The Nation's Most Trusted Bail Bond Agents

Vocus Helps ExpertBail Build the Industry's First National Brand

Monday, August 1, 2011

ExpertBail at VocusThis past June, Eric Granof, Chief Marketing Officer for AIA and ExpertBail, presented the ExpertBail case study at the 2011 Vocus User’s Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. As part of that conference, Eric shared how AIA and ExpertBail have used Vocus (a leading provider of on-demand software for public relations management)  to tell the incredible stories of its agents to the marketplace.  Read the full case study below.

AIA is the largest family of bail bond insurance companies in the country. Through their network of agents, they write one of every five bail bonds nationwide. They pride themselves in their professionalism and service; their agents - who are sometimes second or third-generation bail agents - are available 24/7, in any locality where bail is written.

ExpertBail was launched 10 months ago by AIA as the first and only national brand in an industry that has always lacked one. Eric Granof, Chief Marketing Officer, used many of Vocus' tools to launch the brand and continue to build it in the face of massive misperception.

The Challenge:

For years, bail agents have fought an uphill image battle. Their aim has always been to assist clients who are in trouble with the law; but they haven't always been depicted as a helping hand.

"I think Hollywood and the media have consistently portrayed bail agents as these long-haired, tattooed, gold chain wearing criminals that run through the streets with guns a-blazing," says Granof. "But the reality is that they're really nothing like that. I think it sells a lot of tickets - and probably makes it a lot more interesting than it really is - but at the end of the day, bail agents are pretty much just like you and me."

The Solution:

For ExpertBail to garner trust and cultivate top-of-mind awareness, they had to set the record straight.

"One of the biggest things that we did to try to change that perception was to simply tell the truth," says Granof. "We told real stories of bail agents doing the things they do in their communities every day. These true stories are the best reflection of who bail agents really are - people just like you and me - and they help us challenge that misperception."

Vocus played an important role in helping ExpertBail spread the word and accomplish this major shift in perception.

"We used Vocus to tell the stories about what the agents are doing in the community," says Granof. "We've got agents who have helped youth sports programs flourish in their neighborhoods. We have agents who are former US Marshalls that choose to go into this profession upon retirement. It really is comprised of people who have these incredible stories, and we've used Vocus to get those stories out to the media, and to share them in as many ways as possible."

Vocus has also helped ExpertBail identify and target the right audience for those stories.

"Vocus allows us to track and maintain who's been interested - and who isn't - and get the stories out there and see who's reading them," says Granof. "And then as we continue to put them out there, it's helped us reach the right people."

ExpertBail is now all over the Web - they've acquired close to 10,000 Facebook fans in the 10 months since the launch - and have created a personality and brand that is consistent and trustworthy.

"We're really engaging people, and having conversations about bail to educate people and inform them about the role bail plays in the criminal justice system," says Granof. "We're creating a personality around the brand - something that's unique and that's different."

"At the end of the day, if someone ever gets in the unfortunate circumstance of needing a bail agent, there needs to be a brand that is top-of-mind with consumers," says Granof. "We're striving for a brand that separates the good agents from the not-so-good agents; a brand that sets an expectation and delivers on it each and every time. When you create that, then you will be able to drive people's preference and behavior and they will say: 'hey, I'm going to go with this brand.' They now have an expectation that we have helped create. That is the ultimate power of a brand, and we couldn't have got there without Vocus."

ExpertBail at Vocus

Original Article:
Vocus Helps ExpertBail Build the Industry's First National Brand