Soasta snaps a city view of mobile shopping habits

Uncovering smartphone and app behavior in the largest US cities helped tech service provider Soasta drive broad brand awareness.

Client: Soasta (Mountain View, CA)
Agency:
Grayling (San Francisco)
Campaign: Retail Readiness
Duration:
August - October
Budget:
$60,000  

Uncovering smartphone and app behavior in the largest US cities helped tech service provider Soasta and its AOR Grayling drive broad brand awareness.

“We do a lot of performance testing for Web and mobile apps before Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic spikes,” explains Soasta's SVP of marketing Peter Galvin. “We knew it was going to be a big year for mobile commerce, and we wanted to identify smartphone shopping behavior to reach mass media and raise brand awareness outside of the tech market. We also wanted to articulate findings to prospects and customers so they see us as not only experts in testing and ensuring performance, but also as having great insight into consumer behavior and how it's changing.”

Strategy
Two Harris Interactive polls conducted in late August were designed to deliver data on smartphone and app use in the top 10 largest US cities and provide localized story angles.

“Creating local stories was a great way to get placements in markets we wouldn't ordinarily get into and to reach our audience in each city,” says agency SVP Curtis Sparrer.

The poll results were also driven through social media outreach, Soasta's website, and custom infographics.

Tactics
Grayling pitched various angles to traditional media and blogs in all 10 markets, as well as to national outlets and blogs, in early September. 

Angles included revealing that Dallas had the highest overall smartphone and tablet adoption rates, and New York City trailed other major cities in smartphone ownership and usage.

The polls also uncovered fun angles, such as smartphone users in New York and Los Angeles are most likely to shop while dining.

The team worked with Mashable to create an exclusive infographic focused on smartphone use during morning routines.

An infographic that more broadly covered poll findings was created with tech blogger Laura Donovan.  

Both infographics were used on Soasta's website and promoted on Twitter.

Press releases and earned placements were posted to Soasta's LinkedIn page.

Soasta employees were encouraged to share poll data and earned coverage via their personal social media channels and at two October trade shows.

Results
Galvin reports Soasta gained new sales prospects in all 10 cities, and that sales reps noted the localized poll data was beneficial during talks with existing prospects in those cities.

Twitter activity and reach in October increased 193% and 261%, respectively, over September.

October Web traffic increased 26% over the previous year and 10% over September 2013.

“Web traffic built consistently as stories hit, and we've sustained increased traffic since,” Galvin says.

Seventy-seven stories ran in outlets including Time, Salon.com, MarketWatch, Investor's Business Daily, D Magazine, CNET, and multiple NBC affiliates.

Future
Galvin says Soasta will “double down on PR” given its effectiveness.

Plans include promoting holiday 2013 shopping statistics and crafting stories related to big upcoming website and app performance testing events, such as the Super Bowl. 

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