• May 29, 2015

SmartyPants Vitamins Boosts Engagement, and Gets Pharrell’s Attention, with People Pattern

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Founded by husband-and-wife team Courtney and Gordon Gould, SmartyPants Vitamins is a five-year-old company that manufactures and sells children's multivitamins. When Courtney couldn't find a multivitamin that included both vitamin D and fish oils, was made sustainably, and was safe for kids, she decided to launch her own brand. Though the company took off, Gould realized that to keep up, she had to grow her social media following.

So she turned to social intelligence company People Pattern, which helps businesses develop look-alike models based on their existing social media fan bases, and then use those models to develop targeted content that better reflects what customers and potential customers expect to see. For well-established companies with large customer databases or lead-generating tools, People Pattern can also synthesize that structured data with unstructured social data to deliver more sophisticated audience segmentation. In SmartyPants Vitamins' case, however, People Pattern had to start from scratch, says Clay Nichols, vice president of brand at SmartyPants Vitamins—and founder Courtney Gould's brother. When SmartyPants Vitamins began working with People Pattern in February 2014, the company had fewer than 1,000 followers on Twitter.

"My sister would post something here and there, but there wasn't a strategy in place," Nichols says. The posts were often about product giveaways, not the best approach for a brand finding its footing. "Giveaways don't always attract the right people. A lot of the time, they're not interested in your company. They're just interested in free stuff," Nichols adds.

"We had to figure out what kind of brand they are, as well as what kind of brand they want to be," Ken Cho, cofounder and CEO of People Pattern, says. Still, People Pattern was able to gather enough intelligence from SmartyPants Vitamins' social platforms and systems of record to build relevant audience segments and launch a powerful multimedia campaign centered on a partnership with Vitamin Angels, an organization that gives at-risk populations access to vitamins. Engagement rates grew significantly, and the company garnered the attention of recording artist Pharrell Williams, who expressed an interest in supporting and promoting the brand.

"Pharrell really caught us off-guard," Nichols says. "We thought it was a joke, but he emailed us and he was a fan of the product and wanted to work with us. He wanted to promote our content on his social channels, but we weren't really ready to handle that." People Pattern's technology enabled the SmartyPants team to identify what Pharrell's social audience would be most interested in seeing—rich, informative content that emphasized the flavor and healthy content of the gummy vitamins.

Using the hashtag #thegoodgummy, SmartyPants Vitamins hit a home run with its first major campaign. "We needed to make sure that SmartyPants was ready for Pharrell's audience once they began cross-promoting content together," Cho says. "Once he started marketing it on his social channels, it really took off," he adds. Thanks to People Pattern's audience segmentation tool and content development platform, SmartyPants Vitamins experienced a 375 percent lift in engagement on Twitter and grew its fan base to more than 3,500 followers.

SmartyPants also "got smarter" in its approach to media planning and buying, Cho says. By getting a better feel for its audience, SmartyPants was able to better target sponsored tweets, which led to a 50 percent drop in cost per engagement. "They were no longer wasting money on advertising to people that weren't interested in the product," he explains.

As SmartyPants Vitamins scales up, the company plans to continue working with People Pattern. Once a brand that could only be found at niche health food stores, SmartyPants Vitamins is making its way to mass-market stores, according to Nichols. "We know there's a lot of work ahead," he says, "but we're excited to keep growing and we know People Pattern is going to be an important part of that." —Maria Minsker

THE PAYOFF

SINCE IMPLEMENTING PEOPLE PATTERN’S AUDIENCE INTELLIGENCE TECHNOLOGY, SMARTYPANTS VITAMINS HAS SEEN:

  • a 375 percent lift in engagement;
  • a 50 percent decrease in cost per engagement; and
  • a significant growth in fan base, from 1,000 Twitter followers to over 3,500.

 

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