This blog post is about a family on a mission to change the way we poop, one ‘stool’ at a time!
What is it?
Squatty potty is a little white stool that is built to mould to the base of your toilet and is designed with the purpose of raising your legs into a squatting position, allowing you to poop freely. Founded by Bobby Edwards and his mother Judith in 2011. Their product was featured on Shark Tank in 2014, where the family accepted an investment offer from Shark Lori Grenier.
A marketing quandary, or not?
CEO Bobby was faced with two main challenges when considering the best way to share his product with the world:
- How to market a taboo topic – poop
- Limited marketing budget due to being a startup
Enter integrated marketing communications (IMC)
A fancy way to say a marketing plan needs to consider how to interact with their target audience in a holistic way. This could be via the use of print, TV, radio, a product’s packaging, social, public relations and publicity, product placements and even the sponsoring of events. The key things to remember is that the IMC choices are dependant on the end marketing goal (Iacobucci, 2014). Once the choice for advertising is made, it is important to think about how the success of the campaign will be measured.
What IMC did squatty potty choose?
In the case of the squatty potty the goal was to continue to grow the brands awareness and increase sales leading into the peak Christmas period, as well as grow sales both online and within their new retailer Bed Bath n Beyond. With this in mind CEO Bobby made a conscious marketing choice to spend their marketing budget on creating a viral video.
What does it mean to develop something that is going to go viral?
It is a hot topic in today’s IMC world and is described as a phenomenon by which consumers mutually share and spread the product via email, video and social media posting. Marketers send and share the product in a deliberate way to begin with and use this to take full advantage of word of mouth, meaning people will share it with others creating exponential growth in the viability and impact of the product.
Word of mouth (WOM) has been used for many years to promote products, or on the flip side provide an avenue to criticise competitors. With the growth in social media and social networking WOM has used the internet as a vehicle to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of everything. Thus, eWOM was born and has been suggested as a way to get a ‘free sales assistant’ for online sellers.
Bobby utilised an innovate marketing technique known as the minifilm and created microfilm advertising (MFA) a short streaming advertisement designed with the intent of creating a viral buzz. Squatty potty spends three minutes educating
its viewer on the benefits of squatting whilst popping, using a cute unicorn popping soft serve to do so.
A teaser video was posted and it snagged 20,000 social shares in just a few days with the use of absolutely no paid media sources. This is in incredible number, but what does it really mean for the bottom line of squatty potty?
How do we measure the success of the viral campaign?
It is important to understand how to measure the return on investment (ROI) on your IMC strategy. As the goal was to increase awareness of the squatty potty, the ROI can be measured via viewership, readership and circulation numbers (Iacobucci, 2014). However it is also important to keep in mind that viral marketing is a fairly new tactic in IMC strategies there has not been an attempt to establish a general criteria to use in evaluating the effectiveness for viral marketing.
It is clear that the squatty potty video did go viral, it racked up more than 50 million Facebook and YouTube views with only 25% of these coming from paid promotions. This backs up the idea that eWOM is live and well and was a solid choice for CEO Bobby.
Online sales increased by 600% and inshore sales increased by 400% with CEO Bobby predicting upward of $15 million in total sales by the end of 2015. This is an increase of $12 million on the 2014 financial year.
I would say with those results that the squatty potty has been a pooping success!
*All thoughts and words are my own Sarah Hart 213182103
In text references where applicable. In addition the following resource was also utilised:
•Iacobucci, D. (2014) Marketing Management (MM), in Customer Satisfaction and Relationships. 4th Edition. London: Cenage Learning