[Case Study] Nix Lice Tracker – Custom Web Application Development
Lice treatments haven’t evolved in a long time. So long in fact that some lice have built up immunity to the pesticide used to treat them. That’s how Super Lice were born!
In 2016 Nix® introduced NIX® ULTRA SUPER LICE TREATMENT, a pesticide free, non-toxic lice elimination treatment. With this new innovation Nix® emerged as the industry pioneer.
Nix® came to Philly Marketing Labs with a simple question:
“How do we (Nix®) further establish ourselves as the industry’s thought leader and, more importantly, provide more value to our customers?”
During a strategy session with the Nix® team the idea for a lice tracking platform was born! We were working on an allergy tracker integration for another brand at the time, so tracking things was top of mind.
The magic of the platform we ultimately built lies in its data sources. Currently, lice activity and outbreaks are not tracked by the CDC or any public or private entity.
To build our map overlay we leveraged online search signals from Google, zip code specific retail sales data, and crowd-sourced social submissions from school nurses and parents. We then applied our proprietary and unique weighing algorithm, blended those data sources together, and displayed them as an interactive google map layer for users to explore.
The Nix® Lice Tracker is quickly becoming a great tool for parents and school nurses to track lice activity in their areas.
Long term, the historical data collected by this platform will allow us to determine lice regional seasonality and trends, which will empower Nix® to better help parents and nurses proactively treat and eliminate lice.
Why hasn’t this been created yet?
We learned very quickly that the reason the CDC and other companies have not tracked lice was because there wasn’t a reliable data source.
In order to make the Lice Tracker a reality, we had to create our own data source, and not just create an interface to visualize existing data.
Working with the Nix® team we concluded that for the data feed to be as accurate as possible, we needed to blend together multiple data sources. The identified sources were:
- Google Search Volume Data
We worked with Google to identify intent-driven keywords for which parents and impacted parties were searching. Fluctuations in those keywords’ search volumes indicated a lice outbreak. Then we coordinated with Google to funnel this custom feed of search volume data (at the zip code level), that correlated with lice outbreaks, into the Lice Tracker platform. This is a built-from-scratch custom feed that is not available elsewhere as Google created it specifically for this project.
- Point of Sale Purchases of Lice Treatment Products
We leveraged sales data across the entire ‘lice treatments’ category sold at a chain store in America (not just Nix Lice products, but any lice product). We then coordinated with the vendor to create a custom feed of this data that correlates check register purchases of lice treatments of any brand at the zip code level with outbreaks and cases of lice, to the Lice Tracker platform.
- Nurses and Parents Crowd-Sourced Reporting
We constructed a portal that allows parents and pre-authorized nurses to submit and report lice outbreaks themselves, at the zip code level, which is in turn fed into the platform.
Once all of those unique custom feeds and user-submitted data streams were collected, we applied a unique weighing algorithm to create our unified heat map of where outbreaks are taking place.
The Nix® Lice Tracker platform is hosted on the Nix® website and gives unprecedented access to parents, school nurses, and concerned parties the ability to visualize simply where lice outbreaks are currently occurring and proactively prepare for any potential lice exposure.
This interactive platform allows users to map out vacations, school trips, and even just perform periodic check-ins to stay on top of these invasive and contagious pests.
The Marketing Implications
The Nix® Lice Tracker’s leverageable platform positions Nix® as a thought-leader in the space. The brand is now going beyond providing treatment for lice cases, and is extending into providing their customers with greater visibility and lice information awareness in general.
For Paid Search, our standard nationwide campaign will be augmented by bid adjustments based on the data feed coming from Lice Tracker. This way the client is only paying incremental dollars where they know there is lice activity and a higher ROI.
For print advertising, we are able to base advertising efforts on information gathered from the data feed and place ads into newspapers, circulars and magazines in impacted zip codes.
Simply by having a data warehouse of lice outbreak information, we will be able to search for trends in specific states, cities, and zip codes during specific times of the year. We will then be able to target marketing efforts according to those trends. Data warehousing can also allow for content generation specific to local cities and groups to help drive marketing initiatives.
Looking Into the Future
We launched the Nix® Lice Tracker as a minimum-viable product. Future phases are already in planning with many potential upgrades and features. One of the most intriguing future initiatives is the ability to input your zip code and email address to be proactively alerted when lice outbreaks are peaking or trending upward. These custom alerts will allow parents and nurses to proactively avoid lice infestations.
- Over 1,000 zip codes looked up per day on the Nix Lice Tracker
- Over 60,000 zip code inquiries (and counting)
- Over 400 user reports of lice outbreaks