Beech-Nut chooses Epsilon

In an effort to increase its market share in the baby food sector and become the top national brand, upstate New York-based baby food company Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. has tapped Epsilon for a series of direct marketing campaigns.

Chief among these efforts will be a new direct mail campaign in which the com­pany will partner with Disney subsidiary Baby Einstein, a provider of multimedia products and toys for babies.

The latest campaign, part of a monthly direct mail series, will reach more than 100,000 first-time moms nationwide. The mailing urges moms to sign up for the company’s online newsletter, offering the chance to receive a Beech-Nut starter kit of cereal and jars of the company’s Stage 1 food, as well as coupons for Stage 2 jars and Baby Einstein DVDs.

“Direct marketing has always been very important to Beech-Nut because in the past it had been more of a regional brand,” said Sumindi Peiris, marketing director at Beech-Nut. “To efficiently target direct mail has always been a core marketing initiative, and Epsilon has come in to help us grow to be a national brand.

All of Beech-Nut’s monthly direct mail campaigns are designed to build brand awareness, encourage recipients to sign up for the e-newsletter, and drive product trials, often with incentives such as cou­pons. Large measures of success for these campaigns are the rate of coupon use and the number of newsletter signees.

“We target different segments, such as urban moms and rural moms, and we have to know [to which channels different seg­ments] better respond,” Peiris explained. “Some might be more information-driven, while some might be coupon-driven.”

Aside from direct mail, [email protected], the interactive unit of Epsilon, will provide e-mail marketing, creative, modeling, cus­tomer segmentation and analytics services to Beech-Nut.

Additionally, Epsilon is working with Beech-Nut to forge new marketing part­nerships similar to the agreement with Baby Einstein.

Beech-Nut’s online newsletters are sent out at one-month intervals based on a child’s birth date, and extra news and promotional offers are occasionally sent to the same list. The newsletters and direct mail campaigns are expanding their reach to parents of toddlers this fall, with a pro­gram called “Let’s Grow.”

Epsilon is building a customer segmenta­tion model for Beech-Nut as well, to help it support all of these efforts. The agency is also helping the company identify the most effective lists for their marketing programs. Beech-Nut is using the Expe­rian database, among others.

“Epsilon is really helping us identify the strengths of the different lists and see which one really meets the objectives of what we want to do,” Peiris added. “We’re also able to tailor our communications so we’re not saying the wrong thing.”

The Beech-Nut account is managed by a director and an account manager, along with various members of the Epsi­lon team.

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