Lois Geller Success Plan  
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
© Lois Geller Marketing Group 2009 - 1400 Marina Drive, Hollywood, Florida, 33019
 
     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lois Geller Direct Marketing Case Studies
There are two challenges in presenting case studies but we’ll present a few of them anyway. Challenge one is that a lot of people focus on creative, which we find amazing. Challenge two is that we are rarely allowed to give away the details of our clients’ hard won results so we’ll just say that the following worked extremely well.
You’ll notice that our clients are all over the place. What that tells you is that no matter where you are we can work with you. (What with email, Internet, FedEx/UPS/DHL and jet airplanes, distance just isn’t what it used to be, is it?)

West Magazine
Western Financial Group is a growing company with its own bank, life insurance company, travel agency, and, most important, a chain of 90 or so insurance agency offices in small towns across the four western Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The costs of using traditional advertising media to reach target audiences in dozens of small towns sprinkled across millions of square miles is dauntingly expensive on a CPM basis, which is direct marketers favorite way to count costs.

So we tossed around ideas with our client. First came a discussion of what we wanted to achieve: mostly, we wanted the people who count to understand that Western Financial Group is, just like they are, small town and western Canadian and that this is not only a unique attribute among companies offering financial services, it is a distinct advantage to customers. We came up with a few dozen more things we wanted to do and then we came back to media.

Email? Well, it’s cheap but with spam and clutter and impermanence, it just didn’t make sense as a strategic tool. Regular mail? Well, maybe, but we wanted people to look forward – eagerly - to hearing from us. Finally it hit us. We needed our own magazine, a magazine about rural and small town western Canada, an interesting magazine that could tell our communities’ stories on many different levels … and, not coincidentally, carry ads.

We came up with the name West, developed the editorial philosophy, the most important element of which is that the magazine is about customers and not about the company (most of the ads are about the company), set up regular West departments, and did all the things you do when you create a new magazine from scratch. West has been coming out quarterly as a 52-page full color magazine for about 5 years (as of January, 2009) and it has been very well received. It is now the cornerstone of Western Financial Group’s marketing program.

Apthorp Cleaners
There aren’t a lot of companies that qualify as “heritage” dry cleaners. The only one we can think of is Apthorp, which used to be located in a heritage building, the Apthorp apartments, on Broadway on Manhattan’s west side – where the people can be very picky.

Apthorp cleaners is still on the west side but no longer in its original building. The cachet of the name lingers, primarily because of the company’s outstanding service, friendliness and unique ability to handle any cleaning challenge. Red wine and spaghetti sauce on a silk gown? No problem but it’ll take a few days.

The heritage, personality, service, skill, dedication, philosophy and attitude all had to appear in Apthorp Cleaners’ new website which we developed from scratch.

Hibernia Bank
The bane of small DM agencies like ours is the corporate takeover. It usually means we lose the client to the bigger company’s agency. That’s what happened when Capital One took over Hibernia Bank, which operated in Louisiana and Texas. (It also meant we lost our excuse to visit New Orleans which rankles.)

What rankles more is that we had just achieved a significant creative breakthrough in HELOC postcard mailings for Hibernia. We’re usually not overly fond of postcards but they were a given. Basically we gave the copy an attitude, some personality, and switched the focus from the bank’s offerings to the needs and dreams of its clients and prospects. Bingo.

We can tell you the lift in approved Home Equity Line of Credit applications was 23% - first time out. Then along came Capital One.

Willow Stream Spas at Fairmont
If you’ve ever been to San Francisco, you’ve seen the beautiful Fairmont Hotel on Union Square. When Canadian Pacific Hotels took over the Fairmont company, they adopted the name of their new San Francisco jewel and then started expanding around the world, adding legendary properties such as the “Princesses” in Scottsdale and Bermuda and brand new ones around the world.

More important, to us anyway, was the company’s decision to build outstanding Willow Stream world spas in 9 of their hotels and resorts: Banff and Victoria in Canada, Miami and Scottsdale in the US, the Mayan Riviera and Acapulco in Mexico as well as Bermuda, Geneva, and Dubai with a new one scheduled for Peking in 2009. (Why did some but not all Fairmonts get Willow Streams? Willow Streams are huuuuge spas. Smaller spas in other properties are called Fairmont spas and they, too, are excellent.) We developed Willow Stream’s unique newsletter, personality and copy to go with the client’s brilliant “body as landscape” photography.