Direct Marketing to Professional Landscapers A Case Study of the 2010 STIHL Southeast Marketing Campaign
Executive Summary Red Letter crafted and delivered a tailored, effective direct mail and interactive campaign targeting professional landscapers in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The marketing goals of the campaign were two-fold; “block and tackle” existing customers keeping them loyal to the STIHL line and convert non-existing customers to the STIHL line. According to Ward Brooks, non-existing customers in the Stihl Southeast territory must routinely switch Dealers to convert their crew to the STIHL line of equipment, making the task of conversion. In order to address both targets (existing and non-existing customers) two separate creative platforms were created. Response rates through July were 15.7% and 10.1% for existing and non-existing customers, respectively. Response rates for the 2010 program are vast improvements over the 2009 program. The 2009 program used one creative platform for both existing and non-existing customers and kept the same format throughout the year.
Key Marketing Problems How do we efficiently and effectively target professional landscapers? What kind of message will elicit a response from professional landscapers?
What We Know… In 2009, mailings featured messaging focused on the quality of STIHL equipment Identical creative was sent to existing and non-existing customers All price promotion on products were shown on the inside spreads
What We Know… Response rates (measured by a recipient purchasing a STIHL product) were very low Response rates from non-existing customers were less than .5% over the entire, year-long program
A Fresh Start 2010’s campaign featured an entirely new creative approach Distinct and separate messaging for existing and non-existing customers Greater focus on what makes STIHL better for landscapers In order to increase conversions from non-customers a more aggressive message was chosen
STIHL is the number one selling brand of handheld outdoor power equipment in America*
*”Number one selling brand” is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research (commercial landscapers) as well as independent consumer research of 2009 U.S. sales and market share data for gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers.
Messaging to Existing Customers Sales figures were used to allow the advertising to call out the top selling units to recipients Tactically, the goal was to remind our customers that STIHL is the best choice to fit their demanding needs The inside spread of mailers also contained contained competitive product comparisons – “another reason STIHL is #1” Highlighting promotions on products is a key factor in appealing to existing customers They are aware of the value of a STIHL – any price promotion must be prominently displayed throughout the piece
The campaign has also added an interactive element – Personalized URLs or PURLs Each recipient is sent a PURL, the Web page contains customized messaging as well as interactive, dynamic content BR 600 Fuel Calculator Pro Landscaper Testimonial Videos PURLs offer a rich reporting, detailing who, when and where visits the page Added Depth in 2010
The Results Through July, the program has seen response rates of 15.7% from existing customers and 10.1% from non-existing customers. Response rate is defined as a product purchased by a list recipient 13 Mailers have been sent since early February Non-existing customers’ response rate has improved from less .5% to 10.1% Over 10,000 units have been sold to recipients The entire list contains approximately 28,000 professional landscapers Mention total retail sales?????
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