a magazine for marketers
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5 │ NOVEMBER 2006
BANKS GET HIP. NO, REALLY!
RETIREMENT PLANNING AS EASY AS 1-2-3
WHEN PLAYING MIND GAMES IS A GOOD THING
BY: PATRICK O'CONNELL
I pay good money to get into the minds of my audience.
As good marketers, we all get to “enjoy” the focus group circuit. If, like me, you have a national
audience, you need to hit up the high-stressed on the East Coast and the laid-backs on the West
Coast, and balance them out with some real people somewhere in between. Taken together, if
you are lucky, they give you a pretty decent snapshot of your audience.
I encounter some people who swear by “anthropological” research, essentially following the
customer as she interacts with your product/service/brand. While this is a lot more insightful than
figuring out what to have for lunch or dinner at a focus group, it limits your sample to a select
few who are willing to have researchers follow them around.
We at Deliver recently found another method to delve into the deep thoughts of your target —
see page 18 for our discovery. But there is a simpler way to scrutinize your audience’s brain, and
that is simply by looking at data.
I am delighted (and often envious) of the level of segmentation achieved by some marketing
organizations who have data and have analyzed it to a point where they actually know something
about their customers. We all know what follows — personalization, relevancy and timeliness.
As an example, some of our sharp friends in the financial industry have started to look at house
and external data in an effort to segment their audience, thus addressing each segment in a
relevant and timely manner (see story on page 10).
So with all the data available to us, why dally in the world of mass communication? Since our
budgets are limited, wouldn’t you utilize the most efficient media to present your (well-
researched) offer to the (appropriate) prospect? Maybe it is just us — the enlightened direct
marketers, the analytically blessed — who are able to fathom the value of data and power our
work based upon it.
table of contents
2 EDITOR’S LETTER
4 CONTRIBUTORS PAGE
6 LEADER COLUMN
Personalized relationship marketing: It’s a nice gig, if you know how to use it.
Want to get attention? Mail your customers a dinosaur. Or a box of doughnuts. Really. It works.
10 YOU CAN BANK ON IT
Forget free toasters: Financial institutions are using hip new marketing strategies to keep
14 THE FUTURE IS CALLING
Wachovia Corporation finds a way to make retirement planning as easy as 1-2-3 for Baby
18 MIND GAMES
It’s every marketer’s dream: The ability to read consumers’ minds. We can’t do that — yet. But
we’re getting closer.
24 CONTENT CONNECTION
Hannaford supermarkets keep it fresh with a custom publication for customers.
26 AGENCY VIEWPOINT
Can direct mail and the Internet ever be friends?
28 NUMBERS CRUNCH
No matter how hard you fight it, the fact remains: Consumers are in control when it comes to
30 ONE 2 ONE
There really is a greeting card for every occasion. Hallmark Cards Inc. can prove it.
31 LAST WORD
In an ever-changing world, one thing remains a constant for Dell: Direct.
Customer Growth Blau Moritz Klang, Inc.
Peter Blau started Customer Growth in London in January 2001. Previously, at Blau
Marketing/Brann, he was the agency’s chief creative officer, as well as the founder/chief
executive of the company’s European network, Blau Tequila. He drove the agency’s success
with clients including British Telecom, Citicorp, The Hartford, IBM, Charles Schwab, Dreyfus,
MCI, Pacific Bell and Visa. His awards include a NY ADDY Best in Show, John Caples First
Place Award, DMA Gold Echo and selection as 1997 Chairman of Direct Marketing Days/NY
Vice President, Global Branding
Shawn Dennis serves as vice president, global branding at Dell and is responsible for programs
that build Dell brand preference across all customer and business segments. Prior to joining Dell
in January 2005, Dennis served as vice president and group head of marketing for the NFL. Ms.
Dennis spent several years with MasterCard International in a variety of roles, most recently as
vice president, global co-branding. Prior to that, Dennis spent over seven years in various
marketing positions with Universal Studios, with an emphasis on corporate-alliance building and
partner promotions. Ms. Dennis received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the
University of California at Los Angeles.
General Mills Professor of Marketing
Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
Akshay Rao’s research focuses primarily on pricing and branding issues, with a particular
concentration on consumer decision making. He’s the author of numerous articles and academic
papers on the subject of consumer research, and he serves on the editorial board of the Journal of
Consumer Psychology. He holds a BA in economics from Madras University, an MBA from
Xavier Institute and a Ph.D. in marketing from Virginia Tech.
J. WALKER SMITH
J. Walker Smith is president of the MONITOR division of Yankelovich. His latest book is
“Coming to Concurrence: Addressable Attitudes and the New Model for Marketing
Productivity.” Prior to his time at Yankelovich, Walker was director of research for DowBrands,
Inc. He is a past vice president of the marketing research division of the American Marketing
Association, a member of the board of advisors for the School of Journalism and Mass
Communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a director of the
American Marketing Association Foundation.
We’ve been thinking about implementing a frequent-
buyer program, and the article about Pizza Hut’s program (“Loyalty Delivers,” Deliver #10)
convinced us that we should. But reading the article made us realize that we needed to be very
specific about what we intend to get out of it. It was especially helpful to see the five ways they
analyze their program to make sure it’s working for them.
George Tannenbaum’s article on how direct mail doesn’t get enough respect was right on the
money (“One Man’s Junk Is Another Man’s Brand Builder,” Deliver #10). Direct is so much
more than just a way to stimulate sales: It’s a chance to reinforce the brand. We need to think
about that every time we craft a piece of mail.
AVOIDING AIR SICKNESS
I found it very interesting to read Lauren Gibbons Paul’s article on frequent-flyer programs
(“Turbulent Times,” Deliver #10). These airline loyalty programs are near and dear to the hearts
of many of my business-traveler colleagues and they really do create brand loyalty. Airlines
would be foolish to cut back on these programs, no matter what business climate we may be
enjoying — or not, as the case may be.
