New York Cash Exchange is betting this year that less marketing does not translate into less market share.
Although innovative advertising blitzers have helped make NYCE one of the fastest-growing teller Machine networks, a smaller advertising budget this year has forced it to conduct a more focused campaign.
Meanwhile, Money Access Service, its chief competitor, has doubled its advertising budget. The company is blitzing its market with general awareness ads; it also has unvieled a new campaign to entice customers to pay for products with their teller machine cards, according to Melinda Mercurio, vice president and director of marketing at Mac.
Fewer Billings with Key Agency
NYCE is focusing on point-of-sale marketing this year, and instead of an expensive mass media campaign it has targeted a handful of stores. It has slowed its billings with Korey, Kay & Partners, the agency that helped conceive NYCE's award-winning campaign of 1990.
"There was not as much of the pot to take [this year]," said Joan Savarese, vice president of marketing.
NYCE, based in Hackensack, N.J., is setting up a data processing devision, and that project has diverted funds from marketing, she said. But she believes NYCE will do more mass media marketing next year.
A Push in Albany
NYCE is specifically targeting stores in the Albany area.
For example, Price Chopper grocery stores in the Albany area and Penguin Key Food Stores on Long Island are giving customers who have a NYCE coupon $2 off each purchase of more than $50 if they pay with their NYCE card.
Stewart's convenience store in Albany is giving out free ice crean cones for customers that pay with a NYCE card.
Quick Chek stores in New Jersey are offering customers a free cup of coffee or soft drink if they use their ATM card.
Coaxing the Customers
In many of these stores, NYCE has hired salespeople to coax shoppers to use the card instead of cash, and it has mailed 500,000 to 750,000 coupons in customer statements to tell them about it. It also has sent out, 10,000 coupons to a random sample of consumers.
Mac, meanwhile, is running a radio and print campaign in all six states it serves.
Those designed to promote general awareness run in New York, New Hampshire, and Maryland. Those designed to promote point-of-sale usage run in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.
The general-awareness radio ads feature a Mac spokesman interviewing users about what they like about their Mac card. Its print ads display the Mac logo and the campaign slogan "The new color of money."
Spot on Mets Broadcasts
With the help of its longtime agency Gray, Kirk/Van Sant in Baltimore, Mac gets regular space on New York Mets baseball broadcasts and a once a week ad in The New York Times.
Mac, which is owned by CoreStates Financial Corp. in Philadelphia, has also purchased a 4-by-28-foot sign at Camden Yards, the Baltimore Orioles' new baseball stadium.
Mac's point-of-sale ads, which are on radio and in print, promote a toll-free number that customer can call to find out which store will accept their cards.
Mac is also targeting potential users of point-of-sale terminals, like grocery stores, in trade magazines like Progressive Grocer.