Posts tagged Multi-Channel Marketing

Direct Mail is on the Skids – Or is it?

1588029641 250x250 Direct Mail is on the Skids   Or is it? The Response Rates of Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns still support the need for “hybrid marketing”, better known as cross-media marketing techniques. Digital media and direct mail actually complement each other, and because of this fact, there will continue to exist a strong need for direct mail marketing in the indefinite future.

The integration of print and digital media is still generating leads at a superior ROI and, particularly in some specific types of organizations, this will continue to form a reliable part of marketing strategies. Not only that, but tying the two channels of direct and digital marketing together can form a powerful vehicle for improving a companies client base. At the moment, this combination is essential for laying the foundation for mobile and video communication-based campaigns in not a few industries.  Response Rates of Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns depend largely on how intelligently direct mail is integrated into existing strategies. Used insightfully, direct mail is a reliable tool for boosting response rates and setting the foundation for long-term client commitment.

Response Rates of Cross-Media Campaigns in cases where direct mail marketing is used, are influenced by  two major factors: which types of businesses use them (which is a very flexible determinant) and/or how they are used to complement existing inbound marketing strategies. Banks, universities and colleges, casinos, insurance companies are the organizations benefiting from and will continue to benefit from direct mail marketing because they are able to continue increasing their client base at a cheaper and more effective rate through personalized marketing techniques than static ones.

There are neurological reasons for this. Research conducted at Bangor University  shows that physical media effects human memory differently as it creates a more profound emotional response. This in turn, will hypothetically cause for more positive brand-associations – something of particular importance where the above-mentioned  industries are concerned. Since clients are often being asked to entrust large sums of money with them, trust is of a premium.

As to understanding the more pertinent question: whether or not cross-media is more useful for generating more leads,  the research that has been singularly helpful in understanding the various Response Rates of Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns are as follows:

  • Reports from the DMA (Direct marketing Association)
  • The PODi report (carried out by the Digital Printing Initiative.)
  • The CMO (Chief Marketing Officer’s council) report.
  • A collection of other reports stored in the MindFire Inc database.

What these reports have indicated is that personalized marketing techniques have a vital place for marketers, while static campaigns (those allowing for no flexible integration between direct marketing and digital platforms) are simply not as effective in terms of  ROI performance.

The conclusion then, should be clear: the shift towards increasing digital marketing has not changed the need for direct-mail marketing. In fact, direct mail marketing is still pivotal as a launching pad for digital marketing campaigns, and will continue to be so in future.

 

Does Your Data Support That?

mobile interface1 250x166 Does Your Data Support That?

Trends Marketing Needs to Stay on top of Due to Data

The whole “big data” phenomenon may be overstated in the business and tech media at this point, but for good reason: Companies are proving time and time again that a data-driven approach leads to smarter business decisions and often creates a competitive edge.

As a result, more businesses — even small and medium-sized businesses — are turning to solutions that help them harness the power of big data to do everything, from more accurately tracking inventory to listening and engaging in relevant online social conversations. As the data universe continues to grow exponentially, tools are rapidly being developed and deployed

More Data Regulations are Imminent

While the marketing and advertising industries successfully deflected major regulations in 2012 through intense lobbying efforts, new regulations in 2013 are highly likely to be passed due to the sheer number of bills and other initiatives currently in the works, along with the need for laws to catch up with the fast pace of innovation in this area:

  • Following the release in March 2012 of a two-year investigation on consumer privacy in the digital age, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission endorsed legislative action around data privacy, including the creation of “do-not-track” mechanisms in web browsers that help consumers opt-out of online behavioral tracking and targeting. Efforts by the industry to self-regulate DNT were stalled at the end of 2012; the consequence may lead to legislative action on the issue.
  • Retiring Democratic Senator from West Virginia, John D. Rockefeller IV, launched an inquiry into information brokers like Acxiom, Epsilon and Rapleaf last October to better understand their practices and determine if they handle consumers’ personal data appropriately.
  • Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) recently released a draft bill called “The Application Privacy, Protection, and Security Act of 2013,” or the APPS Act, targeted at creating guidelines for data collection, retention and sharing practices of mobile app developers. With other initiatives at various stages in the works, expect more attempts — and some successes — to introduce new marketing and advertising regulations in 2013.

