Volvo Will Reach Young Singles, Empty Nesters With New Models' Debut

Volvo Cars North America, Rockleigh, NJ, next month will drop a direct mail piece to thousands of prospective customers about its new S40 sedan and V40 wagon — the two newest models in the Sweden-based company's new line of luxury cars.

The purpose of the campaign is to give prospective customers a sneak peek at the new models, which are making their debut at dealerships this fall, and to collect leads for building Volvo's database and for future prospecting.

The campaign targets potential buyers, such as young singles with high incomes and empty nesters, who own import luxury vehicles but want to move down from size and cost standpoints. Volvo is selecting names for this mailing from an undisclosed vendor, and the primary emphasis will be toward competitive owners, since the company is targeting a different market segment with the new lines. Some names will also come from Volvo's database of 1.4 million names.

The car campaign is expected to pick up more speed this summer with a follow-up direct mail program, which will include a toll-free number and Web site (, as well as television spots, print ads and e-mail marketing.

Also, when prospects call and request a brochure about the new cars, trained consultants will ask various questions to determine where they are in their buying cycle and what other vehicles they might be interested in. This information will be put into the system as background knowledge, and may trigger subsequent mailings six months or a year from now.

The heart of this campaign is an integrated marketing program — the Volvo Personal Shopper — a relationship marketing database maintained by Visual Services Inc., Bloomfield Hills, MI, the marketing arm of VSI Holding, a technology-driven marketing company for Volvo.

VSI uses VSIH's Integrated Marketing Logistics Group to manage the project's call center. VSI also integrates all customer information — collected from the direct mail pieces, the Web site and the call center — and sends it to a client/server database where it is analyzed and used in future campaigns.

The Integrated Marketing Logistics Group also is responsible for all Internet and Web-based e-mail initiatives. For example, in March it launched a Web-based campaign built around the auto maker's Web site, and it has helped Volvo collect around 7,000 names to date — some of whom have received e-mail marketing messages about the new models.

The VPS program essentially builds a prospect database, assists in all pre-sales functions and allows people to communicate with Volvo in as many ways as possible.

“Volvo Personal Shopper, with VSI's help, really gives people a lot of different options, and a whole new way to shop for a car,” said Jim Bier, marketing programs manager at Volvo.

Mark LaNeve, Volvo vice president of marketing, added that “VSI's comprehensive, one-stop shopping marketing solutions help us establish these relationships using multiple communication tools for the greatest impact.”

This is the second time VSI secured a contract for the VPS service — it started with a campaign for the S80, Volvo's sedan last year.

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