Innovative marketing excites me, like it gets my blood flowing, like my favorite team just scored the winning touchdown…run…goal…to win the big game. It makes me happy and excited and whenever I see it in action I want to call the marketing director and give them a high five and say, “Thanks for keeping our industry strong!” That said I recently spotted The Home Depot doing some seriously awesome innovative marketing.
I come from a long line of craftsmen and women and DIYers. When something breaks, I take it apart and fix it. Ask me if I can install X Y or Z thing and if I don’t know how yet, I will. I like reading about other people who do a lot of the same, so there’s a blog I read called The Handmade Home. Recently she posted about being a part of Home Depot’s Celebration of Service.
You see, The Home Depot has a little thing called The Home Depot Foundation. Part of The Home Depot Foundation is a campaign they call Celebration of Service. In this campaign they pledge a large sum of money to veterans’ housing initiatives and non-profits ($30 Million over three years, which they’ve already surpassed by an additional $50 Million). In addition to some hefty donations they get Team Depot, volunteers from their employee teams, to help repair and renovate 100 veterans’ homes in 13 cities as well as complete several hundred service projects.
The whole thing is pretty awesome, strangers giving back to veterans, and from a PR perspective its marketing gold. So what do you do with the gold? Well, usually you’d send out some press releases saying it’s going to happen and invite some news crews out, then send out some more press releases with photos after it happens and hope that some news teams pick it up. You may add a little social media into it and post on your facebook page and twitter about the experience. But The Home Depot did something different, no, something a lot different. Something smart. Something genius even. Standing ovation and hand clap to you Home Depot director of marketing, or PR or whoever formulated this idea.
So what did they do?
The Home Depot invited a dozen or more bloggers to come to the Team Depot home repair sites and take part in the action. And what did they do? They blogged about it to readers like me, the DIYer, the Home Depot addict. Props Home Depot. At the bottom of each blog post on the dozen or so blogs I found from a google search relating to Home Depot’s Celebration of Service Blog Network is this legal blurb:
We have partnered with the Home Depot for their Celebration of Service Blog Network. As part of this program, we received compensation for our involvement. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
You see I don’t have TV, I watch shows on Hulu and Netflix so unless The Home Depot is running ads on Hulu (which they do) I’m an untouched demographic. And considering ideally they’d like to hit me from more than just one media (ie. Hulu ads) how else are they going to target me? Blogs. Cause I read em. And while Lowe’s is dropping deals, closing stores and seeing decreased earnings The Home Depot is seeing a 1.7% increase in the second quarter this year over the second quarter in 2011, and an expectation of an increase of 4.6% in overall sales for 2012 from last year. Considering the sales JUST for the second quarter totaled $20.6 billion a 4.6% increase overall is a pretty hefty sum.
So seriously, this is innovative marketing. The Home Depot has the bonus of being in a time where DIY and handmade is trendy. Many attribute this to the recent poor economy and the financial need to fix things rather than replace them. Regardless, The Home Depot is benefiting and they’re thinking smart, and really, truthfully, they’re doing good with those funds. They’re helping people who need it and they’re getting their employees, random bloggers, and the general public involved. It’s a pretty great thing.
Some of my Sources:
- Home Depot Financial Report
- Lowe’s Earnings Info
- The Home Depot Foundation
- Celebration of Service Press Release
A few of the Home Depot’s Celebration of Service Blog Network Posts:
- From The Handmade Home
- From Lovely Crafty Home
- From Not Just a Housewife
- Google “Home Depot for their Celebration of Service Blog Network” to find many more