Polaris Taps Penn Garritano as DM Agency

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Polaris Industries Inc. named Penn Garritano Direct Response Marketing, Minneapolis, as its direct marketing agency of record after a yearlong search.

The agency will handle Polaris' ATV, Victory motorcycle, snowmobile and watercraft brands. Four undisclosed direct marketing shops pitched.

"The mandate from the client is to create a stronger and more rewarding relationship between both Polaris and its national dealer network, and Polaris and their dealers and their customers," said Steve Penn, CEO and executive creative director at the agency.

Polaris is the nation's largest manufacturer of snowmobiles. It joins Penn Garritano clients like Pfizer Animal Health, Deluxe and Medtronic.

Several Minneapolis-area agencies had worked with Polaris on a project basis. But the Medina, MN, company sought a longer-term relationship with a shop for responsibilities for database, creative, production and strategic planning. Penn said the size and scope of the account is still being determined.

"Some work we just need to hammer away on immediately, and there are a number of longer-term, more complex plans which we will develop and execute starting in 2003 and moving into 2004," he said.

The agency will use direct mail, online ads, e-mail, promotions and events. But the mix has not been firmed.

Polaris also tasked Penn Garritano to develop metrics for measuring the return on investment of the company's marketing spending.

From a branding perspective, the agency will seek to create a national community of loyal outdoor enthusiasts for engendering loyalty to Polaris.

"The challenge," Penn said, "is to segment its markets and take their dealer and customer communications, messaging and overall marketing to the next level of effectiveness and profitability."

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