Georgia-Pacific Undertakes Relationship Marketing On Its Own

Apr 05, 2004

By John Hennessy

Here’s a good news/bad news story. The good news is that, according to the March 31, 2004 issue of Consumer Goods Technology, Georgia-Pacific is stepping up with an online relationship marketing program. Their objective is to better manage their online interactions with customers of their U.S. consumer brands.

The bad news is that they have chosen to pursue relationship marketing online, rather than in-store with one or several supermarket partners.

There could be any number of reasons for their decision. They certainly want to put their best foot forward with regard to any shopper who chooses to interact with Georgia-Pacific online. They may also be more comfortable with the smaller number of shoppers their online efforts will reach and unprepared to handle the much larger number they could connect with through an in-store program. Or perhaps online survey data gives them a better read on shopper intent than actual store purchase history.

Or maybe they couldn’t find a retail partner willing to work with them on a
relationship marketing program to support their products in the paper categories.

Moderator’s Comment: Should supermarkets view steps
like this as cries for help from manufacturers desperate for even modest ways
to invest in stronger customer relationships?

I applaud Georgia-Pacific’s investment in time, money
and resources to strengthen its relationship with its customers. However, it’s
unfortunate that they probably need to take this step on their own. They could
certainly fashion a much more powerful relationship marketing program in partnership
with one or several leading supermarkets to the benefit of Georgia-Pacific,
their supermarket partners and their shared customers.

Hennessy- Moderator

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