Marketing Werks Executes Mobile Experimental Marketing Campaigns with Toughbook 52

Marketing Werks is the largest independent experiential marketing firm in the U.S. The company, based in Chicago, Illinois, creates mobile and event marketing campaigns for major consumer brands. Crain’s Chicago Business has named Marketing Werks as one of Chicago’s fastest growing companies for three consecutive years, and an independent firm recently named them as one of “Chicago’s Top 10 Gen Y employers.” The company has a full-time staff of 175 at its headquarters’ location and hundreds of field staff deployed at any given time.

With its field staff is primarily on the road, event execution ranges from large-scale mobile marketing experiences, to guerilla marketing demonstrations and on-the-spot promotions. Marketing Werks uses a direct approach, reaching out to consumers where they live, work and play, to get its clients’ products in the hands of consumers. Its clients wanted consumers to use laptops at events to visit websites, make purchases, flip through digital catalogs, enter in promotions, submit consumer data, capture and e-mail photos and more.

At first, Marketing Werks deployed standard, consumer-grade laptops for their campaigns. Matt Stadt, senior manager of technology at Marketing Werks notes, “With our initial batch of notebooks, we saw a failure rate of more than 50 percent. These laptops were a huge drain on us. Every time one failed, it meant hours of extra work for the IT department, and missed daily reports from our employees on the road. Plus, our customer support calls with the laptop manufacturer sometimes took up to 45 minutes just to reach a live person.”

Since Marketing Werks needed laptops that could withstand the wear and tear of the road-tour lifestyle and be a key element of a consumer engagement program, they decided they needed a wirelessly-enabled rugged laptop that could withstand a life on the road and being used by both consumers and the company’s employees who send daily event reports to the headquarters.

The company chose the Toughbook 52 laptop because of its robust feature set and overall design aesthetic. And while there was a cost difference between the rugged device and other laptops, Matt noted that the Toughbook laptop had “much less downtime built in,” so he expected a lower cost of ownership.

The Verizon Wireless 3G network has become a lifeline for Marketing Werks road crew employees. They use Mobile Broadband service to file multi-media reports and access proprietary networks.  They also stay in touch with friends and family by chatting on instant messenger, sending email and photos, and posting updates on social networks. Since these employees wake up in a new city almost every day, the ability to stay connected with a Toughbook computer is one very important way that they maintain a normal life on the road.

“We saw an instant improvement,” said Matt. “Our laptop failure rates dropped from more 50 percent with the standard laptops and data cards, to less than three percent using Toughbook 52 laptops with embedded wireless broadband.”

Marketing Werks’ IT staff now spends significantly less time solving device problems and repairs. They can now focus on implementing technology that can benefit the company’s bottom line and improve client satisfaction. As their business has continued growing over the past several years, Marketing Werks has purchased additional Toughbook 52 laptops. Now, with 135 Toughbook 52 laptops deployed in the field, Marketing Werks considers Panasonic and Verizon Wireless valued partners in its success.

The Panasonic and Verizon Wireless teams went out on the road and filmed a video case study with the Marketing Werks crew. Take a look at the below video to see how the Toughbook 52 with Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband Built-In helps the company’s employees execute their campaigns and remain connected at all times.