by Allison Banko
Prisma's work shines in its tagline: message to market. The marketing services provider has an emphasis in commercial printing to propel its clients' messages to their marketplaces.
But what happens when the tables turn and Prisma must bring its own message to market?
The team needed to communicate to its existing customers that Prisma had a new capability — grand format printing. Grand format printing, known as "wide format" or "large format" in the industry, creates larger-than-life printed pieces such as billboards or building wraps.
"It's not typical for a commercial printer and marketing company to have grand format printing in-house, but that was something we naturally saw the need from our clients," said Sandy Mattson, Director of Strategy and Communications, Prisma.
Now that Prisma had a way to meet this need, it needed to introduce that capability. After all, grand format printing could open a whole new realm of possibility for its clients' marketing.
"We can print on all sorts of weird substrates that would not typically go through a printing press," Mattson explained.
This includes items such as:
Mattson said the team wanted to make a big splash with the announcement, so that if their customers were doing grand format printing with another vendor, the customer would understand that Prisma could now handle it.
However, if clients weren't currently utilizing grand format printing, Prisma wanted to convince them add it to their marketing mix.
"That was really the goal, to get that message out," she said.
The seed for Prisma's campaign sprouted from the word "grand."
"We thought, we really want to establish in everybody's mind this isn't just wide format or large format," Mattson said. "This is grand. This is beyond."
To play up the word "grand," the team brainstormed seven grand destinations located in the United States:
- The Grand Tetons
- Grand Junction
- The Grand Canyon
- The Grand Ole Opry
- The Grant Strand
- Grand Prix
- Grand Central Station
The team developed a four-stage multichannel marketing campaign around a "Road Trip" theme, taking its audience on a "Grand Marketing Adventure."
In an effort to relay the capabilities of Prisma's grand format printing, the campaign would feature various materials it could print on.
"This was sort of our subtle way of showing our client base that we could also execute really great integrated, customized, personalized campaigns," Mattson said, "and [they] just went through one with us."
The Road Trip campaign was designed with a retro style, complimented by splashes of color to display Prisma's sophisticated color capabilities.
Due to all of the different pieces of the campaign, the team recognized that this was going to be an expensive effort. While Prisma has several thousand clients, the team couldn't realistically run the campaign with all of them. Thus, the team asked themselves, "Where can we make the most impact?"
Based on revenue, Prisma decided to target the top 25% of its customer base.
This amounted to about 200 of Prisma's existing clients. These individuals included director-level professionals in marketing — vice presidents of of Marketing, directors of Marketing and Marketing managers.
"If they're spending the most with us in all our other areas, they're most likely to start spending money in this area of grand format," Mattson explained.
Stage #1. Mail roadmap to tease campaign
To kickstart the Road Trip campaign, Prisma mailed out a 24-by-48 inch poster
that was designed to tease the "Grand Marketing Adventure" ahead.
The poster was printed with a map of the U.S. with pins on those seven "grand destinations" with accompanying snapshots. The poster's call-to-action led the recipient to visit their personalized URL (PURL) with the incentive of a $50 gas card. The PURL contained personalized landing pages in which they could choose a vehicle
for their virtual adventure.
"They could choose from any one of these little retro cars to fit their personality," Mattson explained.
After choosing a vehicle online, users were directed to a second landing page
where they were asked to answer a survey with questions related to grand format printing and their marketing needs.
Then, the user's personal Grand Marketing Adventure was dubbed as underway, and the user was notified that the gas card was being delivered on a third landing page
Stage #2. Perform an email blastAn email
was triggered immediately if a user visited their PURL and chose a vehicle. Based on the vehicle they selected, the email disclosed which one of the seven destinations the user was headed for on their Grand Adventure.
As an example, Mattson outlined what happened if a user chose the compact car with the camper. What this choice says about the user is, "You're a big thinker. You appreciate the good things in life, and your virtual destination is the Grand Canyon."
The email also let the user know that their $50 gas card was on its way and to keep an eye out for a personalized travel kit in the mail.