Don’t Put Your Phone Down

The sheer size of the mobile audience, along with the diverse capabilities and immediacy that modern mobile technology can deliver, has prompted organizations to go back to the drawing board with their website and application designs to account for the unique features of mobile devices. Smaller screen sizes, touch interfaces, push notifications, location services … they are all pushing practitioners and technology firms to rethink their approach to design to help them reach their audience in a clear way.

It should be noted that the “large screen” desktop interfaces are not going away anytime soon, especially in the workplace, meaning that design ultimately needs to be multi-modal. Some companies are approaching this issue by building responsive layouts that automatically adapt depending on the browser or screen size. Others are taking a more piecemeal approach by designing for a particular channel or, in the case of mobile apps, designing for a particular device or operating system. Are you designing your multi-channel campaigns with mobile in mind?

Interestingly, some of the design elements born out of the necessity to create usable interfaces on smaller screens are now becoming common in designs for larger screens. The interface of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 OS is probably the starkest example of this phenomenon, but there are plenty of others. Forms are becoming less dense and easier to use due to the lack of space of many inputs and large drop-down menus, and icons are being designed and implemented in more meaningful ways to reduce interface clutter. In other words, mobile is driving more simplicity in interface design, which is a step in the right direction for creating more user-friendly digital experiences.

The Road Map for InfoTrends’ Digital Marketing & Media Trends (DMM) Consulting Service helps companies understand how to harness the power of interconnected media effectively to meet their business objectives. To read the full DMM report, visit www.infotrends.com.

Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

v. man 250x250 Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action guest posted a terrific blog at Copyblogger: Are You a Marketing Artist or Scientist? In it he describes two distinct tribes that most marketers fall into (1) the right-brain types that like to create and find inspiration in coffee shops journaling and brainstorming about their next blog, podcast, video or creation or (2) the left-brain types that are most on fire when they get to use gadgets to crunch numbers, run split tests or compare data sets.

McGuinness explains it matters not which camp you fall into. What matters is that both camps work closely together to achieve optimum marketing outcomes for your organization. While ethereal writers can create magnetic content in itself it isn’t marketing until the scientists optimize it to be found and shared on the web.

And while marketing scientists are terrific at setting up variable data projects,analysis models and optimizing content to be keyword and SEO rich and for capturing names and IP addresses via landing pages and micro sites, they aren’t good at creating copy or content that screams read me, share me, and use me to make your buying decision right now!

You Need Both Disciplines to Succeed

McGuinness goes on to say that while at one time you could succeed with just killer content or killer PPC, now you need a mixture of the art and science to succeed. Dave Reibstein, co-author of Marketing Metrics, agrees.

Read Reibstein’s full excerpt here about blending the art and science of marketing.

Allen Weiner of Gartner for Marketing Leaders shares three companies that he feels is blending the art and science of content marketing marvelously well. In his blog post, Understanding the Art and Science of Content Marketing, Weiner gives the thumbs up to Home Depot, Nike’s Better World micro-site and The Waffle Shop.

He says all three think like publishers in blending their content with proper workflow and outcomes. Home Depot succeeded by driving 29 million DIY-ers to a YouTube video on the forgotten art of whiskey barrel making. Many showed up in the store to buy materials and give it a go.

Nike’s Better World succeeded with its content by using HTML5 to present a scrolling storyboard explaining its company’s green initiatives and The Waffle Shop doubled connects with its customers through a live stream of customers sharing comments good or bad live at a Pittsburgh restaurant.

Is your marketing organization set up so the scientists can teach the artists and vice versus? Tell us in the comments section below.

Nonprofit Social Media Superstars Put in the Time to Earn Followers

Social media is the marketing activity nonprofits say they need help with most, according to a free report from Constant Contact called the Nonprofit Pulse Report. More than 57% of the 307 respondents said they needed help with social media, followed by 36% with email marketing, and 35% with their nonprofit websites.

