Commentary & Analysis
Reynolds DeWalt . They Can. You Can.
By Barbara Pellow December 13,
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: December 13, 2006
By Barbara Pellow December 13, 2006 -- Yesterday I logged on to the Reynolds DeWalt web site and was greeting with one of the most creative introductions I have ever seen. A beautiful montage of imagery and music told visitors: You can -- make the world smaller -- do something unexpected -- blaze a new trail You can -- send a more effective message -- speak softly, but carry a big message -- speak less, spend less, say more -- LEAD And it wrapped up with a simple statement: Reynolds DeWalt is a sixty-year-old commercial printing company with a strong pioneering spirit. The company has a history of being an early adopter of the latest technology. In the 1960s, Reynolds DeWalt was one of the first companies to invest in computerized typesetting, abandoning traditional hot metal. They are deploying this same philosophy as they move into the realm of 1-to-1 cross media capabilities. They are working with their customer base to help them identify new ways to reach out to target audiences that were never before thought possible. Early on, Reynolds DeWalt observed critical trends taking place in marketing. Customers and prospects were becoming more sophisticated and media channels were becoming increasingly crowded. Its clients were looking for direct response programs to reach prospects with a compelling message at the time they were most likely to respond. Five years ago, Reynolds DeWalt made its first investment in production digital color and the company has never looked back. Today, Reynolds DeWalt has iGen3 devices and the full XMPie Suite of application software. While 70 percent of revenue is derived from offset production, 30 percent is linked to cross media solutions. The firm has a cross media department staffed with seven full-time employees. An Anatomy of an Effective Campaign Reynolds DeWalt has implemented several very effective variable data and direct marketing projects. One excellent example, the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center campaign, exemplifies all aspects of a high quality, data-driven, integrated marketing campaign. 1. Clear business objectives 2. Quality data 3. Customized direct mail 4. A compelling offer 5. Gathering additional data for future refinement 6. Delivering data-driven relevant communication that goes beyond "Dear " 7. Maintaining a fully closed-loop process to track campaign effectiveness and take countermeasures to enhance the campaigns; develop leads to enhance conversions; and communicate ROI. Business Need The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center is a regional theater located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The Zeiterion is the only performing arts center in the area that consistently provides diverse quality entertainment ranging from comedy to classical to contemporary and has an array of "big names" including Whoopi Goldberg, Cleo Laine, and Club Swing. The Zeiterion wanted to implement a direct marketing strategy to attract the right people to the specific events. Data Zeiterion had very limited customer data. They knew the names and addresses of season ticket holders as well as those that had ordered single event tickets for delivery via the mail. Reynolds DeWalt took name and address data and augmented it with additional information purchased from Accudata, including age, annual household income, marital status and number of children, and discovered that the best prospects were predominately males between 40 and 55 years of age with annual income greater than $75,000. Reynolds DeWalt purchased an additional mailing list fitting the profiles of the most likely respondents and sent direct mail postcards to past participants as well as prospects. More than 11,000 personalized mailers were sent out. The Creative and The Offer The creative indicated that the Zeiterion had a seat with the recipient's name on it waiting for him or her. There was a link to a personalized URL (pURL). The offer to encourage recipients to link to the web site was an opportunity to win two free tickets to a performance of their choice during the upcoming season. There was a 14 percent response rate to the pURL offer. When recipients typed their pURL into a browser, they arrived on a personalized web page populated with copy, images, and an offer based on the limited customer data available Reynolds DeWalt and the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center also wanted to gather additional data about the prospect. The offer strategy was designed to entice the respondent to complete a brief survey about show preferences so the Center could properly market future shows. The site also asked the respondent to provide the e-mail address of a friend that might be interested in Zeiterion. Systems available today include built-in tracking to enable continuous monitoring of the campaign's progress as customers enter their personalized pages and provide additional relevant information. Campaign response rates, visitor response patterns, and detailed lead information can be available 24x7 as the campaign unfolds. In this instance, of the 14 percent of individuals that linked to the landing page, 29 percent actually provided the e-mail address of a friend. Reynolds DeWalt's strategy is to work with customers on an informational approach to marketing. The company initially bought data to augment insufficient information about existing clients. It then used a systems approach to acquiring more information about both the prospects and their interests. Once they acquired data, the thrust was the development of both print and electronic marketing to target audiences using information that was relevant to those music and entertainment interests. The focus is on constantly improving each segment of the marketing process based on detailed statistical data and acquired information. You Can. They Did. While firms like Reynolds DeWalt are leveraging cross media and digital color technology and new ways to deliver value, they are also learning and sharing valuable lessons. Automating a bad process won't yield good results for you or your client. There are key principles associated with developing integrated solutions for clients. 1. The process starts with a clear strategy backed by good data to support it. 2. The process needs to be coherent from initial contact through service delivery. Each piece of your marketing system needs to be consistent, effective and work well with all the other parts. For instance, what good is a 14 percent click through rate if the website doesn't encourage prospects to request more information? 3. Messaging needs to be clean and simple to entice individuals to access the pURL. It needs to have the right offer associated with linking through to the site. 4. Automated marketing has the ability to attract prospects, but depending on the product or service, it may require live contact. In the case of Zeiterion, backing direct mail with telemarketing is an effective technique to drive attendance at performances. 5. Users need to be willing to create the system up front and continue to improve it. A fundamental principle of any marketing system is that you must keep testing, learning, and improving. The goal is to optimize your system. You can't get complacent and neglect to try new ways to get better, more efficient results. Your customers are striving to enhance customer loyalty, improve customer satisfaction and promote share of wallet. While the challenges in integrated campaign management are significant, graphic communications service providers need to take notice of the available technology and opportunity. The market is changing, and evolving your business to align with new market demands is essential to long-term growth and profitability.