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John Deere
John Deere

Postcards help milk a new market

Situation: Last fall, when John Deere's construction and for­estry division launched a smaller skid steer loader than had been previously available, the company saw an opportunity to target new audiences such as dairy producers and livestock owners.

The John Deere brand already has “a lot of loyalty in the agricultural market” from its agricul­tural division, says Holly McAvoy, direct marketing manager at John Deere Construction and Forestry.

Because many farmers work closely with their John Deere dealer, awareness and remembrance became the key goals for any marketing effort.

Approach: John Deere and McCullough Creative created three postcards that were mailed in quick succes­sion in early November to 18,000 targeted names. The look of the postcards was “a little bit off the beaten track for us,” says McAvoy, referring to the use of brightly colored illustration and humorous copy. She went on to say that the goal was to create something that would “jump” out of the mailbox and be memorable.

The first postcard introduced the product, the second highlighted a 0% financing offer and the third included a DVD with more information. John Deere used Expericard to deliver the DVD and a business-reply envelope. The direct mail was followed with a telemarketing campaign to 5,000 names.

Results: Though only 0.5% of recipients responded, John Deere considers the effort a success, because deal­ers have reported hearing from customers about the skid steer and the information they saw in the DVD.

“It's a huge win for us that people are invested in learning more about the product,” McAvoy says. John Deere will target the landscaping market next with a similar program. - Chantal Todé

Tom Hanson, SVP, creative director, Wunderman Chicago

The John Deere work suffers from the Doublemint curse: it's two, two, two approaches in one: Great illustration and fun copy on the front, but the same old product-driven copy and typical product shot on the back. Next time, import that attitude to talking about the skid steer, too.Same with Schneider Logistics. The stark concrete/ruler panel is a great idea, but it's buried in the expected problem-solution copy. If this were an ad, you'd throw away the copy panels. Carestream Health spent some money on its well-timed mailing, and it got some good results out of it. Once again it proved that sending coffee mugs in a great big box gets attention.


 Carestream Health - Coffee theme jolts campaign

Approach: Last May, Carestream Health Inc. has new digital imaging and information management solution for mammography imaging centers. It mailed triangular boxes containing a personalized letter, a three-question survey and a logo-branded coffee mug to decision-makers in the field. After completing the survey via business-reply card or a dedicated microsite, recipients would be mailed two packs of coffee. The fulfillment package also contained additional survey questions and an opt-in for e-mail communication.

Results: Within three months of the first mailing, a 44.5% response was obtained.
-Mary Hurn

Schneider Logistics - Need for space drives results

Approach: Agency The Hiebing Group created a direct mail campaign to generate leads to fill unused space at one of Schneider's facilities. In September, 5,000 direct mail pieces were dropped highlighting the idea of space. A reminder postcard went out three weeks later. Both pieces featured a landing page URL.

Results: Approximately 3.1% of recipients went to the landing page and 22% of those submitted an online form. Paul Thompson, strategy director at The Hiebing Group, attributes this success to the “interesting and intriguing” creative.
-Nathan Golia


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