GET­TING A BULLSEYE

All mar­ket­ing chan­nels tar­get the in­di­vid­ual, but per­haps none as well as di­rect mar­ket­ing.

New Zealand Marketing - - The Radio Bureau -

Although the land­scape has changed, di­rect mail is still an ef­fec­tive and en­gag­ing way to con­nect brands with cus­tomers, es­pe­cially if cus­tomers are prop­erly un­der­stood, Track man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Andy Bell says.

“Ul­ti­mately the point is not just to reach peo­ple, it’s to make a con­nec­tion, to elicit some form of re­sponse, in the mo­ment.

“To do that we have to get along­side the cus­tomer in the mo­ments that mat­ter.”

Track, which took away 13 awards at last year’s New Zealand Di­rect Mar­ket­ing awards, uses ‘con­tex­tual cre­ativ­ity’, us­ing in­sight and cre­ativ­ity to make mean­ing­ful hu­man con­nec­tions, Bell says.

“In old-school mass ad­ver­tis­ing we’d hit ev­ery­one, cus­tomers and prospects, with the same mes­sage and no con­sid­er­a­tion of where they were in the cus­tomer jour­ney.”

With in­creas­ing data avail­abil­ity, it’s now about reach­ing peo­ple with mes­sages rel­e­vant to where they are on their jour­ney.

“Two peo­ple vis­it­ing the same

NZ Her­ald on­line page might see two com­pletely dif­fer­ent West­pac ads based on where they are in the cus­tomer jour­ney – and the mes­sage will likely be dif­fer­ent when they next re­turn.”

The big­gest win of the night for Track was the Grand Prix award it shared with Air New Zealand for the Air­points cam­paign, which dis­es­tab­lished Air New Zealand’s part­ner­ship with Fly Buys and took the two pro­grammes head-to-head in cus­tomer loy­alty.

Once they’d over­come the hur­dle of get­ting Air­points cards to 1.8 mil­lion mem­bers, the cam­paign used di­rect communications to guide mem­bers through their first for­ays into un­fa­mil­iar Air­points ter­ri­tory.

The judges com­mented the cam­paign was "a rare stand­out", and Air New Zealand had per­suaded hun­dreds of thou­sands of Ki­wis to change their loy­alty habits, say­ing “the strength of the en­try is in the over arch­ing strat­egy; it’s a big thought that has pro­duced big results”.

Bell says the rea­son di­rect mail can sound old-school is be­cause it’s a sin­gle chan­nel among many that al­low us to de­liver mo­ments of per­sonal con­nec­tion en masse. Ar­guably, he says, we’re in "the sec­ond golden age of CRM", where we can ad­dress peo­ple in­di­vid­u­ally through an in­cred­i­ble range of chan­nels – like dig­i­tal dis­play.

“What we’re re­ally talk­ing about is mar­ket­ing one-on-one, datadriven mar­ket­ing that al­lows us to iden­tify, tar­get, reach and con­nect with in­di­vid­u­als.”

In­creas­ingly busi­nesses are be­com­ing in­ter­ested in data man­age­ment plat­forms in a me­dia sense, which cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­creased ef­fec­tive­ness, Bell says.

“Com­bin­ing me­dia be­havioural in­sight with first-party trans­ac­tional data via the data man­age­ment plat­form gives you a much richer pic­ture of the cus­tomer and en­ables you to do so much more."

Joseph Silk of Chem­istry In­ter­ac­tion, which cel­e­brated nine wins at the Di­rect Mar­ket­ing Awards, also sees the trend of busi­nesses fo­cus­ing on data to im­prove tar­geted results.

He says cheaper data­base tools, more data an­a­lyt­ics com­pa­nies and bet­ter and cheaper data cap­ture through on­line tools, apps, so­cial me­dia, POS tech­nol­ogy are aid­ing this.

“Bet­ter data means more knowl­edge about what peo­ple want and when, and hence bet­ter tar­get­ing and im­proved results. It’s a vir­tu­ous cir­cle."

Di­rect mail mar­ket­ing re­mains a strong de­liv­ery chan­nel for real brand in­ter­ac­tion, and this may be in­creas­ing in the world of fast for­ward­ing ads, fakes news on so­cial me­dia, and high con­tent sat­u­ra­tion, he says.

“It is highly en­gag­ing, when done right. A DM piece is like a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween a brand to its tar­get au­di­ence and should feel like a true demon­stra­tion of the brand tone of voice and look and feel.”

An ex­am­ple of this was Chem­istry In­ter­ac­tion’s re­cent cam­paign for Place­mak­ers to move cus­tomers to a new loy­alty re­wards pro­gramme.

Silk says con­nect­ing to tradies off­line when they were tak­ing a break from their busy lives was im­por­tant.

“We wanted to be in the home when they had a chance to take our mes­sage in prop­erly, rather than re­ceive an email and end up in the bot­tom of their in­box.”

Us­ing tai­lored and multi-seg­mented di­rect mail, Place­mak­ers re­tained 100 per­cent of its high-value loy­alty cus­tomers, 50 per­cent of el­i­gi­ble cus­tomers signed up to the pro­gramme and ac­tive cus­tomers in­creased by over 26 per­cent.

Although 95 per­cent of the agency's cam­paigns are multi-chan­nel, Silk says di­rect mail is very much a part of the mar­ket­ing mix. No mat­ter the chan­nel, he says an ef­fec­tive cam­paign is a sim­ple for­mula – “right of­fer or mes­sage to the right peo­ple at the right time, de­liv­ered in a way that grabs their at­ten­tion and pro­vides them with a clear and sim­ple way to re­spond".

Look­ing for­ward, Silk hopes di­rect mail de­liv­ered through the mail be­comes in­ter­ac­tive in its own right, us­ing tech­nol­ogy like AR and VR.

“For­give me if this is be­fore your time but I reckon Star Wars had it right when Princess Leia de­liv­ered a mes­sage to Obi Wan through R2-D2.”

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