Bridging the Channel With Online CRM

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Georgia-Pacific has 61,000 employees in 13 countries dedicated to the manufacture of consumer paper products that we have all grown up with: Quilted Northern, Brawny, Angel Soft, Dixie. But to gain an advantage against its Web-savvy competitors, Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark, the 77-year-old company changed its focus from paper to pixels. Georgia-Pacific tapped Jeff Shirley, former director of e-marketing at Coca-Cola North America brands, to serve as its director of e-marketing. His mission: to spearhead a one-to-one online behavior-based marketing program. Prior to Shirley's arrival in 2002 Georgia-Pacific had relied on freestanding inserts (FSIs), sweepstakes, and TV ads to communicate with customers. The company had used the Web to support--not drive--its brands. It now sought to serve consumers with promotions, while capturing customer information to foster improved reach through future offers and online content delivery. "The marketing team realized that they were not utilizing the Internet to its full ability," Shirley says. "I came aboard to build a database of core consumers, and [to] leverage demographic and purchasing-behavior data to create a one-to-one marketing program." Shirley recruited Web developer Definition 6 to create the site AllYourRooms.com and online incentive marketer E-centives to manage promotions. "Definition 6 possesses both a thorough understanding of content development and behavior-based marketing, while E-centives offers the one-two punch of couponing and behavioral tracking through email delivery," Shirley says. Definition 6 created a sticky online environment by providing Georgia-Pacific's customer base, primarily households with families, with information about everything from kitchen decoration to backyard landscaping. Georgia-Pacific uses on- and offline marketing to drive traffic to the site, which is sponsored by all its brands. Coinciding with the September 2003 launch, the company ran a registration promotion on Iwon.com's monthly bonus program, leading to the acquisition of more than 50,000 consumers in one month. By December the site had 96,000 registrants, driven by offline Angel Soft FSIs and an opt-in email campaign to 100,000 Georgia-Pacific customers who had participated in previous contests. The company also launched a monthly email newsletter. To register for the newsletter consumers must input brand preferences, demographic details, and contact information. These consumers are segmented into loyal Georgia-Pacific brand users, those who migrate between competitor and Georgia-Pacific brands, those who shift between Georgia-Pacific same-category brands, and those who do not buy its brands. The segmentation enables Georgia-Pacific to serve promotions based on customer preferences. Those who use a Brawny competitor, for example, might receive Brawny trial offers, while loyal users of Angel Soft may receive promotions for larger pack sizes of the toilet tissue. Georgia-Pacific also tracks browsing behavior on AllYourRooms.com to better customize newsletter content. Having registered 550,000 customers as of March, AllYourRooms.com is currently 15 percent ahead of expectations and is on pace to meet the 1 million registrants goal for 2004. Although registration expectations have been surpassed, the program has yet to reach its viral marketing goal as measured by industry averages, Shirley says, declining to specify expectations. The viral "tell-a-friend" newsletter component is responsible for less than 1 percent of all registrants. The Georgia-Pacific eMarketing team is currently working on an aggressive program that rewards viral behavior. And to reach its growing audience of do-it-yourselfers, Georgia-Pacific is working to add promotions and content to the site relevant to its building products sector by year-end. The Payoff AllYourRooms.com and the email newsletter have enabled Georgia-Pacific to:
  • secure a loyal customer base of more than 550,000 active brand purchasers within six months;
  • reach consumers who may not have previously used its brands;
  • better understand and respond to customer purchasing preferences and behavior.
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