Webtrends Discovers Route to Double Success Metrics for Kettle Foods’ "Passport to Flavor" Campaign

Kettle Brands Client Success Story

“Going forward, we'll continue to focus more on mechanisms to both push and pull visitors to the campaign, and Webtrends will allow us to make smarter investments, as well as better tailor our sales messages and promotion plans for our overall marketing efforts.”

Michelle Peterman | Vice President of Marketing for Kettle Foods

The Client

Kettle Foods began blazing its all-natural snack-making trail back in 1978, and has been delighting customers with distinctive potato chips (and other treats) ever since. In addition to making award-winning snacks, Kettle Foods is known for its dedication to sustainability and commitment to “chipping in” to the community with generous donations of time and products.

The Challenge

Kettle Foods was gearing up to embark on its third annual People’s Choice campaign. For two years, customers had been sinking their teeth into the promotion by actively choosing the company’s next potato chip flavor. The objectives were to engage people in the Kettle Foods brand, increase sales and build awareness.

The “Passport to Flavor” website was constructed in Flash to provide a richer, more immersive experience. But when the campaign launched, many users were ending their journeys without casting votes and email registrations were lower than the Kettle team had expected.

Results Recap

  • Increased email registrations by 107 percent from previous year.
  • Doubled vote conversion rates from the beginning of the campaign.
  • Prompted 34 percent of voters to leave comments on the site.
  • Blogs, advertisements and the viral send-to-a-friend feature garnered the same amount of traffic and party pack sales as last year’s campaign, in one third of the time.
  • Generated significant media attention and praise for the campaign.


Webtrends quickly implemented a strategy to measure and improve the Passport to Flavor experience. Because this campaign site was Flash-based, Kettle Foods needed a different approach to data collection and analysis because key visitor activities were no longer tied to a page view.

With this in mind, Webtrends helped Kettle determine the website’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), the valuable metrics that gauge the performance of a site’s main processes and objectives. Together, the teams from Kettle Foods and Webtrends identified the KPIs to be:

  • Number of unique visitors to the site
  • Completed “events” such as voting, email registrations, send-to-friend and leave a comment actions
  • Sales of party pack samplers from the website
  • Referring URLs

Using Webtrends solutions, Kettle Foods was able to quickly and easily implement tracking for the new Passport to Flavor site. From there, the company used Webtrends 5-Point Scenario Analysis and Navigation Analysis reports to zero in on a core issue: they were missing out on a significant percentage of votes as compared to beginning of last year’s campaign.

With insight into where visitors were dropping out or failing to enter the voting process, the Kettle design team deduced small but critical alterations they could make to the Flash site. These changes included adding a strong “Vote Now!” call to action and increasing the prominence and visual appeal of the party pack sales message.

With the new design in place, voting conversion rates virtually doubled overnight and email registrations got a boost, too.

Marketing Campaign Tracking and Analysis

Webtrends tracked campaigns and referring URLs, which revealed how much traffic was coming from advertising and blogs. Kettle was able to tell which banner ads drove traffic to which parts of the site, making it possible to gauge the success of their advertising/PR campaigns. Some individual blogs linking to the campaign site drove as much traffic as advertisements, clearly demonstrating the value of this type of viral traffic promotion.

During the campaign, 44 percent of site visitors provided an email address, and the total votes increased by 7 percent over the previous year’s much-longer campaign. Party pack sales also matched the previous year, with 18 percent of voters making the purchase. In addition, 34 percent of visitors to the site left a comment, demonstrating a high degree of consumer engagement.

“For the first time, we were able to tell what efforts were successful in driving visitors to the campaign and what their experiences were like when they got there, which proved to be extremely valuable,” said Garrett Gonzales, senior graphic designer, Kettle Foods.

Future Flavors

Thanks to the insights gained using Webtrends solutions, Kettle Foods was able to ensure that Web 2.0 strategies like the interactive Flash site were delivering the results they needed. Plus, they could make continual improvements to their campaign site to enhance the user experience, and they’ll be able to confidently apply these learnings to future People’s Choice campaigns.

Michelle Peterman, vice president of marketing for Kettle Foods said, “Going forward, we’ll continue to focus more on mechanisms to both push and pull visitors to the campaign, and Webtrends will allow us to make smarter investments, as well as better tailor our sales messages and promotion plans for our overall marketing efforts.”