Ben E. Keith, a distributor of food service products and premium alcoholic beverages, located in North Little Rock, Arkansas, frequently uses hospitality and food trade shows to showcase their newest products. The company had committed to participating in a new event in Memphis, Tennessee and wanted to maximize their return by attracting restaurant owners, chefs and others in the industry to this event. They engaged CustomXM to assist them in their marketing efforts to drive booth traffic to this single-day food expo.
Over 160 individuals stopped by the booth and registered, which yielded a 52% response rate. Glenda Clark, part of the Ben E. Keith Marketing team, was ecstatic with the results.
“The turnout at the Memphis show was great! That is well over what we expected. At the last tradeshow we had in Memphis several years ago, we had less than 20 visitors.”
The targeted audience was restaurant owners and chefs in the Memphis, Tennessee area.
Ben E. Keith engaged CustomXM to assist them in marketing an upcoming food show in Memphis, TN. It had been a while since they had participated in this Memphis event, and they wanted to use unique techniques to engage prospects and drive booth traffic. After determining the objectives and incentive, an Alaskan Cruise, two mailings were created to attract and engage the target audience. Ben E. Keith had a database of 305 prospects and sent them an invitation via a traditional style A6 mailer.
This was followed with a lumpy mail box that included a customized card and luggage tag, inviting recipients to stop by the booth and register for the grand prize of an Alaskan Cruise.
The mailer box, which was approximately 3.75” x 6.5” x 2”, looked very similar in shape and size to a “fried pie” box made famous by a national fast food chain. After getting postal approval that this box could in fact be mailed, CustomXM proceeded with the graphic design and production.
On the outside of the box, the words “Need A Vacation?” were boldly and prominently displayed along with the Ben E. Keith logo. Anyone in the restaurant or food industry knows how few and far between vacations are, so these words were chosen as they would certainly resonate with the recipients. Additionally, the unique size alone of this lumpy mail piece would capture the attention of the mail recipient. Inside the box was a personalized note card inviting recipients to visit the Ben E. Keith booth during the food show and register to win the grand prize of an Alaskan Cruise. Additionally, to reinforce the idea of a much needed vacation, a Ben E. Keith branded luggage tag was included in the box as well.
REASONS FOR SUCCESS
The main reason for success was a clever design that caught the attention of the recipient combined with a great offer (free cruise).
CustomXM added a new division, SignsXM. It wanted to find a unique way to announce its new offerings which included all types of wide format printing, including banners, signage, wall graphics, vehicle graphics and more. CustomXM also wanted to use a cross media, multi-channel approach that would drive results and illustrate CustomXM’s marketing capabilities.
CustomXM created a unique, dimensional mail piece that included a personalized mini-banner for all recipients. CustomXM encouraged recipients of their “Awesome Banner Thingys” to post photos on Instagram, which would qualify them for entry into a prize drawing.
420 pieces were mailed to prospects and current clients of CustomXM. Over 12% of recipients responded and completed the online survey. Additionally, over 13% of the recipients posted photos of their Awesome Banner Thingys on Instagram accounts. Many of these respondents were a different subset than those that responded to the online survey.
The campaign received quite a bit of social media buzz and accolades from local ad agencies. It immediately led to meetings and opportunities for signage and direct mail proposals for clients and prospects. Many of these opportunities led to new business within the first three weeks of the campaign.
This campaign also received national recognition by receiving two Bennys awarded by the Print Industries of America during their Premier Print Awards, an international print competition.
The targeted audience was current clients and prospects of CustomXM.
At CustomXM, they like to market themselves a little differently. They like to use the marketing tools they are constantly advocating, and they like to have a little fun. They accomplished all this and more with their “Awesome Banner Thingy” campaign.
Recently, CustomXM added wide format services to their offerings. They even created a separate division, SignsXM. But they felt that it wouldn’t be enough just to tell folks about these new services, it would be better to show them. And have them show others.
To engage its target audience, CustomXM developed a dimensional mailer – an 8” x 8” x 1.25” box complete with a personalized label informing recipients that a “surprise” was inside. Inside the box was the following:
- A personalized envelope and note card introducing the new division and services.
- An instruction sheet showing recipients how to put together their own Awesome Banner Thingy
- A QR Code that linked to a video explaining how to construct the Awesome Banner Thingy
- The actual Awesome Banner Thingy which was a 3.25” x 7.5” vinyl banner, personalized with the recipient’s name, complete with a grommet and very tiny banner stand.
To encourage responses recipients were given two opportunities to participate in a prize contest
- By visiting their personalized website and completing a survey
- By sharing a photo of their Awesome Banner Thingy on Instagram
REASONS FOR SUCCESS
The main reason for success was a clever design and personalized promotion.
Article courtesy of W. Caslon & Company, 2015, PODi.org
If I recall correctly, we retired the phrase “think outside the box” a few years ago. And rightly so. It was a tired cliché, and its use rarely led to a win-win situation that allowed us the opportunity to wrap our head around it to continue the paradigm shift. So I won’t go there.
Recently, a couple of marketing projects afforded us to avoid that cliché completely, and more importantly, allow us to think inside the box!
A financial services client is a firm believer in highly targeted, direct marketing campaigns. Often, the typical approach involves a message to individuals who desire to increase their wealth. But in this campaign, the idea arose that it might be better to target those individuals who have already accumulated wealth, but have concerns about their ability to pass it along to their heirs. In an uncertain economy, these individuals need assurances that the fruits of their hard work will be preserved. Hmm….how do we convey the message of preserving fruits..hmmm…think about it…ah ha – Preserves!
So we found a supplier of Arkansas-preserves, BlackBerry Jam to be specific, and mailed them to these targeted individuals. It was a very soft sell, we didn’t want to spread it on too thick.
Nothing is certain in life or direct marketing, but we feel pretty confident that this JamBox will get opened, and will receive a second look. We be jammin’.
Corporate golf outings remain popular events. Finding a way to get the most out of your sponsorship often times yields results that are sub-par. Our client knew they wanted to furnish top quality golf balls for this event, but if you are like me, those branding moments never seem to last beyond the 5th or 6th hole. We suggested this time that they think ON the box. We replaced the traditional golf ball sleeve with a customized, branded version that featured the flagship product. Now, every time the golfer reached for a ball, they couldn’t help but notice the sponsor. And our guess is, due to the uniqueness of these non-traditional “goody bag” items, they may have spent more time admiring them than their partner’s golf shot.
Did this approach work?
Here is what our client tells us:
Golf balls and boxes were a HIT! We will definitely do that again – one customer saw the picture of the motor on the box and approached our salesman to make an appointment to visit w/him about switching to our motors…
It sounds like that mulligan we purchased won’t be necessary.
If you are feeling a little boxed in with your direct marketing efforts, give us a call. We can help, and the cliche’s are optional!
Paul Strack, CustomXM
SALES AND MARKETING OFFICE
301 Main Street, Suite 206
North Little Rock, AR 72114