Custom Cookbook Company Finds Right Recipe for CRM Success

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Favorite Recipes Press is cooking up great results from a database marketing system it established in 2003.


FRP, whose parent firm is Southwestern/Great American Inc., is one of the nation's best-known cookbook companies. Since 1961 it has produced hundreds of titles for nonprofit groups, companies and individuals. Many Junior League chapters nationwide use FRP to publish their cookbooks, used for fundraising.


FRP, Nashville, TN, also offers support and consultation, guiding customers in creating, producing and marketing their cookbooks.


FRP decided in 2003 to focus more on its customers, whose information including contact data along with marketing attributes such as what products interested them, resided in its back-end enterprise resource planning system, SAP/3 Enterprise.


The company wanted to distribute the information to sales reps easily and communicate with customers more easily, capture their responses to communications and integrate the information with FRP's existing systems. It also wanted to send e-mail newsletters instead of print versions.


"FRP had a print newsletter that it was mailing out every month to customers," said Donna Lea, vice president of information services at S/GA. "But FRP wanted to eliminate the cost associated with that by sending it electronically."


It also wanted to use the e-newsletters to drive traffic to FRP's site, favoriterecipespress.com. And it wanted to be able to send this communication to prospects as well.


While customer data resided in the ERP system, information such as prospects, sales leads and other contacts from trade shows sat in each sales rep's Microsoft Outlook e-mail system, "which was not at all connected into the SAP 3/Enterprise system," said Ryan Tabor, business analyst at S/GA. "We needed a system that could house all of our prospects, or just other various contacts that we wanted to communicate with, along with our customer data."


After searching for a CRM system, it implemented the mySAP Customer Relationship Management Solution and SAP Business Intelligence software in July 2003.


"We were looking for a total CRM solution, not just a campaign management solution," Lea said.


Installation took just five weeks, allowing FRP to send its first e-newsletter in August 2003. Newsletters now go to prospects, customers and others who have requested the newsletter.


FRP sends two newsletters monthly, one targeted to the Junior Leagues and the other to all other FRP customers. FRP sends a combined 1,200 copies of its e-mail newsletters monthly.


The Junior League newsletter includes targeted content, such as the Top 10 Junior League cookbooks sold that month. The other newsletter offers more general content. Both offer marketing and publishing tips for the cookbooks.


Since installing the solution and doing marketing campaigns via e-mail, Web site traffic has nearly doubled.


"That has positioned us well, since we will be implementing an online store that is scheduled to go live in December," Tabor said.


The system also lets FRP send e-newsletters to customers and prospects, and "as they respond or read the newsletter, we can capture that on the back end," Lea said. "We have refined our customer database so that we are able to send our e-mail newsletters to targeted customers."


Only 0.5 percent of e-mails "are not sent to the intended, targeted recipient, which is pretty significant," Tabor said.


Sending marketing messages and a newsletter by postal mail took significant time and was expensive compared with sending the content electronically.


The system is also used in other S/GA companies. One of S/GA's fundraising companies is surveying its 300 sales reps for input on designing brochures.


"The sales reps see images for three different brochure covers in an e-mail, and they can click on the one they like the best," Lea said.


S/GA plans to carry out this exercise on a broader scale throughout the firm next year. It also will produce similar e-newsletters for other companies.


After FRP launches its online store, "we will be able to track whether or not anyone has purchased a cookbook based on a campaign that we send out, and then we will send targeted e-mails to the list of purchasers based on the types of books that they purchased," Tabor said. "For example, if they came to our site and bought three barbecue cookbooks, and we introduce a new barbecue cookbook, then they will be included in a campaign to promote that new barbecue cookbook."


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