Qualitative Data Vs. Quantitative Data: Do You Know the Difference?

When it comes to personalized marketing, whether in print or email, there are two types of data: quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative data is data that you can put numbers on—household income, ZIP Code, number of children. We often call these demographics. Qualitative data is data that you cannot put numbers on, such as preferences and behavior. We often call these psychographics.

Marketers have become used to using quantitative data to speak more personally and relevantly to customers.  Customers in this household income bracket get these offers. Customers in that household income bracket get those. Customers with elementary school age children get information on Product A. Customers with high school age children get information on Product B.

Qualitative data can seem more challenging than quantitative data, but it can be even more rewarding. This is because, while we can make general statements about certain demographic groups, it’s limited. Just because someone is a homeowner doesn’t mean they need roofing services, for example. Conversely, people who receive Trail Runner magazine are likely to be interested in similar types of outdoor running gear even if they have different ages and household incomes.

This is why marketers are increasingly using both quantitative and qualitative data to inform their marketing strategies.  For example, a manufacturer of outdoor running gear might start with lists of people who read Trail Runner and similar magazines, then sub-segment offers based on other factors, such as income or geographic region.

So when it comes to creating targeted and personalized direct mail and email campaigns, think in terms of data that can be put into numbers and data that cannot. Then, most importantly, how they go together.

Let us help you put your personalized marketing in motion!

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What Is Really Motivating Your Customers?

When we think about motivating consumers to make a purchase, we think about using the right mailing list, creating the right offer, and having a compelling call to action. Whether creating a direct mail piece, a sales letter, or a magazine advertisement, those elements are critical. But the reasons people buy can also be more complex.

Particularly in the B2C environment, emotional factors are often at play. For example, if you are selling exotic vacations, you aren’t just selling a cost-effective hotel with great food and a seafront view.

  • You are selling relaxation.
  • You are tapping into the desire to escape from the daily grind of meetings, presentations, and child rearing.
  • You are selling the desire to be catered to.

Tapping into these deep emotional wells can help you sell more.  Instead of mailing a postcard with the headline, “Get 25% off plane tickets today!” Try, “Don’t you wish the office were a Thousand Miles Away?” Or, “Isn’t It Time that Someone Pampered YOU?”

Think about a parent dreaming of excitement beyond the children’s homework, playing shuttle for soccer practice, and meetings for the PTA. A trip offering whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, and skydiving might tap deep emotional needs for adventure.  Try a postcard with an image of the face of a skydiver, wide-eyed and exhilarated—cheeks flapping in the wind—that says, “You, too, can FLY!”

Whether you are developing direct mailers, sales letters, or magazine ads . . .

  • Think about unmet frustrations and deeper emotions that might drive recipients to make a change.
  • List the potential motivators. To be recognized at work? Get a promotion? Be challenged? Break out of the mold? Feel empowered, youthful, and sexy?
  • Show — don’t tell. Use the power of graphics to tell a story.

Emotions are powerful marketing tools. Emotionally driven purchases tend to be less price-sensitive and more spontaneous. The medium of print has the ability to tap into those emotions and motivate behavior in a way that no other medium can do. Take advantage of it and let us help you put your ideas in motion!

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Benefit From Effective Branding

Related imageAn effective brand creates an enduring perception in the minds of your customers and distinguishes you from your competitors.  An investment in branding can pay off in many ways.

Increase mind share.  When you want a cola, you think of Coca-Cola or Pepsi.  If you need a bandage, Band-Aid comes to mind.  Are you top-of-mind in your market segment?  The sensory components of printed materials engage readers on an emotional level, connecting customers to your brand in a way electronic marketing can’t match.  Consider incorporating a gloss varnish, embossing, a distinctive die cut, or one of the many textures now available in papers and other substrates.

Build loyalty.  A memorable experience with a quality brand creates loyalty, which translates not only into the likelihood of a repeat sale but also an increased probability that the customer will buy related items from the same brand.

