ThompsonConnect, the direct marketing division of the JWT group, has charted out an ambitious growth plan. In the last seven months alone, starting January 2004, the agency has snapped up 15 new businesses
with a total annualised billing of Rs 25 crore.
The DM agency has also set up an e-CRM database management system in Mumbai. This is the first time when a DM agency has set up a database management platform of such scale anywhere in the world. The project cost runs into crores and runs on Oracle 11i software.
Glen Ireland, VP & business development director, ThompsonConnect, says, "Such database systems will aid tomorrow's communication effectiveness. Actually, it's time that marketers realise how much money goes down the drain on advertising, that is not target specific. DM, as an alternative communication option, has the advantage of using technology like the Oracle 11i suite to target a brand's the best customers, who are usually the biggest profit contributors."
The next technology-led innovation will be implementing SMS and e-mail based mailers the next level of one-to-one communication.
Meanwhile, in continuation with JWT's approach towards brand building through TTB (Thompson Total Branding), the DM division too believes that planning is an integral part of direct marketing strategy and has put select people to provide strategic inputs to certain key clients. "DM is now more strategic than just tactical," Ireland adds.
As for client acquisition and servicing existing clients, the five branches of ThompsonConnect are doing roaring business. The Delhi branch, for example, under Anjali Nair, services new clients like Tata Telecom, VLCC, and some of the customer acquisition/retention activities of John Players (the apparel brand of ITC).
The Mumbai branch, under Sumantra Sengupta, will be handling new projects of high profile clients like Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Unit Trust of India, and Godrej & Boyce, while the Bangalore branch, led by Atul Kaushal, looks after clients like Wipro some work for Stanchart's credit card division, and Hindustan Lever (for the 'Brooke Bond' club of the beverages division), and software company, Citrix. Plus, there's a service loyalty programme (Car Gainz) by Ford Motors which is being handled by the Chennai branch.
The DM-specialist company has run close to 250 customer acquisition/retention programmes till date.
All in all, ThompsonConnect has some 45 clients and is arguably one of the largest relationship marketing companies in India. Thirty-five per cent of these businesses have come to ThompsonConnect from non-JWT clients.
It is regarded as the pioneer of DM in India by industry pundits. Way back in the 1994, it had introduced the Flying Returns loyalty programme for Air-India and had run the famous Doctors' programme for Glaxo, where some 4 lakh doctors were connected through direct mail. © 2004 agencyfaqs!