SAP, Accenture Bank on Reaching C-Level Execs

SAP and Accenture are hitting the right note with hard-to-reach C-level executives.

An integrated direct marketing campaign to CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, COOs and vice presidents of retail banking at the top 100 U.S. financial institutions is seeing a 6 percent response rate.

The campaign aims to build awareness of a relationship between SAP AG subsidiary SAP America Inc., Newtown Square, PA, and Accenture, New York. In 2003, the companies entered into an alliance for the financial services industry, offering banks and insurance providers a low-risk integrated solution costing about $1 million.

“The financial services industry is a tough vertical to gain attention, especially with the highest-ranking C-level titles,” said Frank Donny, SAP America's financial services marketing principal.

J. Winsper & Co., Boston, created the campaign, with a theme of “Transform.” In the spring, 1,000 prospects received an oversized flat mail piece introducing the SAP/Accenture offering. There were 24 versions of the mailer. Eight different job titles were featured, and each recipient got a different mail piece for three weeks. The mail pieces directed individuals to a Web site landing page where they could read more information and download a white paper.

Then each individual would get a three-dimensional box customized by title a few weeks after the last flat mailing. For example, one asked, “How Do You Transfer Your Title From CEO to Chief Equity Officer?” or “How Do You Transform Your Title From CIO to Chief Integration Officer?”

The message in the box was personalized, including the prospect's name and company. It offered a free Key Performance Indicator, a customized report that lets individuals monitor how their bank is performing against competitive banks in categories including revenue or customer service. The box also contained a free laser pointer.

Winsper set up 1,000 individual “sitelets” so each recipient could answer questions, such as identifying a single issue she may be interested in: increasing revenue, attracting new customers, containing costs or improving efficiency.

Each individual's movements, such as where he is on the site and what he clicks on at each page, are tracked by SAP/Accenture telesales people. With this information, “we know what the top concerns are by title, and the reporting is in real time,” said Jeff Winsper, president of J. Winsper & Co.

As a result, telesales can follow up and ask individuals whether they wish to visit with a SAP/Accenture representative about their concerns. The telesales calls are now being made.

Donny said he was pleased with campaign results so far, as almost 6 percent went to the sitelet and ordered the KPI report. SAP/Accenture also tracked recognition by doing an independent call to mail recipients to have them answer a short question to see whether they saw the campaign, he said.

“We scored a 48 percent penetration,” he said. “With this being a new relationship, that is also a very high number. With this campaign, we are focusing on the CXO level inside the financial service industry, and these institutions are some of the most difficult to sell to because of their risk propensity.”

But Donny said it's hard to measure true ROI at this point because closing a sale at this level can take nine months or longer.

The campaign's next phase begins this month. It involves a more personalized direct mailer based on the data collected.

“Now we will build micro-messages that make sense by those audience members,” Winsper said.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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