Show and Sell
When it comes to selling printing presses, a marketer has no better sales tool than an example of what its company's products can do. And if you're talking about digital printing presses, says Heidelberg Senior Manager of Marketing Communications Scott Wendline, savvy customers want a demo with their own material going into the sample piece.
Last year Heidelberg, a leading manufacturer of sheetfed, digital and web press systems, started sending out personalized direct mail efforts to showcase its digital presses, figuring that if it was going to talk the talk, it had better "walk the walk," says Wendline.
One of these efforts popped up in the Archive this March. A 9" x 11-1/2" cardboard carrier holds an 8-1/2" x 11" card stock insert on which a CD is fastened (812HEIUSA0303B). But the CD does not offer free music or a virtual tour of a job being printed on a Heidelberg press. This CD is blank, waiting for the prospect to select a print project she would like to see created on a Heidelberg digital press.
The mailing's goal is very simple: Get the prospect to pick up the phone and call a Heidelberg sales rep. The lure is a free test on one of three Heidelberg digital presses: the Digimaster 9110, the Nexpress 2100 or the Quickmaster DI. Prospects are encouraged to copy one of their print jobs onto the CD and then call a toll-free number to arrange for pick-up by a set deadline.
Not only does the sales rep get to establish a connection, but he or she also needs to select the right digital press for the prospect's joba process that helps qualify the prospect for the offer and identify hot leads for follow-up.
The target audience for the campaign was selected by title and job function, and compiled from leading publications read by printing company executives and a smattering of creative types that might drive print buying choices. A list broker was used to find the right level of decision makers, says Wendline.
As for the creative concept and execution, Heidelberg turned to LB Works, a division of Leo Burnett that specializes in B-to-B and technology sectors. LB Works developed an streamlined effort, with only one inner component. This card-stock piece features four-color printing with personalization created on a Heidelberg Nexpress. A small flap on the piece folds out to reveal a brief pitch on the capabilities of Heidelberg digital printing presses, as well as a short description of the strengths of each press offered for the test job.
The cardboard outer looks just like the carriers used to send jobs to printing companies, says Wendline, replete with an "urgent" pick-up date sticker that shares the response deadline.
"By our standards, the campaign was very successful," says Wendline. One of the measures of success: A high percentage of the audience made it from the initial call to job pick-upa testament to the quality of the list profiling.
Wendline did not say if Heidelberg would drop this particular campaign again, but was positive the company would continue to use direct mail throughout 2003 to promote its digital printing products.