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Joining the digital and data dots: JustOne is driving success by solving business problems with specialisation

Ben Goodale sits in the JustOne open-plan office on Auckland's College Hill and says: "Agencies will say they can do everything but that's like saying you can drive a car - but the difference is, one driver is Mario Andretti and another is Mr Bean."

By StopPress Team | May 25, 2018 | Sponsored content

Goodale is a veteran in a competitive industry and no doubt many consider him to be the “Mario Andretti of One-to-One marketing”. Along with managing partner Amy Watson, and creative directors Drew Ayers and Stu Hinds they form a formidable team that embodies that classic Andretti quote:

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”

And success for Goodale is a way of life. His company has been producing award-winning work for clients as varied as Foodstuffs, Lotto, ITM, Farmers, and Stuff, and the company was purchased by Clemenger Group in 2013.

JustOne is a hive of activity. “If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough” – another Andrettiism – and while there is a lot of chat out there in the market about how things change, JustOne’s perspective is that among the babble it continues to do what it was doing years ago, just on a broader, more complicated scale.

“The fundamental vision was always around data-driven marketing, with the first client [online retail store] Ferrit,” says Goodale.

The company came about when he saw a gap in the market while running an agency called Tequila, which was part of TBWA.

“…that’s when digital was really starting to come into its own. We could see good opportunity as some agencies were getting excited [about digital] but forgetting about mail, which at the time was still incredibly important,” he says.

He says the plan was to put another direct offering into the market and “be unabashedly focused on 1-1, whether mail, email, whatever, but always leveraging data smartly.

And that determination and passion has paid off, most recently with its showing in the latest edition of NZ Marketing magazine.

In this Agency issue, the trend of marketers choosing to work with agencies that suit their specific needs and projects was discussed and investigated. The Specialist Agency Perceptions Study, conducted by Tangible Media and TRA, questioned 75 marketers and 93 people agency-side about the performance of different agencies.

Respondents were asked to name agencies they were hearing good things about, with JustOne coming out on top as the direct marketing agency respondents were hearing good things about when unprompted. The agency was also perceived as being on the way up when respondents were asked specifically about it.

“We’ve been around for 13 years so to still be seen on the up is nice. That’s a long time for a small-ish agency,” says Watson.

The results sit alongside findings that marketers are looking for experience, expertise, understanding of business needs and creativity in direct marketing partners.

Like a successful Formula One team, JustOne’s success can be put down to teamwork and recognition of the importance of specialist talent. “It’s critical,” says Goodale. “It’s hard to find, and important to nurture. We work really hard to maintain a consistent team of experts across all disciplines (planning, account management, creative, data, production) because these are not easy skills to replace in our world.”

Watson concurs: “In terms of strategy, and how to solve people’s problems, the team shines with its experience. The type of projects JustOne works on are not the type that can often be passed off to an account manager.”

Goodale says it was great to have the recognition, and to see in the survey that the key thing marketers look for in a direct marketing agency was experience and expertise, which is what JustOne offers, illustrated by work often coming its way without a pitch.

“We’ve always focused on being experts and being very distinct from a generalist agency…our secret sauce is that extra bit of understanding of how to make the most of whatever, be it systems or communications channels in that one-to-one space, for instance, that’s how we can make emails dynamic rather than just a static delivery of information.”

Experience and leadership

A major retailer recently came to the company wanting help with its CRM/loyalty programme. Its chief executive specifically mentioned to Goodale the reason it wanted to work with JustOne was due to its experience and leadership in launching and managing loyalty programmes.

This experience is evidenced in the number of successful programmes the team have worked on. These include Farmers Club and Farmers Beauty Club, Fly Buys, the Subcard for Subway, New World Clubcard, Sticky Club for PAK’nSAVE, Paper Plus, ITM Trade Club and Rodney Wayne Rewards, with the team currently undertaking about eight different loyalty programmes.

While the process for the customer setting up a club card is relatively simple, the development for loyalty programmes can take up to 18 months—a “long process before the card actually hits people’s wallets,” Hinds explains.

When asked what makes JustOne different from more generalised agencies, Goodale says it’s that the team can really work on the strategic problem, rather than just coming up with what colour the card will be or what the advertising will look like.

“With a loyalty or CRM programme, for instance, it’s asking what will this club or programme be about? What are we trying to achieve? It’s working together in partnership with the client around scoping that out and working out what value will it bring to the business.”

These first steps are then taken through to figuring out what systems are needed to support that specific programme, how that’s going to be achieved, and then on to designing the programme and customer experience. This is all before what Goodale calls the “colouring-in phase”.

“We might get brought in to do a review, or we might get involved with something that could take two or three years to take to market. We love getting involved with clients that are multi-sized and multi-touch points because they are interesting to help.”

Year in and year out, it is the interesting, and varied work that keeps them going, be it for a supermarket or a building supply company.

One of the campaigns the team enjoyed working on was the ITM virtual fishing competition, a project the team loved as it integrated mobile app technology with virtual reality gaming and the customer database.

“It was a lot of fun to develop and really engaged with the target audience…its helped boost the use of the ITM app which was the point of the project.”. And it picked up two golds at the recent NZ DM Awards.

Another piece of work JustOne is proud of is the Fly Buys Wish Machine. Using data, the emails go out to people in the Fly Buys database who are having a birthday in a given month, says Goodale.

This takes them through to a unique link where the customer can engage with an online wish machine to make a wish, with some of the wishes being granted via social media.  

“It’s a cute piece of digital tech, it’s using data smarts, and allows us to enrich our understanding of our customers and what’s important to them.”

Celebrating the work

It’s not just the clients and the team that has enjoyed the work, with awards from the industry stacking up.

Over the last few years at the New Zealand Direct Marketing Awards JustOne has been the recipient of three RSVP Grand Prix, a Supreme Nexus and 30-plus golds, alongside client organisations and individuals working with JustOne been named Marketer of the Year, Direct Marketer of the Year and Direct Marketing Organisation of the Year.

While it’s always nice to be winning, the pride for JustOne is found in taking home awards knowing it’s for effective work, regardless of client or campaign.

“[Our awards] have been for the stuff that has delivered to the client’s bottom line or in terms of customer engagement acquisition or retention. Personally, I find what’s really fulfilling is helping people and helping their businesses succeed,” says Goodale.

Talking about how JustOne has evolved, Goodale says looking industry wide the technology available has become much more sophisticated and accessible, which JustOne has adapted to.

“We obviously have to be able to advise across quite a range of central platforms, and that’s not so much technical as expertise of what different platforms can offer the client. [Also] we look at how to get the most creatively from the way the project is delivered through these platforms, so the customer experience is as rich as possible.”

Future outlooks

Goodale says the arena where the agency does the core of its work is very much in vogue for marketers.

“Increasingly clients are actually talking to us about stuff we’ve always taken really seriously. As you see advertising fragmenting, the actual experience and every last touchpoint, is becoming more and more important. This is what’s behind our new relationship with ANZ, working alongside TBWA and PHD.”

With the agency always having looked through a one-to-one lens, Goodale says the future is bright.

“Our skills are very transferable to CX/CRM or customer experience – this brings together our two core areas of expertise which is one-to-one and retail. And we’ve recently launched a data division called ONEview to better service growing needs with client data”

“Whether we’re helping clients with how to make sense of their customer data, creating a great branded experience for customers, through to meaningful communications which arrives on people’s phones, we are excited about the future because it feels like a real growth area.”

This piece is part of a paid partnership with JustOne.

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