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Deloitte & Touche keys on clients, employees

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Deloitte & Touche L.L.P. has worked hard to separate itself from the remaining Big 5 consultancies over the past few years, not only in the services it offers clients but also in its marketing messages. In 1997, both Deloitte and its advertising agency, Keiler & Co., Farmington, Conn., agreed that the firm’s key differentiators were Deloitte & Touche’s Fortune 1000 client roster and its employees.

"We’ve been aiming to demonstrate that we are both a great partner for our clients as well as a great place to work," said David Crutcher, partner-national director of marketing and communications. The primary target audience for these messages are C-level executives and other senior managers of both current and prospective clients—the latter being companies with at least $250 million-plus in assets.

Keiler has used a myriad of media to deliver the messages—including print, online, TV and airport dioramas—adding layers over time to create a one-of-a-kind integrated campaign that has been the model of consistency.

The initial campaign launched in 1997 with the tagline "The answer is...," showcasing Deloitte & Touche’s client list in a co-branding strategy. A series of print ads featured key Deloitte & Touche partners and executives working alongside top clients, such as 3Com Corp., Columbia Sportswear, Union Pacific Corp., and Rockwell International Corp.

Great people

In April 2000, the print series evolved into the "Great people" campaign, another showcase for Deloitte & Touche’s client-company partnerships. A complementary series of ads, dubbed "Portraits," broke in October 2000, to provide in-depth information about specific professional service lines. Each ad features a photograph of one of Deloitte & Touche’s own executives alongside a quote about an unspecified client success. "We wanted to show how deeply Deloitte immerses itself into clients’ business," said Lynn Taylor, Keiler’s managing partner-director of account services.

Print ads ran throughout 2000 in Business Week, CFO, Fortune, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. One key aspect of the Journal ads is that the ads were small but appeared prominently on the back page of section A of the newspaper twice a week in the same spot. Additionally, every two months, a cover wrap is placed on T&L Golf to reach C-level executives through an alternative, non-business vehicle.

An important part of the campaign is the company’s presence in major airports across the country—a venue sometimes overlooked by media planners. Dioramas showcased copy points adapted from the print ads, but shortened to quickly deliver those key points to a moving audience. The ads, which were carefully placed, were placed near executive hotels and clubs to grab the attention of frequent business travelers.

Keiler also posted banner ads on top business Web sites such as CNNfn.com, WSJ.com, Forbes.com and Internet.com. The interactive campaign, using micro-sites and Flash technology, launched in November 2000 to support the print and airport advertising. A Flash movie displayed the portfolio of ads for the corresponding professional service and directly linked viewers to that page on the Deloitte & Touche Web site. From launch date to May 2001, the micro sites had 72,790 hits delivered from the linked banner ads.

More layers than an onion

The most recent layer has been a series of national TV spots. In April 2001, Deloitte launched a rotation of four spots running as part of two weekly national sponsorships on the public TV programs "Nightly Business Report" and "Wall $treet Week With Louis Rukeyser."

"The media strategy is designed to reach the target audience in various points throughout their day," said Richard Feiss, management supervisor, Keiler & Co. "Our target spends a great deal of their time flying and in airports … and it’s the simplicity of the format and the message that helps us reach this audience."

According to the industry newsletter, "Emerson’s 1999 Big 5 Annual Report," Deloitte & Touche was recognized as the "clear Big 5 performance leader," and the marketing campaign also had boosted "the confidence of the entire…organization…[to] an entirely different level…D&T has gone from hoping to win to expecting to win."

Surveys conducted by Yankelovich support these perceptions, showing clients with an 18% increase in total awareness of Deloitte & Touche and its service offerings, and a 20% increase among prospects during the 18 months since the campaign launched.

"The continuity of the campaign continues to pay off for Deloitte & Touche … They remain committed to this strategy both internally and externally," Keiler’s Feiss said.

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