The Army National Guard is continuously looking for ways to improve its community outreach and promotional message efforts to increase the public’s awareness of the Guard’s mission and their ability to participate. Lucid was asked to develop several innovative approaches to increase interaction between the Guard and its target audience and develop a series of programs that will increase the effectiveness of its recruiting message and interaction with a variety of target audiences. The program includes these major initiatives.
One key avenue of communication included the use of social media such as Facebook. Lucid developed and implemented a Facebook application called “Moments of Pride” where a user’s own artifacts (e.g., pictures, friends) are taken from Facebook and integrated into Guard mission materials to show them an individualized, possible career with the guard. The team is now developing 3 additional social media applications to re-energize the ARNG Facebook presence. The main goal of this campaign is to harness the use of social networking in order to propel the ARNG Facebook© interactions and expand the outreach to enhance the awareness of the benefits of a career in the ARNG to its target audience and also create a dialogue with that audience (In addition to connecting and developing leading edge social media applications to reach a business goal).
Augmented Reality Uniform Experience
Lucid is conceiving, designing, developing, and implementing an ARUE application. The application will allow the user to place the uniform on their body using an AR marker, cycle and choose from uniform options, select separate background environments, and print photos with name integrated onto the uniform. We are currently designing interactive, web-based augmented reality ‘story’. We are also developing helicopter rescue games that will be downloadable on iPhone and Android. These games will feature augmented reality, enabling game play in real space.
Mobile Learning Center
Lucid was tasked with creating a Mobile Learning Center (MLC) aimed at 11th and 12th grade students to provide an on-demand center that can aid students in discovering opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. The lab provides innovative teaching resources to schools nationwide via an online web portal that Lucid built for the program. The vehicle boasts cutting edge technology, an on-board theater, and four interactive stations allowing students hands-on activities.
Strategic Task Workforce
Lucid sources, deploys, and manages a team of experts responsible for brand analysis, brand articulation and strategy, marketing communications development, prospect research and definition, creative design and direction, technology integration, campaign planning, and program filtration system for marketing efforts of the National Guard Bureau.
New Marketing Strategies
Lucid is developing an over-arching strategy that will allow for the development of specific tactics based on innovation, state-of-the-art outreach tools, and the implementation of those tools at the grassroots level to optimize resource allocation. We are in the process of developing five (5) innovative technology initiatives that will place the ARNG on a new level versus the competition.
3 on 3 Basketball Promotions
Lucid implements an on-campus program using basketball tournaments as promotional events to spur knowledge about the ARNG and increase the interaction between Guard personnel and students. The program includes pre and post tournament activities and contests to generate attention. These programs are linked with Lucid’s social media programs to generate leads with the Guards target audience.
Another program created a private social networking site allowing for a select group of people to establish their own social network with all the relevant capabilities including: blogs, content sharing (pictures), profiles, sub-networks of friends. A second social network initiative included the ability to share links to outside resources, security through password protection, and pre-made templates used for content management.
|Client Success Factors||Lucid Experience|
|Proven skill in project management on complex web design projects||
Lucid’s Facebook Application Program team has delivered two (2) separate social media applications with the ARNG over the past 14 months, and is currently developing 2 more. Each of these applications has been brought in on time and on budget. The capabilities and features of the applications mirrored the original user requirements. Lucid deployed structured project management processes to generate these results.
|Ability to sustain high paced product development and launch cycle||
The original FAP contract called for one (1) application. When this proved successful the ARNG asked for three (3) more. Lucid accelerated their work and delivered into this high-paced cycle with no issues.
|Experience in web design, state-of-the-art tools||
The FAP applications represent state-of-the-art interactive social media tools the ARNG had never used before in trying to reach their target market. The social media applications integrate unique individual information gathered from Facebook, with custom video and audio, to produce a unique National Guard experience for potential recruits. Custom tools are used to measure results and return on investment.
|Ability to perform long range planning||
Both the FAP and 3-on-3 tournament programs have been in effect for 2 years and each has grown over time. These changes are reflections of the long term plan the ARNG and Lucid developed together to improve their communication with prospective soldiers. In addition, Lucid’s Mobile Learning Center is aimed at high school students who won’t be eligible for the ARNG for several years. Our New Marketing Strategies program is developing long range social media strategies (such as on-line games) for the National Guard.
|Ability to work as a team with the government||
Lucid’s team is tightly coupled with the ARNG in several ways. The FAP team works hand-in-hand with ARNG management to develop user requirements and software capabilities. The ARNG field personnel work closely with our 3-on-3 tournament teams and Mobile Leaning Center planners to handle logistics and shared duties. We meet with every ARNG program weekly to discuss results and improve delivery.
|Familiarity with government standards||
All of Lucid’s development work has adhered to all ARNG standards. In addition, followed government standards in a diverse group of areas from public signage to contracts.
As the prime contractor on this program that has extremely diverse projects and technical needs. We have managed these requirements through outstanding hiring practices and the use of strategic sub-contracting. We have maintained client satisfaction through tight communication at all times to monitor project performance, sub-contractor compliance with project goals, and all close matching of all software capabilities with original user requirements. As many of the projects within the program included geographically dispersed teams and activities in twelve (12) states, we learned early on to delegate authority while maintaining accountability. Our local personnel managed day-to-day project activities efficiently while program managers supervised through the use of formal project plans, frequent communication, and strongly designed performance metrics.
The overall ARNG program includes multiple types of innovation in order to spur awareness and recruitment. The FAP campaign is unique with regards to target consumers. On face value, the campaign is an awareness initiative; with goals to reach as many people as possible while strengthening the reputation of ARNG. While, our core target is 17-24 year olds, male and female, in all regions across the US, messaging and imagery will attempt to focus and connect more deeply with Officer or Special Forces candidates – a higher quality target (college educated/education oriented, athletic) and potential beneficiaries of ARNG. However, the value in a campaign of this execution is that the medium and vehicle does not close doors to one core audience or alienate certain audience groups due to focused messaging.
Lucid began its partnership with the ARNG in November of 2009 with two small projects to provide one-time assistance in generating new recruiting / promotional tools. This program has now grown to over 6 projects over two years and is being extended into a third year due to the strong reaction the innovative programs have had with the ARNG’s target audience, including: 1) The Facebook Application Program has tapped into the power of social media platforms to give potential recruits a personalized concept of their time in the Guard. It has generated over 190 million web impressions and 196,524 views, and 2) The 3-on-3 basketball tournament events have generated over 12,700 impressions, 3,800 interactions, and 1,123 leads. The 37% conversion rate from lead to appointment is the highest of any ARNG recruitment program to date. The Mobile Learning Center has a slightly different goal (the Guard is interested primarily in college graduates for officer training) since it targets high school students. The program is designed to increase awareness of the Guard amongst students interested in the STEM areas and create national media attention. This program has generated 833,000 impressions, 2,810 interactions, 107 classes, and over 7 million media impressions.