How to target an FMCG, retail and charity door drop | DMA

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How to target an FMCG, retail and charity door drop


Intelligent targeting is at the heart of a successful door drop campaign, delivering an impressive ROI for clients from this low-cost medium. Here, I outline the main door drop targeting tools available as well as the different strategies FMCG, retail and charity sectors use in their campaigns.

Door drop targeting tips
There are a number of things door drop practitioners need to do to deliver a finely targeted campaign for clients. A close working relationship with your client is a good starting point from a targeting perspective as it usually aids the provision of customer data. You will also need to make full use of the latest data modelling and geo-targeting tools that are most relevant to your client’s industry sector.

Door drop targeting tools
Door drops are booked at postcode sector level, which usually covers around 2,500 households. There are around 9,600 postal sectors in the UK so the basic task of door drop targeting is to arrange these sectors in the right order for your chosen target market. Although this sounds basic, the best door drop targeting requires a detailed understanding of the behaviours of UK households which can provide strategic insight to advertisers.

Marketers use various tools to understand the demographics of any given area, such as Mosaic and ACORN household classifications, Target Group Index (TGI) survey data, social grades and Census data. The key to success is making the most of these tools to identify the sectors which offer a particular brand or organisation the best opportunity.

Mosaic UK and ACORN both take into account a vast array of demographic data in order to classify every address in the UK into easily digestible groups or types. Mosaic classifications, for example, put every household into one of 67 types or 15 groups.

The classification process takes into account TGI data as well as information collated from the national Census. TGI is a network of market research surveys providing insights on consumer habits ranging from who people bank with, the types of cars they drive to the places they go to on holiday. Social grades relate specifically to occupation rather than the social trends or lifestyle and have their origins in Census data updated by various more regularly updated income factors.

Armed with the insight all this data provides, door drop practitioners have a greater awareness of the geographic customer base. The data is also a good indicator of the volumes necessary to maximise the impact of any given campaign.

With tight budgets in mind, limiting the geographical catchment of a campaign can help maximise the impact of smaller volumes without losing your focus on a target audience. The targeting systems can then determine the sectors that geographically fall within these catchments and also the sectors with the highest penetration of the customer profile.

FMCG and door drops
For FMCG clients, you can use information collated via customer loyalty cards or similar consumer databases used in conjunction with trends in shopping behaviour (e.g. which supermarket the household prefers to visit) to create a profile of the households that you are trying to reach. The client can also cherry pick the best sectors rather than going for blanket coverage of an area.

A prime example of this is the rebranding of ‘Bounty’ to ‘Plenty’. A database of Bounty’s top customers was drawn on to identify the sectors for a door drop campaign. By incorporating a coupon and prize draw within the leaflet creative the campaign was measurable and proved to surpass all expectations. The results show that 76% of customers that had been targeted now have an awareness of the re-branding and 53% of households targeted either purchased or planned to purchase the product.

The campaign won Gold in the best use of door drops sector at the 2010 DMA Awards. DMA Awards judge Marc Michaels from the COI said: “Keeping your brand-loyal customer through a rebranding exercise can be a major challenge. This campaign stands out because of its precision targeting and its highly engaging creative.”

Retail and door drops
For retail clients, you can use insight from an existing customer base and overlay it with an understanding of the mosaic profile of a catchment area. This can allow a business to maintain existing customers while also reaching new potential ones.

The type of targeting criteria appropriate for any campaign is dependant on the nature of the retail client. For example, occupational criteria may be more relevant for a high-end, luxury brand and therefore social grading/Census may be a better means of identifying the best households to target. If consumer trends are key, then Mosaic or Acorn tools would be more fitting.

The upmarket home and garden retailer OKA used door drops around Christmas 2009 to increase footfall and sales in their stores. They selected door drop as a channel due to its ability to accurately target their catchments. Actual transactional data was used to identify postal sectors that were driving most sales to store.

However, a Mosaic profile was also derived from their existing customer base to identify areas rich in opportunity. 75% of sales generated from the door drop were from existing customers but 25% of sales were generated from customers who had never shopped at OKA before, proving that door drop correctly identified the areas of highest potential. Interestingly OKA could also track the impact of their distribution on online sales as 88% of new customers used the web for their purchases.

Charities and door drops
For charity clients, you’ll need to take a similar approach to retail clients, ideally using their database to gain insights about the type of people you want to target. Depending on the aim of the particular campaign, you’ll then target new prospects based on the value of donation or engagement, for instance.

The Royal British Legion uses door drops as part of its annual acquisition plan, targeting prospects by using the database of donations to identify the value each sector brings to the charity and profiling it against Mosaic data to understand the consumer types who were most relevant.

In its November 2010 appeal the control pack brought an ROI of 1:1.91 outperforming both direct mail and inserts. Three other creatives were trialled in a testing matrix and each of these outperformed direct mail as well.

These findings were only made available through post-campaign analysis. Tempting as it may be to cut costs by removing this from the plan, it’s a vital component of any campaign as it will demonstrate what has worked and what hasn’t and help you with the targeting of future campaigns.

Clare Cooper, senior sales coordinator, Trinity Mirror

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