2019 – Part 3: Personalization Plus Print Proves Powerful

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Personalization Matters

Research consistently shows that personalization influences response, and often plays a key role on how consumers interact with transactional and marketing communications. Over 30% of respondents to a recent InfoTrends survey indicated that transactional communications sent via direct mail could be improved by making them more relevant, and personalization is a critical component of relevance.  

InfoTrends’ research has also suggested that the reader will invest more time reviewing personalized content than generic content. Surprisingly, this holds truer for younger consumers in the burgeoning 18-34 age group. In fact, this younger audience reported that personalized content was the key that inspired them to engage with direct mail as well as marketing e-mails. Personalization clearly catches consumers’ eyes and improves the customer experience. Savvy marketers will leverage the benefits of personalization to their advantage, especially when attempting to reach younger consumers.  

Directworx has intentionally remained at the forefront of leveraging 1:1 personalization to support successful marketing ROI for our customers. As an organization that values workflow automation to simplify the complex, we have a mature suite of tools that easily enable enterprises to engage consumers with personalized offers, incentives and calls-to-action in a controlled and measurable environment.  By integrating personalized print with digital touchpoints our systems provide the ideal mix for successful campaigns. 

Print Increases Customer Engagement…But It’s Not the Only Element!

As we’re well into a new year, more and more businesses will be relying on tried-and-true printed communications to drive customer engagement. According to a study conducted by the US Postal Service and the Center for Neutral Decision-making at Temple University, print outperforms digital ads in several key brain activity categories, including review time, emotional reaction, memory retention, and perceived value. The research concludes that physically printed ads are easier for our brains to process. Study participants spent more time with physical advertisements, showed more desire for a product shown in print, and were more stimulated by physical ads than by their digital counterparts.  

The younger “digital natives” still respond to print because our brains are simply wired to react differently to printed material than they do to digital media. In a study that gauged responses to physical and digital advertising pieces, the USPS/Temple researchers used brain imaging, biometrics (e.g., heart rate and respiration), eye tracking, and questionnaires to draw the following conclusions  

  • Study participants processed digital ad content more quickly, but they spent more time with printed ads
  • Printed ads triggered activity in a part of the brain that corresponds with value and desirability
  • Study participants had a stronger emotional response to printed ads and remembered them better

According to the same study, direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, suggesting that it is easier to understand and more memorable. In addition, brand recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to a direct mail piece versus a digital ad. Additional research confirms that consumer engagement can be fueled by several factors—including personalization, interactivity, dimension, and visual and tactile appeal.  

Print still plays a key role in driving customer engagement, but it is only one component of a truly immersive experience that must include a seamless combination of traditional, digital, social, and mobile interactions. The most successful marketers are reviewing their touchpoint capabilities with an eye toward adding more capabilities directly or via partnerships. When marketing a new or existing product, consider all the elements that can drive engagement for your campaign as well as the product itself.  

Build a Smarter Holiday Retail Marketing Plan

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the holiday shopping season each year, and attracts the most shoppers in stores and online. For consumers, the expectation is that retailers will have sales on these dates.

During the holiday season, consumers see double the amount of advertisements than any other time of year. It’s more important than ever to have a successful marketing plan and stand out from the competition. To create a smarter retail marketing plan:
– Creating Unique Content
– Engage Shoppers in Meaningful Ways
– Strengthen Relationships
– Maximize the Benefits of Peak Periods

Creating Unique Content

Consider something completely original that helps your brand stand out from the rest. The best campaigns will also articulate what you stand for as a company.

The outdoor clothing store REI wanted to create a campaign that separated themselves from the pack, and articulated what they stood for. Contrary to all other retail stores, they decided on Black Friday to give all their employees the day off. While losing sales on that one day, they also started a movement with social media integration, while creating awareness, interest and buzz.

Holt Renfrew launched a printed gift guide as part of a multi-channel campaign. The 16-page glossy book was sent to a select group of 5,000 “Icon Privilege” members. The tactile experience of the printed booklet is a favourite for their higher-end members, who often keep the book as a collectable.

IKEA created a hand-stitched direct mail piece for some of their more valued customers, encouraging them to sign up for their email list. The piece was incredibly engaging, a unique combination of digital and physical, and holds true to IKEA’s brand.

Engage Shoppers in Meaningful Ways

Utilizing Direct Mail, you can create a campaign that:

– Helps your brand stand out. Consumers notice, open and read direct mail.
– Triggers an emotional response. People respond to physical mail with an inspired mindset.
– Generates a lasting effect. Recipients keep, display and share direct mail marketing.
– Influences Consumer Behaviour. Direct Mail is proven to effectively drive action.

Social media can also help complement your Direct Marketing campaign. Consider creating a movement where everyone is involved. This will not only increase sales, but also pique interest and create a buzz. Sending specialized marketing to bloggers and influencers is another great way to drive brand awareness.

Strengthen Relationships

Understanding your customers is the first step in communicating effectively with them.

The customer journey begins with Awareness. These people are prospects, and the marketing objective is introductory in order to create awareness. A neighborhood targeted flyer or postcard will result in visibility and recognition, and drive traffic to websites and social media.

They then move to Interest and Consideration as prospects. The objective now is exploratory, and the customer is introduced to new products or sales. Catalogues and postal code targeting are a great way to create interest and encourage shopping.

Once the interest is converted to sales, they’ve entered the Purchase phase. Marketing messages should be geared towards promotions, such as coupons or flyers. Use offers to strengthen purchase decisions, re-engaging customers and inspire prospects.

Once Purchases have been made, campaigns should shift to Retention & Loyalty. These are your ideal customers. Marketing should be used to build loyalty, drive repeat business, and show your appreciation. Now that you know your customers, Personalized Targeted Mail can be utilized to deliver personalized messages and loyalty rewards.

Maximize the Benefits of Peak Periods

The Holiday Shopper:

A consideration for the holiday season is understanding the Average Shopper versus the Holiday Shopper:

Average shopper:
– most likely to begin as a casual browser
– makes multiple website visits before purchasing
– possesses affinity for particular brands

Holiday Shopper:
– more likely to search for particular items
– more likely to purchase on their first website visit
– are driven by inventory and price, and have low brand affinity

Holiday shoppers tend to make purchasing decisions quicker if the item is at a fair price. Campaigning to them requires marketing that grabs people’s attention immediately.

Segmentation Strategy:

It’s never too early to start thinking about your targeting strategy:
– Begin capturing postal codes of your current consumers
– Derive a new list of postal codes that look like your current audience
– Rank markets with higher customer penetration
– Target a radius or drive-time from your physical location

Also consider the Recency/Frequency/Monetary model:
Recency: The freshness of shopper activity
Frequency: The total number of recorded purchases
Monetary: The willingness to purchase, and total purchase value

Ready to get started? Contact directworx today!