WELCOME to the feedback portion of Deliver.™ This is your space to fill with ideas,
comments, suggestions and opinions. Please feel free to send us your questions and thoughts
about the publication. We want to hear from you — the good, the bad or the just plain ugly. TO
CONTACT US, VISIT USPS.COM/DELIVER OR WRITE TO US AT:
P.O. BOX 2063
WARREN, MI 48093
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to decipher the note on the door on page 2 of
this magazine. Hint: It’s a movie quote. Tell us what the quote says, who said it and what the
next line should be. Send your entries to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll run the answer
Marketers as a breed are renowned for making some pretty wild-eyed predictions. Take the
Internet, for example. A few years back, it wasn’t enough to quoth the cliché that the Web
changes everything. In the view of our more opinionated brethren, it was going to be the killer
app that, well, killed marketing as we know it.
Well, hmm ... a funny thing happened on the way to digital nirvana. Marketers (gasp) actually
started to spend more on traditional forms like direct mail. Sounds like a bona fide killer app to
Now, we can see why some people might mistakenly believe the Internet is essentially an
electronic replacement for mail. After all, they share many traits: They’re highly personal,
segmentation and targeting are a snap, and ROI transparency a given.
But as anyone who has tried to touch or hold an e-mail will tell you, they’re also a little different
and, dare we say, highly complementary.
Essentially, they work at the same purpose, but from different angles and with different benefits
and drawbacks. Smart marketers utilize both Internet and mail to communicate their message.
As for those ivory tower types who feel compelled to keep tolling the death knell for direct, we
say stick to something you’re qualified to predict, like whether the groundhog will see his
Associate Creative Director
Project Management Specialist
Deliver™ is published six times yearly by Campbell-Ewald Publishing, a division of Campbell-
Ewald, 30400 Van Dyke, Warren, MI 48093-2316. Tel: 586.558.5249. Visit Deliver at usps.com/
deliver, or send us an e-mail at email@example.com. Subscription rates for the U.S.A.: $3.95
per issue. Subscription requests should be sent to: Deliver, Subscription Center, 30400 Van
Dyke, Warren, MI 48093-2316. If you prefer not to receive Deliver, please e-mail us at
Subscription rates for the U.S.A.: $3.95 per issue. Subscription requests should be sent to:
Deliver, Subscription Center, 30400 Van Dyke, Warren, MI 48093-2316. If you prefer not to
receive Deliver, please e-mail us at delivermag@usps .com. Manuscripts and photographs are
submitted at the sender’s risk. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of material.
Submission of material implies the right to edit and publish all or in part. © 2006 United States
Postal Service. All rights reserved. ™ Trademark of the United States Postal Service. Your
information is protected by our privacy policies. See usps.com for details. Unless otherwise
indicated, the Postal Service does not endorse any individual or company, nor any service or
product not offered by the Postal Service.
BY: ROBERT LA BANCA
New technologies can make direct marketing every bit as effective as other CRM tools.
Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of talk about relationship marketing: how opt-in e-mail and
other tactics can help companies talk directly to their best customers with a tailored message that
those customers want to hear and an offer that they just can’t wait to embrace.
Even with all the hype, though, relationship marketing hasn’t exactly eclipsed mass marketing.
Why? Most companies don’t have the money to generate individually geared sales materials,
such as handouts and brochures.
Fortunately, new digital color-printing presses and digital variable-print processes are ushering in
a revolution in direct marketing. Using special software, these systems make it possible to
change the text, graphics and photographs for printed pieces on the fly. When companies couple
this with database-mining technology, they can drill down into customer preferences and buying
patterns and create mailings that are highly individualized.
For example, if an adult female has recently purchased $50 of children’s clothes, you can send
her a direct mail promotion for 10 percent off her next purchase of kids’ clothes. You establish
the different variables, and the data for each recipient determines which variant will come out the
other end of the process.
Sure, this one-to-one approach is a little more expensive than traditional DM, but there are
factors that balance the cost. Companies that use variable-print could produce fewer pieces
because they can target individualized messages to a concentrated customer base. Traditional
direct mail normally pulls a 1- to 2-percent response rate, but variable print could draw response
rates of between 10 percent to 15 percent.
To ensure success, there are some points to consider:
Focus on existing customers. This kind of campaign delivers the most bang for the buck because
they’re most likely to welcome an offer. Remember: 20 percent of your customers account for 80
percent of your sales.
Walk before you run. Don’t jump headfirst into a complex personalized mailing. Start small,
then build on your message. But bear in mind that at a certain level, it becomes more difficult to
program the print run with too many variables.
Know when to call it a day. Personalized direct mail can help during times when sales are
sluggish. But during peak periods, it probably doesn’t pay to get too personalized because you’re
likely to get those sales anyway.
Ultimately, it’s all about having a message that resonates with your audience.
Robert La Banca (firstname.lastname@example.org) is CEO of Impression Point Inc., a direct
marketing and print communications company based in Stamford, Conn.
BY: CHRISTOPHER CAGGIANO
stand out from the crowd
Put some bite into your marketing with a custom mailer that will get you noticed
When the folks at Krispy Kreme wanted to attract more people to their stores, they sent
prospective customers boxes of doughnuts through the mail.
Well, they weren’t actually boxes of doughnuts, but rather eye-catching coupons in the shape of
a box of doughnuts, with an offer on the back for consumers to buy one dozen doughnuts and get
the second dozen for a dime. The coupons made use of United States
Postal Service® Customized MarketMail® (CMM®), a special, flexible plastic mailer than can
be die cut into pretty much any shape imaginable and requires no additional envelope.
Not only do the CMM pieces stick out in the mail box, they also tend to hang around longer than
your typical direct mail piece: Krispy Kreme’s boxes of doughnuts
tended to hang around in recipients’ cubicles as a visual reminder of their favorite breakfast treat.
In previous forays into direct mail, Krispy Kreme had achieved fairly
typical response rates: In Southern California, 2 to 3 percent. But with CMM, those results grew
to 11 percent.
In addition to boxes of doughnuts, previous CMM examples include puppy dogs, Zambonis and
even chattering teeth. The last of these came from ISSA, the cleaning
industry trade group. To cultivate new members, the ISSA created a CMM of those old party-gag
chattering teeth (with the tag line “What’s all the chatter about?”). The organization sent out
about 18,000 mailers to potential ISSA members. The reverse side of the mailer included a list of
membership benefits plus a 50 percent membership discount if prospective members attended the
2005 ISSA trade show in Las Vegas.
“Our marketing objectives were to gain membership, create awareness of the ISSA,
communicate our membership benefits and attract the attention of busy business owners and
leaders,” says Diana Bisswurm, director of marketing. “The direct mail piece was
extremely effective in helping us meet those objectives.” The mailer brought in a 50-percent
increase in phone inquiries, a 200-percent increase in Web activity in the site’s membership
section and, most important, a 20-percent increase in new members.
