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My first marketing campaign with Evonik

Published on: 9/12/2018
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Best results with MetAMINO®

Best marketing practices for best results: What’s the single best way to present something as complex as the scientific benefits of a livestock feed additive? There is no single way! It takes a multilevel, multichannel approach to tell a coherent, compelling story to different stakeholders.

After joining the special chemicals company Evonik 1,5 years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a team on the new methionine campaign. For those who are not familiar with the feed industry, methionine is an amino acid that is used in low-protein diets for poultry, swine and fish. You can balance your feed traditionally or lower the total amount of raw materials the innovative way by adding methionine. This solution is also more sustainable. In terms of quantities, we are talking about one or two kilograms of methionine added to one ton of feed. That’s enough. This amino acid is available mainly in two forms: as dry methionine (DL-M) or as a liquid (MHA-FA) source, each with different characteristics. Over the past two decades, there have been many marketing campaigns to promote methionine, so coming up with something new and appealing was no small challenge.

Google storytelling approach – hero, hub, hygiene

The aim of the campaign is to support sales and get in touch with our stakeholders and target groups. As they have different interests and knowledge levels, we needed to reach out to them via multiple channels. We decided to use the Google content strategy based on the cornerstones ‘hero, hub and hygiene’, and develop the content with a message matrix. This concept is a storytelling approach where all relevant information is stored in one place, called hub, a customized microsite (www.metamino.com) that is easy to use and optimized for mobile devices. But it is also necessary to release relevant articles on a regularly basis, a process Google calls hygiene. In our case, it is our “science feed,” which is also connected with social media. Half a year ago, we opened a LinkedIn showcase page with now more than 1,800 followers. Our hero content is made up of videos. We have created six so far, three easy-to-understand explanatory videos and three expert videos talking about methionine. These also serve to show our experts from a different angle. Along with normal camera shots, we also used a drone in one film and got some extraordinary footage. For maximum push effect, we made all videos available from the beginning.

One main theme, three contributing topics

The campaign is designed to demonstrate that our customers can rely on us and will get best results with MetAMINO®, our dry methionine product. This is the overall message. We created three different topics, which all contribute to this main message. These are “best quality,” explaining the softer factors of the product, followed by “best performance,” with KPIs as the main focus, and “best handling,” explaining how our product lets customers add this important micro-ingredient easily and efficiently to the feed.

Not all customers are digital natives

But as our industry is not yet 100% digitized, we also developed nine different print advertisements, which can be easily regionalized. Evonik Animal Nutrition does business on a global scale, so we needed to take this into account. In order to address regional specifics we use different landscapes, models of different ethnicities and different animal species. Depending on the sales focus of the region, we can tailor the ads. And we communicate traditionally with flyers, brochures and posters at our tradeshow booths as well as via one-on-one communication in personal dialogue onsite or using social media like WhatsApp.

Getting the big picture

One of my former colleagues, Holger Winkelsträter, always told me that a marketing measure needs to be embedded in a program of other related measures, otherwise the best you can hope for is a one-hit wonder. So true. That’s why I am happy to say that we managed to create lots of puzzle pieces, small ones and big ones, which are connected and form a nice big picture. My thanks go to the Evonik colleagues, mainly Stefan Mack and Johannes Fickler, and our agency, Feedback Communication, for making this happen. Now as the marketing campaign is launched, I am keeping my fingers crossed, hoping our message “Best results with MetAMINO®” gives us best results too.

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