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These tips aren’t guesswork. They’re all the product of experience, and they can all make a significant difference both to your cross media campaigns, and to the future of your business. Many of them are just common sense but, as a friend of mine keeps on saying, sense simply isn’t as common as you’d think nowadays…
You’ve little chance of giving your clients what they want if you don’t nail down the brief! And only when you’re sure of their goal can you give them a realistic idea of what you should be able to achieve.
Is that goal customer retention? To generate more sales leads? To publicise a special event or promotion? To gather more information about customers? You need to know, because for different aims you’d typically expect different response rates. And you’d require entirely different creative approaches.
To make your message genuinely relevant you must put yourself in your audience’s shoes.
You need to fully understand people to decide what they’re likely to buy, and when. Additionally, the ability to adjust your ‘tone of voice’ and talk to them in language they’re comfortable with – via their preferred choice of media – is the subtle aspect of true ‘personalisation’.
Only by making the effort to get personal and tune into people’s wavelength can you be reasonably certain of delivering the right offer at the right time. This is how effective campaigns increase response rates,
Too many businesses fail to make the most of the data they already have. Sometimes you have to think like a fisherman. You might not have the right bait for the fish you’re after just now, but you could use it to help you catch the right bait and then you can target your fish!
In other words, you’d use cross media to get more data and improve its quality.
For example, you might use direct mail to drive traffic to a personalised website. There, you’d invite visitors to complete a questionnaire or enter a competition, simply to find out how they’d prefer to be contacted. You’d probably need to tempt them with a small reward, but the information you’d gain could be invaluable for your next campaigns.
Recent research shows that – for best responses – your campaign should use a minimum of two media: personalised print and personalised web sites (pURLs). Integrating multiple media ‘channels’ increases your message’s relevance, and typically boosts response rates by up to four times compared to those you’d expect from static, ‘same-to-all’ messages.
Effective campaigns frequently start with a personalised postcard to open the door and send targets to their pURLs. Personalised email and SMS messaging are both great ways for follow-ups. And, increasingly, social media is proving highly effective for engaging with target audiences and generating interest through social sharing.
Once you’ve got people’s attention, you can’t afford to lose it. So give them an immediate reward to stay interested and move the relationship another step forward.
It may relate to the product you’re selling, such as a discount. A simple gift or entry into a prize draw for responding. Or just really useful information that matches their interests. What’s important, again, is that it’s relevant to your target. A good offer, targeted to the right person, can make all the difference.
Timing is critical. Because people are much more likely to respond if they could use your product or service at the precise moment they receive your message.
Data gathering with cross media can be really useful for identifying when and how to contact your target again.
Personalised direct marketing has been around for years – even my granny had mail order catalogues! But what’s so amazingly different today is that people can respond instantly, via internet or mobile.
They can also use social media to talk about your offer and your brand, if it’s relevant to them. And if they don’t like what you’re doing, they’ll say so… to the world. Listen to them and learn – it’s a fantastic opportunity to tweak your offering and home right in on your target.
The beauty of personalised direct response marketing is that it delivers measurable results. So short-run test campaigns to determine the ideal combination of message, creative design and offer can be really worthwhile. And, thanks to digital printing, extremely cost-effective.
Which means you can prove the worth of a personalised, cross media campaign to sceptical customers inexpensively. And through testing – and eliminating – variables you can fine-tune their eventual campaign much more accurately.
Most successful businesses don’t just think in terms of ‘one-off’ campaigns. Many set out to grow with their clients and become, in the process, almost their virtual digital marketing department.
By building relationships with your clients over time you really get to know their business and marketplace. You take responsibility for aggregating ever-improving data which, in turn, makes for ever better cross media marketing campaigns.
Thinking long-term develops a synergy which can’t fail to benefit you both.
Some of the most successful digital print businesses are those that take the ‘horses for courses’ approach. If they don’t have a particular specialist skill in-house, they don’t try and ‘busk it’ – they collaborate with partners who do. They ally their expertise in print with specialist creative writers and designers, strategists, data analysers and even app developers.
Co-operatively you can offer your clients everything needed to design and execute highly effective cross media marketing campaigns, however complex
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