“Our postcard stood out because of its large size and unusual shape, and we were able to realize
a significant ROI,” says Bisswurm.
To learn more about Customized MarketMail, return the BRM in this spread or visit
banks get smart
Gone are the days of toaster giveaways. Banks are getting hip with innovative marketing ideas.
BY TRACY MAYOR
You know the drill. You deplane and begin wandering the airport, searching for something you
need even more urgently than a latte or a restroom: an electrical outlet. Your mobile’s out of
juice, your laptop shut itself down mid-flight, and you need to get up and running again, pronto.
If you’re in the Indianapolis International Airport, that question’s easy to answer, thanks to
skinny, bright blue signs with snappy sayings (“This outlet works. Now you can too.” or “You
and your laptop may sigh with relief now.”) that point the way from eye level down to available
The outlets and the easy-to-spot signage are sponsored by Chase Commercial Banking, designed
to capture the attention — and perhaps the accounts — of business decision-makers in what
Chase spokeswoman Nancy Norris describes as a chaotic, media-saturated environment.
Gone are the days of the boring bank promotion. Financial institutions nationwide have
discovered that to get themselves noticed, they have to break from their traditional marketing
modes and get a little crazy. And it’s not just the creative.
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, in which many banking services have become
undifferentiated commodities, more banks are sharpening their marketing efforts through use of
predictive analytics: trolling their data — their own customer files or a combination of inside and
outside information such as local real estate data and customer-behavior profiles — looking for
patterns and triggers. It might be a large quantity of money hitting a checking account, say, or a
car payment made in advance, which often indicates a windfall. The bank can then send a
customized offer via direct mail, e-mail, phone solicitation or some combination of media.
Deployed correctly, predictive analytics can serve as a kind of statistical “magic bullet,”
allowing banks to both predict customer needs and interests and anticipate customers’ financial
windfalls and sudden plunges into bankruptcy.
For example, Click Tactics Inc., a Waltham, Mass., multi-channel marketing services firm, has
clients that use its business-rule-based platform to be the first to contact people moving into a
new house — sending them a personalized direct mail piece within days of their arrival in a
The goal is not just to capture that first checking account or home improvement loan but to
establish a long-term, multi-product relationship with the household through an onboarding
program, says Click Tactics vice president of marketing Steve Morse. He quotes research that
shows that most banks do 80 percent of their cross-selling within the first six months of
customers’ opening an account.
Other Click Tactics clients use predictive analytics to give branch office managers the ability to
roll out direct mail uniquely targeted to customer demographics within a few miles of their
“Rather than a big [mail] blast from a central location, now branches are sending out small
batches that allow them to respond to specific customer triggers or a unique event in their
competitive area,” Morse explains. One branch might court the young families in its
neighborhood, while across town, another branch could emphasize attractive CD rates to its
older, wealthier customer base who may be at risk of switching to a new competitive local
Other banks are turning to analytics to tell the future, in a manner of speaking. Zions Bank, a
subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation, which operates some 140 branches in Utah and Idaho, is
currently in the midst of a pilot program in which the bank has analyzed one-quarter of its
customers to predict which bank product — be it a mortgage, home-equity loan, CD or estate
planning services — they are most likely to need next.
According to Steve Thomas, senior vice president for customer loyalty and retention at Zions,
the program has combined data that the bank has on file — balance, trans-actions and
profitability of the customer relationship — with appended demographic and psychographic
information. Sharp Analytics Inc. then created custom segments and models to predict a
customer’s next most likely product.
From there, the bank is able to pinpoint its offers to each group via direct mail, Thomas says.
Customers who were targeted in this way were significantly more likely to respond to specific
offers than non-modeled customers and, according to Thomas, the number of new accounts that
resulted from the pilot is encouraging enough for Zions to continue and expand the program to
the remaining portion of its customer base.
Aegis Mortgage Corp., headquartered in Houston, has used advanced data techniques to breathe
new life into a previously underperforming direct mail technique: invitation to apply. Unlike
offers of preapproved rates, which banks mail to customers on whom they’ve already run a
“soft” credit check, invitation-to-apply mailings require no credit check and are, therefore,
cheaper to compile.
But traditionally, invitation-to-apply hasn’t performed as well as preapproved, says Forrest
Young, vice president of marketing at Aegis, because there were too many unknown variables
about the prospective customer base: variables like a homeowner’s level of debt, current
mortgage payment or amount of equity available.
Aegis teamed up with analytics firm Intellidyn Corp., cross-pollinating its own data with
Intellidyn-supplied information such as current home value, local home sales and appreciation
rates, credit data, and attitudinal and lifestyle data.
In the end, Aegis comes away with multiple target bases of targeted prospects — customers with
adjustable mortgages that are ready to adjust upward; those who have had to carry mortgage
insurance due to their high loan-to-value ratios; those whose homes have appreciated to the point
that they can cancel mortgage insurance; or those in a position to take cash out of their homes.
Aegis is then able to “touch” those homeowners with copy and creative materials specific to their
personal situation, explains Intellidyn president and CEO Peter Harvey. That, in turn, measurably
lifts response, while the more accurate property information boosts conversion rates, allowing
Aegis to simultaneously lower solicitation volumes and achieve higher performance rates.
“We’re seeking response rates from ITA mailings that are close to our preapproved rates,”
reports Young. “That opens up a lot of markets that we didn’t have open before. We have a much
larger population than before, and we’re able to send them more targeted offers.”
TAKING A SNAPSHOT
On the other end of the spectrum from Aegis, local community banks use analytics to keep up
with bigger players.
When Rob Pyper signed on in 2005 to be marketing director at Barnes Banking Co., a 115-year-
old Utah institution, he was well aware that community banks like Barnes compete best with
regional and national banks when they offer personalized service that captures the spirit of the
But Pyper also realized early on that Barnes was ready for a better understanding of those
“The assumption was that Barnes Bank had a pretty old customer base that’s conservative, that’s
not interested in cutting-edge new offers,” says Pyper. “As it turned out, we also have some of
their children, some 30-something high-income families, and also empty nesters with high
income. That was a bit of a surprise for us.”