Not surprisingly, 88% of respondents said they found Facebook the most effective channel for their cause marketing followed dismally by 5% who preferred Twitter. For great Facebook fan page examples look at the American Red Cross with 511,000 fans and The Humane Society of the United States with 1.4 million fans.

 

puppy Nonprofit Social Media Superstars Put in the Time to Earn Followers

 

Read Up and Invest Time into Your Multi Channel Efforts

Nonprofits who have read Heather Mansfield’s How to Guide for Using Social Media for Social Good say it’s worth the $22. Heather gives 149 tools and resources, a case study of how a nonprofit book tour earned an organization $17,000, and other lessons she’s learned during her 15 years helping nonprofits and 15,000 hours using social media.

social Nonprofit Social Media Superstars Put in the Time to Earn Followers

 

 

The Nonprofit Pulse Report details that nonprofits are spending 36% of their time and 18% of their budgets on marketing. It doesn’t break out what amount of that time and money is spent on social media. However, another report, How Small Businesses and Nonprofits can Master Online Marketing, states that effective social media outreach takes at least 25 hours of staff time per week, according to company behind the report, Ditch Digital Dabbling. The survey also outlines the online marketing tactics that work best and highlights new revelations, including the fact that “Power Users” rate only five social media tools as very effective.

I think both Mansfield and Ditch Digital Dabbling’s staff would agree that Mark Hanis, the founder behind the Genocide Intervention Network, has put in the time and wisely leveraged social media.

Hanis’ Facebook campaign raised $250,000 in 2005, according to nonprofit blogger Beth Kanter. Kanter said that Hanis used Salesforce as its contact management system to track interactions and help land a very large donor. “The relationship starts online, but the “ask” happens offline, perhaps on the phone or face-to-face,” says Kanter.

How much time is your nonprofit spending on social media? If you need guidance, download the reports in this blog or contact us. The return is worth the work according to Social Media Today who says a charity can raise $100,000 or more on Facebook if they dedicate the budget and staff to the task. Imagine what lift you’d get adding variable printing to the integrated marketing mix, too.

 

VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

When Savvi Formalwear, a group of 35 independent formal wear retailers, wanted to connect with more soon-to-be brides, it chose the print and digital trifecta — direct mail, email and personalized landing pages.

All of Savvi Formalwear’s direct mail pieces were personalized using variable data printing (VDP), with coupons or incentives such as the two free airline tickets shown in the postcard in this post and a PURL that drives brides to a landing page with a store locator and Savvi Formalwear branding.

Savvi Formalwear is using the campaign to capture more of the $1 billion formal wear industry, that like other industries, has suffered because of the 2009-2011 recession.

wedding VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Not coincidentally the majority of Savvi Formalwear stores are located on the west coast where nearly 20% of the formal wear transactions occur. In these 35 stores, Savvi Formalwear is trying to lure as many of the two million brides that get married every year to their stores and services as possible.

SOURCE: IBIS World Report, Formal Wear and Costume Rental in the U.S., May 2012

 

pam VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Savvi Formalwear’s campaign, named SavviOne, included weekly mail drops across the U.S. and Canada to promote formal wear to couples planning their weddings. Using the power of personalization, Savvi Formalwear significantly increased the engagement and conversions in its multi-channel promotional campaign, according to Mark Morrow, president of Savvi Formalwear.

SOURCE: Case Studies, www.montagedigital.com

Bride Puts Money Toward Print Pieces Not Cake or Dress

While most brides can spend the majority of their wedding budget on elaborate centerpieces, cakes and designer dresses, bride Robin Nelson, who works in the printing industry, invested her wedding dollars in a cross-media wedding campaign.

Nelson used XMPie solutions to personalize each piece of her wedding communications from engagement announcements to her wedding invitations which included QR Codes®*

Nelson said the campaign enabled her to gather more information about each of her guests to organizing the wedding to taking advantage of technologies that count RSVPs and help brides budget for dinner, drinks, the rehearsal dinner and after-ceremony reception.

