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Royal Mail: When touch makes a difference
Simon Shaw and Matt Bright, MRS Awards, Finalist, MRS Awards, December 2013
This report describes research conducted by Royal Mail, the UK postal delivery service, to understand what variables increase the effectiveness of direct mail.
This report describes research conducted by Royal Mail, the UK postal delivery service, to understand what variables increase the effectiveness of direct mail. Five fake brands were created, and five direct mailings created for each, with progressively more physical features. Three methodologies were used to test the effect of the mailings: in-home qualitative observation, biometric and neuroscience measurements, and self-completion questionnaires. It was found that more physical features such as foiling, die-cutting, embossing and similar held consumer attention for longer and made it easier to understand. It was also found that pre-existing interest in the category was important. The research was used to create a new planning model for Royal Mail advertising services.
Inspirational customers dialogues: The journey behind the global evaluation of the 2013 IKEA catalogue
Frederic Gennart and Tom De Ruyck, ESOMAR, 3D Digital Dimensions, Boston, June 2013
This paper demonstrates how IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer, evaluated the 2013 edition of its catalogue through Market Research Online Communities (MROCs) in Germany, Italy, Poland, US and China.
This paper demonstrates how IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer, evaluated the 2013 edition of its catalogue through Market Research Online Communities (MROCs) in Germany, Italy, Poland, US and China. The annual catalogue is IKEA's main communication channel globally and IKEA needed to address a key marketing challenge global brands are confronted with: how to ensure that global communication efforts stay locally relevant. The paper also shows what's next for MROCs and shares best practices in moving an existing qualitative project online, creating internal buy-in for emerging methods, engaging internal audiences with the results, reactivating a MROC and using a MROC as the backbone while fusing it with other qualitative, quantitative and observational research techniques.
The four pillars of UPS' global sponsorship programs
Geoffrey Precourt, Event Reports, IEG Sponsorship, May 2011
A report from the 2011 IEG Sponsorship Conference, focusing on UPS' sponsorship strategy. The firm has a highly visible NASCAR presence for its U.S.
A report from the 2011 IEG Sponsorship Conference, focusing on UPS' sponsorship strategy. The firm has a highly visible NASCAR presence for its U.S. audience, along with a variety of global initiatives. These are informed by four marketing "pillars": direct revenue, indirect revenues, PR and employee recognition.
Product usage and firm-generated word of mouth: some results from FMCG product trials
Alain Samson, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 52, No. 4, 2010, pp. 459-482
Theory and past research suggests that greater levels of consumer involvement and product usage lead to higher levels of word of mouth (WOM).
Theory and past research suggests that greater levels of consumer involvement and product usage lead to higher levels of word of mouth (WOM). This paper presents some tests of hypotheses related to product usage and WOM, based on secondary consumer panel data from five fmcg product trials. The main findings are that brand usage range within a product category has a pervasive effect on pre-trial intentions to recommend the trialled product, as well as the actual number of WOM conversations generated by the trial and their effectiveness (the rate of attitudinal conversion based on interest generated). Frequency of product use only significantly affects the number of WOM conversations. Second, compared to non-users, being a loyal user of the trialled product (having used the brand more frequently than other brands) has a negative effect on WOM effectiveness, while non-loyal users’ WOM is more effective compared to that of loyal users. The study thereby provides more evidence that loyal users are not necessarily the best targets of WOM marketing campaigns, and suggests that research on the interaction between involvement or product usage and loyalty in relation to firm-generated WOM may be an interesting area of further research.
Royal Mail – Matter
Warc Word of Mouth Marketing Awards, 2008
This case study covers the Royal Mail's 'Matter' campaign, which used a subscriber-based service to send people ten objects from ten different brands.