Barnes made that discovery using a business-intelligence service from Sharp Analytics of Salt
Lake City to analyze the banking patterns of its customer base and their profitability. The end
result — a more detailed snapshot of the bank’s customers — spurred him to create new
Predictive analytics help not just with product development but with marketing as well. To
promote its new premier checking account, Barnes built a list of targeted customers and then
mailed an oversized postcard or a personalized letter signed by Barnes’ president. Those two
pieces, supplemented with newspaper advertising, employee cross-selling and signs in bank
branches, brought in $24 million in deposits, Pyper says.
GIVE AWAY TRAINS, NOT TOASTERS
Financial marketers are also getting much more creative with their materials, too. While banks
have offered toaster ovens and blenders for ages, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc., put a new twist
on that old warhorse with something its target customers would really take notice of — a model
Trains are an integral part of life and of business in the Pennsylvania-Maryland-New Jersey-
West Virginia region where Susquehanna operates, says Susquehanna vice president and chief
marketing officer Stuart Mullendore. “This is an area of the country where people understand
trains,” he explains. “They’re going to respond to the image of a steam engine as being
Respond they did. Working with Diccicco Battista Communications of Horsham, Pa.,
Susquehanna identified about 200 key local businesses as potential new customers, including, in
some cases, companies with which the bank had not previously been able to open a dialog. Each
business received a series of teaser postcards showing pictures of trains, with sequential
messages such as “your package has just left the station,” “your package is on its way,” and
“your package is about to arrive.”
That was followed with a large box, delivered by mail, containing what Mullendore characterizes
as a very substantial gift — an entire toy train set, including the locomotive, rail cars and tracks.
Everything except the power pack. To get that, recipients needed only to call the Susquehanna
relationship officer identified in the package’s printed material.
“The message for the companies we were trying to appeal to was that all they need is the power
— our power — to get going, to keep them on the track,” Mullendore says, adding that the
mailer won an award from the Philly Ad Club for direct-to-business campaigns.
Some 40 percent of recipients followed up to receive their power pack. The bank was able to
immediately establish relationships with a significant number of those respondents, and dialog
that Mullendore characterizes as “promising” continues with a number of others. The response
was so successful that the bank is considering sending another round of train sets.
In addition to its airport electrical outlet signs, Chase Commercial, with help from Bradley and
Montgomery Advertising, conducted a campaign that played off the quintessential business
traveler experience: finding the car service chauffeur holding a sign with your name.
In the case of the Chase campaign, the company positioned people dressed as chauffeurs at curb
side, holding signs that read, “Mr. ‘I’m ready to expand my business beyond the US’: Your bank
is here,” or “Mr. ‘I need local expertise in dozens of local markets’: Your bank is here.”
It was the perfect way to get noticed by harried business executives rushing to get to their next
Smart marketing which is sure to pay off for any business — and you can take that to the bank.
the NUMBERS game
Wachovia uses an innovative approach to promote retirement planning
BY LAUREN GIBBONS PAUL
Baby Boomers are notorious procrastinators. When it comes to retirement planning, they are
more like grasshoppers than ants, content to play rather than sock away the cash they will need
for their fast-approaching golden years.
Financial services giant Wachovia Corporation wanted to help boomers of all ages avoid future
shock — namely the realization that their retirement savings would not support their lifestyle.
So, Wachovia planned an integrated, multi-faceted campaign called “What’s Your Number?”
designed to educate individuals in the 35- to 64-year-old age group about the realities of
retirement planning, as well as relevant Wachovia services.
“Research shows many Americans are not ready for retirement,” says Anja Watson, project
manager for the “What’s Your Number?” program for Wachovia, which manages $553.6 billion
in assets from its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. A Financial Fitness survey, conducted by
Richard Day Research on behalf of Wachovia, revealed that roughly 13 percent of respondents
believe they’ll likely never retire, and nearly 14 percent expected to retire at age 70 or later.
What’s more, only 9 percent have a detailed retirement plan, and 32 percent of those ages 60 to
64 haven’t even started a retirement plan.
The failure to plan for retirement certainly doesn’t stem from a shortage of information.
Financial data abound, accessible to anyone willing to seek them out — on the Internet or from
financial services professionals. As Watson saw it, Wachovia’s challenge was to differentiate
itself — in a big way — from existing information and service providers.
“Americans have more than enough financial information out there,” says Watson. “But nobody
had ever taken the opportunity to educate customers face to face.” So, she and her team
developed the “What’s Your Number?” program to do just that — deliver retirement planning
information to consumers in a palatable and easy-to-swallow format through a series of
STARTING IN SARASOTA
Wachovia’s agency, Mullen Advertising, had previously raised the idea of having Wachovia
team up with Time Inc. to hold in-person financial seminars in different locations. Watson liked
the idea of working with Time Inc., which publishes high profile business and financial planning
magazines. The idea was to have magazine editors from the Time family host free educational
sessions covering topics such as “Daily Money Management.”
The program would include sessions that featured local experts, such as real-estate brokers,
builders and small business and women’s business gurus, depending on the theme of that
particular presentation. The idea was to balance nationally known authorities with local
expertise, according to Watson. “We made an effort to bring national speakers,” she says. “But
we also wanted to show that we know exactly what’s going on in Sarasota by adding local
speakers to the panel discussions.”
In addition, Wachovia would make available online financial planning tools, such as an
interactive retirement-planning calculator and a retirement fitness quiz, along with information
about consulting with a Wachovia financial advisor in person or on the phone.
The team had evaluated several possible pilot locations for the program but quickly settled on
Sarasota. With a mix of snowbird retirees and young year-round resident families, Sarasota had a
sufficiently broad range of potential attendees to try out a number of different types of
informational seminars, according to Watson. Plus, Wachovia had another strength: a solid local
sales team already in place there.
There was one more important reason that Sarasota made sense: the ability to measure program
results. “It’s a small enough market that it could be contained,” says Watson, meaning that
measuring results would be relatively manageable. The city’s size also made media coverage
fairly easy. “It’s not a large metropolitan area,” she says, so the company could easily and
inexpensively wage a media blitz. “We used TV, newspapers, magazines, radio, billboards,
online and direct mail.”
