Archive for November 29, 2010

More WOW! Numbers

55 Percent of Survey Respondents Cannot Effectively Measure Marketing ROI of Mobile, Social Media and Video,” this is the recent context of press release from Omniture. Omniture perceives this as an opportunity.

We reported on the results from a different study from R2integrated that found that 65% of companies had not increased revenue or profited using social media.

Is this really opportunity, or this an opportunity to reevaluate the great hope that new media would be the key to increased revenue?

Let us help you explore if a direct mailing campaign will help you grow your revenue.

Slow Company?

A post that appeared on BNET offered some examples of how companies are gaining success by being slow. Slow goes against so much tradition and experience but the article offered two examples of companies that seem to be successful because they do things slowly. Perhaps a slower more deliberate approach is more appropriate for the issues faced by most businesses today because the challenges are deep and complex, not especially susceptible to quick fixes.

The leaders of five major magazine companies have come together to sponsor a campaign called, “Magazines, The Power of Print“. In one ad, they asked, “Will the Internet kill magazines? Did instant coffee kill coffee?” in another ad they stated, “We surf the Internet. We swim in magazines.” Then they share two very interesting statistics, WOW numbers, during the 12 year life of Google, magazine readership actually increased 11 percent. In the coffee ad, they state “even the 18 to 34 year old segment continues to grow… typical young adults now read more magazine issues per month than their parents.”

Numbers and statistics continue to support the facts that a quick fix and reliance on one media for marketing communication may not be the answer. Direct mail makes sense now more than ever before, because it is able to target exactly and it gives reliable feedback to continue to improve.

Direct Mailing Trends

Target Marketing Magazine examined the last year and a half of the Who’s Mailing What Archive and concluded a few trends.


Repeat mail was up 12 percent in 2010. It now represents a full quarter of all direct mail. The reasons include mailers being budget-conscious and staying with efforts that are clearly working.


Mailing premiums has increased by over 6 percent so far this year compared to 2009. Now nearly 20 percent of all direct mail includes a premium offer. “According to Archive Director Paul Bobnak , among nonprofits, incentives have taken on greater importance. Usage doesn’t seem to have increased. Instead of one tote bag or aluminum bottle, they’ll offer two or three as a premium. And tote bags and blankets (which have been good premiums) have begun to show up as ‘freemiums’ being mailed to prospects.”


Personalization is also used more, a 19 percent increase from last year. Used in 35 percent of direct mail, help make mail relevant for the recipient.

Financial Services Offers Are In The Mail Again

Major credit card issuers are adjusting to new credit card marketing regulations and are mailing offers. Some have launched new products. The best example of this is Chase with their multiple new cards.

Social Media

Mailers are increasingly promoting social media connections (Facebook, Twitter, …) in direct mail, particularly retailers. QR codes have been popping up too, although without much attention being called to them.

Self Mailers Declining

The one trend that is going in the opposite direction is the usage of the self-mailer. It is down 15 percent from 2009, in part because of production cost. It’s still used in 43 percent of all direct mail.

Paper Beats Digital For Emotion

According to a study by branding agency Millward Brown retold in a Neuromarketing blog post, physical media left a “deeper footprint” in the brain, even after for controlling for the increase in sensory processing for tangible items.

Images comparing Brain Scans of Paper vs Digital

Images comparing Brain Scans of Paper vs Digital

The study concluded:

  • Material shown on cards generated more activity within the area of the brain associated with the integration of visual and spatial information.
  • Physical material is more “real” to the brain. It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks.
  • More processing is taking place in the right retrosplenial cortex when physical material is presented. This is involved in the processing of emotionally powerful stimuli and memory, which would suggest that the physical presentation may be generating more emotionally vivid memories.
  • Physical activity generates increased activity in the cerebellum, which is associated with spatial and emotional processing (as well as motor activity) and is likely to be further evidence of enhanced emotional processing.

Paper has advantages over digital media. To maximize these concepts:

  • Think about the touch and feel of the piece. Heavier stock and a textured finish could emphasize the “tangibility” of the mailed item.
  • Seize the advantage of the brain’s emotional engagement with tangible media and craft a message that will make an emotional connection.
  • Find ways to maximize your brand imagery and perhaps feel, brand recall may be enhanced by the paper medium.

We talked about the power of touch and how that can increase how likely people are to purchase an item because of the increased connection.

Commercials Lead to More Enjoyment

People say they prefer to watch television without ads, yet they enjoy programs that have commercial interruptions more.

The Harvard Business Review recently published the results of a study and asked the authors to “Defend the Research”. The authors found that People who watched a program with commercials were willing to pay 30% more for a DVD compilation of similar programs than people who watched an ad-free version, according to a team led by Leif Nelson of UC Berkeley.

The researchers concluded that it was not the commercial itself, but the interruption. Think of a massage. The longer a massage goes on, the less you really enjoy it. But if it stops briefly, then starts again, it retriggers that initial enjoyment. People report enjoying interrupted massages more even though they predict they’ll like uninterrupted ones more. Think of the law of diminishing return. You enjoy the thrill of your first car purchase more than the last car you bought.

I hope that helps us all to reconsider much of our feelings and impressions about traditional marketing and advertising, including direct mail.

The 40-40-20 Rule

Ed Mayer is credited with stating the idea that direct marketing success is attributed to:

40% List

40% Offer

20% Everything Else

As we all optimistically look forward and consider fresh marketing approaches, how can we help you?

  • Is it time to append your customer list with more details that will give you more accurate information to select new prospective customers?
  • Can we do some research for you to help you select the best possible list to meet your needs?
  • Do you have a new idea about an offer and want to ask for another opinion?
  • Are all the details for your offer and everything else clear?

Be Ready for Risk by Thinking the Unthinkable

When faced with risks, organizations have two basic possible responses.

Rita McGrath shared her thoughts in blog post on The Harvard Business Review. Most organizations are heavily biased toward risk prevention. An alternative is to focus on building resilience so that when the unthinkable happens, you’re better prepared to face it. Look at all the risks you face and play out what you would do if any of them were to come to bear. Having systems in place to respond could save you valuable time, money, and resources.

Thinking the unthinkable and preparing to face it — may serve us better than risk avoidance.

We would always prefer to avoid negative outcomes if possible, and organizations should certainly invest in prevention. It may be wise to remember, though, that investing in resilience can be a complementary and essential component of preparing to face risks.