With much of the marketing world focusing on digital methods of consumer engagement, there’s a sizable opportunity to gain market share via direct mail. But the...
This week's blog post is contributed by guest writer, Brook Mont. Brook is the Sales & Marketing Intern at NaviStone and a senior at the University of Cincinnati, Carl H. Lindner College of Business. She is also a proud member of Generation Z.
What's the Buzz? From an Aspiring Marketer
I am a senior at The University of Cincinnati, getting ready to graduate this May with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Professional Sales. Through the many marketing classes I’ve taken at UC, I have learned of the various ways marketers communicate with consumers to get them to make a purchase.
Most forms of communication are digital nowadays because consumers spend so much of their time on their phones, watching TV, or browsing online. In a recent New York Times story written by Kevin Roose, Kevin admitted that his average screen time was 5 hours and 37 minutes per day and he picks up his phone 101 times a day, which is twice as much as the average American. He continued to explain that he is tired of being on his phone all the time and ready for a digital detox. For 30 days he made an effort to break his habit of constantly reaching for his phone every time he does something. In the end, he had gone from about 5 hours a day to a little over an hour. That’s 4 hours a day that he now has back for more human interaction. He isn't, and won't be, the only one trying to make this shift. I think more consumers over the next couple years will join the digital detox.
I am currently taking an advertising class where we discussed the topic of “successful communication”. I found this topic to be very interesting because I’m curious to know what marketers think is the best way to communicate with their audience and why. I learned of just three steps to follow to successfully communicate with consumers, that are actually quite simple.
#1. Determine the appropriate audience. Who do you want to communicate with? Marketers have to define who they are targeting so they can customize the message to reach them better.
#2. Develop a properly encoded message. What do you want your audience to know? You can encode your message in four ways; you can make it verbal, graphic, musical or through animation. This all depends on who your audience is and what channel you will use.
#3. This next step, I think, is the most important. Select the appropriate channel by which to target your audience. This is the most important because this is how you will best reach your consumer and get them to take action. After you have shared your message, you will receive feedback both verbally, written, or better yet.. in the form of a purchase!
For me, personally, I like to have something to hold and look at when shopping. I loved receiving magazines as a young girl and still like to read through magazines and catalogs. I try to limit how much I am on my phone each day and don’t regularly get on social media so advertisements and deals shown through that channel don’t normally reach me. I am a fan of having a physical coupon to take with me to the store, it reminds me of what I am purchasing and honestly makes me feel responsible, because I took the time to get my coupon and go use it. For more on the thrill that Direct Mail gives, read here.
A study from UK Royal Mail about direct mail showed that 57% of the respondents said that postcard mail made them feel more valued and created a relationship with them. Consumers respond better to physical advertising because they place value in things they can hold or touch. Also mentioned in a study from the Radicati Group is that on average we receive 72 emails a day. That’s a lot of emails. So how do you make yours stand out? Most of the time we delete them if they are from someone unknown or it goes right to our spam folder never to be seen. Since so many marketers try to get their message across through digital communications, this allows direct mail to have less competition and be more personable with their consumer. As a consumer who receives direct mail myself, I am more likely to recall the physical mail I receive rather than an email I glanced over.
So what happens after your message is delivered? Take these numbers into account...
5.1% respond from getting Direct Mail versus;
- .6% response rate from Emails
- .2% from Online Display Ads
- .4% from Social Media
The proof is in the numbers. Spend $167 on Direct Mail and get $2095 in sold goods. I mean, why would you pass up the best chance of reaching your audience and getting them to make a purchase? Clearly the message is being received, Direct Mail prevails.