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Commentary & Analysis

Boosting Response and Loyalty


By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: January 8, 2007

--- Special Feature Boosting Response and Loyalty Color TransPromo Communications Drive Both by Jeff Hayzlett January 8, 2006 -- A look back at 2006 reveals several global marketing trends that impacted the business of print and will continue to influence our industry in the year ahead. The re-emergence of customer relationship management (CRM) tops the list, as companies make it a priority to provide the highest levels of service and communication at every customer touch point. The emphasis on CRM means more companies turn to cross-channel marketing strategies or the use of a variety of communications media and tools to ensure they reach targeted consumers in a meaningful, relevant and convenient way. The increasing numbers and types of communications messages that are contributing factors to the focus on CRM and cross-channel marketing show no signs of slowing in 2007. With consumers encountering as many as 5,000 marketing messages per day from a range of sources, companies must continually come up with new solutions for integrated customer communications that break through the clutter. Often, that means personalized communications tailored to the interests and preferences of the recipient. Adding to the challenge, many consumers shut out communications through methods such as pop up blockers that prevent web ads from getting through or Do Not Call lists that screen out telemarketers. The Year of Color TransPromo Against this backdrop, print stands out as the medium that most effectively adapts to trends in marketing and communications, provides new forms of reaching customers, and plays well with other media. In fact, that's always been the case. Digital technologies that enable high quality color printing, efficient black and white production, and customized communications make print more powerful than ever. Print stands out as the medium that most effectively adapts to trends in marketing and communications A print communications solution that emerged in 2006 stands poised to gain greater acceptance in 2007: TransPromo communications, or utilizing transactional documents to deliver promotional messages. Bills, statements and other transactional documents, by their nature, have a captive audience and provide an ideal opportunity to tailor messages based on a consumer's interests, preferences and patterns. Incorporating personalized color variable data into bills and statements creates a customer communication piece that gets attention and causes action. Advances in digital technology take the advantages of quality color printing even further by enabling the efficient, streamlined production of targeted rather than mass communications. For example, pre-printed shells can migrate to inline, dynamic forms or pre-printed inserts can become "onserts" that are produced inline with customized offers. Loyalty Program Grows with Streamlined Customer Communications Plus Points Pty Ltd (PPPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Australia's largest marketing and loyalty management company, Pinpoint, recently expanded a traditional direct marketing program into a TransPromo campaign through the use of high speed inkjet color printing. PPPL developed a consumer loyalty program, Plus Points, for Guardian Pharmacies in 1999. The program grew to 200,000 members who earn points at participating stores. Last year, the company launched a new Plus Points statement that includes a mini newsletter on the back called Plus News. Previously, quarterly statements were produced on pre-printed stock and sent with a non-personalized letter. A generic newsletter was also distributed in a separate mailing. Offers included in the pieces received response rates that were industry average or slightly lower. The Plus Points team met with its print provider, HPA, and re-engineered the customer communications offerings as a consolidated newsletter and statement. Using high speed inkjet color printing technology, the system runs plain white paper that emerges as full color, personalized output. Response rate reached 45 percent and consumer spending per active card averaged $50 per month. The revamped package features color printing, a personal greeting, images and accompanying text, and space for tear off promotional messages and coupons. The first four mailings produced outstanding results. The statement newsletter combination was sent in an envelope along with a seasonal catalog. The response rate for the September promotional catalog reached 45 percent, demographics of the customers matched expectations, and consumer spending per active card averaged $50 per month. Subsequent editions of the statement newsletter included marketing partnerships with insurance companies and other organizations looking to access the loyal customers of the Plus Points program. Guardian Pharmacies views the ability to sell access to a demographic without giving up the customer list as a key benefit to the Plus Points team. The revenue can then be used to refine the personalization of the newsletter and make it even more effective for consumers and Guardian Pharmacies. Data Mining Drives Revenue A TransPromo communications program for another customer of HPA yielded similarly strong results. DigiPlus, a mobile phone provider, came to its creative agency and HPA with several objectives: increase revenue, measure the impact of variable data, and assess how personalization affects behavior. A multi-faceted print campaign was developed to promote DigiDays, a DigiPlus initiative to drive network revenue. The project started with data mining to determine the countries that customers were calling and, based on that information, offer international callers a specific discount on DigiDays. The offer was communicated via a graphic on the statement of a postcard that identified the country and included an image of a famous landmark. This portion of the program was for measuring the impact of the data mining to determine if it was possible to use information about a customer's calling pattern to increase revenue from the individual. The key to the offer was that an actual postcard--identical to the one previously included with a statement--was sent to the customer right before the DigiDay. The DigiDays pilot, conducted for Christmas in 2005, had a response rate of more than 10 percent. The DigiDays program continues around special events such as holidays and sporting events. Combining the readership of transactional documents with promotional offers tailored to the recipient--and delivered with attention grabbing color and graphics--gives marketers a highly effective tool for driving response and building loyalty.



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