Benefit from referrals.  People who have never used your product or service may still recommend it if they’ve encountered your brand enough times to develop a sense of familiarity.  Printed collateral can be more visible to the casual observer as the prospect doesn’t have to consciously seek out your message.  Include your social media information on your printed products.

Command a premium price.  A powerful brand can lift your product or service out of the ambit of a commodity, so you have buyers eager to pay more for what you’re selling.  Many companies sell coffee, so what makes people stand in line and pay top dollar at Starbucks?

Lower your marketing cost in the long run.  Although you have to invest resources to create a strong brand, once it is established you can maintain it without having to re-tell your story. Many budget-conscious marketers rely heavily on electronic media, but research shows that people still prefer print.  We simply don’t have the same visceral reaction to an e-brochure as a professionally printed piece.

Less risk for the consumer equals more sales for you.  If someone is put on the spot to make a decision, he will most likely choose the brand-name supplier.  Consider monthly postcard marketing so prospects interact with your brand regularly.  Printed materials have the advantage over electronic media based on portability and permanence.

Building an effective brand is a continuous process.  Evaluate your brand’s market position periodically to make sure it’s fresh and relevant.

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Study: Cross-Channel Marketing Use Nearly Doubles

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth the effort to expand the number of marketing channels you are using and invest in deeper integration between them, just take a look at the data.

According to a study just released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Winterberry Group (April 2017), nearly 60% of U.S. digital marketing and media practitioners now engage in cross-channel marketing. This is up from 33% one year ago.

It’s no wonder. SailThru finds that 72% of consumers would rather connect with brands and businesses through multi-channel, and in a B2C environment, multi-channel B2C campaigns realize a 24% greater return on investment.  Multichannel shoppers also spend 3x more than single channel shoppers.

Not surprisingly, marketers are increasing the number of channels they use. More than half (52%) of marketers now use 3-4 marketing channels. This is up from 44% of marketers one year earlier (DMA).

Here’s another 52% statistic you should know—52% of multichannel marketers say they “usually” or “always” hit their financial targets! (CMO by Adobe)

Want to be among them? Here are some of the channels you should be integrating:

  • Print
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Web
  • Events
  • Mobile
  • Out-of-home
  • Video

The trick isn’t simply using more channels, however. It’s not about volume—it’s about strategy. It’s about integrating the right channels at the right time to reach the right prospects on the channels they use most.

This can be daunting, especially if you have limited resources to invest. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Let us help you navigate the multichannel world and create campaigns that use the right mix of channels for your products, target audience, and marketing goals.

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Informed Delivery = Happy Marketers!

Are you looking for a way to make your B-to-C direct mail more relevant and responsive, as well as providing tighter integration with your digital channels? If so, Informed Delivery may be just the tool you are looking for. It is a tool that allows you to digitally preview your day’s mail and is available to residential customers for both First Class and Standard mail – all at no extra charge!

The United States Postal Service has developed this platform to unite physical and digital advertising by allowing marketers to provide hyperlinks to direct mail ads and promotions.  Informed Delivery has just completed pilot testing and is currently available in areas of California, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The feature will be rolled out nationwide in mid-2017 through an intensive advertising campaign.

Example of My Mailbox page shown on laptop and mobile device.

Informed Delivery will allow consumers to sign up to receive a daily email that contains photos of what will be delivered to their mailbox that day. Users will be able to view up to 10 images of mail pieces within the email. For consumers that receive more than 10 pieces of mail daily, they can view all mail piece images on their online dashboard at informeddelivery.usps.com.

Business mailers will have the ability to display relevant digital content related to the mail piece images included in the notifications. By clicking on the image, the consumer can be taken directly to a designated website or video. Or, their click could launch a phone call from their mobile.

Zoomed Bubble showing example of scanned in mailpiece with ride along Ad content.

