Since ER Marketing’s founding in 2001, the agency has wholeheartedly served and enhanced business in the building sector with a distinct perspective and results-driven creative. Always looking for growth opportunities, ER Marketing created a new-prospect-engagement campaign with messaging and design for the agency leadership to communicate initially with 20 top prospects in the building industry and emphasize ER Marketing’s branding expertise and experience in the field.
At a time when digital messages saturate communication among companies, ER Marketing re-thought how direct mail could cut through the clutter of digital messages and make a lasting impression about how the agency understands the industry it serves. Tangible direct mail can be a gamble, as passive promotional items often end up as trash, which is why ER Marketing set three rules:
The direct mail item had to be related to the building industry.
The direct mail item had to tie to an ER Marketing service.
The direct mail item had to be something original that would be kept/used.
Three direct mailings comprised the campaign. The first was a functional saw, engraved with messaging about ER Marketing’s building industry credentials and headlined as “We know the building industry channel because we helped build it.” The useable saw and the building-focused copy met all three established rules for the promotion.
The second direct mail piece was a useable branding iron for individual pieces of meat, such as steaks and chops, forged in the initials of the top prospect companies—to serve as a functional attention getter. The packaging included classic Kansas City barbeque sauce and seasonings to highlight the local veracity of ER Marketing. The message, “Your brand is your first impression. Make sure it leaves a mark,” tied real-life authentic branding to the marketing element. It also met the three established promotion rules.
The connection to ER Marketing’s research discovery that the top prospects don’t use SEO and pay-per-click extensively was a resin cube filled with fasteners, screws, bolts and nails. The direct mail piece serve as an allegory for how “small parts make a big difference” and reminded the prospects that ER Marketing knows how to make the smallest of parts contribute to the larger parts’ effectiveness.
These three direct mail items were not just passive promotional items, but functional pieces with messaging not wallpapered on, but intrinsic to the industry and prospects.
The direct mail was sent, followed by a phone call and an email, similarly branded, with a link to a specially designed landing page. The campaign was planned to connect with marketing decision makers responsible for agency relationships and show how ER Marketing could help them reach, inform and educate their target audiences about products and services using the latest in technology. The direct mail pieces were to intrigue the top prospects and stimulate them to assess their current marketing efforts, so they’d consider ER Marketing for a conversation about future partnerships, particularly around branding.