The program had a soft launch in April 2006 with a real estate-investing seminar. The big
kickoff took place the next month with a forum on financial planning for retirement by a panel of
nationally known experts. The event featured big-name speakers, including best-selling author
Lee Eisenberg, author of the recent financial-planning bestseller The Number.
The team took particular care with the details surrounding the all-important launch event. They
pored over subscriber lists from partner Time Inc. and also Sarasota magazine, targeting their
desired age group as well as household incomes of $75,000 and up. The team sent the invitation
to about 20,000 Sarasota area residents who met the demographic criteria.
The event was a rousing success. “It exceeded expectations,” says Watson. “The people who
attended stayed afterward. They wanted a longer Q&A session to get their personal questions
answered, and they gave us outstanding feedback on the surveys. They thought the panel was
stellar.” According to Vicky Daniels-Sutton, vice president and direct mail man ager for
Wachovia, the event drew around 900 people. The smaller monthly seminars, which cover topics
ranging from real estate investing to women’s business issues, draw between 75 to 500 attendees,
depending on the topic.
The direct mail team brought needed expertise to get the right audience for the Sarasota project.
“We specifically targeted the people with a need for financial planning tools,” says Daniels-
Sutton. The team ensured the participants lived in Sarasota or nearby Bradenton and hit the
$75,000-and-up level of income.
The local Wachovia team in Sarasota personally hand-delivered and mailed invitations to the
events to their local client and prospect base. This type of invitation got a particularly
high response rate, according to Watson. “Those invitations elicited the highest number of
attendees,” she says, most likely because of the personal touch.
A TRULY INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN
Wachovia is waging its campaign to increase awareness of the need for retirement planning on
multiple media fronts. In addition to continuing to send invitations to the monthly seminars in
Sarasota to likely prospects, it has ads on local media including TV and radio, information on
wachovia.com and print ads in the four Time financial publications. “So it is quite an integrated
campaign,” says Daniels-Sutton.
The print ads highlight Sarasota residents and a snapshot of their financial situations. One ad, for
example, featured a Sarasota resident who thought he had his retirement planning in hand, only
to find everything changed when his first wife died and he married another woman with young
There is a community component to the program, as well. The Sarasota branch has partnered
with the local youth organizations, charities and the school system. “We’re making a large push
to bring financial information to school-age children. In Sarasota, every fourth- and fifth-grader
receives a financial education magazine in partnership with Scholastic that talks about the basics
of money management,” says Watson. Teacher training materials are also included.
The multi-pronged attack appears to be paying off. Survey participants at the live seminars rated
the events on average a “6” or “7” on a scale of 1 to 7 for seminar usefulness. “Many of these
people had heard about the campaign multiple ways. The key to a successful campaign is really
integrating the media, including the direct components, to make it as effective as possible,” says
While the underlying goal of the program, not surprisingly, is to attract more customers to the
Wachovia fold, the focus is on long-term relationship building. “We obviously
hope people will come to Wachovia to implement their retirement plan,” says Watson. “But we
want to draw people in, then have them opt in [for more information]. What I’m finding on the
brand team is that the marketing programs are much more focused on long-term relationships vs.
transactional. We realize something like this can take years before you see results. Retirement
products are long-term investments.”
Oddly enough, the Sarasota events have yielded another unexpected brand awareness benefit:
they have driven interest in working at Wachovia. “We went from having recruiting events
where three people would show up to having events where 50 people would show up.”
Watson and her team are currently evaluating the success of the “What’s Your Number?”
program. Wachovia has also relaunched its microsite that deals with retirement planning to
contain all the online retirement tools and information on how to register for Sarasota seminars.
When it comes to retirement planning, if Wachovia has its way, Baby Boomers will no longer be
able to stick their heads in the sand.
Marketers have always wanted to get inside consumers’ minds. New technology allows them —
literally — to do just that.
BY CHRISTINE HANSEN
Editor’s Note: At Deliver, we’re all about bringing you innovative thinking, so it’s only
appropriate that we keep you up to date on the newest trends in marketing research. This story on
neuromarketing represents a growing trend in the industry. Does it work? You’ll have to decide
for yourself, but many feel it will dramatically impact the future of marketing.
It’s the marketing Holy Grail: being able to read your target customers’ minds. Although that
exact ability may yet elude our grasp, current research is bringing us remarkably close to that
“In the past, we’ve used things like focus groups,” says Akshay Rao, General Mills’ professor of
marketing at Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. “Now, I can actually look inside your
brain as you look at an advertising piece that has yellow, green and blue vs. a black and white
piece, and tell whether the yellow, green and blue piece is generating more neural activity.”
To accomplish this, Rao uses a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanner to peer
into consumers’ brains. Basically a giant donut-shaped magnet, an fMRI scanner enables
researchers to see how much oxygen different parts of the brain are using while the test subject
lies on a narrow table with his or her head in the “hole” of the donut. The most active areas
display the most oxygen flow and “light up” on the scanner.
Advocates of neuromarketing research say that its results are more objective and accurate than
results gained using customary research methods such as surveys and focus groups. “With
traditional marketing research techniques, people do not always express their true feelings, so
information is often not reflective of what the consumer is actually thinking,” says Peter
Koeppel, president of Koeppel Direct, a firm that provides multi-channel direct response
“Neuromarketing allows marketers to understand the impact of their ad on the consumer’s
brain,” he says. “By reviewing and analyzing this information, the marketer can change the
marketing campaign to improve consumer response, which translates into a better return on
That improved understanding of how campaigns affect consumers is the first step toward
creating more intimate relationships, says Rao, who is also the director of the Carlson School’s
Institute for Research in Marketing. “When I do consulting work for companies,
I tell them to develop consumer intimacy,” he says. “With neuromarketing, we have a
means of assessing whether those intimate relationships have been established.”
And that higher level of intimacy means a greater emotional connection with the consumer — all
of which translates into greater engagement in an increasingly fragmented media world.
Neuromarketing can help marketers determine the right message and the right design before a
campaign even goes out. “What kind of information can you provide that will make an emotional
connection with consumers and lead them to read the rest of your information?” asks Rao.
“Should it be words? Pictures? In color or black and white? In the top left corner or the bottom
right? What about font size?”
