SMM Creates Feedback Program for Pitney Bowes

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Sanna Mattson MacLeod Advertising (SMM), Smithtown, NY, is making a new comprehensive marketing program for the mailing systems division of Pitney Bowes Inc., Stamford, CT, that is based on a meticulous system of customer feedback.

Although the agency has worked with Pitney Bowes before, this new assignment is different in the way it interacts with prospective customers.

"What is unique about this project is that at every contact there is an interview that could lead to a sale or could present an opportunity to obtain information about a customer for future reference," said Gerard Schmitt, senior vice president and director of account services for SMM.

The program, which will be used as part of the marketing plan for the full range of Pitney Bowes' mail-system products will be based mainly on telemarketing and direct mail. Both efforts will include surveys that collect data that would be useful in future sales attempts.

Many of the survey questions are designed to capture general market research information, such as what type of mail equipment the company currently uses and what volume of mail the company sends, so sales representatives can offer appropriate products in follow-up sales calls or meetings.

In situations where a sales offer is not immediately appropriate, the program is designed to capture as much specific information as possible to better assess when would be a suitable time for future contact.

"If someone is using equipment from a competitor, and their lease expires in 15 months, the database will be programmed to initiate contact again at that time," Schmitt said. "Even if someone is not in an immediate position to buy, this is a simple way to keep the Pitney Bowes name in front of them."

The company's mail-service products will be offered to prospective customers ranging from sole proprietors of smaller companies to large mail-house operations. The program will contact prospects from a database compiled by Pitney Bowes' field sales force.

As the actual product sales are made by a field sales representative, the agency has created a communications system with the sales force so leads and information from the marketing efforts will be relayed to sales representatives twice a week.

The marketing program is being instituted across the country.

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