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Simpler, clearer, fairer: How consumer research and insight has shaped Ofgem’s retail market review
Rachel Salter, MRS Awards, Finalist, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article describes research by Ofgem, the UK government's energy regulation agency, to review competition in the energy market and understand how information for consumers could be made clearer.
This article describes research by Ofgem, the UK government's energy regulation agency, to review competition in the energy market and understand how information for consumers could be made clearer. Research methods was used to define the problem, develop regulatory proposals, refine those proposals, and track implementation of proposals. Methods used included quantitative and qualitative research, and analysis of outside data.
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.
The changing role of planners: Insights from FedEx
Stephen Whiteside, Event Reports, 4A's Strategy Festival, October 2013
This event report describes how FedEx, the American courier company, approaches its agency relationships, based on its business challenges and objectives.
This event report describes how FedEx, the American courier company, approaches its agency relationships, based on its business challenges and objectives. Budget concerns are a key issue for company and so having an agency which helps justify the marketing budget internally is helpful. Planning ahead should include allowing for the unexpected and having procedures in place to deal with negative publicity. Research has become increasingly important under budget pressures, with agency research often particularly valuable in generating new insights. The agency-client relationship at FedEx is described as being more open, with direct communication instead of silos.
United Parcel Service: Go West - The journey of Terracotta Warrior to the U.S.
Direct Marketing Association - US, Silver, DMA International ECHO Awards, 2013
This case study describes a campaign in China by United Parcel Services (UPS), the logistics and chain management company, to make the brand more relevant to small and medium businesses.
This case study describes a campaign in China by United Parcel Services (UPS), the logistics and chain management company, to make the brand more relevant to small and medium businesses. UPS was hit hard by global economic difficulties, and particularly in China as China-US import-export business declined. It found that the brand positioning of a logistics provider that helped businesses to grow overseas was perceived as being too premium for small businesses, and so sought to create a perception of being a 'business partner'. Communication emphasised the role of logistics solutions and what they provide for businesses by telling the story of how the company transported China's Terracotta Warriors, the famous historical icons, around the US. Ads were focused on digital and in airports, as the target group was found to be well connected and frequent travellers. Conversion rate, unaided brand awareness and brand perception all grew, as well as growing revenue by 22%.
DCC Energy: The Red Card
Direct Marketing Association - US, Bronze, DMA International ECHO Awards, 2013
This case study describes how DCC Energi, a domestic heating oil provider in Denmark, sought to create a campaign which would have long-term response potential.
This case study describes how DCC Energi, a domestic heating oil provider in Denmark, sought to create a campaign which would have long-term response potential. In this market timing was a big issue, as most oil heated households only purchased oil twice a year. In order to combat the issue of timing direct mailings were produced - three were addressed, and three were un-addressed but still targeted at certain households. They were sent early in the purchase cycle, ahead of competition, running the risk of being sent in weather too warm to generate interest. As part of the mailings a calendar was included as these are often kept by consumers, and so would have long-term response potential. It was found that un-addressed mailings, of which were more sent due to the lower cost, provided a better ROI than addressed mailings. 36% of the effect of the campaign was detected eight weeks after distribution.
Reinvigorating USPS for the digital age
Stephen Whiteside, Event Reports, ANA Masters of Marketing, October 2013
This event report describes how The United States Postal Service (USPS) has met the challenges created by the digital revolution, including significant financial difficulties and poor brand perceptions.
This event report describes how The United States Postal Service (USPS) has met the challenges created by the digital revolution, including significant financial difficulties and poor brand perceptions. Innovation has been central to USPS's recovery, as while the volume of mail such as letters and bills has decreased, package delivery has grown along with the growth in ecommerce. USPS has taken advantage of this shift with new forms of delivery, including "Flat Rate Boxes" and free insurance. It is also testing same-day and Sunday deliveries. Alongside these developments, USPS created the Priority:You campaign, which affirmed that it was possible for a big, complex entity to care about the individual customer. Its media plan was also overhauled, with a large percentage of the budget committed to direct mail, as well as print, minority outlets, online and mobile, and it has created tie-ups with Amazon and eBay to reach shippers at the moment of shipping. Collectively, these initiatives have helped USPS increase revenues by 12.8%.
Comfort: Plumbers without borders
Cannes Creative Lions, Creative Effectiveness Lions, 2013
Comfort, Sweden's largest confederation of plumbers, used this campaign to generate pride among the franchisees and to establish "social responsibility" as a main focus for the organisation.
Comfort, Sweden's largest confederation of plumbers, used this campaign to generate pride among the franchisees and to establish "social responsibility" as a main focus for the organisation. It partnered with a global NGO to identify where clean water was most needed and Comfort's plumbers then contributed their expertise to making that possible, building customised water purification plants for villages in Europe and Africa. Internal channels engaged Comfort's plumbers and co-workers initiated their own fundraising efforts, as pride in being part of Comfort increased by 14% and the perception of it as a socially responsible business leapt 50%. External media picked up on the projects and plumbers became ambassadors of the global water issue.
Metrics for CMO performance
Dimitri Maex, Admap, April 2013, pp. 36-37
Chief marketing officers find themselves with greater influence in the boardroom than ever before, as the tools they use grow more sophisticated.
Chief marketing officers find themselves with greater influence in the boardroom than ever before, as the tools they use grow more sophisticated. This article offers five steps, illustrated with real-life examples from a major campaign for UPS, that CMOs can use to show the boardroom how a more collaborative approach to the marketing function can help to make more money for the company. These are to jointly plan for measurement, balance financial with non-financial metrics, distribute results in real time, be clear about expectations, and measure short- and long-term effects and plan accordingly.
GE's new digital marketing metric: behavior, not numbers
Geoffrey Precourt, Event Reports, ARF Re:think, March 2013
General Electric, the conglomerate, is transforming its approach to digital media, focusing not on specific data sets but instead on the actual behaviour of customers and consumers in response to its marketing activity.
General Electric, the conglomerate, is transforming its approach to digital media, focusing not on specific data sets but instead on the actual behaviour of customers and consumers in response to its marketing activity. Achieving this goal is challenging, according to Andy Markowitz, the firm's director, global digital strategy. This is especially the case as no single metric exists for cross-media measurement. This should change in time, but until then, General Electric is looking at the specific outcomes that each media outlet can deliver as a way of developing its strategy.
British Gas: Simply Thank You
Design Business Association, Bronze, Design Effectiveness Awards 2013
British Gas, the energy supplier wanted to relaunch its Simply Thank You scheme, an initiative aimed at recognising and rewarding British Gas employees.
British Gas, the energy supplier wanted to relaunch its Simply Thank You scheme, an initiative aimed at recognising and rewarding British Gas employees. Despite most employees being aware of the scheme, engagement was erratic so the task was to reinvigorate interest, increase engagement and deliver cost savings. A new website was at the heart of the relaunch which also enabled employees to utilise social media for peer-to-peer recommendations. The new look stressed simplicity, visibility, immediacy and variety of rewards. Email thank yous and a ‘loyal service’ award were introduced. Visually, the website incorporated images of people receiving recognition, such as a sparkle in the eyes or a smile, without identifying individual employees. The scheme has delivered dramatic cost saving. Compared to 2011, the average number of instant thank yous increased by 749% while monthly award nominations increased 170%.
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