Chalk it up to progress…In 2009, interactive white boards (IWB) were fast becoming modern classroom staples. Yet, DYMO/Mimio Interactive Teaching Technologies (ITT) was a virtual wallflower compared to competitors like SMART Board. While DYMO/Mimio was more affordable, portable and easier to use than rival products, it was an outsider to the educational ?in-crowd.? With new products in its 2010 pipeline, DYMO/Mimio needed popularity among teachers — purchase influencers — to get invited to the dance. They challenged Ketchum to build DYMO/Mimio’s reputation for ?being easy.?

Leveraging teachers’ potential angst around curriculum change, Ketchum created a Mimio-branded tool to make interactive lesson-planning easier. would be the first repository and community for completely free interactive teaching content. An interactive teachers’ lounge, would allow educators to view, share and download lessons for fast customization. Easy, right? Launched June 2009, amassed 55,000+ members, thousands of lessons and 108,000+ downloads.

After building an “easy”? story and strong teacher fan base, Ketchum began aggressive media outreach to support DYMO/Mimio’s new product suite. A-plus coverage followed: 292.2 million impressions, exceptional ?easy? message quality score, and 32 to 1 ROI. Given the heightened visibility and teacher engagement, it’s no surprise DYMO/Mimio sales grew at twice the industry rate.


Business Goal: Increase product sales
Brand Goal: Generate authentic emotional connection between brand and target
Communications Goal: Generate visibility for product’s ease of use
2010 Media Goal: ≥700 clips, ≥ 200 million impressions, 69 average quality score, 8 to 1 ROI


K-12 educational decision-makers — teachers, principals and school superintendents. It’s an audience that is constantly under fire, under-budgeted and over-tasked for maintaining and improving student achievement, made worse by recession. Purchasing lesser-known brands could be risky decision — and thus the two biggest IWB manufacturers held nearly 80 percent of the market.

Insight: Underdog brand must tap emotional need to break through


In brainstorming ways to increase target-relevance of the brand’s ease-of-use benefits, Ketchum looked for inspiration among areas most difficult for educators.
A survey by the U.S. Department of Education reported unreasonable, much-too-heavy workloads as the #2 reason teachers leave the profession.

Insight: Interactive technology can add extra planning work to teachers’ already overloaded schedule

We also conducted an intense review of competitors’ training and content offerings. For example, while one market leader had downloadable content on their website, many of their lesson plans had to be purchased.

Insight: Opportunity for more, free interactive learning/sharing among teachers


An Apple for the Teacher
Leveraging teachers’ potential angst over new lesson planning, Ketchum recommended demonstrating the brand’s ease-of-use by bringing teachers an easy tool to ?interactive-ate? existing lessons or customize new ones. Creating opportunities for DYMO/Mimio to become teachers’ pet prior to the launch of its new products would make earned media outreach easy as π (pi).

Tool would:

Engage target with easy solution for getting his or her own ?homework? done

Deliver easy solutions for more effective teaching

Offer bragging-right opportunity when other teachers download their lesson submissions
Provide interactive channel for product news, customer training, educator conversation

Be expandable to include lessons that could be used with new products in its pipeline
Work globally and utilize the brand’s technology


1st Semester Prerequisite:
Guided by digital teaching pioneer, Sue Ritchie, Ketchum envisioned, designed, built and maintained all technical responsibilities for The site launched via press release and was then promoted via sales and customer channels to encourage existing Mimio fans to share the site with others.
Among site features:
Thousands of lesson plans, searchable by subject and grade
Apple-rating system for user ?review?
Member profiles, noting number of lesson plans uploaded/downloaded and members’ content ratings
Ability to seek help from ?Mimio Master?
Forums for discussion/collaboration
Quick Learn Guides – DYMO/Mimio’s free, online training series
Company product and events news
12 language capabilities with native-speaking moderators to offer assistance as needed

2nd Semester: Major Product Launch
Building upon teacher buzz around, Ketchum supported DYMO/Mimio’s new product launch with a digital-outreach campaign at the industry’s largest tradeshow. Internally-coined Tradeshow 2.0 tactics included:
Eye-catching e-cards to tease news, drive booth traffic, spark interest in demos/interviews
Multimedia newsroom with engaging videos, photos, info
Live streaming booth activities, including teachers demonstrating products
Tweet-Ups encouraging traffic, Sue Ritchie interviews

Post-show follow-up maintained media engagement to secure media placements.


Business Goal: Increase product sales and market leadership
With minimal help from other marketing channels, client attributes Ketchum’s efforts around, new products launch and earned media as helping drive sales growth at twice the industry average and doubling tradeshow traffic from previous year.
Brand Goal: Generate authentic emotional connection between brand and target
To date, has secured 55,000+ members, with thousands of lesson plans available, produced by teachers, for teachers. To date, educators have downloaded 108,000+ lessons.
Teachers visited the tradeshow booth to share appreciation and offer video testimonials, including one teacher who delivered pastries to the booth and another who thanked our clients for ?Truly putting thought into (Mimio’s) products.? Another said, ?This product has opened up the whole world to my classroom…Overall, DYMO/Mimio has made teaching easier and more fun – I don’t know what I did all these years without it.?
Communications Goal: Generate visibility for product’s ease of use
2010 Media Goal/Results to date
≥ 700 clips – delivered 1,564 TO DATE
≥ 200 million impressions – achieved 292.2 million TO DATE
69 average quality score – calculated 74 average quality score TO DATE
8 to 1 ROI – totals 32 to 1 TO DATE