Awards case study: How Mace used a virtual city to increase business with clients and prove the value of digital marketing
Learn how the construction and consultancy business created Mace World to drive new business, attract and retain the best talent – and celebrate the firm’s 25th anniversary
Mace World is a unique digital landscape that showcases 60 of Mace’s most significant projects in a purpose built city designed to celebrate Mace's 25th anniversary and as a business development tool. It is both a unique experience and a first for the industry.
To showcase the scale and diversity of Mace’s service offer including consultancy, construction, operation and development, users first view a city divided into seven districts brought to life with movement and soundscapes.
Featuring iconic projects such as The Shard, Kingdom Tower and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the challenge was to feature smaller, more diverse projects and most significantly the people involved. On exploration, this unique story is told through high impact imagery, video, quotes and infographics to show how Mace's clients, colleagues and communities benefitted from each project.
A result of thorough research and collaboration true to company culture, the project was led by Mace’s marketing team who brought together in-house architecture, 4D and project teams to work with lead digital partner Radley Yeldar, Vertex Modelling, RewindFX, Wagstaffs Design and Trovus Revelations.
About the company
Mace is an international consultancy and construction company offering integrated services across the full property and infrastructure life cycle. Specialising in finding better solutions to complex infrastructure and property challenges, it has a customer first mentality and dedication to finding a better way, all underpinned by high-quality delivery.
Some headline objectives from Mace's 2020 business plan:
- Increase business with key clients (existing and new).
- Retain the best people (increase engagement).
- Attract the best people (increase acquisition).
Objectives were set as a direct enabler for the above.
- Increase business with key clients (existing and new): Mace World had to be something colleagues could use when out meeting clients to give a consistent account of Mace’s people, experience and specialisms, as well as tell the same story to clients independently online. It was important to measure exactly who from the strategic clients it had reached.
- Retain the best people (increase engagement): The 25th anniversary was a key date in the diary for the company to celebrate its achievements. Mace World had to be something that would make existing employees proud to work for the company and want to share with their friends and family on a range of channels.
- Attract the best people (increase acquisition): Mace World also had to be something that could be used to attract the best talent to the company. This meant engaging school leavers, graduates and experienced professionals at both events and online, showcasing not only the amazing work that Mace has done, but the kind of technology and innovation it prides itself on pioneering.
- Prove the value of digital: As an extra objective, Mace World was also a key opportunity to prove the value of digital to senior stakeholders within the business for further investment in digital marketing.
The target audience
As Mace World was designed for both internal and external audiences usability was key. After some early testing, the decision was taken to use a specific technology – HTML5 video instead of Unity3D engine – to ensure the experience worked on relatively low performance machines, making access universal.
From here, the development was pushed as far as possible to ensure users had the best viewing experience, from optimising for different operating systems, to creating mobile specific landing pages and app store prompts on iPad to increase downloads.
Although Mace World was an innovative product, key to its success was a strong multichannel launch campaign that was carefully planned in three stages.
- Test launch: Mace World was exclusively previewed at MIPIM, the leading market event for construction and real estate industry. This opportunity was used to get client feedback prior to launch and use data to amend any technical issues.
- Internal launch: To launch internally, Mace World became a unique part of the built environment. Employees arrived to a video preview in Mace's reception with surrounding campaign graphics installed overnight. At 10am (and timed internationally), an all staff email and news item launched both the web platform and app, followed by a succession of reminders throughout the week including news items, posters and screen savers. As a second touchpoint, bespoke signage directed staff to a unique touch screen table to allow them to view Mace World at a much larger size and use in groups to engage discussion.
- External launch – #maceworld25: For the external launch, email marketing and web news was also used to preview to an external audience, but went on to use PR with industry publications and carefully planned social media.
Using an editorial calendar to plan content prior, during and after launch, Mace repurposed images, infographics and re-edited video for mobile to share across the company's social media channels over the course of a month. This saw over 150 tweets related to Mace World and the company's highest ever engaged news article on LinkedIn, with 502 clicks and 207 interactions.
Timescales of the campaign
Timeframe: November 2014 – July 2015
Programme and project managed by Mace marketing with supporting roles where stated.
- Briefing from CEO
- Industry research
- User requirements
- Proof of concept (Radley Yeldar)
- Virtual city design (Mace Design)
- City modelling (Vertex)
- 4D design (Mace 4D)
- UX / web development
- Content development
- Video post-production (Rewind FX)
- App development (RY)
- User acceptance testing (RY)
- Test launch MIPIM
- Campaign planning
- Internal launch campaign (Wagstaffs)
- External launch campaign
- Reporting (Trovus).
Overall measurement (since launch):
- 50,000+ unique visitors
- 166 countries
- 406 app downloads.
- 30% bounce rate (industry average estimated at 40%)
- 00:04:21 average session time (industry average is estimated at 3.1 minutes, according to Kissmetrics).
Measurement against business objectives
- Support business development: Going further than just Google Analytics, working with partner Trovus Revelations to track IP addresses of 54 key clients who visited Mace World online, while also supporting business development for one-to-one meetings. Mike Myles, operations director, investment, London, said: “When bidding for work, Mace World is a great way of providing an overview of experience across the different sectors – but actually doing it in an interactive, engaging way. People have felt more inclined to go in and explore, which has worked really well for us.”
- Increase employee engagement. On the day of internal launch, 72% of staff visited Mace World with an average session time of 04:21, which is more than double the average session time of the company's existing website. Graham Barber, operations director, cost consultancy, New York, said: “I was extremely impressed with the overall package, and can’t think of anything that would improve the overall experience. As a company, we're about delivering exciting, iconic and successful projects and this package demonstrates exactly that. Very impressive.”
- Increase employee acquisition. As a direct response to supporting employee acquisition, Mace World is now used at graduate events and campaigns. Michael Nathan, senior emerging talent manager, said: “Mace World is a great way to portray the organisation in a way that appeals to a new ‘digitally native’ talent pool, which we think will maintain graduates' enthusiasm to accept an offer to join Mace without looking to our competitors.”
- Digital marketing. As an initial project, Mace World successfully earned board-level approval for a further £750,000 investment in digital marketing, which includes a new global website that was scheduled to launch in October 2016. The project was run so well (particularly with stakeholder engagement) it has set a new standard for both the marketing team and the wider business.
Mark Reynolds, chief executive at Mace, said: “Mace World tells the story of who we are as a business and how we’ve got to where we are today. Our teams across the world are working with our clients on some fantastic projects, and Mace World is a brilliant platform to showcase the breadth and depth of these. It's also a great example of collaboration internally, the project involved Mace employees from across architecture and design, 4D modelling, digital, marketing communications and of course our project teams."
This case study was submitted as part of the judging process for the B2B Marketing Awards 2016. It was shortlisted under Best use of digital techniques or technologies: Mace World by Mace Group
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