Step Forward Michigan is a program of the Michigan Homeowners Assistance Nonprofit Housing Corporation which distributes federal funds to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. In 2017, the program still had funds to distribute and needed to raise awareness of the opportunity for homeowners in crisis. The MHA hired Brogan to relaunch and market Step Forward Michigan.
To raise awareness of the program, Brogan developed a new campaign including TV, Radio, Print, digital, google search, paid social and ongoing organic social posts. Because homeowners facing foreclosure are understandably stressed, we created a lighthearted, upbeat campaign, focusing on the positive outcome of the program: Catching up with payments, and keeping their homes. In addition, we partnered with PR firm Martin Waymire in an earned media program to complement the paid media approach.
We redesigned the Step Forward website to match the rest of the campaign, simplifying the home page to avoid intimidating potential applicants. Because the application process for Step Forward Michigan is lengthy, Brogan created prescreening tools to help homeowners determine if they are eligible for funds before they spend time with the application.
From March 15, 2017 – December 31, 2017:
The campaign inspired prior applicants to reapply:
A combined total of 6,133 new and returning individuals completed the full application review process
A combined total of 2,583 applications were approved
Michigan First Credit Union is one of the state’s top five credit unions, but they had never advertised outside their own membership. As they began to expand their reach beyond southeast Michigan, it was time to make more potential customers aware of their unique brand of banking and their one-of-a-kind 24/7/365 call center, 365 Live.
Though Michigan First was very popular with its own customers, there was little awareness of the credit union among non-members. A mass media campaign was necessary to spark consideration and build a foundation for entering new markets.
Brogan worked with Michigan First to develop a marketing plan, creative brand platform, and mass media recommendations for two key markets – Detroit and Grand Rapids. The campaign positioned Michigan First Credit Union as a hero solving consumers’ after-hours banking dilemmas. Portraying these dilemmas as melodramatic, slow-motion tragedies added a humorous twist.
The media mix included social media, email marketing, radio and magazine print ads. In addition, we used digital units such as targeted display banners, rich media, an online video, online search, Spotify and an interactive mobile trivia game. Native advertising also allowed select Michigan First blog content to be featured in context of other news. Each creative unit directed consumers to a website landing page to "learn more" about the benefits of joining Michigan First Credit Union.
In less than one year, Michigan First has seen a significant return on its marketing investment. Community members are getting more opinionated about Michigan First Credit Union. The number of community members who answered ‘not familiar’ or ‘not sure’ dropped from 86 percent in 2014 to 68 percent in 2015. Positive numbers are up from 13 percent to 23 percent. More members are aware of 365 Live and nonmember recognition of the credit union’s unique service platform increased by 37 percent. The campaign call to action—visit MichiganFirst.com—worked hard, helping drive a 20 percent increase in website traffic and up to 74 percent increase in visits to key conversion pages.
Frankenmuth Insurance had great success building relationships with their agents, but had not developed that same relationship with policyholders or consumers. As a result, there was limited awareness of the Frankenmuth Insurance brand.
We developed a complete brand platform for Frankenmuth. Elements included a marketing plan, social media overhaul, creative platform including video assets, print, outdoor, digital and internal elements (graphic standards, letterhead, e-signature, signage). Focus groups were conducted in which participants expressed their desire for an "honest, upfront and fair" insurance company. To heighten awareness of the Frankenmuth name and emphasize their honest, relationship-driven approach, creative elements included lines that began with "Frankly speaking . . ." and encouraged conversation with the tagline, "Let's have a frank conversation." Fun internal posters utilizing the same themes were created for each department (auto, life, human resources, etc.). A complementary website is currently underway.
Frankenmuth Insurance management was thrilled to have brand materials that fully reflected their authentic, straightforward philosophy. "In a world of gimmicky insurance advertising that focuses mainly on disasters or price savings, Brogan helped us create a fresh message that resonates with those looking for Frankenmuth's kind of service and values." —Fred Edmond, President, Frankenmuth Insurance
The state established the Healthy Michigan Plan to help underserved hourly workers afford health insurance, many for the first time. This created a huge opportunity for Health Plans throughout the state, but also a challenge: since the same plan is offered by so many companies, how can you attract customers to your version? We were hired by HAP Midwest Health Plan to market their Healthy Michigan Plan to prospective members.
The Michigan Department of Community Health (another Brogan client) was already marketing the Healthy Michigan Plan to hourly workers eligible for the plan (see that case study). Since HAP was already a well-known and trusted provider in the state, the key task was to make the target audience aware that HAP Midwest Health Plan offered the Healthy Michigan Plan they were already hearing about from the MDCH.
Brogan developed a marketing strategy to reach the target audience and created print ads, outdoor boards, interactive ads, radio spots and more, introducing them to HAP Midwest Health Plan Healthy Michigan Plan. We leveraged HAP’s branding elements, paired with straightforward messages letting these workers know that now, they too could afford health insurance from a helpful, trusted resource like HAP Midwest Health Plan.
The campaign was a resounding success: Actual enrollment numbers exceeded client goals by over 20%.