Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "How Direct Mail Competes in a 60-Second Universe," examines how much content digital channels are pushing every sixty-seconds and how direct mail competes with a 60-second content burst in a sea of billions. Many data miners will most likely attest to the vast number of content pieces flowing across the web. As well, these data professionals will undoubtedly offer various sets and subsets of numbers that depict a vast array of user responses and experiences. That is not the focus of this article.
Our focus is the amount of content, specifically digital content, that occurs every 60 seconds. When you consider the available digital channels, Facebook, Google, emails, YouTube, WhatsApp, blogs, Twitter, and Instagram, to name a few, the sheer volume presents a challenge for marketers and brands who inevitably must create content that aligns with each social media channel.
Our Quote of the Day: "Direct Marketing is evolving every day; in some cases, it seems that we have come full circle. A few years ago, there was the rush to telemarketing, and then came the rush to the Internet. Now marketers are starting to understand that all of these — telephone, mail, internet, email, so-called 'new media' — are simply alternative channels that enable direct contact with a customer." – Audrey Price-Dix
Increased Ads and Less Impact
Today, the advertising landscape has fundamentally changed. Advertisements now flash before our eyes at blazing speeds. Each time we search, stream, watch, read, scroll, click, or swipe, we are bombarded with advertisements. On social media, where the average person spends nearly two hours per day, ads are everywhere.
60 Seconds on the Web
When we look at the amalgamated digital content in just 60 seconds across the major social media channels, the numbers are staggering. Furthermore, the ramifications of those numbers are mind-boggling in terms of a specific brand's content. Content marketing also comes into play, as creators produce multiple creative pieces for each social media channel to engage users. For example, an ad on Facebook will not necessarily translate into similar engagement on LinkedIn, and so forth. The audiences are different, and on a specific social media channel for a different reason.
According to SmartInsights, this is what happens online in 60-seconds.
YouTube - 500 Videos
WhatsApp - 54 million
Emails sent - 294 billion
Facebook - brand posts per day 0.83
Google Searches - 4.4 million
Instagram - brand posts per day 0.62
Twitter - Tweets - 350 million
WordPress.com - posts 78 million
Every 60 seconds, there's a ton of content published, and we have not included Pinterest, Reddit, and other browser-related search engines. This continuous wave of advertisement and content bombardment poses challenges for even the most accomplished marketers.
That amount of marketing content is similar to a perfect storm, and it's challenging to deliver a compelling message that resonates and drives engagement during a storm, especially while an unrelated storm, such as a pandemic, is also taking place. Yet, that's what we have, information overload amid a worldwide health crisis.
Mark Schaefer, author and educator, coins this phenomenon, "Content Shock." Mr. Schaefer states, "This upward trend of content consumption is not sustainable because every human has a physiological, inviolable limit to the amount of content they can consume. As marketers, we have been lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that this consumption trend will continue to rise without end. That is simply not possible."
Digital marketing will continue to be around for the foreseeable future. However, the content methodology will ultimately have to change, if for no other reason, than the sake of humanity and innovation. Many have seen how fast each social media channel can go from immensely popular to yesterday's news. Technological advancements will play a role in how consumers opt for receiving marketing content across every channel.
Content Marketing's Limited Impact
The volumes of digital content previously outlined in this post suggests that engagement rates suffer greatly. Further, Moz and Buzzsumo recently presented their research results on content marketing's impact. This analytical report based on blog posts discovered that 75% of those blog posts resulted in fewer than ten social shares and zero links from other domains.
The results suggest that marketers and brands will need to spend many more dollars to ensure that the intended targets see their messages. However, it's not clear if more money behind the ad spend is the most effective method to advance engagement rates in the digital spectrum.
Direct Mail is Competitive
Sixty-seconds would appear to be the barometer that most of the marketing community uses to evaluate digital response performance. In the music world, the first 15 seconds is the critical timeframe for a listener to decide if they will continue listening. In general, for emails, movies, music streams, videos, blogs, and of course, marketing content, those first seconds of visibility make all the difference between a sale or an empty cart.
In the world of direct marketing, those first seconds of visibility take on a different aspect. A direct mail piece does not require the latest or best monitor to provide a dazzling display. A direct mailer can display pixels mimicking colors that the human eye can see. Further, the human eye is far better than any monitor.
Secondly, a direct mail piece can be felt, touched, and placed anywhere in the real world, which again belongs to the human experience, further exciting and stimulating the senses.
Third, direct mail pieces can be read and shared in the real world by all who come into contact with those pieces, and of course, can better compete with the onslaught of digital marketing, as physical mailboxes have fewer pieces of content daily.
Fourth, and most importantly, direct mail marketing has the highest response rates for any marketing medium, and here's the data on that, provided by a Canadian neuromarketing firm:
Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, suggesting that it is easier to understand and more memorable.
Overall effectiveness, referred to as the motivation-to-cognitive load ratio within the study, showed that direct mail scored an average of 1.31 compared to 0.87 for all digital channels. This is significant because, in this type of test, values greater than 1.0 indicate broad in-market success.
Digital marketing continues its onslaught of marketing content that will likely continue for the foreseeable future. Digital marketing is the current cornerstone of all marketing for brands that are advertising and marketing. Direct Mail marketing is the most responsive of all the mediums, and to that end, direct mail is extremely competitive in the 60-second universe, if not the hands-down winner. Thanks for reading, "How Direct Mail Competes in a 60-Second Universe."
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