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How mobile boosts Sudafed?s community-building for sinus sufferers

Decongestant brand Sudafed is focused on building a social community for sinus sufferers, with mobile playing a key role in driving engagements for consumers with the brand and with others who share similar concerns.

Research conducted by Sudafed revealed that serious sinus sufferers miss important life events and spend a lot of time online voicing their frustrations over sinus issues yet no brand was responding to them in a meaningful way. With this in mind, Sudafed introduced a Facebook page last fall, followed by a campaign with a strong mobile focus addressing missed life events.

?Sudafed saw an opportunity, as the leader in the sinus space, to come in and play that role to show these consumers that not only do we understand them and can interact with them but also so that they can interact with one another,? said Will Brassel, brand manager for Sudafed at McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Fort Washington, PA. ?Much of what they were doing before was shouting out a one-way conversation and we have now put into place a community for a two-way conversation.

?It is really founded on the consumer insight that our consumer, which is the serious sinus sufferer, misses out on some of the key moments in life,? he said.

Social engagement
Sudafed Replay is an app that lives on the brand?s Facebook page that consumers can use to share moments they have missed out on for a chance to win prizes. The contest, which runs through April 6, has received over 36,000 entries so far.

However, with so many Facebook users interacting with the social network from their mobile phones, Sudafed wanted to create a way to extend the contest to mobile in a way that makes sense for these users.

It came up with Rapid Replays, which are posts sent out randomly every couple of days and featuring probing questions around the life events categories which the brand?s research showed sinus sufferers are most concerned about.

For example, one question was ?Did your sinus pressure and pain make your vacation become a staycation??

Consumers were asked to respond back in terms of the moments that they missed out on during their vacation for a chance to win a $25 gift card.

?Although apps are developed by many brands to interact with consumers on Facebook, we know that nearly 50 percent of users use their mobile device when interacting on Facebook,? Mr. Brassel said. ?That is limiting when you have an app, so we wanted to find a way to connect with our serious sinus sufferer in a way that they are most frequently using to connect on Facebook.?

Community building
The Sudafed Replay and Rapid Replay program was developed with Hunter Public Relations, which handles the brands PR and social platform. It was designed to build brand loyalty through deeper customer relationships and build the brand?s reputation as an authority in the space.

Sudafed has run several of these Rapid Replay posts since the program enacted in late February and is seeing approximately 200 entries per post, double digit shares and hundreds of likes on each post.

The brand reports the Rapid Replay posts are also driving interactions between sinus sufferers on the Facebook page.

?When we went out to set out this Facebook community for these sinus sufferers, we did so obviously to relate to them as a brand, but we also want to give a place for them to relate to one another and we are actually starting to see that come to life through this Rapid Replay activity,? Mr. Brassel said.

An important tool
The Replay and Rapid Replay campaign is part of larger digital strategy that includes sponsored content on relevant sites such WebMD and digital advertising.

?Mobile is an important part of how consumers interact with the space these days,? Mr. Brassel said. ?The cold, cough, flu, allergy part of the store is a very confusing place for consumers.

?We are seeing that through research and mobile plays an important role as a lot of consumers are standing at shelf or actively searching for solutions via mobile,? he said. ?So being in the appropriate places in which they land through search on mobile is instrumental to the brand not only to have the brand awareness but also to provide the relevant solutions at the time of need.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York