Not business as usual

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Not business as usual
Not business as usual
It's this chance to dramatically increase response rates that's trig­gering others in the b-to-b direct marketing space to push integrated campaigns as well.

“We're big believers that integrated direct response marketing works and we're seeing clients more and more open to it,” says Marc Blumer, senior marketing strategist at b-to-b agency Slack Barshinger.

Blumer recently completed a cam­paign for the Chicago area's Harris Bank that leveraged print advertising, along with direct mail and telemarket­ing. “We looked at all three channels independently, but we also looked at the lift we were able to get through the synergy of the various channels,” he says. “The direct mail that went to telemarketing recipients caused a lift of somewhere between 1.5-2 points that was measurable.”

Broadening the b-to-b audience

Bob Northway, VP at Alexander Marketing Group, another b-to-b agency, is also an advocate of in­tegrated campaigns, but notes the target audience often needs to be broadened to include more than just the end decision maker.

“In the b-to-b space we're often talking to the [third-party] chan­nel as much if not more than we're talking to the end user because the [middleman may do] an awful lot of the marketing,” he says.

But integrated campaigns do tend to be more expensive, and Blumer stresses that not every client has the budget for that. “The start-up costs for materials and creatives for multiple channels can be high and quickly eat up more than, say, half of a $100,000 budget, which may not leave enough working media dollars for list rentals or search programs,” he adds.

With a higher cost structure, inte­grated campaigns do have to carry a heavier load and in AXA's case that meant the Challenge had to deliv­er more than high response rates. “That's only one battle,” Goodstein points out. “Getting new business is the goal and we did that as well.”

The AXA Challenge proved so successful that the company is now looking not only at expanding it this year but also launching a similar inte­grated program on the retail side for end customers.

“We're believers in the notion that if you really want to get atten­tion and you want to get people to notice you, you need campaigns to take into account lots of different media,” Goodstein says. “But they also need to be multifaceted and dis­tinctive in terms of message, delivery and appeal.”

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