Hyundai's Chris Perry on How Direct Marketing Helped Drive Up January Profits
TM: What marketing research did Hyundai use to determine that this program could succeed?
CP: We knew that Assurance was a strong message, given the economy and given the uncertainty of people's employment. So then it was just a matter of how we get that message out and the different channels that we use to get that message out. ... We're promoting the messaging in TV, in newspaper, online banner advertising and then direct marketing. ... We did some research, both quantitative and qualitative, before we moved forward with the program. So once we developed the program, and made sure it was appropriate for the marketplace, then it was just a matter of how we communicate that message, what channels we use.
TM: What results has Hyundai seen from the Assurance campaign?
CP: Extremely strong. I think two great things that came out of the Assurance Program [are that] people recognize that [these are] uncertain times, and this kind of alleviates their fears when it comes to the economy. And the secondary benefit is that it's really positioning us as a company that cares about the consumer and is looking out for them, and they're starting to see Hyundai as a brand that has kind of got their back, if you will. ... If you look at the January sales from the industry, there's only three brands that were up versus January of last year. ... We were up 14 percent.
TM: Did Hyundai specifically track direct results?
CP: Yes, there are several measures, which include (but are not limited to) delivery rate, open rate, [clickthrough] rate, actions taken (i.e., Build Your Own, Test Drive Request, etc.) and buy rate.
TM: Where does Hyundai plan to go from here with its direct marketing strategy?
CP: We're continuing to evolve and refine. We do a lot of direct marketing and testing and revising. So that's a very key component of our overall marketing communications. So we continue to promote Hyundai Assurance, Car of the Year, sales events, special programs. We send out over 20 million pieces of communication through e-mail and direct marketing every year.