Kristi Hensley, RV marketing manager for 3X Chemistry, kept her daily planner full last year.
She’s been with 3X, a supplier of cleaners and related products for St. Louis-based parent company Continental Research Corp., for two years. However, this past year, in her current position, she’s increased her face-to-face engagement with dealers and distributors to increase 3X’s brand awareness.
“As far as 3X, (company owner) Tom Epstein had felt like we had done a lot as far as the dealer end regarding traditional advertising, so we were just looking for better ways to reach out to our dealers,” Hensley said. “This year we want to change it up.”
Building on the company’s extensive use of print and online advertising to reintroduce itself to the market, the decision was made to step up 3X’s ground game by attending all major trade shows and by field visits to distributors and dealers to highlight the features and benefits of 3X products. For example, Hensley recently returned from California visiting Joe Pico from manufacturer’s representatives Tom Manning & Associates, meeting with current and potential 3X dealers in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Napa, to name a few. The Tom Manning group helps to focus areas where 3X can benefit to further develop.
That degree of ground-level campaigning was a first for the company.
“We haven’t really done that before,” Hensley said.
Meanwhile, in an act to cement the company’s reintroduction to the market, a month ago the supplier hired social media expert Beau Kolba to work solely on building a 3X Chemistry online community as part of the strategy to broaden recognition. Besides spearheading 3X’s presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube, Kolba has been busy at work re-editing old videos into fresh, digestible durations, educating consumers and dealers alike in less than one minute.
The investment in Kolba is already showing potential. In March, social engagement metrics on the supplier’s Facebook page has increased by nearly 9,000 percent, according to Hensley.
There’s also an accelerated push to do more with video.
Take for instance the 3X MAD (Makes a Drum) Ultra Cleaner & Degreaser, a super-concentrated emulsifying degreaser specifically designed to clean hard surfaces that officially debuted in February at NTP-STAG’s Expo show in Anaheim, Calif. Seeing as it is now available through all national RV parts distributors, a simple how-to video showing the 3X MAD Ultra Cleaner & Degreaser drum being set up can be seen here.
Such videos highlight the educational factor 3X is using to grow an online community with its dealers and customers. This coincides with how the company is increasing its in-person engagement. Participants in that burgeoning online community can expect more training webinars for dealer education, product tips, and how-tos.
The underlying motive with the new social media approach – which builds upon past traditional marketing efforts – is to broaden recognition for 3X’s products with its consumers and “drive demand.” The campaign is set for dealers to reap the benefits of this new dedication to social media promotions, such as contests, in the form of increased sales, Hensley said.
And this sort of pincer movement 3X Chemistry is exploring – of digital and amiable footwork – can make the supplier a valuable resource, not only to consumers, but distributors and dealers as well.