I don’t know about you, but I’m always interested in hearing about the latest trends: Fashion trends, hairstyle trends, color trends. In recent years, color industry mainstay Pantone has even jumped on the trend bandwagon by announcing the Pantone Color of the Year (since you’re wondering, 2017’s is Greenery 15-0343).
Keeping the IWCO Direct team and our clients aware of the latest direct marketing trends is invaluable to our business and our client partnerships. We keep our finger on the pulse of industry and direct marketing trends by subscribing to leading market research firms, including Comperemedia and Competiscan.
Here are some vertical trends you may notice this year according to “Marketing Trends 2017” research released by Comperemedia, and IWCO Direct’s recommendations to help marketers capitalize on them:
Financial Services Marketing Trends: Reimagine Customer Service
Mobile banking allows customers to accomplish their banking needs without entering a branch bank, challenging financial service institutions to reimagine their approach to customer service. With 46% of survey respondents preferring to interact with financial service institutions in person and 24% preferring to interact over the phone, there is still a significant desire for human interaction. Millennials agree: Nearly 25% of millennial respondents stated that online chat for customer service is an essential feature. This is also considered an essential feature by wealthier consumers.
IWCO Direct’s Recommendation: Since customer-focused offerings, like access to 24-hour customer service, appeals to banking customers, consider using a Johnson Box in your direct mail piece to highlight your customer service toll-free number and website address for a “Live Chat.” Include a photo of a customer service representative to personalize the piece and highlight the opportunity for human connection.
Insurance Marketing Trends: Simplification of Insurance
Only 29% of Americans think that the written information they receive from their health insurance provider about their claims is easy to understand. Simplification of insurance jargon will help explain what is and isn’t covered, as well as how and when that may change. Also expect to see more coverage options to close insurance coverage gaps created by home sharing, smart home systems, and driverless vehicles.
IWCO Direct’s Recommendation: When marketing new coverage options, IWCO Direct recommends providing clear explanations of what is covered in a prominent location on the mailpiece. The side bar and the P.S. are prime real estate areas to highlight important insurance coverage information and an FAQ insert can be beneficial to answer any common insurance coverage questions. Be sure to include a toll-free number and website address for additional information.
Retail Marketing Trends: Enhance the In-Store Experience
Retailers are expected to make enhancements to the in-store experience as a means to secure foot traffic and customers. Indeed, 46% of survey respondents would like to see more product sampling so they can try before they buy, while 26% suggest in-store cafés or restaurants make the in-store experience more appealing. Expect an increase of pop-up shops or more permanent brick and mortar locations.
IWCO Direct’s Recommendation: You can increase foot traffic by including a map of your retail location with address, phone, website, and business hours on your promotional materials. If your location has an in-store café or restaurant, promote it in your mailpiece by including a personalized price promotion for the recipient to use during their next in-store visit.
Telecommunications Marketing Trends: TV/Mobility Bundles Explode
TV/mobile bundles are predicted to substantially increase. Due in part to the recent proliferation of streaming services, 33% of U.S. consumers watch full-length movies or TV shows on their mobile phones, while 44% watch news or sports. TV providers are entering the wireless space in response to pressure from streaming video providers to make TV more mobile-friendly.
IWCO Direct’s Recommendation: Affix a “bundle discount” card to mailpieces. Make sure the card is personalized with your toll-free number or website as a call to action so the prospect feels they are getting a special offer or incentive.
Travel Marketing Trends: Change Messaging to be All About the Experience
In Comperemedia’s report, 24% of U.S. consumers stated they are interested in using technology that would allow them to experience destinations they are thinking of visiting. Images, videos, and virtual reality are allowing companies in the travel industry to start providing this type of virtual experience. Travel companies are also providing unique amenities and experiences beyond the accumulation of points and miles.
IWCO Direct’s Recommendation: Utilize full-color, variable-data digital printing technology to create personalized, highly-targeted direct marketing messages. Include a pURL for a specific landing page with content and videos tailored to increase potential travelers’ interest.
As the direct marketing industry and consumer marketing trends continue to evolve, know that IWCO Direct is committed to helping clients stay at the forefront. Our experts at IWCO Direct always stay on trend. For more on how to use these insights to your advantage, contact me today.