SOURCE: “Happily Ever After: A Cross-Media Wedding Campaign” by Robin Nelson, XMPie Blog, Oct. 12, 2011

invitations VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

 

 

With the use of variable data printing, there was no confusion on head count at Nelson’s wedding. Nelson attributes this to her guests who updated their RURL (Response URL also called PURL for personalized URL) especially in regards to how many children who would be coming with them).

The information Nelson got from her guests through the landing page they responded to allowed her to stay within budget, update her guest list and create a seating chart.

Nelson also downloaded the XMPie Marketing Console iPhone app that allowed her to provide final head counts and meal preferences to her caterer and vendors through report on-the-fly report technology.

So while some brides like the visual trimmings (cakes, bridesmaid’s gifts, etc.), savvy brides are tapping into VDP and digital technology to make their wedding planning less stressful and more personalized to all involved.

*QR Codes are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

 

Agency Uses Interactive Sitelet to Land New Business

When a Dallas-based advertising agency, VLG, needed to engage prospects, it opted to show off its interactive technology through a sitelet or mini-site. The sitelet used a mock company called Crescent Bluffs to demonstrate the amount of time VLG could engage the prospect in the demo.

I was engaged for 1 minute 41 seconds. I took VLG’s bait of virtually opening a hotel door to a room with a virtual key on the screen. I was then asked to meet them in the lobby and then in the restaurant to have a virtual lunch; and at the end of the lunch a virtual note appeared on the screen announcing how long our business courtship lasted. VLG then asked me on the screen if I would be interested in learning how to conduct my own sitelet campaign to create new business for my company.

check Agency Uses Interactive Sitelet to Land New Business

VLG’s campaign, Accept the Invitation, began by mailing a hotel napkin and faux hotel key with a note that read, “Let’s Meet.” The note sent prospects to a mini or microsite for a faux hotel named Crescent Bluffs. You can walk through the prospect experience here.

Because of sitelet successes such as VLG’s, other agencies and companies are using sitelets to launch a product, provide support functions and for targeted advertising campaigns. By using a separate domain name, you can choose a unique descriptive URL that pertains specifically to the campaign.

Flash, online databases and advanced programming can be combined to create powerful customer support tools. It is possible to preload your existing offline data or structure an entirely new database.

Another key benefit of using a targeted sitelet approach is that you do not have to significantly modify your existing company website for a specific campaign. You will want to integrate links and content for maximum exposure, but this is significantly easier than modifying website navigation and page structure.

How can you use mini-sites to bring in business?

 

It’s Not Too Early to Know the Marketing Trends of 2013

eight marketing trendsDo you feel like you’re constantly playing catch up? If so it’s particularly hard to stay ahead of trends. We can relate; thus the reason we’re posting a 2013 marketing trends piece in late April.

Take a breather and read the eight trends projected by Forbes and CIO Network magazines.

8 Marketing Trends Projected for 2013

#1  Businesses will pick and choose their social media platforms. Because businesses have had time to cut their teeth on social media and social media integration, they now have the confidence to align themselves with the platforms that make the most sense for the business. No longer will businesses feel obligated to be entrenched in all social media platforms. Doing so is nearly impossible and participating in all social networks is certainly not required to be successful in your niche. Pinterest works for fashion, photography, interior design and lifestyle businesses but not as well for manufacturers, municipalities, or musicians.

#2  Marketing strategies that simplify will soar. Because the world continues to move at a fast pace; accelerated even faster by 24/7 technology, any company that simplifies our lives or experiences wins more customers.

#3  Real-time marketing will replace campaign-based marketing. While theme-based marketing has ruled because it’s easy to plan around one theme that gets launched around a company-based timeline, it’s not very consumer-centered. Now that companies have married their customer relationship management systems with their online website orders, they have the data to launch trigger-based or real-time marketing that happens because an activity has taken place and merits another action being put into play to motivate the customer to take the next step.

During this year’s Super Bowl, Oreo used “real time marketing” to capitalize on the media attention that resulted when the Superdome experienced a blackout. Oreo had aired a TV ad earlier that night with a Twitter tie in that gained some new fans. When the blackout occurred Oreo leveraged their increased Twitter following by tweeting out a relevant picture reminding them that “you can still dunk in the dark.”

oreo It’s Not Too Early to Know the Marketing Trends of 2013

SOURCE: Oreo Cookie; Power out? No Problem

This picture went viral almost immediately and at last count has been retweeted over 16,000 times.