One company that uses neuromarketing to sharpen its marketing message is Vistage
International, which provides networking and educational opportunities to CEOs. And one of the
areas in which neuromarketing has made the biggest difference for Vistage is direct mail.
Laura DiPietro, Vistage chief marketing officer, says that although direct mail has always been a
key element of her company’s strategy, the organization’s direct mail pieces were “blah” before
Vistage began working with SalesBrain, a marketing company that specializes in
Vistage’s old direct pieces were very conservative, with visuals of white men in their fifties, says
DiPietro. She and her associates learned from SalesBrain that the look didn’t elicit an emotional
response in prospects, and therefore wasn’t memorable, nor did it motivate consumers to take
Vistage began the makeover in May, and the company’s direct mail pieces and Web site now
feature elements that resonate far greater with their target customers. “We’ve really tried to
modernize our direct marketing tools by including something based on neuromarketing. Our new
pieces incorporate a more active sense,” says DiPietro. “The photos we use now do not just focus
on people but are more high-concept pictures. The colors are new and fresh and the direct pieces
always have a question and then a payoff line.”
But fMRI scanners don’t come cheap: Rao says renting time on a scanner and testing 20 subjects
costs around $15,000. Perhaps even more daunting, neuromarketing carries with it a certain
degree of stigma, both on the part of consumers and marketers. Some of the biggest brand names
in the world have been linked to neuromarketing in the popular press, yet none of these
companies would comment for this article.
This comes as no surprise to Rao. “[Companies] might be hesitant to talk about
[neuromarketing],” he says. Many marketers are hesitant to go public about their companies’ use
of neuromarketing, lest they be perceived as engaging in overly invasive techniques. “Consumers
will be afraid that their deepest darkest innermost thoughts are open for public examination,”
says Rao. “But this is not the case.” Rao explains that if a company really wanted to gain access
to consumers’ thoughts while they actually shop, the company would need to put consumers into
a scanner while they were in grocery stores or shopping malls. “This is clearly infeasible,” says
What’s more, even though neuromarketing allows marketers to get inside the heads of their
consumers, it’s not always easy to understand what’s going on in there. Figuring out exactly
what people are thinking based on scanning results remains a challenge,
says Carolyn Yoon, associate professor of marketing at the University of Michigan Stephen M.
Ross School of Business.
Yoon says that although scanners do enable researchers to see whether certain well-defined
regions of the brain activate when a test subject encounters something like an ad, a product, or a
spokesperson, it’s still difficult to interpret exactly what that activity means. “If your visual
cortex ‘lights up,’ it can mean that you’re picturing something, but what?” says Yoon. “If your
activation pattern shows a strong emotional reaction, is it love, hate, envy, ardent appreciation,
anger, or one of many other strong feelings?” In her own research, Yoon typically collects
behavioral responses (e.g., emotion ratings) at the same time as the brain scan images, and this
can be useful for drawing inferences about neural activation patterns.
Although some observers are concerned that neuromarketing research smacks of Big Brother,
others see great potential. “I am optimistic about what science can do to an area of marketing,”
says Christophe Morin, co-author of the book Neuromarketing: Is There A Buy Button Inside The
Brain? and co-founder of SalesBrain, the marketing company that worked with Vistage on its
revamped campaign. Morin doesn’t see this field as a chance to invasively manipulate, but rather
an opportunity for businesses to communicate more clearly with their customers. “I truly believe
that neuromarketing will improve the work that we see done in advertising and
communications,” says Morin.
According to Morin, focusing efforts on communicating with the decision-making center in the
brain will yield more effective marketing. “The primitive area of the brain, also known as the
“old brain,” is critical for all marketers [to be aware of],” he says, “because it would guide their
creative efforts to trigger maximum attention, generate higher retention and ultimately increase
And there are plenty of campaigns out there that could use some help. “Many ads, especially
print ads, violate neurological principles,” says Caroline Winnett, vice president of marketing for
NeuroFocus, Inc., which provides in-depth research on commercial advertising and political
messaging. But there are some very simple things you can do to make your ad more effective,
she says. For example, images on a direct mail piece should be on the left, with the text on the
right, because the left brain processes information and the right brain processes images.
Instead of using fMRI imaging, NeuroFocus uses electroencephalograms (EEGs), eye-tracking,
and galvanic skin response (GSR) tests to conduct its research. Scanning the brain with an EEG
differs from using an fMRI in that the EEG measures electrical signals produced by the brain,
through sensors in a cap worn by the subject, and the results are displayed as bumpy lines on
Winnett says these methods are more practical, affordable, and portable than using an fMRI
scanner. Winnett says a typical NeuroFocus study costs about the same as a focus group, but
yields what she considers more reliable results. “Since we measure brain waves directly, we are
language-neutral and free of the cognitive biases inherent in surveys and focus groups,” says
Neuromarketing is helping to turn the art of marketing into more of a science, says Winnett. “We
can analyze subjects’ reactions to any kind of advertising,” she says, “so marketers can run their
ads through our scanners and we can give them very detailed information.”
NeuroFocus clients include household brand names as well as very large advertising agencies,
however those clients are also reluctant to discuss neuromarketing with the press. “I think there’s
a perception that consumers are a little wary of it,” says Winnett, “but once people see what we
do, it usually allays their fears. It’s like when someone has an EKG done to assess cardiac health.
The EKG just measures what’s happening in the heart. It doesn’t have any effect on the heart
Neuromarketing is an exciting, albeit controversial, topic of research. But Rao says it is certainly
no marketing panacea. “We stand the risk of over-promising with this technology,” says Rao.
“The techniques of cognitive neuroscience are only useful in understanding the processes that
might be at play when a person is exposed to one or another stimulus. Period. It does not allow
marketers to watch people’s emotions while they make decisions in the marketplace.
Neuromarketing is merely another tool that will tell us a little bit more.”
turning on the buy button
The key to successful marketing, says Christophe Morin, co-author of the book Neuromarketing:
Is There A Buy Button Inside The Brain?, is to target the most primitive
part of the brain, a.k.a. the “old brain.” There are six stimuli, says Morin, that the old brain
responds to, and here are his tips for crafting direct messaging that caters to that part of the brain:
1. Focus on the reader.
The primitive brain is self-centered. “The message should be centered on the customer, not the
company, the product or the solution,” says Morin.
