Category

Marketing Operations

Three Reasons Why Direct Mail is
Still Alive and Kicking

direct mail-blogheader

For some brands, direct mail marketing campaigns have been brushed aside and made a thing of the past. Some brand marketers assume that the largest emerging group of consumers, Millennials, can’t be reached through print marketing campaigns. However, studies indicate that this is far from the truth.

Brands who fail to prioritize direct mail marketing initiatives as a value-adding supplement to their campaigns risk missing out on an effective, simple opportunity to increase profits and engagement, and enhance brand awareness.

So, why exactly should brands capitalize on the value of direct mail?

NVISION postcard - direct mail

It delivers an emotional and physical connection

Consumers have busy, stressful lives. By sending direct mail, you can actually save potential consumers valuable time and brainpower. Recent studies have found that direct mail takes 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital ads.

But just because direct mail requires less effort to process, that doesn’t mean individuals aren’t giving it their undivided attention. In fact, 80% of direct mail recipients scan or read each piece before disposing of anything.

“It’s one of those marketing vehicles that just has a special touch, literally. Millennials, whom everyone thinks don’t want anything but a computer screen, are fascinated by it,” explains Marjorie Taucher, Senior Print Specialist at NVISION.

When individuals are exposed to physical mail, they experience a heightened feeling of excitement. It creates a connection. And this connection leads to desire, loyalty, and making a purchase.

“With email and social media on the rise, your mailbox is actually a lot less crowded than before. It’s more unique and special to receive something physical,” Taucher states. And that generates very real demand for your brand.

In order to gain the most benefits from sending direct mail, brand marketers need to ensure that they send engaging, eye-catching postcards, and mailers that will capture the attention of potential consumers.

“It just resonates with people. It just keeps it in your brain,” says Taucher.

human heads for creativity illustration

It delivers a great Return on Investment 

Direct mail has a median return on investment (ROI) of 29%. This is a staggering number considering that paid search has delivered 23%, and the online display has an ROI of 16%.

And not only does direct mail have a strong ROI, but it also has a higher response rate compared to most online marketing campaigns. As Taucher explains, “Direct mail has a response rate of over 5%. Email gets half a percent usually.” This is because, unlike with emails, consumers physically hold mail in their hands. Individuals are less likely to forget something tangible that they can actually touch, that suggests more care and effort taken by a brand to connect with them.

Another benefit of using direct mail is increased brand awareness. Some recipients may not have an immediate need for your product. However, they will look at your postcards and coupons. Their brain will retain that information, and their countertops likely will for a few days, too. And, when the day comes that they develop a need for your product or services, guess who they’ll shop with?

a hand with pencil on a calculator - ROI

It delivers better targeting and personalization

The key to effectively engaging with and retaining customers is providing them a personalized experience. And, as long as you know who your target audience is, direct mail can be highly specific.

Taucher explains, “Direct mail can now take all the information available on a customer on file – what tires you just bought, how many kids you have, what your favorite color is – and pull it into a formatted template that is TOTALLY personalized to them.”

An effective method is to send repeat customers printed reminders about routine services and promotions. “We’re just putting it to smarter use, so they feel like ‘Oh, wow, you really know me well. That’s helpful!’ And know them well enough to remind them when they need things, like oil changes, etc.,” Taucher says.

To really impress and satisfy potential and loyal customers, brands should anticipate what they need before they even realize they need it, and then bring those needs to their attention through captivating pieces of mail.

Brand marketers can also target broad swaths of demographics through the use of direct mail marketing. According to MSP article, 95 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds – a key demographic for many brands – have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters.

And what’s more, everyone checks the mail. Because of that, your direct mailers can convert literally anyone into a customer.

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As the consumer market continues to evolve, brand marketers must implement effective approaches to engage with potential and established customers alike. But the somewhat prevalent idea that direct mail marketing tactics are no longer valuable for brand success is inaccurate. In fact, it is just the opposite.

Sending direct mail to individuals is an effective and important supplement to any campaign. By delivering a physical and emotional connection, a great ROI, and better targeting and personalization, direct mail creates opportunities to improve brand awareness, increase sales, and generate higher demand for your products and services.

And by working with a trusted partner who can help you capitalize on the use of direct mail marketing campaigns, your brand can compete on the quality and effectiveness of these engaging physical marketing assets.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Redefining CMOs Roles in 2020

man with chess board - full

The definition of CMO is blurring across the business landscape; the advancement of Martech and the accessibility to data is forcing the traditional CMO to evolve and expand their responsibilities.