#4  Marketing success will be measured by sales. Instead of measuring lead generation, opportunity costs, click throughs and dozens of other metrics, marketing’s worth to a company will be weighed against sales growth.

#5   Mobile marketing gets taken seriously. Because more people purchased smart phones than PCs last year, mobile marketing will truly get its fair share of the marketing spending pie. While 90% of global marketing have a mobile site, only 20% of them integrate mobile strategies into their overall marketing plan.

SOURCE:“5 Surprising Marketing Trends for 2013,” Forbes, Jan. 23, 2013.

#6  Digital marketing agencies will double. In an attempt to manage their various online and social activities, small businesses are turning to digital marketing agencies. The demand will drive more digital agencies from owner-operated to consultants to creative boutiques.

SOURCE:“Follow the Money: Digital Marketing Trends for 2013,” Rob Eleveld, CIO Network, Dec. 20, 2012.

#7  All marketing campaigns will be integrated marketing campaigns. Do you remember 20 years ago when advertising agencies started calling themselves integrated marketing agencies to show that they were all inclusive of strategies such as direct mail, merchandising, public relations as well as advertising? Today if you produce a direct mail campaign, it would be foolish not to integrate the campaign by using a trackable 800 phone number, QR Code® or landing page (aka microsite).

#8  Google will start charging to access its analytics. In 2012 Google spent lots of money improving its analytics solutions and has put itself in a position to begin charging for the data it collects and stores. You might see this as early as 2014.

SOURCE:”Follow the Money: Digital Marketing Trends for 2013,” Rob Eleveld, CIO Network, Dec. 12, 2012

Do any of these eight predictions surprise or worry you? Tell us why in the comments below. We’re proud to say that 100% of our campaigns are integrated or multi-channel campaigns and 85% are variably printed.

IKEA Takes Direct to Consumer Approach to Grow Customer Base

Ikea 250x188 IKEA Takes Direct to Consumer Approach to Grow Customer Base

IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, is rolling out an “IKEA Family” loyalty program. Specifically designed to keep the steam turned up on its integrated marketing channels (email, print, and social media).

IKEA has a loyal customer base of 3.6 million people who opted into IKEAs database to receive specials, flyers and its annual print catalog, which mails to 20 million people in the U.S. alone. Leontyne Green, IKEA North America CMO, says the catalog is the most important piece of the communications they produce.

The addition of the customer relationship program, IKEA Family, is meant to fill in the gaps of communications and build loyalty systematically. IKEA already has one million people signed up for the loyalty program.

IKEA Family provides discounts on in-store food and drink, access to seminars and events, member savings, and entry into gift card drawings.

I like Ikea IKEA Takes Direct to Consumer Approach to Grow Customer Base

SOURCE:“IKEA CMO at home with integrated mix,” Direct Marketing News, May 01, 2012, by Allison Schiff.

The Canadians Launch of IKEA Family

Rather than doing the trite thing of offering a free toaster, barbeque or CD player, IKEA Canada grew its IKEA family enrollment by giving something that was relevant to the brand, according to Judy Elder, managing director of Toronto-based Ogilvy & Mather Direct.

Customers received a package containing a tape measure, IKEA magazine full of how-to tips, a catalog, large format calendar and a punch-and-munch discount card for the company’s in-store food court. Numbers aren’t in, but sign ups and shoppers coming to the membership desk at the stores has increased.

Putting Marketing Frosting on the Cake with Social Media

Green is also championing one of IKEA’s first forays into social media by launching its “Bring Your Own Friends” promotion. IKEA North America is leveraging its 430,000 Facebook fans by asking them to BYOF (bring your own friends) for a full day of freebies, discounts and storewide perks, while at the same time raising $50,000 for the Save the Children cause.

