Nuts & Bolts: 5-Minute Interview
DTRIC’s marketing performance was on a downward slide. The Hawaii-based insurance provider was facing increased price competition from high-profile mainland companies, low name recognition and a lack of a clear corporate image. To counter this trend, DTRIC enlisted the support of San Antonio-based Harte-Hanks, a worldwide, direct and targeted marketing company, to develop and execute a strategic, multichannel approach that increased awareness of DTRIC’s automobile insurance offerings.
Using a combination of television, Web, direct mail and other media such as sign-waving events and elevator signage, Harte-Hanks gave DTRIC a personal touch with its creation of a surfer character. Known as “the Deetric dude,” the character provided visual support to DTRIC’s “the good word on insurance” tagline, while increasing branding opportunities for the company by providing a recognizable personality with a local flavor.
The new approach resulted in a 34 percent increase in response and a three-time hike in call volumes over the previous year. Comparing year over year, the conversion rate was 62 percent higher with a 109 percent lift in direct marketing sales.
This July, the campaign earned DTRIC and Harte-Hanks a 2007 Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association Benjamin Franklin Award for Direct Marketing Excellence.
Here, Linh DePledge, DTRIC’s vice president of sales and marketing, discusses the process behind the company’s multichannel strategy.
Target Marketing: What first-step analysis helped you determine DTRIC’s marketing strategy?
Linh DePledge: It was critical to start our new strategy correctly, so we looked to our target audience for clues. Harte-Hanks conducted focus groups and in-depth interviews to develop the initial strategy. Then, additional focus groups helped to ensure the new strategy would resonate within the marketplace. Upon completion of the first marketing campaign, we realized the strategy and execution were sound, and have continued with it successfully.
TM: What information did you learn from the focus groups that helped craft your strategy?
LD: Actually, we found that the DTRIC brand was not on the minds of the consumers. No one indicated positive or negative feelings toward DTRIC. This was actually very good news as it allowed us to craft a new, more memorable brand, going in any direction we wanted.