Elite CMOs are expected to play a pivotal role as growth drivers in the organization, and this is where the integration of a CMOs role begins. Recently, Forrester Research published an article predicting how the role of a successful CMO will evolve beyond 2020, and here’s how.

growth chart-CMO's mindset1

Own the Customer Experience

As the landscape of marketing steers away from focusing on the legacy strategy in acquiring new customers to creating a direct-to-customer environment by providing hyper-personalization, the expectations of CMOs have also shifted to become an owner of the customer experience across all touchpoints.

To maintain this ownership and thrive even further, CMOs need to capitalize on data science and analytics to provide impeccable customer experiences while, at the same time, being compliant with the regulations that govern the privacy of data.

2020 represents a year of re-imagining CMOs roles to transform into an influencer of the customer experience by creating and positioning the marketing ecosystem.

people shaking hands-partnership

CMO is No Longer Chief Marketing Officer

The CMOs role will no longer be about being Chief Marketing Officer. The role now has more dynamic responsibilities as being a Collaborating Marketing Officer or Contributing Marketing Officer.

Marketing should interconnect everyone throughout the organization. That’s how you build your brand unity, brand voice, and brand image. Without this continuity, you can’t sell, connect, or service your brand. The entire organization must stand behind the consistency and the value of the brand that they represent.

According to the article, “In 2020, one designated C-suite leader will be responsible for all that surrounds the customer, clarifying the role of marketing in a business environment obsessed with growth.” And that role will most likely be filled by the CMO. A connector that amplifies the growth goal and the brand vision with C-suite members and decision-makers, and a contributor to influence both the internal and external brand impact.

CMOs must find ways to collaborate with a multi-layer of influencers to drive impact across the business by connecting different facets of the business.

business woman speaking to associates

2020 Vision Required

Generational gaps are slowly creeping in the marketing world as younger groups of leading management emerge. The perspectives on long-term growth goals and identifying barriers for the growth may differ by generation.

Regardless of these generational gaps on how to interpret strategic goals and success, the role of the CMO must comply with the business growth goal while satisfying all levels of the audience, both internally and externally. Smart CMOs should account for this generational trend by developing a succession plan for long-term growth. One of the prime responsibilities of CMOs is to prepare the next generation of marketers with the forward vision that is better suited for the new marketing landscape.

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2020 will be the year that many CMOs will transform to expand their influences and responsibilities.

The sophisticated customer demands will force CMOs to take ownership of developing a memorable and impactful customer experience, while creating the culture of the brand, to influencing internal decision-makers and developing the next generation CMOs.

It may sound like a big weight to carry, but for CMOs that prioritize the right objectives, it should be a successful 2020 and beyond.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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CMO’s Guide: Capitalizing on Emerging Marketing Trends Beyond 2020

man with ipad

The landscape of the marketing industry is in constant motion. These changes present new opportunities for marketers to engage with consumers to drive sales. However, some brands are struggling to keep up with changes in the industry, and are consequently falling behind as the broader retail landscape changes.

According to Charles Golvin, as quoted by Chris Pemberton in his Gartner article, “Shifting consumer behaviors and technology innovation deprive marketers of equilibrium. Recovering that equilibrium will require organizational alacrity, a laser focus on customer needs, and a balanced embrace of automation.”

In order to ensure future success, brands need to find ways to capitalize on the current changes in the industry. So, what can brand marketers do to gain benefits from emerging marketing forces in the coming years?

shop with digital network graphics - retail continuity

Adapt to Consumer Behavioral Changes

Consumers are changing the way they shop. Technology plays a major role in this evolution of the modern shopper. Customers now use voice commands, wherever they are, to get tips and advice from automated voice interfaces as if it were a human. Brand marketers need to ensure that their brand comes up as a suggestion when customers search for a particular product through voice automation.

Along with using voice commands, consumers respond enormously to video content. Brands should recognize this emerging preference and focus on producing creative, engaging video content to capture the attention of potential customers. By discovering how to use new consumption formats to reach your target consumers, you can increase the effectiveness of your marketing presence and drive sales for your brand.

marketing meeting

Partner With Experts

As we already know, many brands collect personal data from shoppers. But the simple act of gathering information doesn’t lead to results by itself. Brand marketers need to figure out how to properly analyze and utilize the data that they have.

