TurboTax social media in Forbes

TurboTax social media in ForbesOur work in social media this year got featured in Forbes magazine; I take that as quite a compliment.

Although at first blush people may wonder about the connection between taxes and social media, I would say they aren’t quite looking at it right. The connection is between people and their friends and family. One of the things people do naturally – especially at this time of year – is talk with their friends about taxes. (Choosing a method to get them done, doing their taxes, getting help with their taxes, being done with their taxes, etc) Our social media efforts are based on amplifying those conversations and helping where needed. Until a few years ago, we called our work in this space “word of mouth marketing.” (I still do)

It’s not all that complicated in concept, but making it happen can be. This blog is about the hard-learned lessons in how I’ve learned (and am still learning) to make it happen.

A Golden Time

Team lunch

TurboTax Online Advertising Team Lunch

It’s one of those rare times in my work life: I’m on a “dream team,” a group of folks who are all world-class at what they do – no weak links. Every week when we report out on our week’s learnings for our channels, I marvel at just how much each one knows and brings to the team.  On top of that, we are kind to one another, pretty much all the time. When someone needs help, another steps up to assist, usually without asking. We laugh together – a lot. Even though it seems like that work environment should be standard, in my experience it isn’t. Especially when you work around smart people who constantly want to prove their own worth. Without question the credit for all this goes to our leader Seth Greenberg, who makes the culture possible.

I’ve had a chance to be on teams like this a few times before, and sadly it never lasts long. People get promoted into new jobs, they get married and move, and so on. Things just change. As Robert Frost said,

“So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”

Today our team goes on a much-needed team-building offsite day. When we arrive I’ll look around and be thankful for this golden time and these wonderful people I get to work with.

TurboTax on the Social Media Examiner

Recently TurboTax’s social efforts were featured on the Social Media Examiner. The interviewer, Michael Stelzner, knew quite a bit about what we’re doing. As a result, he asked questions I don’t think I’ve ever been asked before. It turned into what I think was a pretty good interview – nice job, Michael.

TurboTax from Michael A. Stelzner on Vimeo.

TurboTax is among AdAge’s “America’s Hottest Brands”

Today TurboTax was honored among the case studies of America’s hottest brands on AdAge. Pretty exciting to see our team’s work featured so prominently in the study: from the social media side the Super Status contest, our partnership with NBC and the offline advertising team, and finally our Twitter Google network ad were featured. Our display advertising rockstar Brian Hovis’ work got major props as well. Picture 1

A creative solution in Online Advertising

It’s great to get mentioned as a cutting-edge example of creativity – it’s one of the reasons I like working on the Online Advertising Team. A new mention crossed my path today: Mike Takahashi’s blog mentioned us for the Twitter display ad we did last year. (First ever on the Google network) 

Say, I wrote that tweet he featured. Cool! 

TurboTax won 3 OMMA awards

TurboTax was
recognized as an industry leader during the Online Marketing and Media
Association Awards this week. Although we were delighted to be finalists in 6 categories, the celebration went to the next level when the winners were announced – 3 groovy-cool winners statues are coming to live on our team's "mantle."

Here are the categories we won in:

1. Social: Best Use of Widget – SuperStatus
To start with either of the other two awards would be less than genuine, since this is the award I personally had the most to do with. Since joining Seth's incredible Online Advertising team last year, we've been blessed to win a handful of social media accolades and awards: Ad Age's head-to-head comparison for social media, The San Diego American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year award, even the Bazaarvoice Best Overall Social Commerce Award. As thrilling as each award has been, I must say none of them has been as exciting as this: winning an OMMA award for the Widget that was the centerpiece of the SuperStatus contest. Big ups to Dailey advertising for making the whole thing possible with their great idea and design. (Not to mention nominating us)

To cap it all off, we beat HBO and Disney in this category. As a huge fan of both (we all are), we were pretty humbled by our win.

2. Rich Media: Single Execution – TurboTron
Brian Hovis – take a bow! Brian and Dailey worked their tushes off this year and it all paid off. The TurboTron banner was designed for a homepage takeover of Yahoo. It was so successful it literally ranked as the #2 most interacted-with banner of all time, plus the banner itself was incredibly creative. (Again, Dailey kicks butt).  For those who think social media and advertising don't mix, Brian took the great content created by our customer reviews, Live Community, and Super Status contest and made it part of his banner. The nature of advertising is changing in a good way, thanks to people like Brian.

3. Best Financial Services Integrated Online Media Campaign – TurboTax
More accolades for Brian Hovis.

Finally Mint.com, a company soon to be part of the Intuit family, also won an award for their outstanding blog.