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Technology 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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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

Three Ways of Capturing What Customers Want Before They Do

thinking girl with digital shopping symbols

Advancement of technology with limitless digital bandwidth opened up a new array of channels for today’s consumers to be more aggressive in engaging with brands. More importantly, it is changing the way consumers shop, forcing brands to present a superior omnichannel experience to meet the expectations and demands of consumers. However, some brands struggle to do so because they lack sufficient awareness of their customers’ needs and preferences.

According to Jorge Amar, Julian Raabe, and Stefan Roggenhofer in their McKinsey.com article, “Companies seeking to keep pace with industry leaders must embark on an omnichannel transformation — one that views touchpoints not in isolation but as part of a seamless customer journey. And since customer journeys aren’t simple and linear but a series of handoffs between traditional and digital channels that can vary significantly by customer type, an effective strategy requires an in-depth understanding of what customers truly want.”

In order to ensure success, brands need to focus on understanding the preferences and wants of their target audience.

Omni-channel-Illustration-shopping

Provide Quality Digital Customer Care

More and more customers prefer to shop digitally and seek out customer care online. Many brands have capitalized on this trend by focusing on developing a robust omnichannel presence. However, brands that design a digital channel prematurely often fail to provide adequate online support channels for their customers.

Some brand marketers believe that the customer’s desire for customer-employee interactions is diminishing due to growing technology. But, trends indicate that the volume of engagement and the number of touchpoints actually continue to increase. This shows that brands need to ensure that they are providing effective and positive engagement with customers through digital channels.

Brand marketers who fail to provide adequate customer care online find that customers make multiple visits to their website in order to receive the help and assistance that they require. This leaves shoppers frustrated and dissatisfied, decreasing sales and conversions for your brand. Concentrate on efforts to understand how to effectively help your customers, and ensure that you offer productive digital avenues through which they can seek assistance.

Know Your Shoppers’ Personas

To effectively reach and engage with customers, brand marketers need to be aware of the different types of segments they’re targeting. The four most common categories of shoppers include: digital by lifestyle, digital by choice, digital by need, and offline society. Each consumer group has unique shopping needs, and brands need to prepare marketing approaches for each of them.

As Amar, Raabe, and Roggenhofer explain, “Best practice is to design primary service for each segment, using contact volume distribution and persona profiles that differentiate by digital behavior to determine engagement strategies and the necessary investments in each channel.” Different types of consumers will respond to different marketing tactics, so brand marketers need to get creative to effectively reach a large audience of shoppers.

More and more customers demand personalized journey fit their needs. The first step for brands to achieve this is to understand the shopping preference of their target consumer groups.

Some consumer segments respond more to online advertisements, whereas others are more touched by physical marketing materials such as direct mail that drives them to brick-and-mortar stores where they can experience a personal connection with the brand. Therefore, brands should focus on developing marketing strategies that serve each persona group based on their shopping preferences in conjunction with omnichannel digital efforts.

cashier handing credit card back to customer - sales person

Train Employees to Put the Customer First

A superb omnichannel experience does not stop at the completed purchasing transaction. It now extends to seamless customer handoffs across the channel from pre-purchase interaction to after-purchase follow-ups by the customer service, via online or face to face. To provide a superb omnichannel experience, brands need to recognize the importance of employee training to fulfill the pre and post-purchase phases of the customer journey.

Well trained brand employees should be able to identify customer needs and cater to their services accordingly. In order to do so, they must receive the right kind of training. Ensure that your training is creative, effective, and designed with the customer in mind. The better the coaching, the better the service, and it translates into higher demand and increased sales for your brand. It’s integral that your workforce has the right skill sets to offer effective customer care. Eventually, this will help to refine the strategy based on brand performance in the long run.

When complex issues arise, employees need to be able to provide feasible solutions and give customers a seamless experience. Positive interactions help employees develop meaningful relationships with consumers, which serves to drive sales and bring in a higher number of loyal customers for your brand. The happier a customer feels when they leave your store or website, it’s more likely that they will recommend your product to others.

