In March 2008, Odyssey OneSource, a Texas-based human resources outsourcing company, was named the #1 Professional Employer Organization/Administration Support Office (PEO/ASO) in the United States for 2007 by The Black Book of Outsourcing.
The award itself is a credible accolade for the company, but it was of no value at all if Odyssey's clients, alliances and potential customers weren't personally touched and informed of the meaning of this honor. Odyssey asked Pierpont to develop a creative and effective marketing program to inform clients and prospects to the recognition.
Odyssey employees knew the significance of an award of this stature. While the company was happy to thumb through the 80-plus pages of survey categories and statistics to uncover what it is about their company that makes them successful - and placed them above the competition - the challenge was finding the right way to condense the information into a marketable package that could be easily communicated to their target audiences.
What information is useful? What words will get the attention of our prospective clients? How will we communicate the message? How will this award ultimately bring us new business?
This is where Pierpont stepped in.
Pierpont invited Odyssey to a casual sit-down brainstorm where, as a group, we uncovered why the company was voted the best PEO/ASO in the country. Pierpont sifted through the survey statistics and picked out the performance areas where Odyssey scored highest.
Next, Pierpont persuaded Odyssey that the most cost-effective way for them to successfully deliver the message to the masses was with a direct mail campaign. Pierpont recommended developing a series of four postcards that would be a consistent "touch" of Odyssey's capabilities, strengths and solutions.
The copy and theme of the postcards was developed from the survey areas where Odyssey ranked highest. One word was selected for each of the four postcards. The goal was to convey a simple message with these words that would stand out and serve as key descriptors for the quality of service Odyssey offers. Pierpont blended those standout key words with the current Odyssey brand messages.
The postcards were sent out in two-week intervals and were strategically conceptualized to offer the messaging in a specific consecutive order. The four themes included:
- Odyssey chose to base the first card on employees because they are the most important factor in a successful business.
- Odyssey offers many services that assist businesses in training, processes and development of their employees.
- If plans such as these are not currently in place, Odyssey wanted their prospects to know they can begin implementation of new processes immediately with Odyssey as their PEO/ASO.
- Odyssey chose this as a focus word to inform prospects of their commitment to custom quality work.
- Odyssey is a PEO/ASO that includes outside the box questions regarding honesty and integrity within their auditing process.
- Odyssey prides itself on not being a one size fits all outsourcing company.
- It is important for prospects to know that Odyssey gets the job done right the first time.
- Their custom-made plans allow them to anticipate the needs of a company and act on issues immediately.
- The final postcard pulled together the qualities described in the previous three mailings.
- This postcard leaves the prospect with the notion that Odyssey has the answer to their HR needs.
All strong marketing campaigns must offer a call to action for the customer. Pierpont encouraged Odyssey to set up an HR Audits Web site where alliances, clients and potential customers were able to download white papers and explore other educational resources. The main pull in drawing traffic to the Web site was the chance to register for a free HR audit. Each postcard included copy that directed the reader to the site for additional information.
The campaign proved to be a success. To date, it has driven several potential clients to the HR audits site to learn more about Odyssey's offerings, and communicated to their entire database that they were honored as the best in the business at what they do.