Sales Funnel analysis: Call of Duty Black Ops Jeep – A great idea but the sales funnel falls flat

A banner ad caught my eye this morning; it was for a “Call of Duty Black Ops Jeep“. I think that’s a great co-branding idea, since the target market for Black Ops is exactly the target market that would consider buying a Jeep. Two thumbs up for this marketing idea!

So even though I’m not a gamer (I can rock out the Wii cow racing game… but I don’t think that counts), and I’m not in the market for another SUV (one is expensive enough to keep filled with fuel), I decided to click through the ad to see what was next.

The result? Although a Call of Duty: Black Ops Jeep is a great co-branded product, I was disappointed with the sales funnel and I think it could hurt sales.

The banner ad reaches out to Audiences. It’s a well-designed banner ad with just the right message. There aren’t too many words (and they’re all the right words), and a good “attitude” that captures the attention of the viewer. Nice work to the banner ad designer.

So I click through the ad (a trigger that turns me into a Lead). Unfortunately, the first thing I encounter is this:
Weak! I should have been immediately immersed into a Black Ops/Jeep experience but instead I ended up being prompted with this overly corporate invitation. It’s disruptive to what I was expecting.

I clicked No and continued to the Call of Duty Black Ops Jeep page…

The central image is an arresting image of a Jeep. Good. Down the right-hand side of the page are six elements that make the Jeep a Call of Duty: Black Ops Jeep. Basically wheels, decals, fuel door, etc. None of these are clickable (that’s okay). And at the bottom of the page are only 2 options: Locate a Retailer or Print Details.

Now, it’s VERY good to have just those two options. (Oh, I took the third option and clicked the “X” at the top of the page and was redirected to the Chrysler website. Weak). Having 2 primary options helps move people through the sales funnel to the right steps. Jeep is hoping that a Lead picks up the phone, calls a retailer, and becomes a Prospect. That part makes sense. But they’ll also be able to test to see how many people are printing details. So the “infrastructure” of the sales funnel is there.

What isn’t effective, though, is the overall experience. These are two brands that are all about the full experience. Call of Duty is a very well-designed game, that puts its players in the action. Jeep is a strong brand that puts drivers basically wherever they want to be. Customers of each brand WANT to be completely immersed in the universe of that brand. They want to step out of reality for a moment and become Black Ops or upper-middle class off-road adventurers.

But that’s not the experience they get when they arrive at this website. Chryler has created pansy-assed sales funnel!

Here’s what I would recommend:

  • Get rid of the questionnaire. It’s disruptive.
  • Upon clicking to the page from the banner ad, viewers should see a video where elements of the game and the Jeep are combined. For example, why not show a 15 second “mission” where the Jeep plays a central role?
  • Maybe even have a game available to play! (My friends over at SocialControl make kick-ass games for websites.)
  • Create a social element with tie-ins to social media: If a website game was added, players should be able to sign in with their Twitter account or Facebook account, play the game, and post about the experience and results.
  • A 3D view of the Jeep in a combat mission might also be a fun way to combine two elements — exploring the car (3D views are available elsewhere on Chrysler’s website) and seeing the Jeep as part of the game.
  • If website games and a 3D view of the Jeep in combat are too expensive, why not just offer a slide show? That could be cool enough if there were some great shots.
  • Turn some of those pictures into desktop wallpapers, mobile skins, etc. In other words, put the co-brand in people’s faces!
  • Lastly, don’t have the two options to be: “Find a Retailer” and “Print Details”. Make them specific to the co-branded flavor. Something like: “Go on your own Black Ops Jeep Mission” and “Download Mission Equipment Details”… or something like that. You can still have the same outcomes (find a retailer or print details) but it turns these two “salesy” steps into part of the immersive experience.

The brand pairing of Call of Duty and Jeep is brilliant. It’s the right combination of products to the right target audience. And they the infrastructure of their sales funnel in place and mostly good (except for that questionnaire). Now Chrysler just needs to tweak the actual marketing delivery because this is an opportunity for a truly rich experience.

Published by Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and other books.

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