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How to use doughnuts, a personalized digital promotion and smiles to build a successful advertising agency new business program. More at www.peterlevitan.com

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Of Doughnuts and Dollars: How To Use Food To Win New Business

  1. 1. The 360 View Of Doughnuts and Dollars
  2. 2. 1 Ralston360 Executive Summary VIEW I: OF DOUGHNUTS AND DOLLARS What do doughnuts, business-to-business marketing and incredible ROI have in common? Plenty. In this issue of The 360 View, we give an overview of a B-to-B direct response marketing program that yielded results 20 times greater than the industry average. Of Doughnuts and Dollars The 360 View
  3. 3. 2 Marketing agencies, whether direct marketers or advertising agencies, are often chided for their inability to practice what they preach. After all, how much great B-to-B advertising for and by advertising agencies have you seen? How many brilliant direct marketing ideas for otherwise smart direct marketing agencies have crossed your desk? The latest 360 View is a case history of a marketing company that does, in fact, practice what it preaches. A company willing to spend a significant amount per marketing package to introduce itself to a new market and generate high-quality leads. Who is this company you may ask? Well, it’s Ralston360. So stay with me and I’ll outline a successful program that includes Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts, the chance to win Krispy Kreme stock, the opportunity to help sick children, personalized digital printing, a PIN-managed sweepstakes, a program-dedicated website to capture and track those PINs and an email program to complete the loop. Pretty tasty, huh? A CURE FOR ACUTE MARKETING ANXIETY Good marketers occasionally wake up in the middle of the night with a wide-eyed stare worrying about the success or failure of their sales and marketing programs. This white-knuckled fear has been exacerbated over the past few years by the increase of general media clutter and the growth of measurable interactive media and program options. With real-time measurement tools come ever more management scrutiny (read: proof of an individual’s success or failure), which drives even more anxiety because, after all, we finally have a good grip on what works and what doesn’t. I am a member of this insomnia-ridden little club. I wake up often wondering if our marketing programs are effective, and it’s a drag. To help cure this anxiety-based problem, we created the Ralston360 “Doughnut Program.” Here is its case study. It is a case study based on two of our primary biases: A bias towards action and a bias towards getting noticed. Of Doughnuts and Dollars The 360 View
  4. 4. 3 PROGRAM OBJECTIVES We are based in Bend, Oregon, have been in business for 19 years and have a strong and diverse client roster. Our clients range across multiple categories that include technology companies, financial services, consumer products, health care, even casinos. Bend has been good to us (a strong business, great long-term 360 marketing. clients plus skiing, fishing, golf, mountain biking— you get the idea). A well-rounded approach We do, however, have a raging case of business wanderlust. In order to creating Delighted to grow faster and to take advantage of the current economic Customers.* rebound, we felt that we needed a presence in Portland. We opened our Portland office in January. We even changed our name from RalstonGroup to Ralston360 to signal our expansion and recently enhanced direct and database marketing skill-sets. Portland is one of the most competitive markets in the country for marketing agencies. Like San Francisco, Portland has one of the highest ratios of talent-to-potential-clients. Because of this, we knew that any business development program we launched had to meet three key objectives: 1. The program had to immediately capture the attention of our target executives. We needed to hook ‘em fast. These executives are C-level and marketing executives at approximately 100 Portland area companies. They are very busy and are the target of many other marketing firms. They often hear the standard “we are great” messages from our competitors. They were ready to hear something new. 2. The program had to quickly and viscerally communicate how smart and creative we are. It also needed to demonstrate our integrated marketing talent, from branding to design to data-driven marketing. We did not want to bore people by just sending our portfolio with the standard, ineffectual “we’re cool/choose us” message. 3. The program had to deliver a high percentage of face-to-face meetings. This was the bottom line, the key metric, the only grail worthy of holiness. If successful, we would roll out the program to other markets. Of Doughnuts and Dollars * Find out more about creating Delighted Customers by visiting ralston360.com. The 360 View
