Awards case study: NICE Actimize engages c-suite audience with direct mail campaign

Find out how OgilvyOne Business helped NICE Actimize to engage its audience of CCOs and generate a 33% click-through rate with a unique direct mail campaign


Actimize, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of NICE Systems, provides financial crime prevention, compliance and risk management products and services to the financial services industry.  

Challenges and objectives

NICE wanted to raise awareness of its Holistic Surveillance solution. This combines the power of trade surveillance with communication surveillance to offer a market-leading ability to analyse transactional activity against conversational activity. The solution provides unparalleled insight and allows organisations to transform their surveillance and investigation processes. If an unusual event is spotted, NICE’s solution can instantly identify all related communications and trades that led up to that event.

The majority of NICE’s target audience already uses NICE software but are unlikely to be aware of its newest products. Most firms don’t know that trade surveillance and communication surveillance can be analysed together. The company needed to generate awareness of this technology and how NICE’s Holistic Surveillance solution is the best in market.

NICE targeted 80 CCOs with direct mailers (DMs). The objective was to achieve a 25% CTR to the landing page.

Target audience

This campaign targeted CCOs at large organisations with a trading floor of some description - typically financial institutions (banks) or energy/oil companies.

The CCO's job is to ensure their company is fully compliant with an ever-increasing number of regulations and controls.

Since 2010 the world’s 13 largest banks have spent $74 billion to settle probes where incriminating exchanges between traders has been key evidence. Therefore there is a lot at stake, and fear drives a lot of their decisions.

Reaching this audience is difficult because they are very busy and time poor. In order to get noticed and make an impact it was key to do something fairly disruptive that would stand out among their day-to-day bombardment of marketing.

As the target audience is so niche, OgilvyOne were able to identify a very specific group of 80 relevant CCOs.

NICE Actimize direct mailer

DM box with letter, video pack, magnifying glass and business card

Media, channels or techniques used

A theme was created where a magnifying glass was used to identify the underlying activity that firms might not see – i.e. rogue trader’s hiding away in their data. This acted as a metaphor for NICE’s technology and formed the basis of all our creative work and communications.

Key deliverables

Eighty personalised DMs were created that consisted of a sleek and professional-looking box and sleeve, a video pack, magnifying glass, business card and letter. Thought‐provoking messaging was added throughout to entice the reader to interact with all the material. The elements are as follows:

  • Magnifying glass: this was branded with the NICE logo and was a useful ‘leave-behind’ tool that targets may keep.
  • Letter: this was personalised and had two messages on show; one of which needed the magnifying glass to reveal its hidden message.
  • Video pack: the video itself was personalised and showed a businessman in a sophisticated office highlighting some of the threats the industry is seeing and how NICE can counteract these.
  • Business card: containing contact details.
  • CTA: each target was assigned a phone number and a personalised URL (so we could track the CTR). These were on show on various elements of the material.
  • Delivery: the boxes were hand-­‐delivered by private couriers.

Why DM? The company's audience is bombarded with comms every day (predominantly digital) so something a little different such as a DM, where they have to physically open it up and interact with its contents, is of far more interest, especially when they see and hear their name being spoken. Each box was worth an est. £150 so it showed they are valued individually rather than sending them a mass, non‐personalised DM.

Secondary deliverables

The landing page housed a range of assets and webinars. Here the reader could learn more about the solution, its benefits and how to get in touch. Some of the assets were gated so that targets’ details could be obtained and followed up on.

  • Elevator Adverts: these were published in large financial firm’s elevators in New York.
  • Digital Adverts: these were published in Bloomberg’s capital markets magazine.
  • Animated Gif Banners: these were published on the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Compliance Week.
  • Email: this was targeted at a financial body named SIFMA.
  • Nurture plan: all targets were contacted by the sales team. Each of the tactics above redirected to a landing page.

Timescales of the campaign 

  • Planning: 24/08/15 – 04/09/15
  • Concepting: 07/09/15 –  17/09/15
  • Project on hold (NICE project owners changed): 17/09/15 –  15/10/15  
  • Main collateral development: 19/10/15 –  12/11/15
  • DM Production: 05/11/15 –  23/11/15 
  • Distribution: 07/12/15 + 07/03/16 
  • Reporting: Feb + May 16


The personalised boxes were sent out in two phases. From this a 33% CTR to the landing page was achieved.

One of the boxes had particularly great feedback as it was already present at a meeting with a target client. NICE’s CEO not only saw his advert in the elevator on the way up to the meeting but the DM was on the target firm’s COO’s desk (a person two levels above recipient) and was later shared with the General Counsel (C-level). This firm never actually clicked onto the landing page though (which was the main CTA of the DM) so NICE have reason to believe that the open rate of the boxes was much higher than the click through rate of the URL.

Positive conversations have followed since the DMs went out.

The secondary deliverables also achieved industry benchmarks for CTRs.

“The DM created real impact - in fact, when our CEO arrived at a recipient's office for a high-level meeting, the box was open on their desk - and he can testify that it certainly got their attention”

Haverly Damon, content marketing manager, NICE Actimize

B2B Awards 2016

This case study was submitted as part of the judging process for the B2B Marketing Awards 2016. It won Best use of direct mail: 'Holistic Surveillance' for NICE Actimize by OgilvyOne Business.

See the winners