Archive for December, 2011
Over lunch my friend described the duress his associates were going through because of a switch from a fixed- to zero-based budgeting. In essence, department heads could no longer use last year’s budget adjusted for inflation. They instead had to cost justify each expenditure line item by line item. These are the signs of tighter times where ideally every dime spent brings in a return.
Regardless of which accounting system your company uses, be a good corporate citizen this year by conducting a marketing audit. December is a great month to reflect and plan given business-as-usual stalls due to the holidays, vacations, and in some cases inclement weather.
In a financial audit an accountant or analyst tears the books apart and helps the company put things back together in a more systemized order. In a marketing audit, chief marketing officers, and preferably an independent consultant, evaluate your company’s marketing assets, programs, and results. An audit answers the question, “ Have marketing goals been met?” “Why or why not?” “Which marketing channels are working best for us and why?” “Where do we need to put the bulk of our budget next year in direct mail or variable dating printing?”
“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”
My recommendation is to secure a conference room and pin each piece of each multi-channel campaign around the room with index cards pinned beneath with the results of that campaign, advertising push, PR blitz, or cause marketing piece.
The immediate visual of seeing your work pasted on four walls will tell you:
- if you were consistent with style and brand
- if you built in ample lead pull into your campaigns
- if the call to action hits you between the eyes or was weak
- if the drop and delivery dates made for a cohesive story or diluted your efforts
- if your direct mail pulled more than your email or vice versa
- if your PURL copy clinched the sale or fell flat
- if you could combine campaigns for more oomph or if you are running so few campaigns it’s a wonder that you can generate any calls or sales
I guarantee you will see things you missed during the campaign. Then invite some friends and colleagues in to review your work – feel free to call me, I’m happy to review your campaigns – no charge and no strings. With the help of outside perspective you will definitely gain views you can use next year. The single best way to spend wisely and increase ROI is by doing a marketing audit and revamping your 2012 budget with the lessons learned. May you have a Happy New Year filled with rocking marketing campaigns.
Paper or plastic? Both are possible with direct mail.
First Class,standard class, or Fed X? Again all three and more are possible with direct mail, which is scalable to your budget depending on the overall strategy and of course the budget.
In the July 2011 issue of Journal of Marketing, the results of a research project on multi-channel marketing (telephone calls, email, direct mail) for the service department of a large auto dealership was reported. Research found that customers accepted about twice as much direct mail, compared to phone calls and email, before spending levels started to decrease. The researchers hypothesized that “customers view physical mail as less intrusive than telephone calls or email—they can view such messages at their own convenience.”
We’ve pulled these facts that show direct mail is alive and being ripped open and read despite all the hype about consumers clicking and tweeting away on their digital devices instead:
- 61% of consumers prefer direct mail over other types of direct marketing
- 85% – say they open, sort, process and read selected pieces from their mail everyday. 15% let it accumulate unopened for 2 or more days
- 75% of consumers say they are examining their mail more closely in recent months for coupons and special offers that save them money
- 40% of consumers say that they have tried a new business after receiving direct mail from that business
- 70% report renewing a relationship with a business they previously ceased patronizing, as a result of receiving direct mail from the business inviting them back
SOURCE: DMNews Survey Conducted by Pitney Bowes, 2008
It’s funny, and a reminder of staying power, to look back on some of our modern day advancements. Below are five examples of products that have become obsolete and five that have stood the test of time, including direct mail which has been around since at least 1872.
|Stood Test of Time|
|Beepers or Pagers||Newspapers (since 1620)|
|Car phones. Land Lines||Direct Mail (since 1872 with Montgomery Ward catalogs)|
|Camera Film||Ice Cream Trucks (1936)|
|Printed Yellow Page Directories||Parades (1924 with Macy’s Thanksgiving parade)|
|Records, VHS, CD players||Town Hall Meetings (since 1633)|
Perhaps direct mail’s staying power and sales-conversation impact is why direct mail is Google’s best-kept marketing secret. Yes the king of online, mails for sales. It regularly mails to business people to sign up new customers for its PPC (pay for click) program.
So harness the power of direct mail in 2012. It’s the best-kept secret for companies who are surveying, fundraising, launching, re-launching, expanding, moving, publishing, cataloging, and staying relevant and in the black in their business sector today.