Cover Story: Direct Marketer of the Year: Dawn Zier
Nutrisystem had to prove it was more important to people who were trying to lose weight than any available free online tools. Also, Nutrisystem had to harness the level of intimacy that occurs with customers during the three to four "very intense" months in order to try to create a decades-long relationship and ensure the weight loss is maintained.
"I think few things are more personal than weight loss," Zier says.
Considering weight loss is a life-long challenge for many, she thinks Nutrisystem can become a valuable support partner.
"There's a ton of opportunity there," Zier says, "and all indications are we have the brand license and credibility to be part of the overall journey spanning decades, not months."
Critics then tell Zier, "'You must want your customers never to go off the program.' That's not true. The best thing for me is when a customer has success, and goes off the program, and becomes a brand ambassador."
This is where segmentation hits a home run for Nutrisystem.
"There's a lot of different ways to look at segmentation—whether you're using psychographic or demographic attributes," Zier says. "At a broad level, at a really high level, we definitely segment based on male, female. We look at diabetic and several other things. Those are the three major ones we're doing.
"We also look at do-it-yourself dieters vs. dieters that want more structured programs," Zier elaborates. "We're getting more and more sophisticated in this as we go forward. We actually recently hired a data scientist, and we were working with several third parties to really enhance our data sophistication to take it to the type of company that I believe we need to be to succeed in the future."
As important as messaging those segments is to Nutrisystem, Zier is adding another direct marketing skill to ensure a safe slide into home.