Philips was founded in 1891 and was the first company to commercialize production of the electric light bulb. Now, 125 years later, Philips Lighting is still the global leader, driving the transformation from conventional to energy efficient LED lighting and connected lighting systems and services.
Recently, Philips Lighting developed fresh positioning that reflected the company’s selection of cutting-edge, modern products. As the most important annual event in the lighting industry approached, Clive Roach, the company’s Global Director of Digital Social Media Brand Communications, saw an opportunity to unveil the newly refined message in a resonant way.
As a seasoned marketer, Clive knew how he and Philips Lighting could make the most of the event. “If you know what works at events, then all you need to do is apply that knowledge as tightly as you can,” he said. “It’s not rocket science.
The real key was finding the right approach.” Armed with a compelling message and years of industry know-how, Clive and his team sought the right technology to bring the plan to life.
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Setting the stage
Prior to the Light & Building trade show, which takes place every two years in the German city of Frankfurt, Clive established a set of measurements to gauge how the brand’s social efforts were driving business outcomes. The four business objectives Clive outlined prior to the event correlated to four measurable social media key performance indicators (KPIs): engagement, reach, earned and owned share of voice. Clive used Sprinklr to keep tabs on these four KPIs before, during, and after the event.
Engaging on and offline at light & building
The Philips Lighting “booth” was hardly a booth at all. At 3,500 square meters, it looked more like an immersive, interactive art installation complete with over 4,000 twinkling Philips lights. At the center of it all, the company’s Eindhoven headquarters-based Sprinklr Command Center displayed the ample social chatter related to the event. On the morning of day one, Clive woke up to see many notifications on his phone. “I became the community manager for this event—which is not standard—because I wanted to handle the 1:1 engagement myself,” he said. Clive began engaging with fans of Philips Lighting on a personal l level. “I was on my mobile phone before breakfast replying to people and talking to people who were on their way to the event,” he said. Instead of trying to force feed them a sales pitch or encourage them to go and see the Philips booth, he instead talked with fans about what they were excited to see at the event. In the midst of a futuristic digital playground, the technology allowed Clive to be—above all human.
Committing to the customer
Clive’s commitment to the customer didn’t stop there. He oversaw a team of content writers, ready to produce relevant material on the fly. “I wanted to find those key themes and create resonant content related to things that were happening at the event,” Clive said. Each morning at 7:00 am, Clive distributed a Listening summary for the stand crew at the event booth to inform them about trending topics as a means to engage booth visitors. Additionally, every 24 hours Clive sent out a visual word topic cluster that would inform copywriters of the most popular themes at the show. By using the Command Center real-time monitoring, Clive could quickly gauge what event-goers wanted to read more about. “When you know what people want, that’s when you’re really able to add value to people’s experiences.”
Clive relayed trending topics to his team in real-time and told them which social channels were getting the most traffic among event-goers. For this particular event, LinkedIn was the most popular channel for sharing lengthier industry-relevant content, which came as a surprise to Clive. “Had we not had the Sprinklr data tell us that this channel was performing so well, I never would have guessed that our top-performing channel would be LinkedIn,” he said. As a strong proponent of putting the customer first at every turn, Clive combed through tagged and mentioned Instagram photos of the Philips Lighting booth via the Command Center and re-posted user-generated content on Philips Lighting’s Instagram account. “I wanted to make people understand that we appreciated them visiting our booth and engaging with us online,” Clive said. “An added bonus is that i t helps with earned over owned mentions and gets people to come back again.”
Basking in the afterglow
When the trade show ended, the social chatter did not. “I call this the afterglow period,” Clive said. “I’ve seen afterglow periods as long as three month s and as short as a day. Knowing this, I expected that our Light & Building event afterglow would be somewhere in the middle.” Sure enough, Clive’s prediction was correct. The post-event conversation lasted two months for Philips Lighting. Weeks after the massive booth had been taken down, social media users were still posting about Philips Lighting and engaging with the brand. To help maintain momentum, Clive’s content team continued to produce beautifully designed articles, featuring the best Light & Building moments, to share with Philips fans online. Clive knew that the time period following the end of the event would be equally as important as the event itself. “The key thing to keep in mind is FOMO— the fear of missing out,” he said. “People feel this all the time, but what if we could mitigate that feeling by providing people who didn’t get to attend the event with posts that talked about event highlights and industry learnings?” And with Sprinklr, that’s exactly what Clive and his team did.
The bright, burning afterglow period was a testament to Philips Lighting’s strong strategy and execution. The four business objectives Clive was careful to map everything back to helped the company achieve stellar social outcomes. Engagement during and after the event reinforced the success of Philips Lighting’s new messaging, with over 3,500 organic likes, shares, and comments on the company’s event content. The social reach spoke to the impact of Philips Lighting’s messaging, with an impressive 6.1 million impressions. The earned and owned metric mapped back to Clive’s goal of gaug ing the resonance of Philips Lighting’s content with fans way beyond a brand level—Philips Lighting fans were sharing content and talking about Philips Lighting 5 times more than Philips Lighting itself. Lastly, the share of voice metrics revealed people’s preference for the Philips brand over any other brand in the lighting industry. Sprinklr data revealed that of the 2,500 brands present at the event, Philips led the competition regarding social media share of voice, by 1%, coming out on top in the most important industry event of the year.