Undeterred, Westpac and Air New Zealand proceeded to launch the new product and make Kiwis across the nation aware of their partnership.
Westpac initially launched four new cards and a mortgage product, all earning Airpoints Dollars. Customers could order these immediately and were able to accumulate triple Airpoints Dollars for the first three months.
Westpac also saw an opportunity in targeting BNZ’s GlobalPlus customer base, which could no longer accumulate Airpoints.
The focus of phase two was to drive urgency through offers, ensuring as many people as possible were signed up before May 1 (the date GlobalPlus would no longer earn Airpoints). And given that Air New Zealand also had an interest in keeping customers in the programme, it lent significant support to Westpac’s marketing efforts.
The airline launched a mass campaign highlighting the benefit of Airpoints and numerous direct communications to its AirPoints base, explaining the change in partnership and drawing attention to other Airpoints-accruing credit cards from Kiwibank, ANZ and American Express.
As May rolled in, Air New Zealand used its massive database to send targeted email marketing to GlobalPlus customers with the aim of encouraging them to sign up for a different credit card.
Those interested in a Westpac card were directed to a portal, where customers could get pre-approval for a card within 60 seconds.
The simplicity of this online process suggested to consumers that switching banks isn’t as onerous as they might think it is, and this encouraged many to take the step.
In addition to these marketing activities, eDMs were sent to all Airpoints members and non-card holders, and a physical direct mailer was distributed to over 100,000 current Airpoints members, giving them additional information on why it might be worth switching to a different card.
Programmatic advertising, outbound calling from Air New Zealand and 15,000 bottles of wine sent to high value customers were also thrown into the marketing mix to ensure that the message reached as many people as possible.
And Air New Zealand also threw more of its weight behind the marketing efforts by extending a range of lucrative targeted offers to GlobalPlus credit card holders if they switched. Base and Silver status Airpoints members could get a flight upgrade; Gold status members could move to Elite; and Elite status members were offered an automatic upgrade to Banked Elite Year (which usually requires an Elite member to accumulate 2,4000 status points in a year).
As a final touch to this multi-channel marketing campaign, Westpac also ran above-the-line executions and facilitated 4,000 face-to-face conversations at the Air New Zealand lounges in Auckland and Christchurch.