Di­rect hit

New Zealand Marketing - - TVNZ NZ Marketing Awards -

Since Jess Hall joined Farm­ers in 2011, the scope and scale of its

mar­ket­ing cam­paigns has rad­i­cally grown. Hall has grown with it. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

WBe­ing able to test things like re­sponse rates is quite ad­dic­tive. You get the good and the bad though. You also get mea­sured on the things that don’t work.

ith the suc­cess­ful launch of Farm­ers Club in 2011 and the colos­sal amount of cus­tomer data it cre­ated, di­rect mar­ket­ing be­came a more sig­nif­i­cant chan­nel in the Farm­ers mar­ket­ing mix. And it was at this time Jess Hall joined the team as a di­rect mar­ket­ing as­sis­tant, her first mar­ket­ing role af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Can­ter­bury Univer­sity and trav­el­ling for two years.

She is now re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing fully in­te­grated mar­ket­ing cam­paigns cov­er­ing all me- dia, in­clud­ing large vol­ume per­son­alised di­rect mail­ings ( 500,000+), email, on­line ad­ver­tis­ing, Face­book, ra­dio, in­store POS ma­te­rial ( posters, screens, in store ra­dio, fly­ers), press and TVCs.

The mail­ings for these cam­paigns are ex­tremely com­plex. They also have multi- mil­lion dol­lar sales tar­gets and mar­ket­ing bud­gets worth hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars, but Hall, 27, has proven she has the per­son­al­ity, or­gan­i­sa­tional skills and emo­tional in­tel­li­gence to de­liver them on time and on bud­get.

Hall, who worked in­store at the Ric­car­ton branch of Farm­ers when she was younger, has quickly de­vel­oped an in­ti­mate un­der­stand­ing of the 1.4 mil­lion- strong Farm­ers Club data­base. She also em­braces the cus­tomer as the heart of ev­ery mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion, un­der­stands that real peo­ple live be­hind the data and knows how im­por­tant the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence is for the Farm­ers brand, whether in­store or in the in­box.

She says she didn’t re­ally even know what di­rect mar­ket­ing was when she fin­ished univer­sity, so it was a bap­tism of fire com­ing in to the di­rect team at Farm­ers. But she has learned fast and now loves hav­ing all that data at her fin­ger­tips to de­velop strate­gies for highly tar­geted cam­paigns.

This fo­cus on data seg­men­ta­tion has been very suc­cess­ful, she says, and Farm­ers has re­cently tri­alled send­ing out 16 ver­sions of a new sea­son cat­a­logue via a per­son­alised DM cam­paign to 270,000 peo­ple. And this has proven to be more ef­fi­cient and en­gag­ing than the car­pet bomb­ing ap­proach of the tra­di­tional let­ter box drop.

“I’m sur­prised how much I love it. But be­ing able to test things like re­sponse rates is quite ad­dic­tive. You get the good and the bad though, be­cause you also get mea­sured on the things that don’t work.”

In her time at Farm­ers, she has learned how to man­age big projects and mul­ti­ple stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing buy­ing teams, se­nior mar­ket­ing per­son­nel, an in­ter­nal studio, a data and dig­i­tal team, in­store staff, ex­ter­nal agen­cies, print­ers, mail houses and NZ Post. All of them must be man­aged and co-or­di­nated to suc­cess­fully bring these cam­paigns to mar­ket. As an ex­am­ple, the One Day Sale for Farm­ers Club mem­bers was pro­moted via an in­te­grated mar­ket­ing cam­paign. Hall turned around all el­e­ments of the cam­paign, in­clud­ing a mail­ing to 780,000 mem­bers with over 120 dif­fer­ent ver­sions based on pur­chase his­tory and sta­tus, within five weeks.

Ev­ery piece of mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial was de­liv­ered on time. And it ended up be­ing the big­gest trad­ing day Farm­ers had ever had, with the mail­ing achiev­ing a re­sponse rate of over 20 per­cent, driv­ing over 160,000 Club mem­bers in store to shop on a sin­gle day.

Per­haps not sur­pris­ingly, Hall was named the top stu­dent na­tion­ally in the New Zealand Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s Cer­tifi­cate of Di­rect Mar­ket­ing in 2012. She’s con­tin­u­ing the learn­ing by en­rolling in the Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing course. And while she takes her ca­reer se­ri­ously, she al­ways tries to main­tain her bright, fun and pos­i­tive per­son­al­ity. Hall, who’s into snow­board­ing, surf­ing and box­ing (for fit­ness, rather than blood­sport), loves the “work hard, play hard” cul­ture of what she calls ‘The Farm’. And she’s keen to stay in the loy­alty and di­rect seg­ment for a while yet. But if she does de­cide to shift, there shouldn’t be a short­age of op­tions.

As Farm­ers’ head of mar­ket­ing Dean Cook says: “In a very short pe­riod of time, Jess has demon­strated re­mark­able mar­ket­ing and busi­ness acu­men and should she con­tinue her ca­reer with the same great en­thu­si­asm she will be­come a great as­set to not only Farm­ers but to any other busi­ness look­ing for great mar­keters of the fu­ture.”

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