Marines.com wins national advertising award
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | June 10, 2004
NEW YORK --
Marines.com, the United States Marine Corps’ recruiting Web site, was recognized June 8 by the American Marketing Association with a Silver EFFIE Award, the top honor given in the recruitment-advertising category. The EFFIE Awards are the preeminent awards in the advertising industry. This is the 10th EFFIE Award in 10 years for the Marine Corps and its creative advertising partner, J. Walter Thompson.
“This is a great recognition for the Marine Corps and for J. Walter Thompson,” said Major General Christopher Cortez, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. “It speaks to the quality of our advertising efforts and the effectiveness of our brand marketing.”
While the Marine Corps has maintained a presence on the Internet for quite some time, the redesigned, Marines.com was launched in November 2002, in an effort to increase the number of leads being generated. The new look of the site brought features such as moving graphics, sound and video that appeal to today’s youth. But more than the visual improvements, the new site offered an abundance of updated content.
“The creative intent of the site is structured to offer the smart, tough, elite warrior experience that would drive qualified prospects to a face-to-face meeting with a Marine Recruiter,” said Jay Cronin, Account Director, of J. Walter Thompson.
A first-time visitor can go through one or more of three intensive Marine experiences, which convey the transformation one must undergo to become a Marine. The site also features “About the Marines” and “Parents and Advisors” sections for influencers of prospects to obtain accurate and relevant information about the Marine Corps. Since the redesign of Marines.com, traffic to the Web site has seen a dramatic increase. During the first year of operation, the site had more than 2.1 million unique visitors, a growth of more than 175% over the previous year. More telling to the site’s effectiveness is that visitors are spending more time on Marines.com exploring its many different elements. The average visitor spends close to 20 minutes on the site, an increase of more than 570% from the old site.
“This site has been extremely effective for Marine recruiting and has proved successful in reaching our target audience,” said Major Michael Zeliff, Assistant Chief of Staff for Marketing and Public Affairs.
In FY03, qualified leads for Marines.com totaled 92,966, exceeding the expected growth goal by 215%. Generating qualified leads is one of the Corps’ primary marketing goals, but overall success is judged in terms of contracts. Marines.com has the highest qualified lead-to-contract conversion rate of any lead generating source.
“Results from the past year have demonstrated that Marines.com is a reliable and cost-effective way to reach our audience, provide information to interested young men and women and generate quality leads for Marine recruiters,” said Zeliff.
Even with an increase in investment for the new Web site, Marines.com boasts the lowest cost per lead and cost per contract of any lead source used by Marine Corps recruiting. Compared to the Marine Corps’ other primary lead source, direct mail, Marines.com costs 86% less than the average cost per lead and more than 98% less than the average cost per contract.
On hand at the awards banquet while J. Walter Thompson accepted the award were Maj. Gen. Cortez, and members of Marine Corps Recruiting Command.