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Strategy Archives - NVISION

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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Future of CPG Marketing: Building a Winning Strategy

man on speedy go kart - full

The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry marketing is changing. The game and the rules are evolving, and brands need to identify and implement new and strategic ways to keep up in order to remain profitable.

According to Clare Gordon, Nicolas Willemot, Eileen Shy, and John Grudnowski in their Bain & Company article, “Today, marketing consumer products is more like a sprawling contest of mixed martial arts, with new competitors playing by different rules; an unprecedented complexity of channels, content, and partners; and a step-change in speed and ways of working that has punches flying at incumbent consumer products companies.”

To ensure future success, CPG brands need to transform their marketing operations to better connect with consumers in this ever-changing industry. Here’s how brands can prepare for the future of CPG marketing.

Define New Growth Platforms

In the past, brand marketers just considered geographies and nearby industry verticals when brainstorming marketing methods. However, this approach is no longer effective. Brand marketers need to take more factors into the mind and remain aware of new marketing trends that emerge in the CPG industry when coming up with marketing strategies.

CPG marketing trends have shifted from services to experiences, and now further to communities, and brands must discover new growth platforms in order to keep up with this pace of change. To determine the most effective marketing methods and growth platforms, they need to evaluate the past and the future. Brand marketers can enhance their marketing methods by combining the old with the new.

So, instead of relying only on legacy marketing tactics, brand marketers should think “outside the box.” Consumers today want more engagement with brands. Marketers should create innovative ways to connect with consumers based on demand while envisioning marketing strategies that influence every touchpoint of the individual consumer journey in the long run.

By taking a step further and implementing a growth platform that enhances marketing tactics of the past to improve the future, CPG brands can transcend beyond their current products, business models, and capabilities.

man with tablet showing charts-growth

Rethink Your Brand Portfolio

The truth be told. The conventional marketing formula no longer brings growth. As the marketplace undergoes a rapid transformation, marketing leaders are compelled to rethink their brand from its competitiveness to capabilities and the way they connect with consumers.

Disruptive industry trends and insurgent brands have raised the bar on consumer expectations that force brands to build and manage a more diverse brand portfolio to meet the demand.

By focusing on refining optimal portfolio roles, identifying winning strategies, determining the level of investments and ROI expectations, will help marketing leaders to develop a 360-degree consumer engagement strategy through omnichannel touchpoints of the customer journey. According to the article, “CMOs need to reassess growth platforms and future brand portfolios, along with developing a supporting strategy on data and technology,” to fulfill their newly assigned role as growth drivers in this versatile CPG marketplace.

brand idea poster - onsite services

Transform Your Operating Model

Brand marketers should consider adopting a new operating model and partnership structure that falls in line with the emerging trends in the CPG industry. They must also ensure that they have an effective process in place to manage this transition.

Brands should collect and utilize customer data in order to personalize the shopping experience for their target market and make it as engaging as possible for shoppers. As Gordon, Willemot, Shy, and Grudnowski explain, “Take control of targeting and consumer data to build differentiated capabilities for retargeting groups of consumers, as well as driving insights and guiding strategy.”

Consumers expect to see advertisements that are specifically targeted to their needs. Brands can put their consumer data into good use to tailor their marketing techniques to fit the profile of their target audience.

When you identify the needs of your customers and effectively use personal information, you can influence their shopping process, convert them to loyal customers, and simultaneously drive sales for your business.

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As new trends and changes emerge in the CPG industry, it is essential for brand marketers to be aware and plan new marketing strategies for the future.

By defining new growth platforms that involve “thinking outside the box” of legacy marketing methods, focusing on refining optimal portfolio roles by revamping your brand portfolio, and transitioning to a new operating model that satisfies customers’ shopping experiences, CPG brands can generate demand, drive sales, and keep up with the fast pace of industry changes.

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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

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.

businessman holding tablet

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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Gartner: Three Tips for Building an Agile Marketing Culture

The landscape for marketers is changing more rapidly than ever. And for marketing leaders who feel like their teams and resources are already stretched thin, this can be a daunting reality. But, one of the best ways to plan for this reality, and to prepare your organization to maximize marketing resources is to develop a marketing culture around agile thinking.

That’s according to Marc Brown at Gartner, who explains that today’s marketing leaders can cultivate an agile culture – and agile thinking – by focusing their attention on three key areas: Skills, Data, and Operations. So, what does that actually look like for real CMOs and marketing directors?

Let’s dive in.

professional meeting - a woman presenting

Build Your Team with the Skills to Match Your Vision

Nearly every member of your marketing team probably has different skills. From copywriters to designers to marketing automation experts, your marketing department is more than the sum of its parts. But just as each member of your team has different skills, so too does each marketing department have a different overall vision for success. And that vision should shape the skills makeup of your team.

Marketing visions can vary vastly from team to team,” Brown explains. “Assembling a team with a unified vision all starts with the recruiting process.” To this end, Brown recommends taking the time to put down on paper exactly what your team’s vision is – what metrics success will be judged by, what key goals you will hope to achieve, etc. Then, Brown recommends recruiting “T-shaped” team members, or team members who possess a broad breadth of skills while also demonstrating deep expertise in a single specific area. According to Gartner’s 2017 Marketing Organization Survey, 53% of modern marketers are already “T-shaped,” so developing your perfect team is mostly a matter of mapping everyone’s skills to your larger team vision.

Data is the Foundation of Agility

As Brown explains, one of the fundamental characteristics of an agile marketing approach is constant iteration and analysis. What’s working, what isn’t, and how closely are you measuring it? “For a marketing team to break the norm and boost engagement, they must first understand exactly what ‘the norm’ is,” Brown says. “Agile marketing’s iterative approach enables you to incorporate data and insights into your planning on an ongoing basis.”

Gartner specifically recommends using your customer data to create a multichannel 360-degree of your customer’s journey, from Buy to Own to Advocate. “Using this data is key to understanding pain points. You can’t find innovative solutions if you don’t understand the common snags in your systems, customer behavior, and shopping trends,” says Brown. If you want to build an agile marketing team that can respond to new trends at a moment’s notice, you must first establish the data practices to discover them.

Agile Operations Are Not Always Linear

Part of shifting to an agile marketing mindset is adjusting your expectations for your operational workflows. Traditional marketing operations tend to conceptualize these processes as flowing naturally, step-by-step, from something like Strategy to Research, Design, Deploy, and finally, Measure. But as Brown explains, agile marketing operations look very different.

“It’s better to view the process as a loop to continuously facilitate collaboration, ideation, development, execution, and measurement.” This, Brown says, is to account for the fact that no team can ever predict all the ways and areas where optimization has opportunities to improve the process. “Although it may seem like these processes naturally flow from one stage to the next, there’s never a one-size-fits-all formula. Certain stages may be conducted simultaneously in order to view the situation from all angles, or to reevaluate a plan or to pivot and adjust direction.”

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An agile marketing mindset helps marketing teams position themselves for future success in a quickly-changing landscape. But to put themselves in a position to respond with agility, marketing leaders must take steps now to build and establish an agile mindset. By focusing on Skills, Data, and Operations, smart CMOs can do just that, today.

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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