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Direct Marketing Case Study: ‘The Think Tank’ moves beyond innovative

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In a new series of blog posts, we examine how companies are utilising direct marketing around the globe. We pull out key techniques, good and bad practice, and highlight important lessons we could all learn.
direct marketing case study darts

The idea behind our new series of direct marketing case studies is simple: to reveal what some of the most successful companies are doing and what we can all learn from them – even if it’s how NOT to do it.

First up, we’re looking at how UK-based marketing company, The Think Tank, created a global marketing campaign for a new 3D laser scanner. It was an award-winning campaign which garnered great results for its client Leica Geosystems.

Suffice to say, this case study lands squarely in the good practice box.

Product: Leica RTC360 3D Reality Capture Solution

leica direct marketing case study 2Huh? It’s a laser scanner which conjures up accurate 3D digital environments for the construction industry. In short, you place the scanner on a tripod, it performs a 360-degree, 3D scan of the room, and voila! it shows up on a tablet.

(Interesting fact: It was recently used to create a millimetre accurate digital representation of a Romanian cave to help with conservation efforts.)

The mission: The Think Tank were tasked with creating a multi-media, integrated marketing plan to create a buzz around the product, inform potential buyers of what it does and how it works, and land a heap of sales in the process.

Key channels: Electronic direct mail, paid social, native and display advertising.

What happened?

Here’s the thing about the new scanner (the Leica Geosystems’ RTC360): it’s reckoned to be innovative. Legitimately innovative. They believe it’ll transform laser scanning. For that reason, instead of just saying ‘here’s an innovative 3D laser scanner’ they coined a brand new name for it:

‘Reality Capture’

In doing so they carved out a distinct market for themselves which accurately reflects what the product does. Much better than proclaiming ‘we’re cutting edge’ like every other tech company on the planet.

They also identified three key attributes of the product which are – allegedly – its speed, agility and precision.

They needed to identify and reach their target audience (construction, plant and public safety sectors) and educate them about the benefits of the product.

Slick hard-copy data sheets were sent out to prospects plus a mix of electronic direct mail, paid social, native and display advertising.

direct marketing case study leica


  • Sales targets for the year were reached within only 6 months
  • Return on investment for the campaign reached 345:1 in just nine months.
  • The campaign delivered more than 14 million impressions, 22,000 online sessions and 3,121 goals achieved with a conversion rate of 14.1%.
  • The term ‘Reality Capture’ has taken hold and become synonymous with Leica Geosystems, with their website ranking in the top three for almost all related terms on Google globally.

Key lessons from this direct marketing case study

The importance of education is perhaps the key element of this marketing case study. It’s a new product, offering new capabilities for those working in the sector. The Think Tank was keen to avoid hanging the usual clichés on the product. Instead, they worked out the messaging that would best cut through to prospective customers.

A reminder to us all of the importance of tearing off the tired old labels and replacing them with something fresh. Time for a bit of reflection…

  • Are you guilty of using the same old labels everyone else is using?
  • Is there a better way that you can communicate your product?
  • Is it time to have a fresh conversation (with colleagues, clients and buyers) about what the product is, what it does and how it benefits customers?


If you have a direct marketing case study you’d like to share with us, please get in touch: (Put ‘direct marketing’ in the subject heading to help me spot it!)

Title image by Foto-Rabe from Pixabay

Mel Dixon
Author: Mel Dixon
Editor at Global Marketing Alliance

Editor and freelance writer wading his way through the world of data. One step at a time. Interested in data driven marketing insights supported by... data.

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