It wasn’t a big audience, but it was one of the most engaged and inquisitive audiences we’ve ever experienced. “We” refers to my colleague Mike Dietz and me as we kicked off Tuesday morning at the 2015 National Postal Forum with a presentation titled, “Digital Print – One Giant Leap for Your Direct Marketing Programs.”
Our audience was a mix of marketers, designers and marketing service providers. As one of the attendees pointed out, our session was scheduled in the same time slot as what the program described as “the very popular” General Session on Technology, so we really appreciated those who decided to attend our session instead.
Technology was just one of the topics in our presentation as we echoed Postmaster General Brennan’s comments about how direct mail has evolved by talking about how the digital print platform has evolved. We borrowed a phrase from PMG Brennan to describe the marketing benefits of dynamic content. As she said in her keynote presentation on Monday, we’re “harnessing the power of hyper-personalized mail.”
Seeing is Believing
One of the “aha” moments in our presentation came as the audience looked at an image showing the output from one of our digital devices. The image shows four, two-up letters. It’s a wonderful visual of the power of dynamic content with different offers, layouts, and graphics within the guardrails of the wireframe used for designing for digital.
Mike had the audience captivated as he described how he thinks about designing for digital, including how to leverage direct mail within the broader context of multi-channel campaigns. He showed five formats that were optimized for dynamic content. It was a treat to be able to stand back and watch the audience connect the dots on the power of the platform to remove the cap on version changes and enable robust testing.
Questions Poured In
Many of the questions from the audience were about testing. The questions ranged from how to budget for a testing strategy to best practices for testing. One of the most insightful questions was about the role of the control package when a marketer makes the transition to the digital platform.
We sensed from the questions that Mike really struck a chord when he explained the importance of understanding your content requirements when thinking about a direct mail campaign that uses the digital print platform. The most satisfying comment after the presentation came from someone who said, “You promised to give us something to think about and you delivered.” It’s what you want to hear at the National Postal Forum.
We kept another promise, too, by respecting the wishes of the birthday girl in the room who made it clear she did not want us to lead the audience in a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday to You.” We’ll just thank her here for spending her birthday morning with us and wish her a happy day and a wonderful year.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for our final post on this great event.
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