Friday, September 5, 2008

Hallmark Crown Rewards

Duncan (2004, p 226) says that Hallmark does not rely much on demographics in its marketing analysis but instead “places much more emphasis on psychographics.” An artist with Hallmark explained that the relationship rather than the age is the essential element in their work. A program like Crown Rewards can help build an informative database of customer attributes and behavior patterns and add supersonic energy to their creative work, marketing communications, and strategic planning. It can even keep the company's market share intact, like it did for a Hallmark that was troubled in the early 90s.

They were hurting in the 1990s (see Hallmark History) because the world had changed and caught them unawares. They “had fallen victim to changing buying patterns in particular among women, who still bought 90 percent of all cards sold.”

Since implementing the program in 1994, the company has avoided the dire decline. Hallmark gains twice the revenue from Crown Rewards members than from general customers. Here is an internal study by Phillip Morris on Hallmark and its use of the consumer database and the uplifting effect the Crown Rewards program had on the Hallmark company (see Phillip Morris on Crown Rewards Database).

In addition to helping Hallmark, the Crown Rewards consumer database also supports the marketing efforts by Hallmark retail franchise stores, such as Mark’s Hallmark Stores (see iPass Case Study). Besides access to the Crown Rewards database, Hallmark also sells access to its high-speed data communications network named Hallmark/iPass. It is also useful for Hallmark subsidiaries such as Crayola.

When we are creating an account for the Crown Rewards Program, Hallmark asks if its affiliated companies can e-mail about special offers (see Hallmark Registration). This extends the psychographic profiling capabilities of Hallmark to companies such as Crayola, which probably could not afford to maintain such sophisticated data analytics functionality on their own. (see Crayola History)

Hallmark is a great study because it shows a hidden motive – the data motive- in loyalty programs.

Duncan, Tom (2005). Principles of Advertising and IMC. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

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