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Iris nation/HMRC

Analysis for the awareness campaign for Working Tax Credits

Introduction

Iris nation is one of the world’s leading independent integrated marketing services agencies, with whom Aszent has partnered since 2005, providing data services to the majority of their key client teams.  They specialise in youth oriented brands, such as Sony Ericsson, SoCo, Adidas, and invest in undertaking specialist market research into their target audiences.  They also have a specialist Not for Profit team, who work exclusively on NGOs, charity and government agency brands.   Iris nation is a rostered agency of the COI, one of the biggest spenders in direct marketing over the last three years.

The requirement

HMRC were conscious of Working Tax Credits being unclaimed by eligible audiences, and from their initial research, attributed this to lack of comprehension of the scheme by the public.  There appeared to be an assumption that only low paid families could claim this benefit, whereas the fact of the matter was that the benefit is available to anyone who earns less than £11 500 per annum, irrespective of age or lifestage.

Iris nation were asked to respond to this dilemma and their response was a partnership  campaign targeted at employers rather than employees as it would be:

  1. Cost effective – targeting fewer decision makers to disseminate the benefits via employee packs, briefings, wageslips, etc
  2. An aide for relationship building between the HMRC, employer and employees – the campaign could be regarded as corporate social responsibility towards the low paid employees

Aszent were asked to make recommendations on which employers to target, the volume of them and then provide the contact details so that iris could call each relevant decision maker to initiate discussions on the campaign.

The challenges

There were a number of challenges:

  • Restricted budget – the HMRC had very limited funds and so the amount of funding available to buy in specialist lists and data was non existent; likewise, the campaign had to deliver a high ROI, but could not reach everyone so a prioritisation list had to be compliled
  • A distinct lack of accurate and detailed data on employers in the UK: their size, industry, contact details, relevant decision maker, etc
  • No data or information on those eligible from the HMRC – strict inter department regulations meant that they could not pass on information to the COI, who were running the campaign on their behalf.

What we did

  1. The first step was to assess the dimensions of the target audience, in this case, those earning less than £11 500 pa.  After much scouring around of the data market we found a bi-annual survey (ASHE) commissioned by the government which helped us to forecast likely volumes of adult workers earning less than £11 500 pa, and who had no children.   This was the most detailed of survey data that we could locate and provided a good platform on which to identify the sectors that needed to be targeted.
  2. The next step was to identify the typical or most populated sectors where we could reach the highest volume of eligible low wage earners, thus provide a high ROI on the campaign costs.  We interrogated the ASHE Survey data and identified the most relevant sectors, six in all, for the partnership approach.
  3. We then calculated the likely number of low wage earners based upon ratios known on gender and age.  This was validated by cross-calculations on each sector.
  4. The  next stage was to recommend how to reach these sectors, so we opened up discussions with specialist B2B list managers and brokers and negotiated a deal for the COI/HMRC on the best lists.   This helped iris to prepare a final budget for the campaign so that the HMRC could approve or reassign the costs.
  5. The analysis was presented to the HMRC for approval.

The benefits

Our rigorous search for data and the detailed analysis of it helped to find the most cost effective volumes to include within the partnership programme, which had a very limited budget.  Iris achieved a 4:1 ROI at the end of the 12 month campaign.

OH MY GOD! This is so fantastic. Thank you so much for all your work on this. Life will be so much easier now. Very excited… — Rachel Hirons, Insight Analyst, Global Radio


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