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Case Study

From Dry Feet to Cool Sheets: One Brand’s Secret to Engaging Diverse Audiences

Christy Raedeke
EVP, Global Marketing and Sales, 37.5 Technology

“Matcha has the ability to write about everything we’re in, from scrubs to sheets to trail running. And the data analysis they do is incredibly important for justifying our spending.”

Imagine marketing a product that’s invisible to the naked eye, used in a huge variety of situations, and can’t be directly purchased by the consumer.

That’s the challenge 37.5’s marketing team took on as the brand looked to build end-user awareness around its temperature-regulating fabric ingredient.

How’s it going?

With Matcha’s help, 37.5 has amassed over 8 million impressions in 12 months at 10x the cost efficiency of most direct-to-consumer brands.

How they did it is a story in itself.

Building a brand out of the ashes

In 1992, while on a post-doctoral fellowship, photo-physical chemist Dr. Gregory Haggquist buried himself to the neck in volcanic ash. Rather than suffering from extreme heat, as expected, Dr. Haggquist found he was quite comfortable in his volcanic cocoon.

The ash, it turns out, was pulling perspiration vapor from his body before it became liquid, generating an evaporative cooling effect. He would go on to discover the ash also produced the opposite effect in cold environments, trapping and returning body heat. The result is a perfectly maintained temperature of 37.5°C, ideal for human comfort.

Using volcanic ash from an undisclosed location (it’s so secret, most of their employees don’t even know the location), 37.5’s microscopic particles are now found in all sorts of products. From business suits to work gear, from linens to furniture upholstery, 37.5 improves performance and comfort for millions of people every day.

For several years, Christy Raedeke, 37.5’s EVP of Global Marketing & Sales, successfully marketed the technology to the brands that would use it in their finished products. Then, Christy and her team were given a new challenge: teach end users to look for products with their technology and appreciate what it can do for them.

“Primarily, we want people to understand that they can have 37.5 in everything that touches their skin, day and night.”
– Christy Raedeke, EVP Global Marketing & Sales, 37.5 Technology

But how do you teach an incredibly diverse audience about a highly technical product they can’t see or even buy directly?

And how do you prove to your investors that the money you’re spending to do it is driving results?

Matcha makes it easy to publish great stories and prove how they help your business

Talking about the incredible adsorption ability of a micropore can be a strong motivator when selling your technology to a brand.

But it will quickly lose the attention of those who actually use it.

37.5 needed to tap into the emotion behind the experiences their audience could have with their technology. The tranquility of a great night’s sleep. The joy of feeling dry and warm, even while crunching through knee-deep snow.

They needed their audience to feel.

“When you sell a microscopic particle, nobody feels it until they put on a shirt that has it in it. Then the comfort is noticeable. So, you have to find a way to make it relevant first, and this type of contextual marketing—this emotional storytelling—does that,” Christy says.

So 37.5 partnered with Matcha, the leader in content marketing for small and medium-sized businesses, to produce and share stories about the diverse places and situations made better by their technology.

Here’s how Matcha delivered 8 million impressions in 12 months

With Matcha, 37.5 not only put their awareness campaign on steroids, they also had the proof to answer the question, “Is it working?”

Here’s how they did it.

1. Consistently publishing stories to engage each audience

“Our biggest opportunity is also our biggest challenge,” said Christy. “37.5 can be in everything, from ice skates to luxury jackets. Our audience is pretty much everyone. We needed people to go, ‘I have 37.5 in my socks and I love them. I had no idea you could get the same technology in bed sheets.’”

To meet the diverse demands of 37.5’s storytelling, Matcha tapped into its vast network of professional writers to produce content that helped 37.5’s audience make these connections in a meaningful way.

37.5 blog
Matcha produced a broad range of original content that helped contextualize 37.5 technology for all its users.

Over 12 months, Matcha generated 36 stories, each with the goal of placing the reader in a situation made better by 37.5 Technology.

Matcha worked collaboratively with 37.5 to identify each target consumer, then generated topics to engage them.

