Page 6: Conclusion
Heinz has kept detailed records of the effectiveness of its move into direct marketing. The most informative indicator of the operations’ success, is the measurement of sales generated among recipients of Heinz 'At Home', compared with a control panel of consumers who do not. Clearly, the improvement in sales needs to be compared carefully with the cost of the operation.
Results so far have been encouraging. Many of Heinz’ core lines have recorded their highest brand share for several years following the Heinz 'At Home' activity. For example, Heinz soups market share rose to almost 60 per cent after the first mail out, from 54% before.
The first two editions of the magazine stimulated 1.5 million responses to offers and promotions from consumers and coupon redemption levels were extremely high. However, it is important to point out that the move is a strategic one and the effectiveness will need to be judged over the longer period.
Heinz’ marketing strategy today is based on the twin approach of generic advertising of the brand, coupled with personalised advertising of its lines to individual consumers. The whole of the Heinz portfolio is supported through television advertising. Through television advertising, Heinz is able to concentrate on the core relationships which the public recognises in the brand.
When it was developing its current advertising campaign, Heinz tested three different advertising concepts:
- ‘The family’ - Heinz brings the family back together;
- ‘Taste’ - Nothing tastes quite like Heinz, and
- ‘Memories of childhood’ – Heinz brings out the child in us all.
It was the last of these three propositions which struck the biggest consumer chord, as no brand is associated more with the golden days of childhood than Heinz. A more focused approach is then used, through direct marketing, to create individual relationships between customers and their favoured lines. For many consumers, Heinz is ‘the land of lost content’ and it is clear that this childlike property of the Heinz brand should sit at the heart of the umbrella campaign. Heinz has, therefore, focused on an advertising campaign which reinforces the idea that there is something about Heinz foods and the way they are eaten that is uniquely comforting; which enables everyone to recreate in a small way, the happy, carefree feelings of childhood; feelings that are lost with cheap substitutes.
Heinz has developed a modern approach to its marketing, using a strong overall campaign to remind people of the core values of the brand, coupled with a highly sophisticated database approach of direct marketing to individual customers.