Q&A: Jeff Paradise, FYI Direct, SVP

Jeff Paradise, SVP of FYI Direct, a direct-to-consumer credit and identity protection services company, discusses the brand’s loyalty initiatives and the decision to tap CrossBow Group for an upcoming digital acquisition initiative.

Direct Marketing News (DMN): Which direct marketing channels work best for FYI?

Jeff Paradise (FYI Direct): We’re a multichannel marketer that leverages any media available today. TV, radio, print, online/digital, social. What’s been most effective for us is a combination of all channels versus a single channel. We can amplify our message by optimizing four of five of those channels at once. When we launched our first Freescore.com ad three years ago a combination of TV, display and paid search was most effective for us. 

DMN: FYI is currently working on several new campaigns? Can you give us a preview of what they will look like?

Paradise: We’re producing a new Freescore.com TV commercial that will be ready in the next 60 days. It’s an extension of the current campaigns featuring the Freescore guys. We’ve tried to focus on what the conflict is between consumers and their online information. That commercial has a clear storyline behind trying to avoid surprises and getting in control of that so lenders and creditors don’t have any info you’re not aware of.

DMN: You selected Crossbow Group to help with digital acquisition. How were they selected and what exactly will they help FYI achieve?

Paradise: They were a referral from a board member of ours. We brought in a handful of agencies for an RFP. We’re putting agencies head to head to design new creative for us to meet the new message we have. CrossBow has done a successful job of designing new creative. The new message is bring Freescore to the forefront as far as finding out information about your credit history. The creative will focus on helping people feel a better sense of control. “Three credit scores: One Place” is the tagline.

DMN: Is it difficult for a credit history company to create customer loyalty? Freescore doesn’t seem like the typical brand for which consumers might develop an affinity.  

Paradise: Customer loyalty for us starts with a value proposition. We design key messaging about our long-term benefits. Every month we offer three new credit scores for all three bureaus as well as all three profiles. We spend a lot of time developing unique content and educational material. We’ve done a number of videos and articles available to our members in the program. A lot of what we’re doing is providing proven practical solutions to consumers.

DMN: Does social media work as a marketing channel?

Paradise: Credit is still a private subject for people. With social campaigns, people talk a lot more around the creative campaign than about their own credit scores. For us it’s a way to keep people engaged but we don’t set the expectation that people will talk openly about their credit.

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