Firestone Loves Me…or Is It Just My Car?

Firestone Heart Dripping Oil Card

“Dear Jeff, Our love once began with a glance across a crowded parking lot. You possessed me in just a few days…” Several days ago a direct mail piece from Firestone came to me in the shape of a greeting card. The outside has a black heart that appears to be dripping oil. Interesting. Upon opening, the creative messaging was styled as a love letter sent from my car with all the mush and gush of “first love.” And all I could do is smirk at the notion that of piece – when done correctly, direct mail is still a home run.

A recent survey by Source Link suggests direct mail will be the top marketing channel in the US in 2012 while brands focus on customer retention. To demonstrate this point, Firestone pulls off a “daring” direct mail piece with style – and with a hint of full convergence.

As the Firestone mailout demonstrates, unfolding the card reveals an integrated, thorough campaign that combines traditional and new media channels. It immediately opens to the value proposition and coupon with an expiration date to the offer that coincides with the timing of the delivery. By utilizing their CRM, they knew I was getting close to needing an oil change and even had the local manager of the store I last visited “seal the pitch” with a personal signature. Even better, the card provided with me a unique URL and “personal access code” that gave me exclusive access to other great deals and even “automated maintenance” reminders. This well thought out campaign demonstrates that traditional media and new media are converging faster than ever.

Direct mail is not dead. More than 69% of respondents to the Source Link said they would focus on multichannel marketing, with 56% saying it was integral to their strategy. However, many companies are still struggling with how to segment their data to achieve the full potential of conversion from their offline efforts and their online presence. This is a good time to begin looking at how the “convergence strategy” can work for your business. And how every marketing decision truly counts toward an uplift in sales.

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