Lucas Weaver
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Lucas Weaver

Marketing Strategist at Weaver Communication
Lucas Weaver is the founder of Weaver Communication and author of Explaining Digital Marketing.
Lucas Weaver
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Rosetta Stone marketing strategy landing page for youtube ad

Rosetta Stone is one of the premier names in language learning.

If you’ve walked into a Barnes & Noble in the past 5 years you’ve probably seen a wall of yellow Rosetta Stone boxes priced in the hundreds of dollars range.

But Rosetta is facing a changing industry, one that sees their company shifting their product strategy from large boxes full of discs and booklets to a subscription-based, online and smartphone friendly, self-paced learning product.

The catalyst of the change in their industry is the change in demographics of their customers. Their broad ranged customer base used to be happy with a one size fits all solution that met their language learning needs. However, now the customer base is a diverse one ranging from tech-savvy Millenials to their iPhone-owning Grandparents.

With most Millenials preferring the new, convenient offerings of today’s technology; Rosetta had to find a way to not only fit their products to this large demographic but also to find new marketing channels to effectively communicate with these potential buyers.

Enter YouTube advertising:

In a recent Think With Google Case Study, the folks over at Google drill down deeply into the mobile video YouTube advertising campaign called “Boring Bill,” in which Rosetta Stone was able to drive demo sign-ups for their new smartphone based products.

boring bill rosetta stone marketing strategy youtube video advertising

The corner stone of the Rosetta Stone marketing strategy *no pun intended ;)* was driving mobile traffic to their website where they would hopefully sign up for a demo.

The video ad they used showed a man using his smartphone to use Rosetta Stone to learn French. By targeting YouTube mobile users, they showed an ad for a smartphone-centric product to people who were currently using their smartphone.

See what they did there? They pre-qualified every single person they targeted because every single person who saw the ad was a smartphone user who could potentially use their product.

rosetta stone marketing strategy smartphone ad

By showing someone (Boring Bill) in their ad who was close in age to the Millenial age range of 18-34 actually using the product, they allowed actual Millenials to use their imagination and see themselves using the Rosetta Stone product.

Douglas van Praet in his book Unconscious Branding, says that:

“Before anyone considers doing something out in the real world, they often first do so within the private domain of their own mind. The imagination drives how we perceive something…”

By showing us “Boring Bill” and his quest to live a fulfilling life through language learning, Rosetta is allowing us to envision our own path to being interesting. The viewer can easily replace the video’s ultimate destination of Paris for their own dream destination.

rosetta stone marketing strategy mobile youtube ad

The video ad uses the concept of Boring Bill to tell a story about one person who wants to be more interesting and uses language learning as the solution to that desire. By telling a story, viewers of the video are much more likely to listen to the communication message from Rosetta Stone.

What were the results?

The result of the YouTube advertising efforts was impressive growth of over 10X the previous mobile website traffic.

With 10 times more people coming to the Rosetta Stone mobile site they were able to get more people into their sales funnel. The end goal was to get visitors to sign-up for a free demo (view their landing page here) of the new Rosetta products, but once the visitors went to the website, Rosetta would have also been able to Retarget the visitors with ads on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

(Read my post on Retargeting here: Retargeting, the Ultimate Investment Protector)

Once a prospect comes to your website the first time, you then have the opportunity to communicate with them throughout their buying journey with a Cross-Channel Marketing strategy.

The Most Genius Aspect of Rosetta’s Strategy:

Their targeting.

By running the ads in a mobile format on YouTube, Rosetta Stone was able to make sure that every person who clicked on their ad and visited their website was a person who could potentially use their smartphone based products.

The quickest way to improve the results at the bottom of your funnel is to increase the quality of the leads that are entering through the top.

Rosetta Stone marketing strategy landing page for youtube ad