Rapp Collins Wins CRM Work From DirecTV

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DirecTV has named Rapp Collins Worldwide to handle customer relationship management work for the El Segundo, CA-based satellite TV broadcaster.

The CRM business was bagged after a review that included DraftWorldwide, New York; TargetCom, Chicago; and DirecTV's agency of record, Deutsch, Los Angeles. Budget for the effort is still being decided.

Rapp Collins' Dallas and Los Angeles offices will handle the work. Both offices in June won a DirecTV direct-to-customer acquisition assignment after incumbent Deutsch lost that business.

"The goal [with the CRM work] very simply is to positively affect behavior and increase purchases of programming packaging and hopefully reduce the number of people who're migrating downwards and ultimately stem total defection," said Mark Miller, president of Rapp Collins' Dallas office.

The agency's services include analytics, Web site marketing, banners, e-mail, creative, strategy planning, direct mail and direct response TV.

Marketing will break in first-quarter 2002, targeting the DirecTV database of 10 million customers.

In its first assignment awarded this summer, DirecTV charged Rapp Collins with creating marketing to grow its direct-to-consumer outreach. The broadcaster aims to recruit new customers directly, via a toll-free number and the Internet. Chains like Best Buy Co., Circuit City and RadioShack Corp. also sell packages of DirecTV.

With the CRM assignment, Rapp Collins has recommended DirecTV avoid a points-based loyalty program, instead suggesting customized entertainment around a viewer's choices, offline and online. This is similar to work it does for clients like Sony PlayStation, Dell Computer Corp., Busch Gardens and Sea World.

"In the case of DirecTV, it's all about engagement with the product and engagement with entertainment," Miller said. "That's what keeps you paying the amount every month."

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