New Pig

Sep 01, 1998 9:30 PM  By

Industrial safety products cataloger New Pig regularly receives praise for its loyalty-engendering marketing. Nonetheless, the Tipton, PA-based mailer still sees room for improvement and is readying an aggressive planning and needs analysis to determine how to retain and grow its market share.

Spinning off catalogs is already part of the agenda. In early August, New Pig mailed a 34-page spin-off of mats and other floor safety products to its entire customer file. (The cataloger won’t disclose the size of the file.) New Pig’s quarterly newsletter on worker safety and compliance issues, which the company’s top customers receive regularly, accompanied the catalog.

The Floor Safety book, which follows the April spin-off of Hoofmark, a cleaning products catalog, includes roughly 30 products from the core catalog-called a Pigalog-and 67 new products, which will also be incorporated into future Pigalogs. A second drop of Floor Safety is scheduled for October.

The specialized catalogs are part of an effort to “get a bigger share of the customer’s wallet,” says Tom Tweedie, catalog marketing manager for the nearly $70 million company. “One option the company is looking at is customizing its direct mail pieces to its top 20% of customers. Instead of just a catalog, some clients may receive marketing packages or programs.”

Unlike many other companies looking to fine-tune their marketing tactics, New Pig doesn’t have to scramble to collect customer data. It already has 10 years’ worth of buyer information, garnered from transactions and from annual surveys that gauge customer satisfaction and product reliability. “We’re trying to figure out how to put the data into a usable marketing format,” Tweedie says, “so that we can go back to customers with [products and promotions that meet] their wants and needs.”

To allow for quicker planning, New Pig is looking at bringing its outsourced database in-house. “We’ll be able to run a quick query and know in minutes whether we’re talking about a segment of 3,000 or 100,000 names,” Tweedie says.

The company is also evaluating the viability of loyalty programs. “We’re trying to figure out who’s being loyal,” Tweedie says. “Is it the company or the person placing the order? And with a points program, do you want to reward a guy who’s placing an order on a company’s behalf?” It may make more sense, he feels, to mail more catalogs or increase outbound telephone calls instead.

Web empowerment The company is also looking closely at the customization benefits of e-mail. “Particularly in the type of business we’re in, with e-mail we can communicate regulatory updates in a timely fashion with little intrusion on the customer. The recipient can read it or not and can choose to opt in or out,” Tweedie says.

Tweedie claims that orders placed through the Website are steadily increasing, although he won’t disclose figures. Here, too, New Pig sees room for improvement. It’s considering equipping its site with programs that will automatically calculate freight cost for orders and enable clients to track their shipments.