Awards case study: How KCOM achieved a 25% conversion rate by using direct mail

Find out how KCOM reached high-level decision-makers with direct mail while achieving a 25% conversion rate

About

Established in 1904, KCOM is one of the UK’s oldest telecommunications providers and is the dedicated provider in Hull and East Yorkshire.

Today KCOM has expanded, operating across three markets: enterprises, national businesses, and regional businesses and consumers. It offers a diverse mix of cloud, connect and communication consultancy and solutions.

KCOM’s aim is to make life easier and better for every customer through the use of flexible technologies.

Strategy

In April 2016, the company brought together its subsidiary brands under a new, single KCOM brand.

With so much expertise, passion and commitment KCOM are certainly stronger together, but the company still working to promote the brand in new markets and differentiate itself against established competitors.

In the enterprise world KCOM have had some real success stories in transforming customer experience, but have found it hard to reach ‘new logo customers’ who struggle to see beyond the heritage brand. KCOM have much to offer in helping clients navigate through the minefield of digital transformation to become more customer-centric, agile and efficient. KCOM just needed them to listen.

Objectives of the campaign

KCOM is an established telecommunications brand, but as a new player in the enterprise technology market, it needed a way to get noticed.

The ‘Are you listening’ campaign did just that. It captured attention, got people talking and gave KCOM the opportunity to share how it could add value in enhancing their customer’s experience.

Campaign elements:

  • Direct mail box – strong messaging, Bluetooth speaker gift and customer success stories
  • KCOMListens social media campaign
  • Sales call guide
  • Customer journey board
  • All created by a small in-house team.

Designed to start a conversation

No one gets much business post nowadays so when a parcel arrives it’s an exciting moment. When that parcel also includes a strong, clear message that’s been keeping you awake at night and a gift of a Bluetooth speaker it’s hard to ignore.

The messaging was designed to make the recipient reflect on their relationship with their customers, and show them a snapshot of what an integrated systems or cloud strategy could do to enhance their user experience.

KCOM used a friendly conversational tone to demystify what can often be daunting topics, even for key decision-makers.

The target audience

High-level decision-makers in large UK private-sector enterprises are notoriously hard to reach – gatekeepers, overloaded inboxes and crammed diaries mean they only consider new business engagements where they can see immediate value.

KCOM focused its campaign on starting an internal conversation between IT and the business functions that support their customer experience. The company tasked its sales team with confirming up to five contacts in each company who would all be interested in the ‘Are you listening?’ message. It then sent them all the campaign, positioning customer experience as a hot topic of interest and KCOM as a business that they needed to talk to.

Media, channels or techniques used

With the requirement being to get KCOM’s message straight through to the decision makers, direct mail was the obvious choice.

Everything about ‘Are you listening?’ was designed to make an impact. The packaging was high quality, substantial, and took every opportunity to convey the core message and extend brand resonance.

The Bluetooth speaker was chosen as a physical symbol of the opportunity to amplify their customer’s voice. The brochure ‘Love the sound of your customer’s voice’ included examples of what their customers might want and real stories of how KCOM has delivered just that for organisations like themselves.

KCOM’s follow-up strategy was clearly defined. The sales team would first phone the marketing or operations contact to gauge how it was received and any conversations happening internally. They would then move onto the IT decision-maker, making sure they used the information they had previously gleaned to guide the conversation. The goal was simple – to secure a face-to-face meeting to discuss CXand the role KCOM could play in helping them improve that experience. A call guide was provided to help sales ask interesting questions and ensure they themselves were listening.

Printed customer journey boards were also provided to the sales team to take into the agreed customer meetings and act as a focus point to guide the conversation and leave behind with the customer to stimulate further internal discussion.

Timescales of the campaign

The entire campaign, including concept, content and design, was turned around extremely quickly by KCOM’s small in-house team.

  • August - nailed the brief, messaging, content, design and costings
  • September - finalised target list and campaign sign off; sourced gifts from China
  • October - production and fulfilment by Hobs Reprographic, Bristol
  • November - execution, social media campaign and follow up; first meetings secured budgets

Budgets

By using the internal team for the entire campaign KCOM only needed to cover the gift purchase, print, fulfilment and dispatch; the total spend was £22,270 for 500 boxes.

Results

The campaign smashed KCOM’s target of 10% conversion, with 25% of the companies agreeing to introductory meetings.

The 28 new customer engagements was a welcome contrast to the usual rate of one or two each week. Due to the size of the businesses’ conversations, discussions are ongoing and relationships are still being nurtured but KCOM have already built a pipeline of £15.7m.

KCOM’s account managers loved the campaign, particularly because the recipients were ready and eager to take their call – something they had never experienced before.

KCOM believe the success of this campaign is due to its single clear message: listen to your customers.

It’s a simple statement that resonates with everyone and provides an easy segue into customer experience – the topic the company really wanted to discuss.

Client testimonial

“Are you listening has been the most successful marketing activity in my three years at KCOM, and we’re still reaping the rewards. In a week we usually make one or two new meetings; this campaign yielded 28 in the same time period. It grabbed attention, got clients talking and interested in how KCOM could help.

“The marketing team were amazing, the supporting call guides and customer journey boards helped the ongoing conversation and demonstrated how committed they were in helping us start new customer relationships.” George Roberts, Sales Manager

“I’m really passionate about delivering campaigns that stand out and create a great first impression, especially when trying to break new ground or enter new markets. The campaign was fun to deliver from end-to-end and, working closely with the sales team, we easily surpassed the original campaign target. It was a great team effort and shows that sales and marketing are better together.” Helena Belcher, Head of Marketing

B2B Marketing Awards 2017 – winners

This submission won the award for 'Best use of direct mail' at the B2B Marketing Awards 2017: 'Are you listening?' by KCOM.

See the full list of winners

Awards case study: How KCOM achieved a 25% conversion rate by using direct mail image