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Charity move benefits branding

FOR a company involved in an industry that is low in the “trust” stakes direct marketing of its services becomes a tough task.

However, real estate marketing company Clientforce has devised a way to gain some credibility and improve the chances of consumers retaining direct mail messages.

Clientforce essentially piggybacks off the credibility of one of the highest trusted industries in Australia – charities.

The company designs postcards like direct mail material that contain a real estate agent’s company details on one side and informative charity-based information on the other.

Clientforce managing director Mark Da Silva said the system had proved a success for agents, charities and the company.

“In 2001 we had Neighbourhood Watch and we sold 10 million marketing cards to real estate agents,” he said.

“In 2002 we had St John Ambulance and we sold 20 million. We have just signed up the Cancer Council and in the last five days we have sold one million cards.”

Mr Da Silva said the charities’ messages were valued by consumers, who were not only more likely to keep the marketing messages but also to make a valid link between the real estate promotion and the charity.

“Quantum Marketing did a research survey and real estate agents had a 2 per cent trust factor.

I think convicted felons had 6 per cent,” he said.

“We basically say you have the opportunity to brand yourself alongside a reputable association.”

Mr Da Silva said while the material was more expensive than conventional mail-outs, real estate companies from across Australia were finding the direct marketing campaign worthwhile for business.

“One of Victoria’s largest agencies is a client with us and it has been growing. If you compared it against the photocopied letter it would be more expensive,” he said.

Given that the charity has its messages marketed across the country free of charge it is a promotions model that has been well received.

A spokeswoman from The Cancer Council Australia said it was a good promotional opportunity that provided exposure for messages that it had control over.

“We would have complete control over the content and look of the cards – which was critical to us,” she said.

The spokeswoman said the promotion also allowed the charity to circulate a number of messages during the year.

Mr Da Silva said Clientforce was now in the process of finding a charity to provide messages for its next batch of direct marketing cards.

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