Reprinted from Strategies newsletter, 3rd Quarter © July 2001 by First Marketing, 3300 Gateway Drive, Pompano Beach, FL 33069.

Case study: Supermarket chain adds flavor to its customer communication

Pat Iasillo, coordinator of Remke Markets’ Preferred Customer Program, understands the importance of customer communication. In fact, one of his primary job responsibilities was managing the in-house design and production of a monthly direct mail program for select customers of Remke Markets — a chain of supermarkets in Kentucky and Ohio.

It was an effective program, but Iasillo knew there was room for improvement. That’s when he turned to First Marketing for help.

“Many marketers are discovering the power of ongoing customer communication,” says Susan Drenning, SVP, Director of Marketing & Strategic Development at First Marketing. “A strategic and well-executed program can reinforce buying decisions, build loyalty, deflect the aggressive efforts of competitors and increase brand awareness.”

Power of the [printing] press

For Remke Markets, the partnership yielded immediate benefits. “It’s much easier to manage the program with First Marketing’s help,” Iasillo says. “The team keeps the project on track and on time.”

But that’s just the beginning. First Marketing’s production capabilities enabled Remke Markets to do something it had never done before — incorporate personalized coupons into the program. Using purchasing history, the coupons reward customers with discounts on items they already buy or entice them to try new products. Response is tracked as coupons are redeemed.

Although a newsletter serves as the cornerstone of the program, postcards were added to target a specific audience: new homeowners. The mailings welcome residents with special offers from Remke Markets.

“The newsletter and the postcards have been quite successful,” Iasillo says. “The future of the program looks very bright.”

Proof is in the pudding

To measure the effectiveness of customer communications in the Grocery industry, First Marketing commissioned an independent study of our Grocery clients’ newsletters. The results show the power of professionally produced, custom newsletters. Among the highlights: 76% of respondents recall seeing the newsletter and 46% of readers report they did additional business with the sponsor as a result of an article or offer in the newsletter. For more information on this study or to check the results in your industry, visit: First-Marketing.Com/ResearchResults.cfm

Soup to nuts

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