Freshbooks hits road in drive to get closer to its customers

FreshBooks, an online invoicing and time-tracking service, wants to further connect with customers and raise brand awareness by embarking on a road trip, Road Burn 2008.

Objective: FreshBooks, an online invoicing and time-tracking service, wants to further connect with customers and raise brand awareness by embarking on a road trip, Road Burn 2008. The trip will take CEO Mike McDerment and the company's marketing team from the Future of Web Apps Conference in Miami to the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin by way of RV. Along the way, the team will have breakfast, lunch, and dinners with customers and prospective clients in various cities and towns.

Idea: The 12-day road trip will be anchored by two national conferences that attract a large number of Web developers and other creative professionals that represent FreshBooks' target market, said Saul Colt, marketing and community development manager at FreshBooks. "It is a way to meet our customers in a real world environment," he noted. "They're the people who use our service, so if we know them, we know where our service really fits in to their lives." The tour will also help to establish FreshBooks as a personable, customer-focused company, added McDerment.

Tools: Media targets include local media in the regions the RV visits, and features coverage in national publications, broadcast, and radio stations. The effort's microsite, http://roadburn.freshbooks.com/, will be frequently updated with blog entries, online videos of roadside attractions, and customer interviews.

Measurement: The campaign will be measured by how the outreach impacts FreshBooks' existing clients. This will be evaluated by feedback and the number of customers who engage with the effort. "The ROI on something like this isn't going to be enormous because we are making an effort to connect with our existing customer base rather than bring 2,000 new clients," Colt said.

Company: FreshBooks
Campaign: Road Burn 2008
PR Team: In-house, Weber Shandwick
Launch: February 28
Budget: Undisclosed

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