Weighing your options


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Pearson Packaging Systems, a Spokane, Wash.-based manufacturer of packaging equipment, recently hired San Diego marketing and advertising agency Mentus for a “visual vocabulary” project. Pearson works with Spokane design shop Klundt Hosmer, but according to Janelle Kraft, director of marketing at Pearson, “We wanted to take our marketing up a notch.” So it selected Mentus to help it communicate, through visual images, some core messages about Pearson. “We were really looking at ways in which we could visually represent our company with our target audience that would have meaningful impact, based on what our customers have said,” Kraft added. “We wanted to show that Pearson is a professional, friendly provider of packaging solutions.” Pearson plans to use the visual library for other marketing materials, Kraft said, and will continue to work with Klundt Hosmer. Kraft said the economy is affecting specific projects and marketing campaigns. “We are clearly being more cautious in the investments we are making in our marketing programs. It does trickle down to the projects that are being outsourced to agencies,” she said. “We are focusing a little bit more on the day-to-day operations as opposed to a longer-term vision.” For example, Pearson decided to launch a very targeted marketing campaign around Pack Expo, the packaging industry's largest trade show, which was held in Chicago in November. The effort, called “Sweet Deal,” included direct mail and e-mail to Pearson's clients and top prospects that were designed to drive them to the Pearson booth at the show. The mailer included a box of chocolates from Spokandy, a Spokane candy shop, and postcards customized with the recipient's name. The campaign was developed by Mentus. Kraft said the campaign exceeded Pearson's expectations. While the goal had been to increase booth traffic by 20% over the Pack Expo show of 2006, the campaign helped boost traffic 68% and resulted in more than $1 million in new business. “This was due to being very selective as to what we would dedicate our marketing dollars toward and being selective in using our agencies,” Kraft said. “The secret to success, despite the down economy, is having great agency relationships, as we do with both Mentus and Klundt Hosmer. If you get down to marketing nuts and bolts, combined with creativity, you can really be focused and succeed.” M
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