Xerox Targets Mid-Size Firms With Effort

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Xerox, Stamford, CT, has just begun its largest and most aggressive product marketing campaign ever in an effort to target mid-size businesses.

"That is where the growth in the market is right now," said Nina Smith, director of corporate marketing at Xerox. "We have also not penetrated that area as much as we would have liked to, and we think we need to build awareness within it to let them know that we can supply them with what they want."

According to Smith, Xerox is taking an integrated/hybrid marketing approach to this campaign, which will be executed in three phases over a period of 12 weeks. It will combine print, TV and radio ads, as well as direct mail, online advertising and telemarketing, while working with its direct sales representatives, retailers and resellers.

"This is the first time we have done something this significant," Smith said.

The campaign is going to focus on promoting three products: the Xerox Document Centre, the Xerox DocuColor copier/printers and the DocuPrint printers.

The direct mail campaign, starting within the next two weeks, will be a staggered drop of several million pieces throughout the world. In particular, Xerox will be targeting IT specialists and MIS people, as well as purchasing agents and middle management.

The drop will be staggered because it is promoting three products. A specific group has been selected to be targeted with each piece and will consist of former customers and new prospects.

Though the piece is still being developed, Smith described it as a color piece containing a photo and information on the products, along with a call to action of either going to the Web site or calling a toll-free number. Those who receive the piece will also receive a follow-up call from Xerox.

Late last month, Xerox started the first part of the campaign with direct response print ads, which started running Feb. 28 and will continue to run until the end of the second quarter. Ads were placed in all of the top journals, such as USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, as well as in major daily newspapers. Major business publications such as Forbes, Fortune and Business Week will also feature the ads.

The three ads include information on the family of products being promoted, along with pricing information. People are asked to either call a toll-free number or visit the Web site to get more information or make a purchase.

Radio ads will begin airing later this month, with TV ads to start running sometime during the second quarter. The TV spots will air on major cable and network channels and will carry the same messages as the direct mail pieces and print ads.

Xerox also will be doing some direct e-mails, but it will be sending those only to people who have previously contacted the company during this campaign. For the second phase of the campaign, which is set to begin in April, it plans on running banner ads at numerous sites.

For retailers and resellers, Xerox has created what Smith called a turnkey program that will allow them to run a marketing campaign from their end, which can include direct mail, telemarketing, print and radio ads.

Smith noted that there are no plans to make the second and third phase of the campaign smaller or larger than this original phase.

"We are going to look at all of the responses and results of what happens with this first phase," she said. "We'll see if what works in San Francisco works in Minneapolis, and if it doesn't, we will make the appropriate adjustments. But there are no plans at this time to scale down or increase the scope of the next two phases."

Xerox worked with Young & Rubicam, New York, in developing all aspects of the campaign.

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