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Jan 7, 2009 | Comments

El Paso-based oil refinery OilWorks announced a monumental plan to modernize the company’s marketing. Based on market research by Digitas, a leading digital marketing firm, all 2009 advertising funds will be committed to building OilWorks’ social media platform.

Previous marketing funds were used to strengthen the oil refinery’s relationships with potential and existing customers, primarily through print advertisements in trade journals and customer-specific tactics. Instead, the new digital strategy will begin to build a dialogue with consumers, increasing engagement by encouraging discussion and humanizing the OilWorks brand. The strategy consists of the following elements:

  1. Refinery workers will be encouraged to blog about their refinery experiences.
  2. Refinery foreman will “Tweet” on “Twitter” his thoughts on the superior quality of OilWorks’ crude oil products.
  3. A Facebook group for OilWorks clients to join. Weekly contests will be held for fans to further engage customers with the OilWorks brand.
  4. Videos uploaded to YouTube of the refining process, creating transparency for customers.
  5. Introduction of a targeted community for engaged oil refinery consumers.

The Board of Directors announced that the plan will modernize OilWorks otherwise ineffective, old-world marketing strategy. The number of visits, or traffic to OilWorks’ website, will far surpass the number of impressions realized through traditional channels (i.e., Trade Journals, Industry Conferences). Digitas projects the increased number of visits to create a much stronger dialogue with customers and increase the company’s Internet presence.

The Boards’ goals demonstrate the seriousness of the social media investment. Over $3M will be committed to the strategy, though an ROI, per Digitas’ advice, was not determined. Online media will target the oil refinery demographic: ages 18-25, >$50,000 income, and ownership of a gasoline distribution firm. By 2010, OilWorks projects to have over 10,000 fans on Facebook and 50,000 followers on Twitter.

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