When marketing your business, it is pretty important to keep up on what is happening – changes in technology, industry trends, and any new and creative campaigns that others have used successfully. While not everything we see and hear about might be applicable to our own businesses, more often than not we can learn from others and stay current. The alternative to this of course, is to keep doing the same things over and over again, and we all know what will likely happen then!
One overall shift in the last 10 years or so has been to the concept of cross-media marketing. Quite simply, this is the strategy that suggests we need to be utilizing a number of different media options when marketing and promoting our organizations. Especially with the advent of all the various online digital formats – websites, e-mail marketing, mobile marketing, search engine and paid search, and social media, the opportunities to share our messaging in multiple platforms has never been more abundant. In fact, we have found that many of these options are actually less expensive than some of the more traditional formats such as print, television and radio.
The challenge of course, is to actually track the responses and measure which of all the different media components works best for us – in other words, what might be the most engaging for one organization might not be the strongest for another. And even though we might find one to be the dominant source of leads, that does not mean that we ignore the others, rather we just adjust the overall marketing plan accordingly.
This brings me up to an interesting fact that I had found recently. It first came to me during a podcast (another tremendous way to share your expertise) by MindFire – a marketing solutions company that has a strong presence in the print community. Then I went to their blog along with a few other sources, and these all talked about a recent Response Rate Report from the DMA (Direct Marketing Association). While I have not read the full report, the interesting note is that direct mail had achieved a 3.7% response rate for an “in-house” list and a 1% rate for a “prospect” list. This is actually pretty good, but the most interesting part comes next… mobile, paid search, social media, e-mail and internet display combined had a .62% response. Yes, less than a 1% combined response rate – wow, who would have figured that! The actual “winner” in the response rate survey was telephone, at a 9-10% rate – which means it is also good to actually pick up the phone and call people. The study also included the “cost-per-acquisition” and while many believe the cost for direct mail is high, when considering the response rate, the cost is actually competitive. Direct mail is at $19, while mobile and social media are at $16-18, Paid search at $21-30 and e-mail the lowest at $11-15.
What this suggests, is that while many organizations have shifted to digital marketing, the idea of including print in your strategy is still very viable and important. In fact, perhaps the greatest strength of print is to drive people to your online components. Each of the formats ultimately reinforces each other and together you will reach more people and gain more leads, which after all, is the real goal!
How is it that you include print in your marketing plan? Let us help you find a way.