Brands need to ensure that they employ analytical talent with the expertise necessary to extract valuable insights from large amounts of data. As Pemberton explains, “Based on the Gartner Marketing Analytics survey, nearly half of marketing leaders surveyed said some of their most expensive and experienced analysts and data scientists spend their time preparing data to be analyzed rather than analyzing the data.” The problem is that many data analysts are simply “missing the mark” when it comes to effectively utilizing personal information to market towards a target audience.

When brand marketers know how to put consumer data into action, they are able to focus on personalizing the customer experience, which results in higher profits and increased conversion rates. An effective way to capture the attention of customers is through personalized, creative marketing materials that can engage customers with call-to-action.

AI-machine learning

Marketing with Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence is an important technology that has strongly impacted the marketing industry. The increased use of sophisticated technology for marketing may pose challenges for brand marketers, especially those who are convinced that legacy marketing tactics are the only effective way to reach customers. What brands need to realize is that an effective, balanced combination of physical marketing tactics and digital marketing methods is required for brands to remain profitable in the current age.

Brand marketers can capitalize on the emergence of new automation devices by delivering personalized communications to consumers. Pemberton explains, “Vendors promise their AI solutions will yield increases in marketer efficiency and deliver optimal communications to prospects and customers at the moment of maximum influence.”

As automation methods continue to dominate the marketing industry, marketing teams will experience a disruption in the way they perform. But, when brand marketers see technological advances as new opportunities, as opposed to problems, they can invent and implement innovative methods to improve marketing outcomes and customer experiences.

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The changing terrain of marketing in the coming years doesn’t mean that you will struggle. Instead, brand marketers should see these market challenges as opportunities to redefine their business by thinking of new, creative ways to engage with customers and drive sales.

Adapting to customers’ behavioral changes related to shopping, hiring experts who know how to effectively analyze data to improve marketing tactics, and capitalizing on the use of machines for marketing are important steps you can take as a brand marketer in order to flourish in today’s challenging market. By understanding these useful actions, brands are more likely to remain profitable and ensure a prosperous future for their business.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Next Generation CMOs: Transformation Leaders

butterfly out of cocoon

The marketing industry is constantly evolving. These changes bring new opportunities and roles for CMOs and the brands they represent, alike. Brand marketers today are stepping away from legacy marketing tactics and inventing new, exciting campaigns to reach customers.

According to Deloitte’s Jen Veenstra in her article, “If CMO roles as we’ve defined them have required proficiency not only in marketing but across multiple business functions, the job has expanded even further in complexity to include sustainable growth, highly personalized customer experiences, and advanced marketing innovation.”

In order to ensure success, CMOs need to embrace and step into key strategic roles. By doing so, you will increase opportunities to enhance brand awareness, driving revenue for your business, and expanding your own professional repertoire.

man on a toy car in flame - growth

Growth Driver

It is vital that CMOs drive growth for their brand. When they fail to establish and implement initiatives for improvement centered on growth, the brand suffers.

Most CMOs measure growth using revenue. However, this seems like a daunting task to accurately attribute, and many marketers experience disconnect when trying to drive growth through revenue.

But CMOs must put in the effort to become comfortable using revenue as a metric for growth by adopting the new role as enterprise business growth leader.

At the end of the day, one of the critical responsibilities that a CMO has is to have an end-to-end view of the customer, acknowledging trends, and making strategic recommendations to outsmart the competition to grow business. It is, ultimately, the bottom line for C-Suite decision-makers.

Customer Champion

Embracing customer data and intelligence are important ways for brands to deliver better customer experiences. You can gain valuable insights by collecting and tracking both emotional and transactional preferences from consumers across all channels.

CMOs can then use this data to become the “voice” for their shoppers. And, consequently, CMOs will more effectively engage with their target group of consumers and provide a personalized buying experience.

When brands know what consumers want and what their expectations are, they can implement marketing approaches that personally “speak” to customers.

Man holding tablet with icons popping out - CMO

Storyteller

Riveting, intriguing stories engage consumers’ interest. So, CMOs should ensure that they effectively assume the role of storyteller. By creating and sharing an entertaining narrative about your brand and value, shoppers will be more drawn to what you have to say, and more attracted to your products. Marketers can reshape their brand’s image through the stories they tell consumers.

As Veenstra explains, “It’s still up to marketers to safeguard and disseminate the news about their companies’ brands and invite consumers to participate in the narrative. Chief storytellers have been defined by their part in promoting brand relevance and consistency, and it appears they aren’t straying far away from this role.” Growth-oriented CMOs see storytelling as a thriving and exciting opportunity to connect with customers.

