The Co-operative Energy was a new business with big ambitions and customer centric offers in an extremely competitive market, where the dominant ‘Big Six’ presence of leading energy providers were able to rule with ‘Big 6’ budgets.
How does an emerging business make noise and raise awareness amongst its competitors with a constrained budget, imminent deadlines and limited creative? And how do they make this noise measurable in terms of cost per acquisition, new business acquisition and gain learning’s for future campaigns?
The Blueberry Wave were tasked with driving awareness across five UK regions; recruiting cost effective, good quality customers and gain learnings of which types of media works in which regions to stimulate an uplift in year-on-year sales.
The challenge required a two pronged approach; to find more customers like their existing profitable base, and to raise awareness using layered media – with cost and profit remaining at the forefront of this approach. The Blueberry Wave delivered a solution that not only raised awareness of the brands’ products, but achieved cut-through in the muddy waters of multi-media marketing to decipher which channels to invest in for cost effective future campaigns.
To meet this complex challenge, The Blueberry Wave undertook a pragmatic approach: in order to acquire more profitable customers, they needed to understand what Co-Op Energy’s existing profitable customers looked like.
The Blueberry Wave identified a profitable Co-op Energy customer by interrogating their existing customer base, which consisted of multiple data feeds including switchers/non-switchers, direct debit and quarterly customers, as well as lapsed and dormant.
This data was segmented into profiles and tagged with lifestyle data to enrich the understanding of the Co-op Energy’s existing buyer’s purchase triggers. The Blueberry Wave then modelled and ranked the data in order of propensity to become profitable retaining customers, while more detailed attributes such as demography, geography, affluence and life stage were used to target media spend for the awareness campaign.
Above and below the line media was used to reach their desired base at every touch point possible, reinforcing the brand’s proposition and optimising media reach. The over indexing modelled data was selected to drive Door Drop targeting, prospect email/direct mail and cold call purchase, radio station selections and newspaper publication for inserts and adverts.
The media campaigns were supported with Ad Van leaflet distribution to reach core audiences at key commuter times of day across the working week with radio outdoor and online. This built a cross-media frequency model to track response.
Flyers (handed out at key commuter stations), regional press and inserts in core national press titles across key weekends added a tangible reminder to all activity whilst geo-targeting digital activity supported the online marketing activity. Clear and concise ‘Call to action’ messaging across all printed collateral was indicative of measuring campaign response.
Amidst all the media activity taking place, The Blueberry Wave needed to measure the success of each media channel alone, as well as layered with other channels.
The control mechanism they used involved three media layering tests to gain learnings for planning the roll out for 2014. The first element tested the impact of alternative Local BTL approaches concentrated around the cities of Oxford and Southampton, whilst using same local awareness channels. The second element, focussed on Chelmsford and The Midlands, tested the impact of the same Local BTL approaches, whilst comparing the impact of a Local with a Regional awareness campaign. The final element tested the impact of Local BTL and awareness against the Regional awareness campaign.
The multi-media activity focus was on optimising awareness in a highly competitive market. By layering direct communications with awareness-driven media activities, The Blueberry Wave were able to test different versions of the campaign geographically to understand the influence they had on each other; tightly targeting geographical regions allowed them to minimise wastage.
A national online survey was carried out pre and post campaign to measure awareness levels in targeted regions and throughout the UK.
Results reflected an immediate gain for Co-Op Energy; incremental sales increased by 27% and overall CPR was within budget.
The regions where marketing activity took place showed a 20% uplift in prompted awareness, compared to an 11% drop across the rest of the country over the same time period, reflecting the impact Direct Marketing has had on geographical awareness.
EM and Phone Only cold lists proved to be the most cost effective Direct Marketing response. DM and Phone cold lists together were the most expensive, however they were equally as effective in terms of the response rate as DM only.
Door Drop marketing proved to be equally as effective as personalised DM approaches, whereby the response rate was the same, but CPR for regions that used Door Drop instead of DM amounted to one third of the cost compared to the region that used DM.
The overarching conclusion from this campaign was that a strategic layered media approach, mixing cost effective, below-the-line channels with above-the-line repetitive media touch points can increase brand awareness and profitable customer acquisition, but only when overlaid with the base knowledge of who the fundamental target customer is to recruit.
For more information, visit www.blueberrywave.co.uk