IKEA’s marketing approach of cool product packaging compliment its ultra low prices. The combination of cool products and low prices has enabled IKEA to endure the recession even though 80% of its sales are in crisis-hit Europe.
SOURCE:“What are the Secrets to IKEA’s Success?” Tom White, tutor2U, March 01, 2011.

IKEA Takeaways

IKEA’s endurance through hard times, upward growth, and phenomenal fan base as indicated by its opt-in database, shows the company’s operational and marketing strategies are working. Here’s what it is doing right.

  • Not cutting its marketing budget (neither print, nor digitally but adding programs).
  • Building a multi-channel campaign around its print anchor – its annual catalog.
  • Diving into social media by specifically leveraging fans to bring more fans and reward them for doing so.
  • Listening intently to its customers for new opportunities.

Not caving to pressure to go public, IKEA maintained low prices by sticking to their private roots. Less red tape leaves more time for IKEA workers to go through rolls of packing tape, shipping even more furniture across the Continents.

 

How Small Companies Doing Large Marketing Get Huge Results

big vs little 250x268 How Small Companies Doing Large Marketing Get Huge Results

Other than identifying a known brand name and automatically knowing the size of the company, have you ever thumbed through a publication or web portal, become impressed by a company’s logo or tagline, only to learn that this company wasn’t nearly as large as you thought? It happens to me all the time.

I see polished ads or brands in business publications or at blogger sites. I then check out their web traffic at Compete, or look up their staff page on their website to see how large they are. I then acknowledge that they’re pulling off such a fabulous branding being the small fish in a big pond.

Moresource Plays Full Out with Ad Campaign

There is something very classy, catchy and memorable about an ad series done well. Moresource, a Columbia, Mo. based human resource company, gets my kudos for executing a successful ad series in the Kansas City Chamber business magazine, KC Business.

I liked that the owner of this three-person firm, Kat Cunningham featured herself with a client in each ad, used a QR Code®, included both a mention of Facebook and Twitter on her ad. She also stepped up by running a full-page ad, and obviously paid for a professionally designed ad and logo.

How Your Small Business Can Look Bigger than You Are

While it’s not always easy to win customers from larger competitors, technology has leveled the playing field and made it possible.

#1  Re-target your online ads vs. overspending for paid search.

Re-targeting lets you focus your ads exclusively on people who have already engaged with you online. You can re-target ads to people who have opened an email, searched for keywords or been on your site and left without buying anything. Site re-targeting is effective because these people are already interested in your products or services.

#2  Don’t cut corners on image or execution.

The quickest way to look small and amateurish is to put something into the marketplace that is poorly designed, poorly worded or filled with grammatical errors. If you’re going to send a postcard, make it the best designed card, on the best paper with the best call to action imaginable. If you’re going to run an ad campaign, make sure you develop the best creative, best frequency needed for results, and test all the back-end components such as the landing page URL, QR Code (that it scans and bridges your prospect to a site that further engages them), and best greeting upon their action.  Does someone answer the phone before the third ring?  Who is in the loop of the campaign and can answer questions intelligently?  Does the eReport download without glitches once the prospect hands over the required lead info?

#3  Don’t build it, buy it.

You can launch a professional looking website quickly and without the absorbent costs of hiring programmers. Services such as Weebly or Yola have helped many businesses launch for a few dollars a month.  Their drag, drop, type and upload technology further levels the playing field for all businesses and budgets.

Need an e-commerce store? Use Shopify.com or SquareSpace. Need to accept payments? Paypal is the answer. Want to provide live customer service online? Consider BoldChat. Chances are what you need already exists and can be accessed through open source, monthly lease, or shared software.

SOURCE:“Look Like a Big Company Without Spending Big Money,” by Scott Gerber, Nov. 30, 2011, Small Business Advocate.

#4  Don’t cut corners on your print collateral.

Find a graphic designer and print partner who produced the image materials of companies you admire and work with them to build your brand. Even in a digital world, you still need business cards, letterhead, pocket folders and mailing labels. Don’t short-change your business by trying to penny pinch you’re way through your collateral. If you and your three biggest competitors had materials sitting on the table in front of the customer of your dreams, who would they pick and why based on image alone?

QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.