What’s the difference between a great idea and great results?

4 Feb

A few months ago we shared a nifty bit of branding we did for Columbia Fuels. We recently received the results of this campaign and we were tickled with them.

Our campaign garnered an 11% redemption rate on offers made to current customers, and we were able to earn back over 5% of the customers our client had lost due to price wars with the competition over the past few years. Those of you familiar with the average response rate of 1-3% on a DM campaign can understand our enthusiasm over these results.  

Though the sales numbers were a great win for Columbia, we’re actually most excited about the changes that the campaign brought within their organization.

In a sea of me-too commodity advertising, we needed to give customers a reason to believe that Columbia Fuels customer service could be trusted over all others. So Copeland proposed a catalytic mechanism (Jim Collin’s managerial tool that helps organizations to turn goals into results), and suggested Columbia Fuels guarantee delivery within 24 hours or the fuel was free. To the executive team’s credit, they embraced our idea wholeheartedly, and trusted their team to put processes in place to make it happen.

This guarantee of course had significant implications for our client (like potentially having to take serious losses if they didn’t meet their deadlines). But like any good catalytic mechanism, the guarantee raised the bar for every manager and employee, and while there were a few payouts, Columbia Fuels happily reported that their operations are more efficient than they have ever been.

Agencies can come up with many ideas like the guarantee we proposed, but what makes the difference between a great idea, and truly great results, is a client who has the courage and conviction to implement it.


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