Tech Line

SAP Marketers: Direct Mail Today Is a 'Personal Experience'

A while back, SAP Concur's Misty Duran (Director, Program Management, Enterprise Americas) and Courtney Buskirk (Director Field Marketing, Commercial) shot a short video discussing how PFL's direct mail solution is being used to go beyond merely talking about products to making personal connections and accelerating deals. Here is an edited version of the presentation. The video can be viewed here.

The SAP marketing team knew that direct mail was a key component to their success, but Misty Duran and her team believed they had to change the way they viewed it. They instinctively knew direct mail could work harder for them. 

“In the past,” said Misty Duran, “direct mail was almost viewed negatively as junk mail. We wanted to transition that into personal experiences—to get in front of our prospects and customers in a way that they felt personally connected with us.” They also wanted the inside sales team to understand that direct mail, done right, can have a real impact on their ability to hit quota and achieve bonuses.

According to Courtney Buskirk, to break through the noise and the clutter, “we knew we had to advance our direct mail strategy and overhaul our system. In a world where people are looking to be connected, we wanted to shift and reprioritize our direct mail so we could make connections through different stages of the lifecycle.” The SAP marketers aimed to go beyond just talking about a product, to really connect with customers at the right time with the right message to make them feel understood and supported.

Key Metrics Get a Boost

Duran explained that the return on investment from SAP’s experience with PFL has been pretty huge. “Before we relied on our inside sales team to send on a one-on-one basis,” explained Duran. “With PFL technology, we were able to send high-quality kits one-to-many. So, utilization went up by five times and we are seeing deal sizes that are twice as large as before.” Duran also noted that the number of people who showed up for the webinars they registered for doubled. “So,” said Duran, “we had two X results in a lot of key metrics that we care about, which is driving a lot of impact. All of which made our inside sales team want to use it more, once they saw direct mail could help them achieve their quotas.”

Buskirk pointed out the importance of thinking of direct mail differently. “So not only are we able to leverage PFL in-house, for internal enablement, but we’ve also leveraged it externally,” she said. “Not just to get a conversation going—we’re also accelerating deals, using them for events, using them for printing services. We’re using PFL for shipping, too, for events and trade shows. It’s so much more than just direct mail.”

Open to New Ideas

The beauty of working with PFL, according to Duran, is that “they are open to finding new ideas with us—they’re along for the ride. If we have an idea, and if it’s something that they’ve never done before, they’re willing to figure it out with us.” Really great customer support is also something the SAP marketing team praised PFL for. 

In the end, said Duran, working with PFL has “allowed us to kind of be superstars within our own team because we get to be experimental.”

Finally, noted Duran, everybody who started working from home during the pandemic made it harder to make direct mail work for business-to-business because people were no longer at the office. “Instead,” said Duran, “we found ways to collect home addresses and direct mail became the top-performing tactic that we had in all of our marketing campaigns because it was a way for us to be personal and in front of people. We can be creative as we want to be because PFL will support it.”