2. Emphasize the before and after.
The primitive brain responds to contrast. “The consumer must quickly understand the difference
between the ‘now’ without the product or service and the ‘tomorrow’
with the product or service. No contrast, no decision,” says Morin.
3. Keep messages clear and concise.
“Words don’t have much impact on the old brain unless they are simple, repeated and supported
by images or simple illustrations,” says Morin.
4. Make it visual.
Humans are visual decision makers, says Morin, so incorporating compelling images into
advertising is vital.
5. Focus on the intro and the conclusion.
“The old brain pays attention at the beginning of an interaction and the end,” says Morin, “so it’s
essential to provide a strong introduction and a strong conclusion in advertising materials.”
6. Emphasize emotions.
Provoking an emotional response is necessary for improving message retention, says Morin.
BY: SCOTT S. SMITH
bursting with ideas
How do you make your brand leap off the page? Give consumers more than just a product pitch.
Even the best recipes sometimes need a little tinkering. Over the past three years, Hannaford
supermarkets, a grocery retailer with 158 stores in New York and New England, has developed
Hannaford fresh magazine, a quarterly custom publication that initially consisted almost entirely
of recipes. But Hannaford realized that it could develop a stronger connection with its customers
by sharing more about its passion: the company’s motto is “For the love of food.”
For help with the magazine’s retooling, Hannaford turned to The Pohly Company, a custom
publisher in Boston. Pohly was a good fit for the relaunch of Hannaford fresh in part because of
its experience publishing other retail food magazines. “The Pohly Company offered Hannaford a
chance to mail out unique content, drawing on the company’s network of cookbook authors and
food experts,” says Dawn Silvia, Pohly director of communications.
In turn, The Pohly Company leverages the Hannaford marketing department’s knowledge of
what customers are interested in as well as current food trends to develop editorial that meets
customers’ needs. In addition, the two teams coordinate editorial coverage to support product
“Good customer communications means not only creating meaningful experiences to enhance
customers’ lives, but also creating two-way dialogue that will ultimately help the company
grow,” explains Diana Pohly, president of The Pohly Company. “In Hannaford fresh, we use
credible journalism and great photography to create an emotional connection that engages each
customer, while providing information that customers want and need.”
Beyond merely printing recipes, the magazine is now about fostering the customer’s passion for
food and building loyalty. “The magazine works to inspire customers to try new foods and it
supports their choice to shop at Hannaford,” says Pohly.
The first issue of the newly designed 48-page magazine was packed with a range of information
— from buying and storing seafood to choosing wines for the summer to ideas for eating well
when you’re short on time and on a budget.
The magazine also puts Hannaford associates in the spotlight, strengthening the personal
connection with customers. In the premiere issue of the refreshed Hannaford fresh, seafood
category manager Terry Harriman educates readers about seafood — a summertime favorite.
The magazine still contains plenty of recipes to keep customers inspired and trying new foods.
Features in the first relaunch issue helped customers plan for summer meals with information
and recipes on grilling, planning for a picnic and making the most of summer fruit.
“Hannaford customers are curious about trying new foods and learning about fresh ways of
working with familiar foods,” says Silvia. “Hannaford fresh helps them get more comfortable
with cooking and using new ingredients in a practical way. By providing content that they can’t
get elsewhere, it becomes a valuable resource that reinforces their enthusiasm for food.”
BY: MEG MITCHELL MOORE
Internet and direct mail team up for great results
Back in the Dark Ages of the online world — a decade ago, give or take — online companies
had a hunch they were onto something big. Internet marketers foresaw a time when the old
bastions of marketing would fall: A new world required new rules.
“Initially, the Internet advertising people didn’t learn a thing from direct mail marketers. They
thought direct mail was a horrible disease spread by people in bad clothes,” says Peter Blau, co-
founder of Customer Growth, Blau Moritz Klang Inc., based in Westport, Conn. “The problem
was that Internet people didn’t think they had anything to do with direct marketing; they wanted
to avoid it like the plague.”
On the flip side, says Blau, direct marketers, being steeped in the past, often ignored or
discounted the impact of the Internet.
everal years and untold dot.com carnage later, both sides have come to realize that each has some
valuable lessons to impart to the other. “The Internet has not changed the fundamental rules of
direct marketing,” says Blau. “You’re still talking about human psychology and how to motivate
a customer to buy. The methods may change, but the principles remain the same.”
Those principles, according to Blau, fall into three categories: grabbing customers’ attention,
offering them a unique selling proposition, and keeping them involved. “Learn what key benefit
will motivate your customer to buy and dramatize it in your creative,” says Blau. “That’s
important online as well as offline.”
One valuable lesson that direct marketers have taught Internet marketers is the strength of
segmentation. “The initial idea of the Internet was that they’d reach you with the right message
at the right time, which is a nice thought, but the way that really happens is segmentation,” says
Blau. “Direct mail marketers knew about segmentation 50 years ago. Internet marketers are
learning it as we speak.”
And at the same time, direct marketers learned they had to tie in with the Internet to protect and
grow the businesses. “If you had previously existed solely on direct mail, you now had to allow
and encourage customers to respond via the Internet,” says Blau.
Blau points to Dell as one classic example of successfully blending old and new marketing: their
direct mail catalogs drive customers to the Web site to purchase the company’s products.
Airlines have also learned to combine traditional direct mail offers with personalized e-mail
updates, incorporating the Internet into the overall marketing plan without eschewing direct mail.
Customer Growth puts those principles to work on its own clients by encouraging them to create
a “landing page” — an electronic business reply card of sorts — to field Web responses to a
direct mail piece. That practice started years ago and continues today as Web responses make up
an ever-larger percentage of overall direct mail responses.
“Direct mail is still a fantastic, targetable medium that grabs your attention,” says Blau. “Every
business that serves a mass market audience in America is a multi-channel business, and paper is
one of those channels.”
Which just goes to show you that as much as things have changed since the advent of the
Internet, they’ve pretty much stayed the same too.
