How LG Electronics used influencers to win over millennials

Consumer electronics brand taps influencers as part of brand strategy aimed at lifting engagement with younger consumers

Millennials are a highly influential group when it comes to making recommendations on home electronics. But they are also notoriously difficult to reach through traditional advertising.

So when LG Electronics Australia was ready to bring its new range of consumer electronics products to market earlier this year, it opted to work directly with a group of influencers to help spread the word.

LG’s head of home entertainment marketing, Tony Brown, says influencers are a growing component of how the millennial market gets information in the world.

“We wanted to reach and ultimately influence the people that are buying televisions, and we know from research that a highly-influential age group are 20 to 30-year olds,” Brown told CMO. “We also know that you can’t just run a TV commercial these days and expect to get a good effect. It really has to be 360-degree marketing across about 360 channels.”

Brown tasked LG’s public relations agency, Hill & Knowlton, and influencer marketing provider, Hypetap, to come up with a campaign that would use influencers to help reach its audience.

“We briefed Hypetap on what we wanted to be as a brand, and where we were going, and they came back with a long list, which together we shortlisted down to four people and gave them a go,” Brown says.

The overall campaign kicked off with a launch event at the end of March this year, with the influencer component starting in May and running for four months.

“We got an 8.6 per cent engagement rate in the first month of the campaign from these influencers, which Hypetap and Hill & Knowlton tell me is one of the best engagement rates they have ever seen,” Brown says. “Overall, we had something like 3500 comments come back from our four influencers’ audiences over the four-month campaign.”

Brown believes part of that success stems from the work done to engage with the influencers from the outset.

“It really does come down to authentic partnerships with brands,” he says. “We didn’t just go out and throw a whole lot of money at people to say nice things. We worked with the guys to get them to understand what our TVs did and how they worked.

“We believe in the products we make and sell, so we need to get that passion across to our influencers.”

That result has been sufficient for Brown to task his agencies with increasing LG’s influencer program through 2018, while tying it more closely into its traditional PR activities. He believes this will be essential if LG is to match changes in overall consumer purchasing patterns.

“We’ve gone through a phase where manufacturers controlled everything, and then retailers controlled everything, and now we are in the age of the consumer,” Brown says. “And that is why marketing organisations need to shift some of their thinking to address the power of consumer influencers out there.”

Brown says the program is part of an ongoing campaign to lift perceptions of LG products in the minds of Australian consumers.

“Most Australians look at LG as a very favourable consumer electronics brand in the mid-tier mass market space,” Brown says. “What I want to be known as is premium, innovative and cutting edge.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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