Direct marketing is enjoying something of revival in an age when big data allows for personalised communication directly with the individual customers that make up a brand's target market. But data alone isn't enough. For it to mean anything, it needs to moulded into something that connects with customers.
As Chemistry Interaction director Joseph Silk recently wrote in a column for NZ Marketing, "The best content in the world is no good if no one sees it. It’s no good if they see it and don’t understand it. It’s no good if they watch it and don’t get it." And looking at the list of winners that last night walked away from the 28th edition of the the New Zealand Direct Marketing (NZDM) Awards with gongs, it's quite evident that Kiwi agencies are not only producing great content but also delivering campaigns that resonate with customers.
John Wanamaker's oft-used quote, 'Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.' has long served as an allusion to the advantage of direct as being a measurable form of marketing. And this measurability is important in the context of the NZDM Awards in that campaigns will not win unless they are backed by results showing their effectiveness.
The organisation that best reflected these standards and impressed the judges enough to earn the coveted Grand Prix was Foodstuffs.
The award went to the company for the launch of the New World Clubcard in the South Island—an initiative that was led by JustOne/.99.
In its writeup on the campaign, the Marketing Associtation (which arranges the NZDM Awards) wrote: "The launch of Clubcard in the South Island was New World’s most important marketing initiative in 2014. After nearly two years of preparation and planning, they were ready to launch a New World loyalty programme that leveraged the existing equity in Fly Buys and Airpoints, as well as offering instant discounts and the promise of much more useful and intimate communications."
Steve Bayliss, the group general manager of marketing at FoodStuffs, said that he was "stoked" with the win and also commended the quality of the other entries.
"There was a lot of great work on show last night and we were happy just to be in the mix. The win was an unexpected bonus and I'm just really proud of the team.
Adding further recognition to the Foodstuffs campaign was the fact that Emily Blumenthal won the Direct Marketer of the Year award for leading the project.
Ben Goodale, the managing director of JustOne/.99, said the win was a team effort and singled out Blumenthal for her standout contribution to the initiative.
"The New World Clubcard launch has been an amazing experience for so many of us, we are thrilled by the results for Foodstuffs and it's not a cliche in this case to say what an incredible team effort it has been to deliver the programme," says Goodale. "These things aren't done overnight. We are also stoked for Emily Blumenthal who has led the project from the start with such strong vision and determination, so well rewarded with Direct Marketer of the Year."
Goodale also says the premier gong means that JustOne/.99 have now won four Grand Prix at the NZDM Awards in the last ten years, and adds that every JustOne/.99 client in attendance at the event—Genesis Energy, GIB, Ziera Shoes, Farmers, Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand, and L’Oreal. and Lotto—walked away with some silverware.
While the NZDM Awards are normally considered slightly more conservative than the Axis Awards, JustOne/.99 managing partner Amy Watson also showed that things can get carried away by breaking her big toe during the celebrations that followed the announcement of Foodstuffs' win of the Grand Prix. Despite a trip to the ER last night, Goodale tells StopPress that she's back in the office today.
The Nexus Supreme Award
The Nexus Supreme Award went to AA Insurance and its agency, Twenty, for “AA Insurance In It For Life”, which also picked up two Gold and one Silver Nexus Award as well as a Bronze Award in the financial services category.
The Marketing Association said: " With a wealth of customer data, AA Insurance set about creating a lifetime value targeting and communication programme to persuade customers they could be excellent at covering their home and contents too, as well as their cars."
AA Insurance used a vast amount of historical data to create their new insight and communications platform in their quest to develop a single customer view.
This highly technical solution made it easier for the AA to communicate with individual customers, meaning that the organisation could offer tailor-made deals, leading to a significant return on investment.
Keith Norris Direct Marketing Organisation of the Year Award
This award went to Westpac for its omni-channel decisioning engine ‘Symphony’, which previously also earned awards at the TVNZ NZ Marketing Awards.
The bank’s interface drives the message, timing and channel selection, annually managing 10 million inbound and branch conversations, 50 million ATM interactions and more than 100 million online and App sessions in order to market directly to every customer.
This approach has required considerable learning and refinement over the last 18 months. Results are ensured by using rich customer-specific data drawn from 14 disparate areas covering everyday transactional, behavioural and demographic sources. Westpac utilises 53 million rows of data to create communications at defined times across seven different channels, using 572 context-specific business rules, 127 customer attributes and a database of 500 ranked messages, resulting in 806,990 possible combinations within email alone.
Golds, more golds
Colenso BBDO/Proximity, which last year won the Grand Prix for Samsung's 'Smart Phone Line,' won 11 golds for campaigns effected for Volkswagen ('The People’s Film'), Mars – Pedigree Adoption Drive ('Share For Dogs'), and Burger King ('Anti Pre-Roll' and 'Motel Burger King'), as well as a swag of Silver and Bronze awards for Bank of New Zealand, Heart of the City and Fonterra Tip Top – Symbio.
Nick Garrett, the chief executive of the agency, said that the range of awards won across categories was important, because it showed that Colenso BBDO/Proximity could execute sophisticated business strategies across a range of disciplines.
“It’s very pleasing to have had such a great night at the NZDM Awards, but for me I’m especially pleased by the type of awards that we’ve won as well as the number of awards. Over the last three years we’ve worked hard to evolve our offering and have invested to attract world-class contemporary direct thinkers to 100 College Hill - so to win 11 gold awards for our clients based on performance and strategy as well as craft is very satisfying.”
Garrett singled out Proximity's executive creative director Wayne Pick and general manager Maggie Christie for their work over the course of the last year.
This impressive haul of 11 gold gongs is chunky increase from the five that Colenso BBDO/Proximity won at the previous edition of the awards show, and Garrett says this is largely due to the investment the agency has put into into consolidating its capabilities in the direct space.
It's also worth noting that campaigns such as the Burger King Motel and 'Share for Dogs', which have already been successful on the creativity-focused awards circuit, have now also picked up direct marketing gongs. This illustrates that these campaigns were not only built on clever ideas, but that they also delivered results for their clients. And as marketing becomes more measurable through digital technology, this relationship between creativity and effectiveness will only become more important.
- Chemistry Interaction/Blue Wing Honda for 'Honda Pioneer: The Long Way' and for IAG’s 'Map the Country'
- justONE and GIB for 'GIB Superline™ - No Compromises - The Way To Boost Business Profitability'
- Spark and RAPP for 'Mobile Dynamic Always On'
- Beam Global and Young & Shand with 'Using Influencers to Unleash Jacob’s Ghost'
- Data Insight for Kiwibank’s 'Home Hunter'
- FCB for Noel Leeming’s 'People’s Stories'
- Sony NZ’s 'Message in a Bottle'
- Hunch and MS Auckland for 'Wrong Delivery'
- Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand and .99 for 'Shave for a Cure'
- Progressive Enterprises and Affinity ID for 'myCountdown – Delivering Dividends Through Hyper-Personalisation'
- The Life Flight Trust for their 'Christmas Appeal 2013'.
New Zealand Post Student Marketer of the Year Award
Otago University’s students Gabriel Mathieson, Johnny Sekbraudine and Nathan Wilson won this award for their innovative '#YouHadMeAtBacon' campaign promoting the SPCA’s Blue Tick programme.*
The full list of 2014 winners and their stories can be found below and on the Awards website: www.nzdmawards.co.nz
*Correction: this article previously incorrectly stated that '#YouHadMeAtBacon' was a B2B campaign and also mistakenly referred to SPCA's Blue Tick programme as Brandbach. Brandbach is the name of Otago’s senior advertising specialisation.