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Hello, You Have Direct Mail

Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Hello, You Have Direct Mail," sheds light on how archaic but tried and true marketing methods are upside down. It is no longer a business as usual marketing day at the office, as more marketing discussions are asking questions such as, "What happens if we continue to do things the same as we always have?" Given the breakneck pace of media evolution, marketing strategies need a new playbook injection. There is an obvious assertion that world events have revolutionized many norms. Recent reports regarding the continuation and emergence of new Covid-19 variants further cement new behavior lifestyle patterns that may be with us for the foreseeable future. 

When we sit at the media table, we see many media changes, such as cookies that are no longer a delicious marketing treat. First-party data gobbles up interest, brand equity, and building to serve up a single click platter for audiences while reducing channels and CX into smaller fragments. For some, it makes sense to walk away from the media table that is no longer recognizable. In short, media and marketing strategists should examine the how, why, and where to reconfigure the media mix.

Our Quote of the Day: 
"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself." — Peter Drucker

Overcoming Media Bias Junk Food

Savvy brands and marketing teams understand that a media mix is essential for reaching and converting prospects into brand-paying loyalists. However, the media mix ideology is shifting to reflect a blend of integrated digital channels, thanks partly to the pandemic effects and technology. To this point, many data and media experts can present proof that an effective multichannel approach can generate a positive financial impact and subsequent media lift.   However, like junk food, overcoming media bias will require a massive and succinct review of what does and does not work.

Unfortunately, like mold, the current media bias is growing unchecked within media circles, based partly on faulty perceptions emerging from strategies, budgeting, and metrics. Accepting such media biases can be perilous for future returns on investments. 

When we view marketing budgets, for example, oftentimes, the cake is well baked before setting strategic goals. This form of budgeting is an archaic tendency but serves as the worst enemy in that preset budget pressures tend to serve short-term goals.  As such, budgets are misaligned and tend to focus solely on increasing the bottom line. Further, budgeting is the thousand-pound elephant in the room that decimates strategy because it prevents media allocation. Often, the allocation goal is to manage the budget as a percentage of revenue versus making a revenue investment that reflects the requirements of the marketing goals.

The Canadian firm Accenture produced a media attribution study confirming that many brands are over-invested in digital. Imagine that!  Most conversations around the media investment table have primarily been digital! Accenture describes the study as a "Moneyball Moment" for Canadian marketers. The study also revealed that when measuring lift, "Non-digital" channels provide a better ROI.  In other words, according to reports by the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), the disparity between media perception and media evidence has never been more significant! 

Holistic Channels and Meals Require Planning

John and Doris Naisbitt, authors of the book "China Megatrends, The 8 Pillars of a New Society," predicted that a holistic business environment would emerge sooner rather than later.  The authors also note that brands that fail to embrace a holistic approach would fall by the wayside.   Take note. We are now in the midst of a holistic movement. Anyone who fails to dine at a holistic table will starve.

Upon examination of the media landscape, we see a multitude of changes occurring at light speed. The disruption comes from a rapidly changing group of media devices and channels and how, where, and when we engage. This type of disruption requires a holistic, non-bias view of the opportunities and challenges at hand. New tools and attitudes require a thoughtful, objective approach to messaging and channel planning. One-size-does not fit all. The societal times and changes require integrated, holistic channel planning. When you factor in human behavior, marketers must exhibit more savvy.  Brands must embrace and understand the user experience with multiple channels and devices. Ignoring the old at the expense of the new or vice-versa is short-sighted. Every nuance is relevant from trust, environment, emotion, context, and interests in this ever-changing environment.  Take nothing for granted.

When we examine the light speed changes invading the media landscape, it is clear that channels, devices, and engagement is complex. That complexity requires holistic planning across a mix of media environments. 

Integrated campaigns that assign specific roles for each channel will have the most success. According to Ebiquity, a leader in media investment analysis, the tried and true media previously pushed to the side by digital, such as print and out-of-home, are proving the value of their uniqueness. Selecting the right media mix is critical for positioning and blending media for maximum reach, given how people consume and engage with media.

Grabbing Attention with Direct Mail

Brands are facing a conundrum. Today's public sees a plethora of ad impressions daily. Simultaneously, marketers need to reduce the amount of advertising clutter. This two-pronged challenge requires better planning, less bias, and tidier, less congested environments, all to make it easier to grab and hold consumer attention. How do we as marketers do more with less? How do we marry brand growth and consumer relevance?

We are all searching for the right mix. However, the consultants at Ebiquity say that for long-term growth, including economic recovery, the most critical attributes of an advertising media are the following:

  • Increases Brand Salience
  • Targets the Right People, Place, and Time
  • Stimulates Positive Emotional Response
  • Increases Campaign Performance
  • Maximizes Campaign Reach

Ebiquity's analysis identifies direct mail as the medium that accomplishes all of the above. However, Ebiquity's research also reveals that direct mail is the one channel that is most misunderstood! The perception of direct mail's media performance versus actual performance is all wrong.

Direct mail fulfills all requirements, respecting the human touch while elevating marketing to a practical lift level. Bringing versatile strengths and capabilities, including cross-channel synergies, provides a valuable, non-digital return on investment.

The Net-Net

As this post reveals, direct mail is one of the most misunderstood mediums that can make the most difference in letting go of the old-school marketing mentality in a rapidly changing media universe. As the cookies crumble, direct mail can close marketing effectiveness gaps:

  • Direct mail tracking won't be affected; it uses unique first-party identifiers and mechanisms.
  • Programmatic mail enables retargeting using first-party data, intent triggers, and owned channels.
  • Direct mail offers multiple targeting dimensions; these support reach, precision, interest-based cohorts.
  • Postal code data is stable and up to date.
  • Marketers can personalize direct mail with creative, formats, messages, postal code data, and first-party data.

A myriad of other marketing issues will be under review as the media landscape undergoes rapid changes. In short, the old standbys associated with marketing, advertising, and analytics no longer apply. It is wiser to recognize that marketing budgets should tackle the intent of the marketing objective and not the other way around. Short-term investments that cripple the tasks of marketing assignments are short-sighted and will most likely produce negative results. There is also a holistic movement among audiences that should be part of the planning process. We hope you found value in this article, and thanks for reading "Hello, You Have Direct Mail!"

Let's talk about integrated business solutions and how they can move your messages forward, help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities.  Dove Direct has an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices to save you time and money. We can even create a demo file for you. For more information, call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Dove Direct, your Atlanta vertical integrated print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions: 

  • Data Management
  • Variable Digital/Data Printing
  • LetterShop and Fulfillment 
  • Digital Mail Scanning Services
  • Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau
  • Marketing and Production Management Support
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If you don't want to wait, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or completing the Contact Form.

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