  5. 5. 4 THE 360 DOUGHNUT PROGRAM What do business people want to hear or see from marketing companies seeking their attention? A portfolio of past work? Cool posters? Business books? Tchotchkes? I have received all of these plus more in my days as a client. Sorry. They just don’t work anymore. What works? Something that reaches deep into our human consciousness. Something that’s glazed-coated and calorie-laden. Something like…Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Who doesn’t love these ultra-sweet treats? These anti-Atkins mini-bombs? That emotionally charged Krispy Kreme bite? It’s a universal winner. The 360 Doughnut Program was about delivering the ultra-satisfying Krispy Kreme experience to key decision-makers listed in our business development database. More importantly, it was about making a fast, emotional and highly gratifying connection that would arrest that elusive moment of attention. (See pages 8-9 for a detailed look at this campaign.) This multi-element program consisted of the following ingredients: Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts. (Krispy Kreme came to Portland in 2003 and is still a novelty.) We generally delivered one box per person at companies with multiple target executives. In companies where we targeted just one executive, we delivered two boxes to create more departmental excitement and to get the conversation moving. (“Hey, where did these doughnuts come from?”) A chance to actually “own” a piece of Krispy Kreme by winning a share of Krispy Kreme stock. Of Doughnuts and Dollars The 360 View
  6. 6. 5 A box-sized cover card to top each Krispy Kreme box. The cards were digitally printed on heavy stock with a personalized message and unique PIN so that each recipient could enter online to see if s/he had won a share of Krispy Kreme stock. Of course, every targeted recipient was a winner. (Why not, right?) Other corporate colleagues could enter the contest to win their own shares of stock by entering online as a “Guest.” A program-dedicated micro Web site that included a page for PIN and “Guest” entry, a registration page and a thank you page. These pages were directly tied into our database, which provided real-time tracking data on who visited (based on their unique PIN), who registered and who received our automatically generated follow-up email. (See pages 9-10 for a detailed look at this campaign.) An option. Since many companies have rules about receiving gifts, we offered executives the option of donating the stock to the Make-A- Wish® Foundation of Oregon, one of Ralston360’s pro-bono clients. Continual improvement. Because the program was real-time, we used digital printing for the box and Web pages for the promotion. This allowed us to immediately leverage prospect feedback to make ongoing minor adjustments to the box, Web site copy and art, the offer and email creative messaging to improve our communications. Of Doughnuts and Dollars Fast follow-up. Everyone got a personal call within 4 working days of the doughnut delivery. The 360 View
  7. 7. 6 R E S U LT S – T H E F I R S T W AV E We thought that the program would work. We just didn’t know how well. Frankly, this is one of the best-performing, lead-generating programs we have ever run. 20% of recipients registered at the The results: Ralston360 micro site To date, 20% of the targeted executives have registered at the micro site. Most took the stock and some passed it on to Make-A-Wish Oregon. (For comparison’s sake, the industry average conversion rates for programs targeting high-level executives is 1-3%.) We have scheduled meetings with 40% of the targeted companies. The industry average is 2% It is very interesting to note that about half of our meetings were set up with recipients who did not register. For whatever reason, they didn’t take the time to register online. However, the program itself resonated so strongly that they scheduled a meeting anyway. Companies not interested in meeting now were very happy to take our call* and suggested that we call in the future. We made the connection and have a fun connection to use as a reminder when we call again. *OK, there were a couple of C level executives that might have taken a call from Warren Buffet… But not us. A number of the people contacted were willing to provide valuable feedback on the program, in many cases unsolicited. It was this feedback that is helping us to modify the program for future rounds of targeted companies. This feedback-loop also helped to form a bond between us and our prospects. THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING (OR DOUGHNUTS) This program put smiles on peoples’ faces (and maybe a couple of cavities in their teeth). It delivered our primary objective of getting meetings to introduce Ralston360 and it quickly put us on the Portland map as a company with fresh ideas, high energy and integrated marketing skill sets. Most importantly, the program made us look smart. (Smart is good.) It also gave me a few great nights of sleep. (An added bonus.) The program isn’t over. We are expanding the successful 360 Of Doughnuts and Dollars Doughnut Program beyond Portland. The 360 View
