Arandell Corp. Combines the Power of Print and Digital
The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company uses omnichannel marketing and leverages consumer data to increase brand loyalty and revenue for its customers.
In the retail industry, a strong omnichannel presence is critical to a brand’s survival and Arandell Corporation believes its marketing and mailing strategies for those customers should be no different. “You can’t just only be a printer anymore,” Director of Data Solutions Jake Hoffman says. “Customers are looking for guidance beyond just the ability to put ink on paper and be successful. There are so many other factors that brands are looking to us to be experts in and giving them the do’s and don’ts along the way.”
Printing has been at the heart of Arandell’s business since its inception nearly a century ago. However, the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company remains agile because it recognizes that connecting brands with their customers goes beyond printing. Adding digital printing as a complement to its core business allows its customers to reach their customers in a variety of formats.
“Our customers say they love the catalog and will continue doing it, but they recognize the long production cycle,” Hoffman explains. “If months pass between catalog drops, brands recognize they need to have additional touchpoints in between that time. Our digital transformation is embracing our customers’ needs, which require digital printing and direct mail-type formats.”
Marketing has evolved from direct mail only to all digital and then to brands choosing one or the other. Arandell sees successful marketing as a combination of both. “The best thing is to have digital and direct mail working together,” Hoffman says. “We see digital and direct mail being the power couple to long-term success.”
Arandell produces and mails more than 1 billion catalogs per year. Its customers range from Fortune 500 companies to some of the top retailers throughout the United States.
Its offset printing process involves a continuous roll of paper that is fed through the printing press. Pages are separated and cut to size after they have been printed. In general, web offset printing is used for high-volume publications such as mass-market books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs and brochures. Arandell focuses solely on catalogs.
While catalogs are still an essential tool for marketers today, the traditional catalog for big-box retailers is going away. “Historically, we would print millions of copies for several big-box retailers and mail them to everyone,” Hoffman says. “There was no sophistication when it came to targeting or segmentation.”
Today, Arandell sees its customers taking a strategic approach to marketing their customer bases. Hoffman’s primary focus is working with data and analytics to optimize its customer’s catalog mailings. “We take the time to look at what people are planning on mailing, [and] when, and giving them the guidance to be as successful as possible,” he says. “One of the first things we do is look at the data they are planning to use to drive that.”
Analyzing the Data
In terms of the data its customers utilize, Arandell found a lot of room for improvement when it comes to “postal hygiene,” which means making sure who you plan to mail to is really at that address. “If you look at market cost per unit and what it costs to send a catalog versus email versus running a display ad, catalogs are a much higher price point and we have a heightened sensitivity to make sure every piece counts,” Hoffman says. “In doing so, we save brands money, ensure deliverability and see an increase in response rate.”
For example, a retailer was looking to develop a store-branded credit card with rewards redemption based on in-store purchases. The retailer had focused much of its efforts on optimizing processes in its digital channels and let its in-store experience initiatives fall short.
By using credit card models that were proprietorially developed, Arandell identified a target segment of customers who had multiple lines of credit, carry a balance and met the necessary preliminary financial questions. From the modeling process, customers who scored in the two upper deciles were forwarded to the credit bureau for credit score final approval.
Arandell helped launch a rewards program to motivate the retailer’s customers to increase their monthly spend and strengthen their engagement and loyalty to the retailer. Arandell and its client conducted a comprehensive analysis on the most recent mail file using Arandell’s Power Analysis™, which incorporates a suite of address integrity solutions.
Through Arandell’s analysis, the company identified more than 50 percent of the file contained data that was inaccurate, undeliverable, outdated or duplicated.
Through the process, Arandell lowered the client’s per piece direct mail cost by 5 percent. After updating and correcting the file for the next mailing, response rates were 6 percent higher than previous mailings.
As a result of this, Arandell says it worked in conjunction with its client to develop a program that increased in-store purchases and overall brand loyalty.
Arandell is now working with its customers to capture website traffic behavior and converting that to direct mail. “A lot more brands are using direct mail, but it’s being driven by online data capture,” Hoffman says.
Moving forward, Arandell expects its work mix to continue to evolve as it on-boards new clients and because it feels strongly about the power of print combined with digital marketing.
“I think the reason why we are bullish about the longevity of print is because we do it every day and we see it be successful,” Hoffman says. “When we look at the volume, sales numbers and brands that are winning, we see that it’s working. If it wasn’t, people wouldn’t be rushing to get into print.”