifically, Edge was responsible for the following deliverables: qualitative and quantitative research, messaging, creative development, media planning and placement, and measureable outcomes.

After initial brainstorming sessions with MVAA and additional research, Edge produced a public service strategy and work plan that outlined the campaign theme, key messages, strategies and tactics. In addition, metrics for success were agreed upon and included increased call center volume and online inquiries.

In addition to a marketing and public relations strategies, Edge maximized the use of Facebook to create awareness of veteran benefits and generate increased benefit activity. This was especially effective because of the demographic alignment between users of social media and the desired veteran population.

Goals: Increase call center volume and web traffic

  

Execution

Edge launched the MVAA public service campaign on Veterans Day 2015 as the nation and state turned its attention to those who served our country in the armed forces. With only 30 days to plan and execute the public service campaign, Edge was able to conduct research, design and test creative materials, produce radio and TV spots and negotiate media placement. In addition, Edge’s advertising negotiations netted over $1 million in added value, bonus spots and free outdoor placements – a 3-to-1 value for MVAA.

Execution of the MVAA public service campaign included the following:

  1. State approval of all creative elements, messaging and media buys.
  2. Negotiation, placement and trafficking of TV, radio, outdoor and digital advertisements.
  3. Monitoring of call center and web traffic to determine effectiveness.
  4. Monitoring of digital traffic to determine effectiveness and make adjustments as needed.
  5. Reporting of media performance.
  6. Budget management.

 

Evaluation

Only in its third month, the MVAA public service campaign has far exceeded expectations. The response from Michigan veterans, their families and other stakeholders is measurable and significant.

Below is a summary of outcomes since launching the MVAA public service campaign in November 2015:

  • Monthly call center volume increased from 1,372 in October 2015 to 2,172 in December 2015
  • 1,828 average monthly calls post-campaign launch from 1,222 pre-campaign
  • Web traffic increased to 12,447 in January 2016 from 8,860 in October 2015.
  • Digital impressions totaled 1.6 million (Nov.-Dec. 2015)
  • Facebook had 97,754 impressions with 2,357 clicks for an outstanding CTR of 2.43% (Nov.-Dec. 2015)
  • Facebook likes increased to 3,281 from 2,750 (Nov. 2015-Jan. 2016)
  • Mobile audience netted 107,000 impressions with 153 clicks and a .14% CTR, exceeding the national average of .08% (Nov.-Dec.)
  • Digital retargeting delivered 187,311 impressions and 243 clicks for a CTR of .13% (Nov.-Dec.)
  • Radio advertising placement of $15,000 resulted in value added and bonus totaling $83,345
  • Outdoor placement resulted in a 2-for-1 valued added

 

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