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Home Delivery/USA Of course it’s important to know your customer, but for Packard Bell, it became crucial to get to know its retail salespeople – and to get them to know Packard Bell.

“We feel very strongly that if you have an opportunity to affect someone who’s influencing 140 qualified buyers a week, then you do it,” says Packard Bell advertising manager Marla Sandall.


Packard Bell had become the nation’s largest seller of home PCs by offering technologically advanced machines, complete with software, for prices at or below $1,000. It wasn’t long before competitors mimicked the formula, however, and challenged the company’s leadership position. To seize it back, Packard Bell hired New York City’s b. little & co. to gain an edge with Gen X computer-slingers.

“Most of our end-users are first-time buyers,” says Sandall. “They depend on the assistance and advice of retail sales associates.”

Packard Bell sought to build relationships with salespeople using a breakthrough communications vehicle that would impart product knowledge and service improvements. Considering the crowd, b. little thought it might be a good idea to entertain them as well.

Home Delivery consisted of three mailings to the homes of some 5,000 salespeople, who were pre-sold to the program by field-force visits to more than 1,000 stores. To grab attention and increase openability, the packages were designed to resemble food deliveries. The first, sent in June ’97 was a pizza box, followed by a chicken bucket in September and Chinese takeout in November.

Inside each package was a CD-ROM packed with an eclectic mix of music, videos, and Packard Bell product info, but even that was executed in entertaining fashion tailored to a generation used to digesting data in small bytes. One cartoon segment entitled, “I Was an Online Bride,” touted Packard Bell computers’ Internet capabilities with a humorous tale of love on the Web.

Follow-up research found that Home Delivery truly hit home. Sixty-four percent of saleperson targets said they spent at least four sessions with the CD-R0M, and 36 percent played it seven times. An average session lasted 20 minutes.

Most importantly, 74 percent of sales associates said their perception of Packard Bell improved after Home Delivery.


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