Personalization - What's In a Name? (869 words)
To provide more specific product information in a timely manner, as well as gather information for future campaigns, Whirlpool just began its "A Job Well Done" campaign, says Tim Graves, vice president of new business development at ColorStream, a direct marketing subsidiary of Webcraft Technologies Inc.
Working together, Whirlpool, ColorStream and marketing firm CE Communications developed a program. First, call center representatives who field inbound calls ask inquirers specific questions about their interest in certain products and features.
Then, using this information and variable printing technology, Whirlpool sends each inquirer a 4-, 8-, or 12-page self-mailer, including a letter from the representative and his extension (in case of additional questions), a dealer locator highlighting nearby stores, product information with detailed descriptions and photography specific to consumer requests.
The call center fields calls six days a week; the personalized fulfillment packages are printed digitally using SmartPage technology and an IBM InfoColor 70 printer and mailed within 24 hours of the call.
One question marketers would love to answer is when a customer is planning to buy. There are a few instances when marketers do know the answer to this question, such as in the lease of an automobile. Crown Mercedes, an automobile dealer in Columbus, OH, wanted to reach customers as they began thinking about leasing another car.
"The project was to try and stimulate growth in the re-leasing market as well as hold on to market share," says Bill Black, director of marketing for Kreber Graphics, a company offering turn-key solutions in the creation and printing of marketing materials. The mailing was printed digitally using SmartSeries software and an Indigo digital printer.
The campaign reached customers as their leases approached expiration. Crown sent customers a self-mailer picturing the exact model of the car they leased. Other personalized elements included the customer's lease expiration date and the original salesperson's name and phone number. Mailings were sent 90 days and 60 days prior to lease expiration.