I always smile when I see Barb Pellow’s name in my inbox. Barb is a Group Director for InfoTrends, the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry. She has keen insights about our industry along with a great sense of humor and boundless energy as she travels around the world.
Last year an email from Barb announced the launch of a new multi-client research study titled, “Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth.” The email included an opportunity for IWCO Direct to subscribe to the study as one of the multiple clients participating. We were probably the first to subscribe based on our history with InfoTrends and the promise that the study would focus in part on how direct mail marketing is combining technology to bring about the future of offline and online marketing. If that sounds familiar, you must be a regular reader of SpeakingDIRECT and/or appreciate the strategic initiatives underway at IWCO Direct.
The research shows that direct mail will remain a critical driver for marketers’ initial engagement with consumers. Recipients of direct mail will have the ability to seamlessly link to all marketing channels. What I like to refer to as the “Betty White” factor of direct mail is based in part on its long-standing ability to measure response. The study proves that direct mail’s physical link with the digital world will drive the future of marketing.
The research confirms what IWCO Direct focuses on when developing marketing strategy for our clients. It states, “to reach today’s ‘always on’ consumers, marketers need to deliver more relevant offers. This involves obtaining a better understanding of customer preferences through data analytics and data mining.” Understanding how to effectively use data across channels is the key to driving a positive return on marketing investment (ROMI). The holy grail of ROMI comes down to improving the customer experience. According to InfoTrends, combining direct mail with other channels is critical to delivering this enhanced experience.
Another reason IWCO Direct subscribed to this study was its methodology. In addition to interviewing marketing service providers like us, InfoTrends surveyed more than 900 U.S. consumers to identify consumers’ practices and preferences when engaging with direct mail. The research provided great insight into why consumers open direct mail, what types of personalization get noticed and how frequently highly-customized direct mail is received.
The research also validated something IWCO Direct has known for more than 15 years: creative counts. As the research shows, imagination is as important as information. With all channels on, capturing consumer attention has never been more challenging. In order to make creative work for you, a well-defined creative strategy is needed to test, measure and communicate results.
The full report has more than 200 pages of great content including some intriguing insight about millennials. Keep reading SpeakingDIRECT to learn more about how to get a piece of what InfoTrends identifies as “millennials’ trillion dollars’ worth of direct buying power.” I’ll leave you with this teaser – 80% of millennials want brands to entertain them, and they find direct mail entertaining.
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