Heinz’s mistake using direct mail

What a surprise that Heinz has moved serious budgets out of direct marketing. Forget all of the issues regarding big advertising ideas or conflicts between Dorlands or WWAV, even though they may be true. The real reason is that direct mail techniques are not appropriate when a consumer may be loyal to their brand of baked beans but they do not, in the main, wish to have a relationship with them.

The problem is, and I predicted this when Heinz shocked the marketing community and put significant budget in direct marketing, is that direct marketing principles should have been used rather than direct mail techniques.

Subtle, I know, but fundamental. DM principles revolve around understanding consumers, applying the understanding and listening to consumers via response and feedback devices. This approach means, and we have proof it works for packaged goods brands, that you can gain in-depth information on 330,000 users of your brand, information such as media consumption, which is more robust than 36,000 individuals on TGI or NRS.

Putting a stamp on communications to sell a 30p can of baked beans does not make sense, regardless of the potential of lifetime value. Harnessing the principles of direct marketing across all advertising and communication does. It’s a shame Heinz found out too late.

Chris Lovell

Managing Director

LVB DraftWorldwide

Oxfordshire

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