  8. 8. The Ralston360 Doughnut Program
  9. 9. 8 CARD FRONT D E TA I L A box-sized cover card was created to top each Krispy Kreme box. The cards were digitally printed on heavy stock with a personalized message and unique PIN so that each recipient could enter online to see if s/he had won a share of Krispy Kreme stock. Of Doughnuts and Dollars CARD BACK The 360 View
  10. 10. 9 L A N D I N G PA G E A program-dedicated micro Web site that included a page for PIN and “Guest” entry, a registration page and a thank you page. These pages were directly tied into our database, which provided real-time tracking data on who visited (based on their unique PIN), who registered and who received our automatically generated follow-up email. Of Doughnuts and Dollars R E G I S T R AT I O N F O R M The 360 View
  11. 11. 10 KEEPING A GOOD THING GOING And, yes, there’s more. For all of our targeted recipients, our next step is to maintain contact frequency, a critical element of B-to-B marketing. We can’t just drop off the face of the earth and expect prospects to remember us. Our quarterly follow-up program, which will have a lower cost per contact, will leverage music to reach the heart and soul of our prospects. First food, then music. Y O U R N E X T S T E P T O W A R D A G R E AT N I G H T ’ S S L E E P If you need a program as powerful as ours for your business, give me a call. I would love to share my perspective on how you too can create a B-to-B campaign that helps you stand out from the crowd and meet your business objectives. I’ll even sweeten the deal with a couple of Krispy Kremes. I’m making this offer because I am pretty sure that you are not 100% satisfied with all of the elements of your current marketing program. I’m also pretty sure that you recognize that working with people who do not do the same old, same old makes a heck of a lot of sense. Pleasant dreams. W H AT I S T H E 3 6 0 V I E W ? It’s a series of white papers featuring marketing insights from Ralston360 CEO Peter Levitan. The 360 View provides business and marketing professionals with new perspectives on what makes marketing communications work. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Not in theory. But in the real world, right now. To get a fresh outlook on the business of creating, nurturing and maintaining Delighted Customers, check out Peter’s next 360 View. You’ll find a visionary approach to marketing communications. And a 360º view of how to make it work. Of Doughnuts and Dollars Past 360 Views can be seen at ralston360.com. The 360 View
  12. 12. W H O W E H AV E D E L I V E R E D F O R Just a few of our clients in Oregon, WE DELIVER Washington, and Idaho: Ralston360 is dedicated to helping clients ACCENT OPTICAL TECHNOLOGIES –the global leader in exceed marketing objectives. We are dedicated optoelectronic process controls to getting our clients and their messages BANK OF THE CASCADES —nationally recognized noticed. We use lots of gray matter to make Northwest bank this happen. CLEAR CHOICE HEALTH PLANS —Medicare-Plus We do not have a one-size-fits-all solution, and insurance program recognize that the most effective program is FARMERS & MERCHANTS STATE BANK —Idaho’s largest based on the right brand strategy, advertising, community bank direct response, PR or grass roots marketing. IDAHO POWER —publicly traded regional electric utility Our mantra is simple: We help our clients MICRON TECHNOLOGY —North America’s largest acquire, stimulate and retain Delighted computer memory supplier Customers. SAFECO —one of America’s most respected insurers SUNRIVER RESORT —the Northwest’s leading golf and destination resort And some clients from our staff’s deep, dark past: ADIDAS INTERNATIONAL AMEX AT&T COCA-COLA WHY WE DELIVER GENERAL MILLS Ralston360 is a full-service marketing company with 20 years experience in national and local JOHNSON & JOHNSON markets. Our management has worked in major NORTHWEST AIRLINES agencies in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, PBS Minneapolis and London. We offer strategic research and guidance leading to effective SARA LEE marketing solutions for print, broadcast, SUZUKI corporate ID, collateral, direct marketing, trade marketing and the Internet. We make it easy to reach Ralston360: www.ralston360.com 877 577 5790 toll free info@ralston360.com
  13. 13. Bend_Portland 19797 Village Office Ct. Bend, Oregon 97702 877-577-5790 fax 541-388-4381 www.ralston360.com info@ralston360.com
  • fsulka

    Oct. 4, 2016

How to use doughnuts, a personalized digital promotion and smiles to build a successful advertising agency new business program. More at www.peterlevitan.com

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