Customers Come First at Barclaycard US16 Aug, 2010 By: Thomas Haire Response
CMO Michelle Bottomley says the credit card division’s customer-centric efforts are the cornerstone of the company’s multi-channel direct response marketing efforts.
A Targeted Look Ahead
The breadth of Barclaycard US’ reach and the depth of its integrated direct response marketing programs are undeniable. Bottomley points to yet another recent campaign — a new credit card launch with online travel retailer Priceline — as a fun example of what the company has been able to accomplish with its customer-centric approach.
“Barclaycard launched a new card with Priceline in 2009 that lets cardholders make a purchase, collect reward points and — as soon as the points post to their account — redeem accumulated points to pay for items on the account, including the item they just purchased,” she says. “We really challenged our team to capture the fun and memorable positioning of Priceline from its advertising and well-known spokesperson, William Shatner. All acquisitions direct mail, E-mail and Web advertising feature strong Priceline branding and style.”
The campaign also came with a bit of customer research built in. “In conjunction with the launch of the new credit card, we conducted a survey of U.S. consumers on the art of negotiating,” Bottomley says. “We found that 64 percent of consumers have negotiated or haggled on a purchase recently. The survey was leveraged in news releases and in Priceline social media assets. Pre-approved card offers were built into the travel-booking path of the Priceline Web site. The program has been a real success so far.”
Success has been the name of the game for most of Barclaycard’s recent marketing efforts. But that rate of success wouldn’t be possible without agency vendors who understand what Barclaycard US needs to maximize its marketing potential. Just ask agency veteran Bottomley.
“Having come from the agency world, I am a big believer in leveraging agency talent to take our game to the next level,” she says. “We have a small core group of agency partners who work as an extension of our organization. They have helped us with the champion and challenger approaches, which have allowed us to show dramatic lifts in response over the past several years. We prefer working with highly specialized organizations with very senior experts who spend a lot of time on our business.”
Those vendors — and the company’s marketing partners — promise to continue to play a major role as Bottomley and the Barclaycard US marketing team look to the future. “Looking forward in the U.S., we are highly focused on leveraging partner as well as third-party data to deliver greater relevance to our prospective and existing customers in terms of products, message, offers and channels,” she says. “We are creating new predictive models for marketing investment optimization, focused along the customer lifecycle. With our 50-plus partnerships, we have a unique advantage in access to partner data that helps us target the right product to the right customer at the right time through the right channel. We are using marketing analytics to increase our targeting precision with a particular focus on digital engagement optimization. We are also looking at marketing campaign management to make it easier for our direct team to deploy multi-channel campaigns with greater speed to market.”