Cover Story: Direct Marketer of the Year: Dawn Zier
"You get insights from customers and the data constantly, so you can always refine your marketing message, and really reach customers very personally," she explains.
She now asks staffers to back up assertions with facts.
"When I came on board at Nutrisystem, we revisited everything," Zier says. "And direct marketing principles, pricing and product innovation were three of the areas that we really focused on.
"We overhauled our advertising, and focused on the benefits and emotional connectivity of our products, rather than price-cutting promotions," she continues. "We felt our products had become too discounted, and were able to successfully raise the price back towards what we were charging several years back, before the discounting marketing strategy took hold. We also moved away from a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. That just doesn't work with consumers anymore. We introduced new products, optimized pricing and expanded our distribution channels, and we're going to continue to do that.
"I also think that a lot of companies struggle with calibrating the degree of change needed," Zier adds. "And we were very deliberate, informed by data, informed by test results, and really resisted the urge to change things too abruptly, without information behind it. We were very disciplined about making adjustments, whether they were most needed to improve customer experience, conversion rates, retention, etc.
"I'm really pleased to say that we've begun to see a positive shift across 90 percent of our key metrics," Zier says of the results, "and have strategies in place to further this momentum, as well as move the remaining 10 percent forward."
'Moneyball' Has Nothing on Nutrisystem
"We're in the early innings of this turnaround, with the expectation of achieving revenue growth for the first time in seven years," Zier says. "I believe that there's a lot of opportunity ahead for the brand. So, while challenging, it's very exciting and very rewarding. And also knowing we're making profound differences in so many people's lives is humbling, as well. We're very focused on that."