Title: Segment marketing manager
Company: Hobart Corp.
Years in current job: 6
Foodservice equipment manufacturer Hobart Corp. took its time getting into digital marketing—that is, until it launched last year's “Get Back to Scratch” campaign, said Jenni Bair, segment marketing manager at the company, and a driving force behind the popular effort.
The company kicked off the integrated campaign, created by gyro, Cincinnati, at last year's National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show with an event featuring a 600-pound cake shaped like a Hobart mixer. Since then, Hobart has quickly built a peer-to-peer online community for bakers, who visit the site to find content about scratch baking, post photos of items they've made, watch videos, and ask and answer questions. The site has had more than 500,000 page views, with an average of 32,000 unique monthly visitors.
“It has given us an opportunity to understand [bakers'] day-to-day challenges and gives them the opportunity to communicate with their peers,” Bair said.
The secret to creating a strongonline community has been consistency, Bair said. “You have to communicate on a regular basis,” she said.
The campaign uses social media to drive bakers to the site, Bair said, and has garnered 600 Twitter followers and 800 Facebook “likes.” Facebook, in particular, has proved to be an important source of traffic and has provided valuable information about customers' wants and needs. “I'm on our Facebook page every day listening to what they say and figuring out what we can do for them,” she said.
Hobart also recently debuted an iPad app that highlights products and provides information about technology innovations and food safety.
Bair said the “Back to Scratch” campaign has shown that it's important to tell a good story and engage the target audience. “But it's also important to give customers a way to tell their story,” she said.