The company is called Nuance Communications, but there wasn’t much subtlety in the integrated campaign the voice- and language-solutions provider launched last spring in an effort to reach new targets.
How could there be, with a mail package that included a large, personalized foam finger designed to grab as much attention as possible? No, the message from Nuance was quite direct: Nuance’s customer service automation products can help your company score big with customers. The campaign marks a targeted appeal to an audience of 1,416 directors and vice presidents who manage contact centers at 497 U.S.-based companies, including retail banks, utilities and healthcare insurers.
Among other duties, these centers field calls for customer service and execute financial transactions. In many instances, Nuance sent the mailer to multiple people in the same company.
“The foam finger is an icon of support,” explains Colin O’Neill, creative director of Babcock & Jenkins, the agency that created the campaign. “We wanted to show how the people responsible for contact center operations can turn unhappy customers into supporters of the business.” Nuance also wanted to position itself as an organization that is a “die-hard supporter” of their prospects’ efforts, according to O’Neill.
Nuance’s enterprise division launched the campaign with the goal of securing sales meetings with top-tier targets. The effort began with the dimensional mailer, which also includes a customized letter and three magnets with phrases like, “You’re #1 when customers feel like winners.” A personalized URL (PURL) with the prospect’s name is printed throughout the piece, but the magnets — which could be put up around an office — display a PURL with the company’s name.
The mailer’s singular task is to drive recipients to the PURL, a robust microsite featuring relevant content in forms like webcasts, reports and articles. The site also gives the contact information of an assigned sales representative. That sales rep and the marketing team received nearly real-time notification of what targets did on the PURL, including what they looked at and which content pieces they downloaded.
About two weeks after the mailer arrived, Nuance sent an e-mail with an additional content offer for visiting the microsite, like a market research report. Every two weeks the company sent another e-mail, and after a total of four e-mails, Nuance sent targets a personalized letter and a book that featured a customer’s case study. One more e-mail followed two weeks later. “There were many top-tier targets who didn’t respond until the fifth or sixth touch that we sent them, so you could make the argument if we had just sent them one or two things, we never would have realized that benefit,” says Marcie Lascher, Nuance’s director of enterprise marketing.
The campaign’s overall response was 21.7 percent. The effort generated 48 meetings and put $5 million–plus in the pipeline. “If you’re sending somebody a nice, attention-grabbing, three-dimensional box, even if they have an assistant who opens their mail, it’s likely still going to get through to them,” Lascher says.
The Burlington, Mass.–based firm also helped boost the success of the effort by hiring a vendor to check and tweak the information of prospects. “If we had not verified the data, it would have been a waste of money,” Lascher says. “At the end of the day, if you’re going to do direct mail, it’s all about verifying your data, sending direct mail to the right people and keeping your database clean. It’s an investment you have to make.”
Company: Nuance Communications (Burlington, Mass.)
Agency: Babcock & Jenkins (Portland, Ore.)
Target Audience: 1,416 directors and vice presidents who manage contact centers at 497 U.S.-based companies.
Goal: Drive targets to a PURL and secure sales meetings.
DM Vehicle: A box (18 x 8.75 x 2 inches) with a personalized foam finger, three magnets and a customized letter; a second mailer contained a letter and a relevant book.
Response: 21.7 percent based on responses to campaign touches; generated 48 meetings and put $5 million–plus in the pipeline.
B-to-B Marketing, Case Studies, Creativity, Dimensional Mail, Prospecting, Targeting