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Direct Response Marketing

On A Roll

1 Oct, 2009 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response

"The economy was starting to go down. So here we had something that was inexpensive, and accessible for the office. They [employees] could run to the food court, grab lunch, and bring back a Cinnapack to work," says Chyba. Besides just food for colleagues, Cinnabon and Money Mailer believed employees would start to view the offer as a great holiday gift for staff members or to bring to holiday parties

"The challenge was going to be how we could cannibalize the markets going through the mall," says Chyba of Cinnabon's request to push sales during the holiday season. At the end of the day, Chyba and the other members of Money Mailer could not see a benefit to spending marketing money on customers already walking through the malls for holiday shopping and so knew the campaign needed to look at a new market segment.

Hill agreed, saying the message needed to be crafted to bring new customers into the mall with the aim of picking up Cinnabon to go. So the final direct mail piece, which hit businesses in the mail the week of December 8, went out to small businesses with five to 49 employees, within a two-mile radius of malls containing Cinnabon stores. The idea was that the mailer could be hung in a break room or handed out to employees. Each direct mail piece had 20 tear-off redeemable coupons attached to the fliers with discounts at local Cinnabon stores.

Although Hill says that being a franchise makes it more difficult to calculate exact results, the numbers came back with a 4.6-percent redemption rate on the offer. The message itself was debated internally, but the company ended up sticking with specific offers, such as getting a few dollars off a pack of Cinnabons.

What's up next for Cinnabon? The company plans to run another offer to local businesses during this winter's Jollybon, and in the new year the company will be introducing a new product line. When crafting this holiday season's offer, Cinnabon and Money Mailer will incorporate lessons learned from last year's launch into this year's campaign.

One of the challenges, according to Chyba, when working with a franchise is getting all the stores to agree on the promotion. "In a franchise, you're never going to get 100-percent consensus," she adds. However, this time around, Money Mailer will use some newly launched technology that enables a digital variable to the process so that franchises have more control over what the offer is.

Hill says that going from a mostly one-product line to a multi-product line could potentially change the entire business, but looks forward to the outcome. "There hasn't been a lot of brand stretch with the menu during the past 25 years," he adds. "And if launched right, it truly can be the world's greatest of its product."

Cinnabon is also looking to expand its marketing channels. "We're looking aggressively into online social media and other channels that are part of the future of marketing, but I still think there are opportunities for traditional direct response marketing," says Hill. "It is a totally different world — not one thing works anymore.

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About the Author: Jacqueline Renfrow

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