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Gold-winning Grocery Direct Mailer

In 2018, CLEAResult’s Marketing Services team won three MarCom Gold awards for work done on behalf of energy utility clients. This is the story behind the MarCom Gold winning Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) Grocery Premium Direct mailer, a campaign that reconsidered direct mail in a time and industry where “print is dead.”


In collaboration with KCP&L and our program and outreach teams, we developed, applied and executed an account-based marketing approach to raise awareness of KCP&L’s expertise and financial incentives within the grocery and industrial sectors. Our marketing intel pointed to these sectors as top verticals to pursue within the KCP&L service territory—both showing untapped energy savings potential. This type of endeavor would position KCP&L as a thought leader and trusted resource, and effectively move these commercial end users towards premium energy efficient products versus the lowest cost options.

The Grocery campaign–which would go on to win a MarCom Gold in the Print Media category–utilized the talents of marketers and outreach teams across our inhouse agency. It included a direct mailer to 100 key contacts, Zoominfo reporting that helped identify relevant contacts, Google AdWords with customer match, personal outreach, a technical refrigeration sell sheet, a series of emails and industry-relevant webpages. Messaging was critical, and our marketing and creative teams dug into backgrounds and pain points of grocery retailers to really understand the initiatives these business owners cared about.

Instead of burying the lede behind overarching “saving energy is easy” or “reduce energy costs” type messages, atypical benefits were brought to the forefront with stats to back them up. Messages were focused on solutions tied to the top problems that keep grocery executives up at night, like labor issues, competition and technological advancements. Specifically, we connected the dots between energy efficiency upgrades and improved employee productivity and customer experience, increased equipment lifecycle and sales, and reduced spoilage, labor and operating costs.

The brown paper grocery mailer defied the “print is dead” notion—our teams reinvent the traditional customer experience every day, and this clever, tactile direct mailer of “canned goods” with customer-centric labeling hit the mark, and wowed our utility client and their customers.

This award-winning Grocery campaign was the product of good insight and good collaboration across teams. Key take-aways are:

  • This campaign positioned KCP&L as a knowledgeable (not just financial) resource and helped this sector see energy efficiency upgrades from a different angle
  • Email open rates started at 20% following first messages
  • Google AdWords garnered 86,000 impressions at $1.66 per click
  • This sector was ranked at the top in 2018, with projects estimated to save the most kWh annually compared to other participating sectors within the KCP&L Business Energy Savings program
  • And canned Pringles are breakable—we’d probably go with nuts or chocolate balls in the future

MarCom, administered by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals (AMCP), an international organization that manages recognition programs and whose judges are made up of industry professionals, has become one of the largest, most respected creative competitions in the world.


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