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How Brand Stimulates Demand


A crowd of more than 110 regional marketers gathered at the PDMA’s luncheon meeting on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 in King of Prussia, PA to hear the “insider’s track” on how a bank without branches has grown from a simple idea to a business with $80 billion in assets and six million customers in just seven years. 
“The best return on investment may be in brand advertising, not in direct response,” proclaimed Jurie Pieterse, director of brand management, ING DIRECT.  “But both disciplines can, and do work, together.  We see a more efficient investment mix in our direct response activities when it is tied to our brand-building activities.” 
Pieterse provided plenty of examples of how brand advertising helps stimulate demand and need from those consumers who might not otherwise have been moved to action by direct response advertising alone. 
“You can support a brand through direct response but only if you meet an emotional need in the consumer,” he said.  “Branding creates a favorable disposition about what you have to offer so when the direct mail piece shows up there is a level of awareness and trust built in – something to which the consumer can connect.” 
When asked about differentiation, Pieterse shared how ING DIRECT gives consumers a positive feeling about its brand, while underscoring its “save your money” proposition.
For example, some brand experience events included ING DIRECT’s sending out orange jumpsuit-clad representatives to pump free gas at gas stations and to give free train passes to commuters at train stations. 
“While the person who lines up six hours before the gas station opens to participate in such a give-away may not always be the customer with the most money in the bank, the word of mouth that this sort of publicity brings supports our brand.  It also helps us achieve a high level of awareness and message association as the bank that wants to help people save their money,” said Pieterse. 
Pieterse offered three “must-haves” for successfully balancing direct response and branding:

  • Invest in brand building to maximize direct marketing effectiveness.
  • Leverage the strength of data to understand brand effect.
  • Differentiation is key to creating long-term growth. 

The PDMA’s next luncheon meeting is slated for Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at Maggiano’s Little Italy Restaurant in King of Prussia, PA.  The luncheon and presentation runs from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 PM.  The cost for PDMA members is $45; non-members pay $60.  To register online, visit  For information, call the PDMA at 610-642-2616 or e-mail:
The PDMA continues to make a special introductory offer to non-members.  Any non-member who attends a PDMA educational event will be reimbursed the cost of the event if he or she joins the association within 30 days (a $60 value).  To register online, visit or call the PDMA office at 610-642-2616. 

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