DirectOne’s ‘Think Differently’ Strategy Strengthens Personal Connections

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In this mini-series, DMA sat down with the recipients of some of our most prestigious awards and honors, to celebrate their victories and learn more about the tools and strategies that led to their success.

The Personal Connections ECHO™ Award, sponsored by Pitney Bowes, recognizes excellent use of customer insights and marketing to create more personal and lasting customer relationships. This year, at the International ECHO™ Awards during DMA2013, DMA presented the Personal Connections ECHO Award to DirectOne Brazil and MAPFRE Insurance Brazil for their “Making Insurance Simple with Less Cost and Increased Relationship” campaign.

Jenny Abreu, DMA’s director, awards & recognition programs, caught up with Fernando Wosniak Steler, Founder & CEO, DirectOne / One to One Engine, to find out more about the secrets of Direct One’s success:

Jenny:  How is your organization empowering teams like yours to innovate and advance the needle on success?

Fernando: The continuous advancement in technological research and the challenge to innovate led the company to create the “OneTeam.”  This group is formed by employees who are encouraged to think diferently, with investment in salaries and training, this group has the key role to seek the “state of the art” in technology, processes and business models, in order to “dramatically change” the way our product works.

Our structure follows a collaborative framework, highlighting the team focused on innovation under the direct responsibility of the CTO (Technical Manager), with the participation of the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), CIO (Chief Information Officer) and UX Director.

All the employees who hold this view in inovation are eligible and encouraged by the company to join the innovation team. The company offers a differentiated career plan for them. In the medium term, we believe the concept of innovation should be unified in the company as a whole and not just in the innovation team.

Jenny: With data so abundant and technology so advanced, do you think the bar has been raised on what really qualifies as “innovation” and “excellence”?

Fernando: With the advent of digital media and social media, the rules of engagement were reversed. Before, companies looked for customers with whom they wished to engage through marketing campaigns or relationship programs. Nowadays, the customers are the ones who decide which company they want to start a relationship with — and how they want products or services to work for them.

The big consequence of this reversal is the huge amount of unstructured data generated (Big Data) that the companies need to deal with to keep products and services on track to minimize the gap in the dialogue between companies and each one of their customers.

Thus, personalized multichannel communication has become a necessity for managers, however, as most software are unprepared to create truly relevant personalized multichannel communications from end to end, the results are compromised.

Our company innovated when it decided to develop a Software as a Service for Marketing Automation integrated with DOCCM (Document Output Customer Communication Management) and to generate relevant personalized relationship with customers, integrating all digital channels with mobile and print (TransPromo) and supporting analytics in a online dashboard, using Cloud Computing and Big Data Analytics.

JennyHow was the strategy achieved through creativity in your winning campaign?

Fernando: Our client (MAPFRE Insurance) wanted to increase its market share and grow within the customer base. With these goals in mind, they decided to innovate across its value chain to improve relationships with customers and brokers and beyond this, reduce the high costs of production, printing and logistics.

Insurance companies, like many others, generate millions of documents, like policies, statements, bills and so on. Now, they merged all transactional documents with personalized promotional messages, so the TransPromo is a everyday practice, generating a strong ROI.  This completely changed the customers printed Welcome Kits . Now, these welcome kits have the function of directing them to a P-URL (Personalized URL), where clients can find personalized information about their contracts, all the benefits they have within the relationship program and the company can target them with relevant offers.

All MAPFRE Insurance  brokers have access to a online dashboard for BI (Business Intelligence), with all the information about their customers grouped and organized, to interact more efficiently with them and making the business partnership with MAPFRE even stronger.

The company management are also fully involved with the project ensuring managers and directors, access to a complete online dashboard to manage the operation in real time with policyholders and brokers.

This process enabled the automation of communication and to establish a personalized multichannel relationship with each client, and each broker, significantly expanding the business and providing considerable cost savings. In short, one- to-one marketing  achieved in an ongoing relationship  program, like any program that generates results.

Jenny:  How were the results were noteworthy for your industry or product/service category?

Fernando: Direct One is the only company in Latin America able to develop and maintain an integrated and automated process of personalized customer relationship management. Our exclusive technology, One to One Engine, allows to process the data from the moment it is received, generation relevant and pesonalized multichannel communications, and delievering the analityc reports at the end of the process. The exceptional results achieved in this case, reinforce our expertise in Big Data, data base management, campaign management and the creativity of our team in the use of personalized multichannel communication toghether with business inteligence. For the Latin America Insurance market, it was very unique initiative.

Jenny: What differentiated your campaign from others in its category or industry?

Fernando: The big difference was our ability to plan strategically, applying innovative technologies and creativity to establish personalized connections according to the profile of each one of the million of MAPFRE customers, making the relationship stronger and increasing by 30% insurance renewals. In addition, this strategic process allowed to: reduce the use of billions of paper sheets in the contract issuance as well as consolidate all the information in only one direct mail (color variable data print); make the multichannel Welcome Kit delivery far more efficient and profitable. Now, the Welcome Kit is composed of a 100% personalized print, hotsite with a personalized URL, e-mail and SMS.

Jenny:  Do customers and prospects value great marketing?

Fernando:  The meaning of Customer Relationship is completely diferent after the rise of the social media and Internet. The relationship between companies with their products/services and clients/prospects are changing mostly by the growth of the Internet and social medias. The clients want to be known by the companies and they are looking for especial offers made for them. Nowadays, customers are looking for companies they want to have a relationship and they want to choose how the products need to be. As a result, marketing based in inovation and creativity, suported by a new technologies will offer the possibility to create a permanent dialog with the customers and improve loyalty.

Jenny: Who would you like to thank for making your success possible?

Fernando:  First, we would like to thank our team. They really know how hard (and pleasurable) it is to face big challenges like this and also the innovative mind from MAPFRE Isurance Marketing and Operations departments. They took the risk to innovate and they get the results. Thanks to you all!


How do YOU use your marketing moxie to strengthen personal connections in your business?  Let us know your thoughts and ideas.