The NBA Draft was just last week, and our Minnesota Timberwolves selected Karl-Anthony Towns with the first overall pick. This got me thinking that the strategy used to draft professionals athletes isn’t much different than selecting which channels should be used to maximize your direct marketing results. Like an NBA franchise, marketing executives often must decide between investing in assets which have displayed proven performance, such as direct mail, and those that are enticing based primarily on untapped potential. These include mobile advertising or even more recent newcomers like beacons, user controlled media and augmented reality.
While today’s marketing environment includes a depth of talent and many effective channels, it has become much less about picking the best players and more about picking the right one, at the right time, for the right fit. And they must work together, because without chemistry, a team often achieves little, and without synergy, a campaign will achieve even less.
IWCO Direct 2015 Scouting Report
To achieve great direct marketing results, it’s important to understand the unique benefits that each channel provides. With that in mind, let me put on my direct marketing scouting cap and give you the IWCO Direct 2015 Scouting Report in an effort to help you assemble your championship marketing campaign:
- Direct mail: As the 2015 DMA Response Rate Report notes, it’s proven to be a reliable and effective performer. While not the cheapest, it’s the most dependable channel for consistent conversion. A franchise player that a team can be built around.
- Email: Fast, efficient and low-cost way of contacting customers and prospects. Only drawback to its game is that it’s easy to block and even easier to be reported as spam. An explosive scorer that can light up a scoreboard, but can be extremely cold other times.
- Paid Search: A great tool for placement where people are searching for specific products or companies. However, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a lot of visits or click-throughs. A long, athletic forward who slashes to the rim to create momentum-changing, highlight dunks.
- Display Advertising: Like Paid Search in that it only reaches a select group looking for a select product. However, it is useful when trying to gain a slight edge over the competition and is an effective way to grab consumer attention and impress with your message.
- Mobile: Offers the ability to provide those with mobile devices time- and/or location-sensitive information that promotes services and ideas often involving personal information. A fan favorite who fills a niche role in the organization, but might not be successful on any other team based on a limited skillset.
- Social media: A great tool for getting noticed based upon the large usage of these platforms, but it’s hard to get long-term attention due to the limited space allowed for text and media. The second round pick trying to contribute as much as he can in the few minutes of game time he gets.
Like any championship team, practice makes perfect, and successful strategies are not formulated overnight. Finding out what combination of channels works best for your brand and provides the best direct marketing results takes strategy, trial and patience. But in our opinion, direct mail is the proven performer and a franchise star. It’s the most reliably consistent player in a direct marketing campaign and it’s not leaving the floor any time soon.
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