This case study covers the Royal Mail's 'Matter' campaign, which used a subscriber-based service to send people ten objects from ten different brands. 'Matter' aimed to act as a curator and editor, making sure all the advertisers offered items that subscribers wanted to receive. The 'Matter' boxes were all sent out at once, but the contents varied for different people, based on their preferences. The initial mail out went to 944 people, and within two weeks 20,000 subscribers were signed up, and the promotion was reviewed on over 100 blogs and other publications, as well as receiving exclusive offers from Virgin Atlantic and Stolichnaya Vodka, which were oversubscribed. The subscriber numbers soon increased to over 40,000, a vast number of which were tech-savvy, connected, hard-to-reach and influential consumers. As well as proving highly popular among consumers, marketing strategists also praised the innovative and influential elements of the campaign.
Aquafresh – Iso-Active launch
Warc Word of Mouth Marketing Awards, Grand Prix Award, 2008
This case study demonstrates how Aquafresh Iso-Active used social network marketing to win brand engagement as part of its launch campaign.
This case study demonstrates how Aquafresh Iso-Active used social network marketing to win brand engagement as part of its launch campaign. The aim of the campaign was to drive volume trial and sustained repeat purchase. The target audience was 10,000 'influencers', who were recruited via Wildfire's Influencer Identification tool. A social network community site enabled triallists to share product experiences and recommendations, as well as to send information to a friend, read in-depth brand regime briefings, and discover where to buy the product. The results included 578,000 brand page-views, over 200,000 product trials and an intention to purchase rate that was five times higher among influencers than the national average.
A new tool for pre-testing direct mail
Margaret Faulkner and Rachel Kennedy, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 50, No. 4, 2008, pp. 469-490
This paper outlines a new pre-testing tool designed to identify which piece of direct mail will generate the best in-market response.
This paper outlines a new pre-testing tool designed to identify which piece of direct mail will generate the best in-market response. The development process is described (interviews with fundraisers and donors as well as six pilot studies). The paper also details an in-market test of the tool in a fundraising setting. Importantly, the tool was tested on direct mail from split-run tests where response was measured in terms of real donations. Test A identified the winner, which was consistent with the in-market winner, and Test B showed no difference in results, consistent with in-market performance. These initial results show promise for the tool as a practical resource for market researchers and their clients.
Direct mail: a premature obituary
Drayton Bird, Admap, November 2007, Issue 488, pp. 33-35
In the UK direct mail volumes have been dropping, but in 2006 the medium still accounted for 12.2% of advertising spend.
In the UK direct mail volumes have been dropping, but in 2006 the medium still accounted for 12.2% of advertising spend. Email marketing is growing fast, but is still dwarfed by direct mail, both in U.S. and UK. In the U.S. in 2006, $59.6 billion was spent on direct mail, $4 billion up on the previous year: this compares with $70 billion on TV, $12 billion online, and $1.5 billion on email. While direct mail and email rank below only personal contact (face-to-face or telephone) in terms of effectiveness, it ranks above TV, radio and press. 'Effectiveness' is here considered in terms of five factors: individual impact, creative potential, interaction, cost per message delivered, and share of voice. Email's initial advantage over direct mail has greatly diminished because it is at least as intrusive as direct mail, perhaps more; there is far more of it; it is far quicker and easier to delete and spam filters emasculate most selling messages. Direct mail will be with us a long time - not least because of the advantages of media synergy.
Europe direct - the challenges of union
Andy Wood, Admap, October 2007, Issue 487, pp. 45-47
The desire to manage direct marketing campaigns on a pan-European basis is commercially strong, especially the appeal of production economies, but the reality is not simple.
The desire to manage direct marketing campaigns on a pan-European basis is commercially strong, especially the appeal of production economies, but the reality is not simple. The principal differences between countries that direct marketers have to address and overcome are: attitudes to direct marketing, dm saturation, online penetration, legislative differences and postcode/geodemographic classification differences.
New opportunities for old media?
Paul Springer, Admap, October 2007, Issue 487, pp. 39-41
The rapid growth of online and digital advertising has led many to ask whether traditional mass communications like television commercials and direct mail have a future.
The rapid growth of online and digital advertising has led many to ask whether traditional mass communications like television commercials and direct mail have a future. However, it seems that both old and new platforms have a role, and are increasingly being used in combination, as both 'hot' (personal engagement) and 'cool' (mass media) platforms are complimentary. The creative techniques developed for each platform are also proving to be transferable.
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