The Informed Delivery pilot, conducted in Northern Virginia with 6,600 users, generated the following results, which marketers will be interested in:

  • Direct mail expands to a wider audience. In most households, one member regularly retrieves, sorts and opens the mail. Informed Delivery insures that others within the household are seeing it, too.
  • 93% of the users opened their email alerts within 2 hours of receiving them.
  • 90% of the users said they would continue using the free service when it is made permanent.
  • 88% of the users stated they would recommend it to their friends and family.
  • The average response rate of Informed Delivery subscribers was 5.9%, compared to 0.5% for a control mailing.
  • 81% of those that responded did so through the click-through option.
  • Users were also twice as likely, as the control group, to type in a URL.
  • Response rates are 2-10 times higher with Informed Delivery, according to the 2016 National Postal Forum.

According to Joe Cochrane, CMO of the USPS, “What we can do is measure when recipients engage with Informed Delivery and then when they go to your site or convert. This is going to do a lot for the attribution issue.” Additionally, marketers will have analytics that indicate when mail pieces are viewed and what actions were taken. Informed Delivery should help support personalized brand experiences.

If you’d like to learn more about Informed Delivery – just ask us! Or, visit informeddelivery.usps.com.

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Customer Insight Is Critical To Effective Personalization!

Image result for personalization images

What’s the secret to personalized printing success? It can be summed up in a single word: relevance. You can “personalize” a document with dozens of variables related to a customer’s gender, income, geographic location and more, but in the end, if the document isn’t relevant to the recipient, it won’t be effective.

How do you ensure that your personalized mailings are relevant to the people you are sending them to? You get to know them.

The industry’s most successful marketers know everything about their customers. They ask questions. They do customer surveys. They conduct focus groups. They collect a variety of customer data that helps them create detailed profiles of those customers. They mine data efficiently.

How does this work? Say you are a marketer of women’s health products. You have been personalizing direct mailings by name, age and stage of life, but the response remains low. To figure out what’s going on, you conduct a survey to learn more about your customers’ lifestyles.

Based on the survey, you find that a high percentage of your customers are home-schoolers. While these customers value natural products, your research finds that their time and finances are restricted by home-schooling costs and activities. You also find that among this group, personal pampering is not a high priority.

Based on this new information, you might change your pitch. Instead of focusing on the appeal of your products to the recipient personally, you might begin to address this demographic’s larger concerns and lifestyle needs. You talk about the cost-effectiveness of natural products in comparison to commercial products. You talk about the ability of these products to boost energy, improve the restfulness of sleep, and provide long-term health benefits for growing children. What do you think will happen to your response rates?

There is a common saying, “Knowledge is power.” While that’s true, I believe that applied knowledge is far more powerful. So, mine the data you have, gather more, if needed and then apply that knowledge to your marketing efforts for greater success!

When you want to put your data in motion to develop personalized AND relevant direct mail, we’re here to help!

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Positioning Your Business For Tomorrow

Do you see marketing as a sprint or a marathon? Increasingly, marketers are taking the marathon view, developing their plans to focus on long-term results rather than just “right now” sales. In this view, marketing has a two-fold purpose: to foster immediate sales and to plant seeds for tomorrow’s.

First you must identify the factors that will further your company’s long-term marketing goals. You might not have a perfect understanding of every looming competitive, economic, legal, sociological, or technological force, but you can become alert to the possibilities. Arm yourself with information on the longevity and profit potential of your present market’s lifecycle as well as budding market opportunities so you can begin positioning your business for tomorrow today.

Here are a few ways to foster future business opportunities regardless of your business size or budget.

  1. Provide platinum-standard customer service. Your goal is always to exceed your customers’ expectations, but if you fall short, admit it. Many loyal repeat customers result from perfectly corrected errors.
  1. Cultivate your elite customers. Your best customers—those who are easy to work with, who really like you, and who have a positive history with your company—are a goldmine of quality referrals. Strengthen existing relationships and build new ones by giving your top clients and their guests special offers, insights, and previews of your innovations.
  1. Create top-of-mind awareness. Not everyone needs your product or service today, but many will at some point in the future. Capitalize on your vision of emerging needs and trends, communicated using our suite of multi-channel marketing tools and techniques, to get your product in front of tomorrow’s customers now.

It takes time for the seeds you plant today to germinate into future business. Essential to all of this is to communicate effectively with your target audience. Consult with us to learn how our technology and expertise can support these efforts and put your ideas in motion!

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