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No two consumers are the same. Each consumer segment has unique shopping needs and responds to different marketing methods. Brands need to make an effort to understand what their target customers want and implement ways to effectively deliver it.

Providing high-quality customer service and productive assistance through digital channels, personalizing the shopping experience for target groups, and training brand representatives to follow a customer-centric mindset are useful ways to deepen your understanding of what your customers want, generate demand, and drive sales.

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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.

Related blogs:

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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

Mixed Reality Marketing: Three-Dimensional Storytelling

man with vr goggle on

Marketers are always seeking the next big thing; whether its an emerging trend, a new generation of consumers, a viral social platform, or a technological innovation. Many experts predict that the “next big thing” for brand marketers is the Mixed Reality (MR).

Mixed Reality (MR), including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), is becoming more and more attractive. Technological advances give customers a whole new way to visualize and experience products in different settings.

According to David Roe in CMS Wire, “MR, also referred to as hybrid reality, is the technology that is used to merge real and virtual worlds and produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.” It is predicted that a staggering 100 million consumers will be using MR by 2020.

In order to ensure future success, brand marketers should stay ahead of the curve and be able to capitalize on the opportunities presented by advances in MR technologies. So, what can brands do to take advantage of MR technologies?

AR on magazine and direct mail

Reimagine Advertising

MR technology enables marketers to be creative with their advertising experience by placing the brand image closer to the eyes of consumers.

Brands can take customers on an experiential “test drive” of their product before making purchase decisions. This builds confidence in their product with ads that can transform UX and the buyer’s journey into the next level.

Using MR technology, brand marketers can also tailor their ads by applying consumer’s preferences where the content of each ad shifts by specific circumstances and even with different languages.

This will help brands tell a better story in a more compelling and a meaningfully interactive way. With Millennials and Gen Z becoming the prime consumer group, the early adopters will have the upper hand in providing a superb customer experience and staying ahead of the competition.

Let Users to Truly Connect

Where there is content, it gets shared. You and five billion other smartphone users instantly connect via various social platforms. AR and VR are the new channels that marketers should consider to increase brand awareness. It is a new way for consumers to connect with your products on a deeper level, from the first-person perspective

For example, home-building brands can implement ways for customers to visually rotate and move furniture online in 3-D, enabling them to more easily see which products look best to them. They can also “see” how various materials and finishes will look and feel in a digital mock-up of a home.

This new trend also bridges the gap between the old and the new. The traditional marketing tactics are evolving as digital and virtual technologies mature, becoming a new storytelling medium for a new revenue stream.

Especially in the form of AR, where no wearable device is required but your smartphone to connect consumers with your products. Simply point and scan brochures or catalogs with an AR app to make a purchase or receive relevant product information and tips.

female using interactive screen to customize shopping

ChatBots 24/7

Some service leaders are now using artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual customer assistants (VCAs) as tools in their contact centers. Brand marketers should consider developing VCAs that can effectively interact with and provide technical support to customers.

By allowing well-equipped bots 24-7 to handle basic customer service queries, customers are cared for when needed, resulting in establishing trust-based relationships between customers and your brand. Using bots can also significantly reduce wait times for customers seeking assistance, which will increase customer satisfaction with your brand.

In the meantime, human representatives can focus solely on helping customers with complex, in-depth issues that require multi-layer customer support. As a result, they will become loyal shoppers and will recommend your brand to others.

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As new MR technologies become more available, brands need to capitalize on the different ways to use them in relation to consumers.

By assigning bots to assist customers with simple service inquiries, giving shoppers the opportunity to virtually test drive your products with AR before committing to a purchase, and provide a meaningful first-hand experience to connect with your products, brand marketers can enhance brand awareness, increasing demand generation to drive sales and revenue.

Related blogs:
2020 Shopper Marketing: Are You Ready For This New Wave of Consumers?
Looking Ahead: What Winning Customer Experiences Will Look Like in 2020
Top Brand Marketing Trends for 2019

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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