Direct Mail Campaign: ITT Corp. Goulds Pumps
Industrial Pumps, International
Direct Mail Campaign
Brief: This is a complex direct mail campaign with numerous components. It addresses a need that requires a sophisticated business oriented approach. If your direct mail need is simpler, many of the same concepts still apply.
Develop an exciting direct mail campaign (print, email, micro website). Heavy competition in the clients’ Spare Parts business was negatively affecting sales. Instead of purchasing their OEM parts, customers were buying cheap aftermarket parts (bogeys). Sales were affected, and the competition needed to be addressed.
About the Client. ITT Goulds Pumps is a large international manufacturing company. Over 100 years old, the company manufactures a wide range of pumps, for industries such as: oil & gas, petro-chemical, mining & minerals, paper & pulp, and water & waste water. The company is a dominant player in their field, consistently targeted by aftermarket parts manufacturers.
Aftermarket parts eroding market share. Heavy competition from aftermarket parts manufacturers (bogey parts) was being felt, in lost sales and service contracts.
The client’s attempts to stem losses were limited to individual efforts by sales personnel. In other words – no one was dealing with the problem, at least not in any organized manner. With aftermarket parts becoming a notable concern, the sales manager approached the marketing director seeking a solution.
Challenges & Solutions
Direct mail was chosen to reach customers. The marketing director decided on a new direct mail campaign, to reach customers and deal with the bogey aftermarket parts problem.
Good data existed. The client’s sales team possessed effective data that countered bogey spare parts value claims. There were numerous strong persuasive and convincing arguments available. But they were loosely organized, and had never been distributed to customers in any organized manner.
MG Lomb was asked to develop a creative and effective direct mail campaign. Experienced with campaign development and persuasive messaging, MG Lomb knew the answer to this problem lay in “getting the customers interested” in what we had to say. The client’s data, and reasoning to purchase OEM (not aftermarket bogeys), was great. We just had to get the customers exposed it, in a way they wanted to hear it.
Scoping the Project
Initial project discussion with MG Lomb. The client’s marketing director asked MG Lomb to discuss the issue, in person. The first discussion revealed no existing precedent for direct mail, either from a campaign standpoint, or from an execution standpoint. All that existed were rough ideas … maybe a sports theme? … a Nascar concept?
The project required some serious consideration.
MG Lomb’s first step was to “think.” It’s worth noting that the best, most effective campaigns, are ones that are well thought through. Instead of simply coming back to the client with “creative” ideas (running on a sports or Nascar themes) we got a brain storming session going.
Research & brain storming. MG Lomb’s team is led by Marketing & Creative Director Michael Lomb. Preceding our brainstorming session, MG Lomb’s team read the client’s input materials and data. Next, we spent a few days discussing the problem and researching aftermarket bogey competitors. We examined their marketing tools, websites, and discussed the best current trends in direct mail.
We found the answer. Next step – scope the project with a proposal.
Year long (monthly frequency) email, postcard, and micro website campaign. MG Lomb’s tactical strategy focused on reaching their customers, how they “want” to be reached. Our creative strategy targeted the customers’ specific personality traits, inherent in their industry. The customers are smart at what they do, and like a particular type of humor. Our strategy was to tell them what they needed to know, how they wanted to hear it.
Architecting the campaign. Marketing & Creative Director, Michael Lomb, is MG Lomb’s campaign architect and project planner. With twenty years of marketing strategy behind him, he understands that a campaign of this magnitude requires a highly documented action plan.
MG Lomb developed a project plan, which detailed every desired customer interaction with the campaign. The plan was based upon resolving questions such as these below:
- How will the customer be exposed to the campaign? Print, email, web, other?
- What is the desired initial customer response to material?
- How will the customer’s attention retained, once acquired?
- What immediate value are we offering the customer?
- What topics will be featured? (SME’s)
- What incentives are being offered?
- How will we continue customer engagement, once captured?
- How will customer interaction be tracked.
Resulting strategy employed the following tactics:
- Engage. Hit them with humor they like.
- Offer Value. Keep their attention with data they want
- Get ROI. Win them over; forum to share & learn, captures data
The Campaign! That accomplished, we built the campaign … First, we engage with humorous imagery accompanied by “have to read” taglines. Imagery and taglines are based on mailer topics – true stories of value, from sales team. Although funny, the brief written copy reveals a “major loss or failure” event, and includes a problem solving sales person. Each mailer briefly summarizes the story, but leaves out key bits of information – driving customers to a micro website for full story. Supporting the drive to microsite is a FREE iPad giveaway (mentioned in all (“Engage” materials). At microsite, full articles (all months) are available, with bios page for sales team, useful industry calculator (captures data), and iPad giveaway sign up form
Implementation. We have a campaign. With all the tactical issues decided, MG Lomb implemented it. Each quarter, MG Lomb met with the client’s sales and marketing teams to decide upcoming featured topics. From there, we interviewed the sales people and wrote the articles, developed the taglines, created the email templates and print postcards for mailing, and uploaded.