How many gift cards do you have sitting in a drawer? In your wallet or purse? If research is anything to go by, the answer is more than a couple at the very least.
American consumers purchase more than $170 billion in gift cards every year. But who is buying them? How did they decide what store to buy from? What are they using them for? It’s questions like these that keep retailers up at night – and Fiserv’s business humming.
A leader in global payments, Fiserv understands the value of gift cards for retailers. They provide a much-needed source of recurring revenue and engagement, while also simplifying the lives of consumers.
Fiserv wanted to provide its audience with a broader view of gift card trends and how consumers use them in their daily lives. The company partnered with Arketi Group to conduct in-depth research on the topic and then translate those findings into an integrated campaign that positions Fiserv as a trusted expert and industry resource.
Our work commenced with a meeting of the minds between Fiserv’s Gift Solutions division and Arketi’s integrated marketing experts. Together, we identified key pain points and trends Fiserv’s audience would find interesting and engaging – in addition to the industry at large.
We then researched the goings-on in the gift card marketplace to find unique conversational gaps Fiserv could own. Rather than mimic others, we wanted to help Fiserv develop a one-of-a-kind message and narrative.
From there, we developed a research calendar including six themes to explore throughout the next year:
These themes would be translated into 15-question, bimonthly surveys, with the results serving as the foundation for an integrated marketing and public relations campaign.
And, to ensure we hit the mark with every question, we established a Gift Solutions customer panel to evaluate our surveys. The customer panel provided valuable suggestions and guidance to ensure we addressed relevant pain points and challenges for retailers.
Our research and insights combined were branded the Fiserv Gift Card Gauge, a collection of marketing assets, including:
Tools in hand, we set out to share Fiserv’s Gift Card Gauge with our target audience. Our goal was to secure at least one earned media placement per survey and more than five new business opportunities throughout the year.
Each Gift Card Gauge exceeded our earned media goal: averaging five placements with key industry and national outlets, including Forbes and IBS Intelligence. The findings were also posted and leveraged as a resource for members of two leading industry associations – the Incentive Marketing Association and the Retail Gift Card Association.
What’s more, the Gift Card Gauge secured Fiserv approximately 15 proactive, inbound client inquiries per quarter, which well surpassed our goal. Along with increased revenue from new clients, the Gauges provided Fiserv’s sales team with a steady stream of cross-sell opportunities with existing customers.
Finally, Fiserv’s proactive Gauge distribution resulted in tremendous engagement, averaging a 20% email open rate and 5% click-through rate.
The program continues to grow and engage Fiserv’s target audience. Focusing on emerging industry and economic trends, the Gauge positions Fiserv as a trusted resource for retailers and differentiates the company from the competition with its unique, one-of-a-kind gift card expertise.
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