Case Study: Intuit — live from Word of Mouth Supergenius

3:00 — Bergen Anderson introduces Intuit‘s Kira Wampler.

3:01 — Kira Wampler is part of the small business division of Intuit.

3:02 — Intuit faced two small problems:

– Intuit as our small business brand was brand new
– We love to talk about acounting but small business owners don’t!

Intuit had the, “chocolate problem” or that they had a boring product. Accounting isn’t sexy. The customer insight for Intuit was:

In order to achieve my entrepreneurial goals, I’ve got to figure out everything myself and no one else is looking out for me.

3:03 — Kira says that Intuit created a campaign called, “Small Business United”. Connect, Support, Recognize was the mantra. The solution: elevate the conversation. Help small business owners achieve success while delivering new user growth for, brand engagement with & positive talk online about Intuit.

3:05 — It was important to recognize small business owners for the hard work they do. “No one is sending you a bonus for being a small business owner.”

3:06 — Having clear business goals made it easier for Intuit to elevate the conversation above why people might like Intuit.

3:07 — Kira explaining how Intuit launched Small Business United with a video of real small business owners (and real customers to)

– Made available a suite of free products

– Provided ~ $300k in small business grants

– Partnered with small business organizations

– Engaged employees

3:08 — Grant competition: The small business is the hero. It’s not about Intuit. Intuit always succeeds when they put the small business owners first.

3:09 — Supporting small business energized employees. Nearly 2000, inspiring, useful and funny stories from real small businesses were submitted. Every story included a tip. Small businesses got visibility whether or not they win.

3:10 — Kira says Elevating the conversation is good for the bottom line. They had a conversion rate as high as their transaction websites. 1.3MM visits. 200 stories, 30,000 ratings. Over 400MM PR impressions

3:11 — 12% of total talk about Intuit, 90% positive. Intuit spent very little money.

3:12 — Kira is showing a video of the winner of the video contest.


Q: What are you going to do next and what did you learn from this?

A: Kira: Check out It’s Intuit’s next project. They tried the, “10,000 paper cuts” method and tried small things to figure out what works, and they’ve been using a more rigorous testing experiment this time around.

Q: How did you reach out to small business owners when it spans the spectrum of all industries and demographics?

A: Kira: Remember to be a marketer. Start with the objectives before finding your tools. Our biggest tool ended up being our own customers. They loved the fact that this was an example of one less time we were asking them to buy something. Getting the word out to our employees that were excited about also helped engagement. Almost everyone knows a small business owner. Fans, family members, friends, and employees will go talk to those small business owners. Utilizing the normal tools like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter helped, as well as some traditional PR techniques

Q: What did you build that website on? (The video contest website)

A: Kira: They built it based on their own home-grown community platform. Anything that was actually transactional was based on their own transactional platform. Doing it internally gave our web teams a better idea of how elevating the conversation also helped build our conversion sites just like our transactional sites. It was fantastic from a learning perspctive.

Q: What platform are you using to track your social media?

A: Kira: We use Radian6 and are very big fans of Radian6. We are currently in the process of developing our own home-grown system as well. We feel the same pain as everyone else that there isn’t one platform to track it all. Search ads have a tendency to “win” but it was all the other social media outreach that warmed people up to that opportunity.

Q: Do you have a technique that you can address for negative word-of-mouth?

A: Kira: We absolutely deal with negative word of mouth. One is around our product, and the other is that accounting is not fun–and we deal with a lot of tweets related to that. We have a 100% reply goal in Amazon and we respond to every comment and every review. We also have a 75-80% reply percentage on our site as well as our other social networks that are most used. This applies to both negative and positive word of mouth because we want to make our products better. It is in our DNA to listen to our customers.

Q: Are you going to be using social media to change that conversation, or engage a conversation in different ways with in a way what’s a really different audience? (In reference to the recent acquisition of Mint)

A: Kira: We are SUPER thrilled to have that organization as part of our company. It’s a huge opportunity to learn from a good group of folks that not only use social media, but use it to make their products fantastic.

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