Finding the best way to advertise to consumers is not a simple task. While there are several techniques for attracting consumers, a key for many companies is to combine methods to create growth and success. With social media a necessity in today’s digital world, other traditional methods are taking a back seat. Here we look at how companies have recently been thriving from an advertising channel of the past.
Without a doubt, digital marketing is a very important part of the media mix, but traditional marketing channels are still yielding tremendous results for many top businesses. As today’s new digital media channels open up, the traditional marketing tools get cast aside in favor of social media sites, online video, mobile, SEO and SEM. One of the largest mistakes marketers can make is neglecting direct mail.
Many marketing experts see a window of opportunity to lead with the more traditional marketing tools, such as print catalogs and direct mail. This allows them to stand out to consumers who are bombarded by an already saturated digital marketplace of digital pitches. Some industry leaders, such as Procter & Gamble (P&G) and IKEA rely on print advertising catalogs to develop long term customer loyalty and consider direct mail as one of their primary marketing strategies.
While direct mail can stand on its own, when coupled with digital channels it is one of the best mediums available. Catalogs are often design in order to promote brand loyalty, whereas direct mail is often sent to acquire more customers and interest. What’s been proven over the years is that direct mail plays a key part when it comes to acquiring new customers, and provides a targetable, measurable way to structure a campaign. For instance, a customer may have four email addresses, but chances are they only have one home address. More often, direct mail is used as part of a comprehensive marketing campaign to include digital across the board. This is quickly becoming a necessity.
Recently, Deliver Magazine began a campaign to provide consumers and businesses with information on how effective direct mail can be. When the ads were actually tested, over 64 % of consumers said they “value the mail” they received. This was a stark contrast to the businesses questioned, who replied they believed only 36% of consumers still value their mail. This seems to indicate a considerable form of disconnect, and illustrates the point that marketers seem to be turning their backs on the more traditional forms of advertising in favor of digital campaigns. As the general use of digital communications has grown, we’ve seen an increase in email, social media and SMS, with an increasing neglect in terms of print marketing, which is still relevant in today’s deluge of digital information.
Even young people are included in loving their mail, with 76% saying they’d made a purchase directly because of something they’d received in the mail, according to a survey conducted by ExactTarget. In the same matter, national research provided by ICOM reported that Millennials opt for mail over digital when receiving offers by marketers.
Direct mail is becoming more of an integrated strategy, but it still provides the backbone of any campaign, and should be utilized wisely. Many businesses work on the basis that once a customer is acquired, it should be up to them to decide on the form of any subsequent interactions, be it digitally, by telephone, or by mail. For example, customers paying bills usually prefer to see a print reminder, so it sticks in their minds, instead of disappearing in their inbox. Direct mail can also come with a degree of credibility that isn’t always applicable with digital and can reach an audience virtual channels cannot.