Automating Marketing Campaigns…Software Vendors Use Technology to Draw Booth Traffic
Special Report by Barb Pellow October 26,
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: October 26, 2006
Special Report by Barb Pellow October 26, 2006 -- Marketers are always asking the following questions: * How can I be as efficient as possible in my marketing so that I don’t waste time and money? * How can I make sales personnel more productive in prospecting and closing business? * How do I keep the sales funnel filled with highly qualified leads? * How can I more effectively get clients to come to me instead of having to chase them? Graph Expo was a great opportunity for software firms to “show” prospects the true meaning of integrated marketing campaign management and that’s exactly what MindfireInc, Pageflex and XMPie did. All of these suppliers wanted to make an impact with a variety of constituents – customers, prospects, and business partners. These firms took on the challenge of cutting through the clutter of preshow mailings and promotions to engage the audience. The objective of these multi-channel integrated campaigns was to encourage participation at the tradeshow, help generate leads, and foster a closer relationship between the company and the target audience. XMPie --- The Power to Change Everything XMPie’s Marketing Communications Director, Kimberly Meyers engaged Rick Littrell from MagiComm to assist in campaign development. The primary objective for the campaign was to drive attendance to specific Graph Expo presentations or to Webinars for individuals unable to attend the show and ultimately generate sales leads. The creative campaign content emphasized the POWER XMPie delivers. The key messages were that with XMPie software users have the power to: * grow their business * gain new sources of revenue * acquire and maintain customers * stop engaging in bidding wars by selling commodity products Every campaign starts with good data and XMPie used information from its internal data base as well as acquired external lists. The campaign had 10 unique touchpoints predicated on the prospect or customer response. The initial touch was segmented based on title – CEO or owner; plant manager or other/unknown. The messaging and images varied by recipient. CEO/Owner: Profitability message with images of corporate buildings Plant/Production Manager: Seamless integration message with a sailboat image Other/Unknown: turnkey solution message with plane image The initial oversized postcard leveraged uImage capability in combination with a response URL generated by the XMPie PersonalEffect software. The campaign incorporated multiple reminder components including two e-mails, a postcard as well as a highly customized web landing page. The landing page let the participant fully customize the front page of a newspaper and was a mechanism for validating pre-populated data about the prospect and it incorporated XMPie value propositions. MindFireInc.’s “Hottest Thing in 1-1 Marketing” Campaign for Graph Expo MindfireInc. wanted to communicate to Graph Expo attendees that it was the “hottest” solution for 1:1 marketing. It developed a campaign using matchbooks to symbolize that LookWho’sClicking is a “hot” solution for the graphic communications market. Not surprisingly, MindFireInc used variable data printing, Personalized URLs and VIP Landing Pages to generate leads and booth traffic at Graph Expo. The attention grabbing variable data direct mail piece invited recipients to a party in its Graph Expo booth and asked them to RSVP via a Personalized URL. Configured in MindFireInc’s LookWho’sClicking, each VIP Landing Page was customized. Current customers had a different version than prospects. The pages got more relevant as data was gathered on each respondent. Follow-up e-mail messages were automatically generated acknowledging the recipient’s visit and response to the party invitation. Leads were automatically sent to sales representatives via email or PDA. All on-line activity was tracked via a web-based Campaign Dashboard, enabling the marketing and sales managers to closely monitor the results. Follow-up e-mails were sent to respondents and non-respondents customized for the specific individual. Actual matchbooks consistent the design of the mail piece were printed as the “party tickets”. Party goers were asked to display the matchbook in their breast pocket or show badge in order to be served at the bar. Large format graphics in the booth also mirrored the “flame/hottest thing” campaign design concept. A guest login was created at www.hottestthing.com so that the MindFireInc sales team could invite people who were not part of the initial mailing database. According to Business Development Vice President, Carolyn Valiquette, the campaign yielded results. The party was attended by approximately 150 people including current customers, prospects and strategic software and hardware partners. Mail Pieces Sent Responses Response Rate Surveys Completed Survey Completion Rate On-line Demos Before Show Approx. Demos at Booth Prospects 10,971 915 8.34% 290 2.46% 100 ~ 400 Customers 315 71 22.54% 43 13.65% N/A 50 Guest N/A 33 N/A 33 N/A 15 ~ 5 The following is a screen shot of the actual aggregate response rate dashboard generated by LookWho’sClicking. The concept and design of the direct mail piece, landing pages graphic assets, large format graphics, actual matchbooks, product collateral and show-specific business card graphics were done by VI Helpdesk (Tempe, AZ, contact Ted Raymond, email@example.com). Print production on all of the above except the actual, strike-able matchbooks was done by R and R images (Phoenix, AZ, contact Rod Key, firstname.lastname@example.org). The campaign symbolizes the essential elements of any good integrated marketing campaign – a strategy backed with good data and interesting creative execution. Pageflex – Solutions for All Things Variable Pageflex wanted to highlight its new generation Pageflex offering and its ability to provide “solutions for all things variable” regardless of media selected. In order to use the power of variable data publishing for this pre-show campaign, an earlier holiday campaign drove customers to a site that asked them about their favorite movie, candy and beverage of choice at a movie theater. These “movie facts” provided the variables for the pre-conference mailer. Using this information, the graphics for the invitation were customized to display each recipient’s “favorites.” Movie options included from “Gone with the Wind,” “Psycho,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Godfather”; food alternatives were popcorn, nachos and hot dogs; candy selections were jelly beans, M&M’s, gummy bears, or snowcaps; and the beverage of choice could be soda, water or coffee). The invitation was the core component of a multi-touch cross media campaign consisting of the mailer, a coordinated email and a personalized web-microsite. The invitation had six purposes: * promote and drive traffic to the Pageflex booth at the Graph Expo tradeshow, * serve as a method to schedule demos at the booth * invite customers to a Customer Appreciation party during the tradeshow * direct recipients to an online personalized microsite where they could register for the party, complete a survey, schedule a demo at the booth and update their contact information * demonstrate and increase awareness of the graphic design, personalization, customization, and personalized URL capabilities provided by Pageflex variable data software, and * provide recipients a sense of Pageflex as an energetic, fun, and creative company. One week after the mailer was sent, a reminder e-mail was sent to those who had not responded to the mailer. Everyone who visited their site received a thank you e-mail. The count isn’t final, but the initial response rate was over 40%. Walking the Talk While these campaigns generated great response for Pageflex, MindfireInc and XMPie, they also created a “buzz” at the conference about the next wave in variable data – Integrated Marketing Campaign Management. Everything from the high quality mail pieces, e-mail follow-up and personalized name tags stimulated conversation about what can be done in today’s world of multi-channel communications. The campaigns successfully promoted capabilities made possible by variable data technology. Customers, prospects and partners all had the chance to experience the power of cross media technology first hand. Printers and suppliers to the industry alike should take away an important lesson from these campaigns: personalized multichannel campaigns work. They deliver results. And the best way to demonstrate that to your customers is to walk the talk.