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CMOs no longer have only one role to follow. Brand marketers who want to remain profitable and relevant in today’s ever-changing market must wear different “hats,” hence, the future roles of CMO are likely to become even more complex. By adopting the enterprise-wide mindset to align with the shared goals, and to become a brand’s voice for consumers, CMOs will become the major player behind their company’s success.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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How Omnichannel Grocers Can Keep Up with the Digital Age of Shopping

While most consumers still prefer to do their grocery shopping in person, the presence of online grocery shopping is becoming more prevalent and is predicted to triple over the next ten years. This is creating new challenges and opportunities for both brand marketers and the consumer packaged goods industry.

Consumers don’t fully recognize the convenience of online grocery shopping yet, but omnichannel grocers can capitalize on the e-commerce market by customizing the online experience to their customers and incentivizing them to order online more than once.

According to Stephen Caine and Michelle Paratore at Bain & Company, “Only 42% of first-time users say online grocery shopping saves time, but it gets easier the more they try it.”  If grocers can keep customers coming back to online ordering, the likelihood of the customers using the same method and consistent brand products increase in the future.

So, what exactly do grocers need to do to prepare for the rising digital age of shopping?

online grocery shopping

Create a Convenient Online User Experience

Customers still consider shopping at a physical grocery store to be more convenient than attempting to navigate online grocery shopping. Grocers need to bridge the gap by breaking down the online experience to make it easy and convenient for the consumer to find what they need while also saving them money by suggesting cheaper, similar products.

The key is also personalizing the journey for online shoppers. Grocers can design tools that can touch and influence online shoppers’ decision-making process, such as making product recommendations based on the customer’s previously-purchased items and their shopping patterns.

Another tactic is to minimize the amount of effort required by the consumers by providing them with a visual “shelf” that contains their frequent and repeat orders. By doing so, grocers can make online shopping quicker, easier, and therefore more desirable for its customers.

Incentivize Customers to Shop Online with Your Brand

According to Caine and Paratore, “75% of online grocery shoppers say they are still using the first online grocer they tried.” Most people have a trusted local grocery store where they always shop. So, if local grocers create an online shopping platform that effectively reels in their loyal, regular customers, the likelihood that they will transition their grocery shopping with the same grocer online is almost guaranteed (the home-store bias).

Grocers can offer rewards to incentivize consumers to continue ordering online. Promotions such as coupons for relevant products, special sales, and spending rewards can serve to both personalize the customer’s experience, and to entice them to make repeat orders with your brand by making checkout quick and easy.

This is also a great opportunity for cross-channel engagement via things like direct mail marketing. Sending customers postcards with URLs or QR codes to unlock the rewards that they can redeem for personalized online coupons is a powerful way to build brand loyalty.

mobile grocery shopping

Offer Cutting-Edge Online Features that Fit the Consumer’s Lifestyle

Many consumers still use physical grocery lists to keep track of their shopping needs. Grocers can target this routine practice by designing an online feature that enables shoppers to log their frequently-purchased items and search for them quickly and easily.

Grocers can take it one step further and even create tools to relate to the customer’s lifestyle preferences. For example, for particularly health-conscious shoppers, grocers can offer recommendations for products and recipes that best fit their healthy lifestyle online and offline.

It’s all about personalizing the experience for each shopper, so they feel seen, understood, and valued by your brand. “Retailers who can deliver frictionless omnichannel experiences by investing in digital experiences and tools that save time for consumers shopping online or in stores will emerge as winners in this rapidly changing grocery landscape,” explain Caine and Paratore.

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While not occurring rapidly, consumers are beginning to transition into the digital age of grocery shopping. Many still find it more convenient to shop at a physical grocery store, but with the emergence of digital generations – such as Millennials and Generation Z – is expected to take the CPG and retail industry into the next chapter of the digital grocery shopping era.

Practical and data-based online tools are an essential part of the online experience that “do the work” for customers to shorten the buying cycle. Based on the customer’s shopping pattern, grocers can provide recommendations for items, store favorite item information for a timely reminder, offer coupons and special discounts specific toward their frequented items to help them accomplish their routine shopping practices.

By understanding how to transition into the digital age of grocery shopping, omnichannel grocers can capitalize on the growth of the online shopping world and boost the effectiveness and efficiency of their physical marketing activities as well. And by working with a trusted partner who can help you take advantage of this up-and-coming shopping platform, your brand can compete and win on the quality and convenience of your online user experience.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE