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CPS Direct Snares Great-West, Joints in Motion

Great-West Life and Annuity Insurance Co., Littleton, CO, and Joints in Motion, the Arthritis Foundation's marathon training program, have named CPS Direct Inc. as their agency.

Through separate assignments and with different mandates, both will bill about $1 million each.

For Great-West, CPS will create a direct marketing program aimed at promoting insurance products to American Dental Association members.

“Well, basically what we want to do is increase the number of policies they write, and then we want to cross-sell the number of products and then upgrade the coverages,” said Nick Vadala, CEO of CPS Direct, Woburn, MA.

A multi-level campaign will introduce to ADA's dentist and student members the need for disability and term life insurance. It will explain the benefits, upselling if a dentist has just graduated or married. CPS will use focus groups, surveys and data analysis to better understand the target audience's needs.

“It's a pretty captive audience because there's under 200,000 potential consumers here, and there's a great opportunity for segmentation analysis,” Vadala said.

“Dentists are not the best targets for e-mail, so what we're going to try is flat mail, billing inserts and information packages,” he said. “We have a database of ADA members which we're using.”

The campaign is slated to break in the second week of January.

About 24 agencies nationwide were asked to answer requests for information. Eight responded, and the final round was whittled to four.

Great-West is part of Great-West Life Co. Inc., a member of Powers Financial Group. The company had an incumbent agency, whose name it chose not to disclose.

“They had some decrease in their response rates, and they wanted to get back on track and they wanted to decrease their non-renewal rate — folks that don't continue their policy,” Vadala said.

The assignment for Joints in Motion is to generate interest in that program. Based in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation's headquarters, Joints in Motion is a channel program for 55 chapters nationwide. Consumers who join and pledge money are trained and given free accommodations.

“The trick here with us is that CPS Direct has a channel marketing program,” Vadala said. “We'll help select literature they want to send out to potential runners.”

Services offered by the agency include strategy, package design, e-mail, direct mail and telemarketing. CPS will rent names of people within geographic areas, particularly the target profile: women ages 25 to 44.

“And what we're going to do besides generating interest is building a database for [Joints in Motion],” he said. “This database will allow us to get super-specific with the folks who are running and also develop specific marketing for each chapter and each region.”

The campaign breaks in early January.

Six to eight agencies competed for the account. One other shop also made the final cut.

In business for three decades, CPS has clients including Dell Computer Corp., BJ's Wholesale Club, Skyjet and Merchants Bank in Burlington, VT. Annualized capitalized billings were $55 million.

CPS knows that pushing Joints in Motion will be challenging. The program will compete with rival fundraising efforts from the diabetes and cancer foundations.

“All these not-for-profit agencies are competing for donations, and this campaign hopefully will help them stand out,” Vadala said.

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