Laakkonen is by far the biggest retailer of cars on the Finnish car market, but the company also prides itself through its innovative marketing. Laakkonen has launched brave and creative ways of marketing their products and new services concept.

“Each year we’ve launched a huge campaign, where we give our customers a coupon with a value of €1,000 EUR, when they exchange their old car for a new one, before a certain deadline. In 2015 the campaign had a total value of 2 million EUR and it was launched on tv, radio and over the web. The single most important element in the campaign was however a coupon we handed out as unaddressed direct mail to households”, says Tea Koivisto, CMO at Laakkonen Group.

The car retail industry often uses addressed direct mail. Unaddressed direct mail is on the other hand rare. We believe unaddressed direct mail is effective and affordable, and with the tools provided by the SSM-chain, it is also possible to select certain distribution areas and target specific districts.

The ad by Laakkonen was noticed by 90% of the target group

Laakkonen operates in 19 areas. In total they have 28 shops that represent 19 car brands. Due to the large operations Laakkonen’s annual campaign is extensive. Direct mail has been sent to almost one million households throughout the country, From Helsinki to Kajaani.

“We first launched the campaign in 2014 and in 2015 we decided to repeat it. The results were already outstanding in 2014, but the following year they were absolutely brilliant. We had set our sales goals high and we’re happy to say we achieved almost everything we had aimed for.

Although customers didn’t have to bring the coupon to the shop, many actually did bring it along and handed it over to us at the counter. This showed us that people had noticed our direct mail and wanted to take advantage of the offer. A very good result”, Tea Koivisto tells us.

The campaign had been noticed by 90% of the readers and up to 50–60% of them had studied the offer in more detail, says Tea Koivisto.

The big coupon was a bonus

Laakkonen represents almost all car brands that are sold in Finland. Despite the used car sales form the largest brand for their business.

“We sell more than 20,000 used cars each year. That is why we wanted to launch a campaign that speeded up the trade even more. At the beginning of the year the sales were busy, having normally been quiet during this period. This was a direct result of the campaign we launched in January and February. The coupon we distributed was noticed and as a result sales peaked.

· It is extremely important to plan well. Our coupon had two sides to it; one looked just like a one thousand euro bill and the other side had information about the offer and the campaign. The coupon was so big, that it was hard not to notice it among the rest of the ads.

We have been more than happy with our co-operation with SSM and the campaign we planned together with them”, says Tea Koivisto.