Direct Mail Campaign: Sutherland Global Services
Fortune 500 Decision Makers
Direct Mail Campaign
(This is a highly complex, and sophisticated program that accomplished an impressive return-on-investment for the client. Summarizing it briefly would be nearly impossible. It is worth the read!)
If you’ve ever been presented with an impossible deadline, accepted it, and delivered “on time” with amazing results, then you’ll appreciate this case study. It’s long, but we’ve made the story entertaining to keep it easy to read. It also provides a really good idea of how the MG Lomb team works, and what we can do.
The client, Sutherland Global Services, a global leader in International Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), needed a convincing and persuasive direct mail campaign, utilizing web, e-mail and traditional snail-mail strategies. They’d planned a free informational seminar to promote their new service, Sutherland@Home. This seminar (held in London U.K.) would educate prospective customers (managers at Fortune 500 companies) about the unique benefits of their new program. To make their event a success they needed a minimum of 25 business leaders to attend.
Challenges & Solutions
Persuade very busy, high-level, business professionals to take a day off of work, and attend a seminar. We needed to get a minimum of 25 Fortune 500 managers. MG Lomb was given less than one month to accomplish this goal. Complicating the challenge was the fact that our international campaign required sensitivity to some serious cultural, social, political and environmental considerations.
What is the new service, Sutherland@Home? It’s a work-from-home solution, and an alternative to outsourcing jobs offshore. Sutherland@Home keeps domestic labor employed within a company’s country of origin.
The client first contacted MG Lomb about the project at 4:30 PM on Tuesday March 2nd. We were briefed and asked to be available for a Wednesday conference call, with the client’s California and U.K. teams. During the call, we learned that our proposal was required by close of business on Thursday, and, that the project was due – written, designed, programmed, printed, enveloped, addressed, and shipped to the U.K. … in two weeks. (This was only the beginning of the challenge … we were also instructed that it needed to be “HOT!”). In other words – mission impossible. NOTE: We’d like to add; the client’s Director of Marketing had prepared an amazingly helpful Marketing Brief, complete with timeline and required deliverables.
Work sixteen hour days, and weekends, for a month. To begin; the MG Lomb team stayed late on Thursday night to complete our proposal. Knowing that the deadline bordered impossible, our team returned to work early Friday morning. With approval pending (our proposal had been forwarded on for signatures) MG Lomb worked straight through the weekend … our first concepts were “due” on Monday, at 11:00 AM.
NOTE: With time to “do it right”, you can. We did not have this luxury. Still, it had to be done right. What follows are a series of four, very interesting, Challenges and Solutions.
Challenge #1. Written Content.
The client’s original plan had been to provide MG Lomb with existing written copy (source data) for use in the new direct mail campaign. Upon review, MG Lomb discovered some noteworthy ideological inconsistencies. Result – the content needed to be rewritten. What made the content unusable? Between the client’s three participating offices (Rochester NY, California, and London U.K.) critical geopolitical variations were discovered; in other words – what works in the U.S. would not work in the U.K.
Solution #1. Rewrite the Content.
To rewrite the client’s content MG Lomb first needed to clearly comprehend the client’s new service, as well as the geopolitical variations. This would be critical for rewriting it clearly enough for anyone to understand and appreciate what was being said. MG Lomb facilitated resolution of these differences, between the U.S. and U.K. perspectives, first by reading, then by listening and asking questions. Next, we wrote, presented, and rewrote. In short order the MG Lomb team helped our client’s teams to a consensus; the written content was now settled.
Challenge #2. The Slogan: Invest, Cultivate, Triumph … @Home.
While enmeshed in Challenge #1, MG Lomb realized that (in order to succeed) we needed a slogan to make this campaign work. Our slogan needed to be simple to understand. Unless we had a short, intriguing and digestible introductory statement, our target audience would dismiss any of the materials we set in front of them.
So what should our slogan say? A KEY program requirement for our direct mail campaign was a “green and environmental” focus. Working with this theme, the MG Lomb team brought to the table our first-round creative and slogan: Plant, Nurture, Harvest … @Home. The idea (using garden imagery) focused on social responsibility, a reduced carbon footprint, and use of domestic labor. It was designed to invoke national pride, and present solutions to problems we knew the targets were experiencing – an answer in your own backyard. The idea was also specifically crafted to our target customers by focusing on results, which would be critical for customers to whom ROI is mandatory. It was a great start, and much of MG Lomb’s original creative would be used. Still, the client requested an alternative.
By request, MG Lomb’s second round of creative pushed a patriotic theme. Although not selected, it did result in further development of the slogan. MG Lomb’s original garden theme was chosen, but it was coupled with the second round slogan (an evolution of the original): Invest, Cultivate, Triumph … @Home. NOTE: After the direct mail campaign was completed, our new slogan was adopted company-wide and used in all related literature and marketing materials.
Challenge #3. Web-based: E-mail Teaser & Invite, Informational Website.
After nailing down the messaging, creative & slogan, MG Lomb developed an e-version of the campaign. The client had planned for the design and development of an e-mail teaser, e-mail invitation, and full website to promote the event. After the tough challenges were completed (Challenges 1 & 2) this portion of our project was a snap. Today, it is critical for any print campaign to have a professionally developed web-based complement. After engaging your print materials, people “expect” (and behavioral studies reinforce this) to visit your website to learn more. You should always plan to include a web-based component to any print campaign.
Challenge #4. Print, Envelope, Address & Ship.
Using recycled FSC certification paper and envelopes (to address our prospect’s social and environmental considerations) MG Lomb delivered the final products to our client’s offices, in the U.K., on time. When MG Lomb is selected, our clients expect delivery of their “final product” at their door and without complications. We deliver. MG Lomb understood that our client’s team was “extremely” busy planning and preparing for their U.K. seminar. So they could do their job with minimal interruptions, MG Lomb and team planned and prepared for (in advance – at the first week of proposal) printing of the envelopes, ordering of paper, and selection of shipping methods. By planning in advance we eliminated the possibility for surprises.
QUOTE: “This is much better than anything I’ve seen before!” Peter Cochrane, Chief Technologist of British Telecom; and Key Note Speaker for Sutherland Global Services Sutherland@Home U.K. seminar.
MG Lomb’s efforts resulted in 50 U.K. seminar attendees. Sutherland Global Services had hoped to attract only 25 targeted attendees. With a limited number of potential attendees available (Managers at Fortune 500 companies) achieving their attendance goal of 25 qualified prospects would certainly qualify as a success. MG Lomb contributed to a doubling of their expectations.