BY: CHRISTOPHER CAGGIANO
top 10 marketing preferences
Respondents prefer marketing that …
1. Is short and to the point
2. They can choose to see when it is most convenient for them
3. Is personally communicated to them by friends or experts they trust
4. Provides information about price discounts or special deals
5. Is customized to fit their specific needs and interests
6. Compensates them for their time and attention
7. Provides information about competitive brands
8. Has asked for and received their permission ahead of time
9. They can personalize to fit their own interests and needs
10. Is associated with a magazine, TV program or organization about which they are enthusiastic
the resistance movement
Marketers say they’ve done much to make their efforts more consumer friendly. But have they
gone far enough?
Since the late ‘90s, we’ve been hearing about the Brave New World of marketing. Consumers,
we’re told, are more sophisticated and more adept at ignoring marketing messages. To be
successful, marketers need to get out of the clutter business and start giving consumers more
power and greater value from the brand experience.
Yet many marketers still operate the way they did 10 years ago. Such Old School adherents are
in for some rough times ahead, according to a 2005 Yankelovich study on marketing receptivity,
which documents record levels of consumer resistance to marketing. The resistance is
particularly keen when the consumer views the message or the method as an invasion of privacy
(see chart below).
Why, then, do such tactics continue? “Marketers are certainly trying to figure out ways to better
engage consumers in the marketplace,” says Yankelovich president J. Walker Smith. “But it’s all
still based on the notion that marketers are in control of the relationship. One of the things we’re
trying to emphasize with our research is that consumers don’t want more of the same, they want
something fundamentally different.”
The typical response to such resistance is to simply increase ad budgets. But according to Smith,
that has the ironic effect of increasing the resistance. “You’re only continuing to increase the
noise and the clutter, and that’s just going to make consumers more disengaged.”
The challenge, says Smith, is to rethink the brand interaction and deliver consumers a valuable
experience. “The new currency of the marketplace is giving people an experience that’s worth
their time,” he says. “I’m not going to open up the envelope if it’s just another pitch, if it’s not
something that’s worth the two or three minutes of my time.”
Tactics might include enhancing a direct mail piece with some useful information. “It could be a
message or useful nugget of information,” says Smith. “Or a Web site link to go and get
something more valuable.”
consumers dislike ...
Sale of e-mail lists without permission… 80%
Sale of mailing lists without permission… 79%
Unsolicited marketing phone calls… 74%
one 2 one
BY: BETH STACKPOLE
Hallmark cards add a personalized touch to direct mail campaigns
They say there’s a Hallmark card for every occasion. Now businesses large and small can tap
into that classic, feel-good medium to help create and build customer relationships.
Hallmark Business Expressions, a division of Hallmark Cards Inc., recently launched a Web site
(businessgreetings.com) and catalog where companies can purchase both customdesigned and
off-the-shelf cards for any occasion.
The company, based in Kansas City, Mo., sees growing interest among businesses eager to use
greeting cards to stand out from the mass of direct mail pieces in consumer
mailboxes. The Web site and catalog make the service more accessible to a wider array of
businesses while giving them the flexibility to buy these cards for more occasions in smaller
volumes — a minimum order of only 25 cards vs. 25,000 under the previous system.
“Companies are looking to reach out to their customers in a genuine way,” notes Cindy
Mahoney, general manager for Hallmark Business Expressions. “If they’re trying to
give an offer or say thank you, a Hallmark card does so in a way that no other direct mail device
As new technologies proliferate to enhance customer communication, there’s been less focus on
the actual messaging media, Mahoney claims. “As the business world becomes more
sophisticated through technologies such as e-mail marketing, the Internet and customer
relationship management, there’s a general feeling that companies want to create a personal
connection between their firms and their customers,” she explains. “The technology has
increased their ability to communicate, but the actual device to deliver that communication has
That’s where Hallmark cards come in. A card, customized to pay off for a specific business
strategy and personalized with a handwritten address, can be a welcome piece of
correspondence for customers. Hallmark has tens of thousands of business customers for which
it’s providing this service. Some, like airlines and consumer packaged goods
companies, are using cards to deliver special offers to good customers. Others, like cable TV
companies, have used the cards to make personal apologies for service outages.
Modell’s Sporting Goods, a sporting goods, footwear and apparel company with 131 stores, uses
Hallmark cards to send its loyalty program customers a birthday card with
something extra: a coupon off their next purchase. The cards ship out to 100,000 customers a
month, and since Modell’s switched from an in-house designed card to the Hallmark version,
they’ve seen their response rates nearly double, according to Dennis Miller, vice president of
advertising for the New York–based company.
The Hallmark brand and the fact that the cards are done with what appear to be handwritten
address fields are what persuaded Miller to make the switch. “The personalization was the added
value that sold us,” he says. “Our customers
get about four to five pieces of direct mail from us a year. We wanted to make this one special
because it was for their birthday. The Hallmark name really helped.”
Want fewer than 25 cards? Visit the United States Postal Service® NetPost® Print and Mail
Services (usps.com/netpost) for orders as low as one card.
BY: SHAWN DENNIS
direct – it’s in our DNA
The idea of “direct” is central to the DNA of the Dell organization. As the company has evolved,
the one consistent element has been direct. When Michael Dell started this
company 22 years ago, he began with the notion of bringing computers directly to the consumer
with no middleman. And that couldn’t have happened without continued and
strategic use of direct marketing and direct mail.
Because we have that direct relationship with consumers, we know more about them. We know
their purchase history and can direct communications that are relevant to them. So it becomes
this really positive experience because we have this direct relationship.
We’re currently in the process of fine-tuning our direct communication process. We send an
amazing amount of direct mail, and our data-mining capabilities are finally catching up with the
richness of our data.
We’re moving from the typical “spray and pray” approach to mailing more but smaller pieces
that are much more highly segmented and relevant. Direct mail is one of the
fastest-growing budgets in our marketing spend.
For example, we’re using customized digital printing for our back-to-school push this year,
targeting customers based on the hardware configurations and software selections
from their original purchases. We’re also doing a very large segmentation of our small-business
customers. Think about people going through their mail, with their business
problems in the back of their heads. That’s a great time to grab their attention with something
that will help them.
But what really makes direct effective is when you pair it with an online component. They really
complement each other. Direct is one of the best ways to engage them initially, then online helps
with the follow-up information.
So, even with all the new media options we have available, I can’t imagine we’d ever reach the
point where direct wouldn’t be a major part of Dell’s overall marketing efforts. In fact, it’s
central to our success.
VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL MARKETING
ROUND ROCK, TEXAS
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE