DOW DISCOVERS NEW LEVEL OF MARKETING

CHICAGO -- Dow Brands has learned that differential marketing works at market level via nonaddressable media such as radio, TV and freestanding inserts."We found it is possible to take household-level understanding to market level. The results we achieved told us differential marketing works on a higher plane than we once thought," said Richard Weber, director of differential marketing for the Indianapolis-based

CHICAGO -- Dow Brands has learned that differential marketing works at market level via nonaddressable media such as radio, TV and freestanding inserts.

"We found it is possible to take household-level understanding to market level. The results we achieved told us differential marketing works on a higher plane than we once thought," said Richard Weber, director of differential marketing for the Indianapolis-based manufacturer. He discussed his experiences with differential marketing at a packaged goods data base marketing conference here hosted by International Business Communications, Southborough, Mass.

Weber defined differential marketing as marketing targeted to consumer households, based on the marketer's understanding of their purchase behavior, their value to the marketer, their attitudes (usage) and geo-demography. The results help marketers to deliver a relevant message and/or offer to those households based on the insight gained. The result of Dow's direct-to-household promotional activity was high double-digit increases in brand awareness, accompanied by high consumer awareness of the events, he said.

The company learned it is possible to use something other than product attributes to differentiate a brand, such as a value-added offer, he said. For example, a newsletter Dow mails to its heavy category consumers receives a minutes' worth of attention vs. the seconds' perusal that one might expect, he said.

"Consumers were able to play back the content of individual newsletters. An unexpected benefit was high pass-along readership. Most of our own consumers said they passed the information or newsletter along to friends. When we asked them if we should drop the program, the majority asked if they could continue receiving the information," he said.

Volume was also affected. Direct consumer marketing helped sell product, Weber said.

The next question was whether it was possible to apply this household level information to nonaddressable media, such as an FSI, TV or radio spots, Weber said. The answer is "yes, " he said, but Dow learned it had to practice cluster marketing.

"We followed the model, identifying behaviors. We found where they lived and established strategies and tactics based on consumer household value. We linked household value to markets. It is important to understand the dominant consumer segments and develop relevant messages," Weber said.

The results of that marketing could be determined by consumer take-away as measured by Information Resources or Nielsen, he said.