However, if a user did not visit their PURL within three days, Prisma sent an email reminder
to "Begin your adventure today," while promoting the gas card incentive.
Stage #3. Mail personalized travel kits
On day 12 of the campaign, Prisma mailed personalized travel kits
, which were boxes designed like suitcases. The suitcase was printed on the grand format printer on a paper that felt like suede leather.
"It was really cute and it had some glossy stickers on it — that was a special finish," Mattson said.
The "suitcase" contained various pieces that showed off even more grand format printing capabilities, with prints on different materials including vinyl, metal, mesh, paper and plastic. That way, Mattson explained, the customer could see firsthand how pictures looked on each of the surfaces grand format could tackle.
Contents of the suitcase included:
- A notecard from the user’s Prisma account rep with a discount coupon for their first grand format order
- A roadmap to marketing success outlining grand format capabilities
- A personalized company "license plate" keepsake, printed directly on aluminum substrate
- Substrates with information on various grand format materials
- A gas card ($50 if the user visited the PURL, $10 if they did not) and card holder
- A personalized luggage tag
"What we hoped is that they hung on to the suitcase with all the materials inside, so in the future, if they had any need to do grand format, they have a little reference kit to go by," Mattson said.
In other industries, the suitcase could be equated to a sampler or a fabric swatch — but grander.
The purpose of this suitcase, she added, was to detail all of the different ways they could use grand format, with the hopes of inspiring them to add it to their own marketing mix.
Stage #4. Send the conclusion email blast
Prisma wrapped up the campaign on Day 15 with a conclusion email blast
thanking participants and asking them for feedback.
"We sent a conclusion e-blast to say, 'We really hope you enjoyed this fun campaign. We did, too,'" Mattson explained.
Along the way, clients were asking how this Road Trip campaign was going, so this email provided those statistics.
These metrics included a 45% response rate to the PURL with 35% choosing a vehicle to proceed with the campaign. From this campaign, 10% contacted Prisma representatives directly to learn more, give feedback or request services. Mattson said most of this communication stemmed from the poster mailed in Stage 1.
"[They were] calling into Prisma, emailing in saying, 'Oh my gosh, I can't believe you sent this! This is so cute! It's so integrated! It's so personalized! You really made an impact,'" she said.
In one year, Prisma's grand format sales went from $0 to $700,000, with 70% occurring after the Road Trip campaign. Mattson attributed the success of their effort to showing the capabilities of grand formatting, not telling.
"We could put together great landing pages and cool email campaigns with photos of really cool wrapped buildings and wrapped vehicles, but it just doesn't bring it to life as much as holding something in your hand," Mattson said.
This was a way for Prisma to demonstrate what it could do and that its clients could now do this, too, she added. The multichannel campaign was a way for the team to wrap all of their capabilities into one fun effort.
Though the Road Trip campaign has concluded, Mattson said it's still referenced by clients today. Now, the team sends monthly email blasts featuring grand format case studies to promote the service.
By focusing the Road Trip campaign on the top 25% of its client base, the team entered the project confident it would be most successful with this set. Because this group was already invested in Prisma, they were likely to be drawn to adding a new service — grand format printing — to its repertoire, Mattson explained.
"The biggest thing that this validated for us is that it is worth spending the cost on your best customers to do a more expensive, impactful campaign like this," she said. "I think that the investment was worth it for a small fragment of our client base."
- Vehicle landing page
- Second landing page
- Third landing page
- Email reminder
- Travel kit
- Grand format capabilities
- License plate
- Substrate example
- Gas card holder
- Conclusion email blast
Campaign Team Prisma
Tom Belanger, Grand Format Marketing Strategist
Chad Carmody, Print and Packaging Strategist
Jay Gau, Senior Art Director
Sandy Mattson, Director of Strategy and Communications
Andy Matznick, Creative Director
Jessica Mercer, Email and Web Development
John Port, Print and Packaging Strategist
Sue Thomas, Copywriter
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