For example:

 

“Matcha’s content creation team has been super creative and helpful in coming up with stories and tailoring them to our goals.”
– Christy Raedeke, EVP Global Marketing & Sales, 37.5 Technology

While every article is strong in aspiration and helpful information, they also fold in education on the specific brands and products that are made better by 37.5.

For example, Killian Jornet’s Running Must-Haves is a piece that provides readers with helpful tips from a trail running legend while calling out specific products from a 37.5 partner, running gear manufacturer Salomon.

37.5 blog story
Matcha’s stories often had a dual function: inform an audience about the man uses
of 37.5 Technology and generate goodwill with the brands that use it in their products.

 

“37.5 is in everything, and Matcha has a writer network that can touch on everything we’re in. That’s really valuable.”
– Preston Brin, Global Marketing Manager. 37.5 Technology

2. Efficiently match audience to content on Facebook

Social media has made it possible for component manufacturers like 37.5 to short-circuit a path directly to the people who ultimately use their product.

Matcha’s social media team tested each ad with a range of target audiences. Age, gender, and, most importantly, interest, were matched with the appropriate ad. Then each ad was further tested for variables like ad copy and lead image.

The first goal was to generate awareness, so early campaigns focused on impressions.

37.5 content marketing
With the right targeting and relevant content, a single 37.5 Facebook ad reached hundreds of thousands of people

In the 12 months between July 2017 and June 2018, 37.5 Facebook ads generated 8 million impressions.

More impressive, however, was the efficiency of those ads.

A typical Facebook ad might see a cost-per-1000 impressions (CPM) of around $7.00.

The average CPM of 37.5’s ads through that 12 month period was $1.30. That’s better than 600% improvement!

What’s more, several 37.5 ads dipped below $0.50 CPM — a number typically seen only with very high-budget video ads.

As 37.5’s strategy matured, Matcha portioned some of the distribution budget toward traffic. This generated more web visits than their impression-driven campaigns.

The initial rounds of ads optimized for traffic produced a cost per click (CPC) average of $0.23. This is right around the average CPC for all Matcha customers, a solid return for the early days of a traffic campaign.

The 37.5 team also leveraged their content organically on Twitter, tagging brand partners to further build goodwill.

“I love the amount of thought Matcha puts into media placement. That’s been a delightful surprise for me.”
– Christy Raedeke, EVP Global Marketing & Sales, 37.5 Technology

As awareness and traffic grew, Christy was able to prove to the board they were achieving results.

3. Proving the content concept with data

Just as the 37.5 marketing team needed to tell stories about how their technology is beneficial to their audience, they also needed to tell a data story to justify the benefit of content to their stakeholders.

“It’s part of my job to show the 37.5 executive team what we’re doing to increase our media presence and website traffic. Matcha makes it super easy to get metrics any time we want them,” says Christy.

Awareness and traffic data are available to 37.5 through their Matcha dashboard anytime they need it. But what’s been most impactful for the 37.5 team are the quarterly insight meetings.

During these meetings, Matcha data and content experts take a deep dive into a holistic set of 37.5’s analytics. They provide context for the results by benchmarking their success against the market at large, and they deliver insights that will help 37.5 continually improve results.

“The data analysis that Matcha does is incredibly important as we justify our spending. And the Matcha team always has great, thoughtful ideas about how to make our content practice better.”
– Christy Raedeke, EVP Global Marketing & Sales, 37.5 Technology

Summary

Goals

  • Create brand awareness among a broad and diverse consumer audience
  • Prove the effectiveness of content to the board of directors

Strategy

  • Produce 36 stories contextualizing 37.5 Technology
  • Distribute on Facebook, optimizing for impressions first, then traffic
  • Generate quarterly reports that contextualize success for the board of directors

Results

  • Brand awareness: 8 million impressions in 12 months
  • Traffic: $0.23 CPC, 55% increase in blog traffic
  • Cost efficiency: Low average CPM of $1.30 (some below $0.50)
  • Success: A happy board of directors

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