Effective Marketing Is a Balance

About the Author

Wes Sparling

Wes Sparling

Wes is an accomplished marketing strategist and direct marketing expert with more than 25 years experience, providing strategic marketing solutions to more than 100 blue chip clients. He works with clients to effectively use traditional broadcast media, non-traditional media, online marketing, and direct mail marketing to drive results, evaluating the effectiveness of current marketing efforts and setting strategic direction for future campaigns.

Wes is responsible for providing executive leadership, strategic direction, campaign strategy, and scientific test design. He believes nearly every element of the marketing mix is (and should be) measurable and accountable. An agency founder, entrepreneur and direct marketing expert he has held executive roles at firms including: Hunt Marketing (Hunt DDB Direct), Cramer-Krasselt, and Direct Partner (RAPP LA – An Omnicom Company).

Effective marketing is a two-pronged effort. There’s marketing for the purpose of brand building and positioning, and marketing for the purpose of getting, keeping, and growing customers. While both approaches have the goal of improving corporate revenue by increasing sales, these two types of marketing efforts are distinctively different from one another.

Historically, Direct Response Marketing Has Been Considered “Below-the-Line”

Below-the-line marketing is the historic way of speaking about products and services being promoted in media other than mainstream radio, television, billboards, and newspaper and magazines (known as above-the-line). Mail campaigns, social media, trade shows, catalogs, and search engine marketing have been considered below-the-line. Above-the-line marketing was considered as the ideal way to build brand awareness, whereas below-the-line was better suited for building personal relationships with consumers. This way of thinking comes from the history of advertising and marketing. The real question is if it still makes sense to group different marketing channels in this way.

In today’s world, it’s not as easy to classify marketing into below-the-line and above-the-line. In an ever-increasing technical world where individuals are accessible through digital media and data-driven tactics, can mass media and “brand advertising” really sit unaffected and truly be called above-the-line? The answer is no. In fact, if your mass media advertising isn’t being empowered by individual level data analytics, then chances are you are not maximizing the effectiveness of your media buying.

The Role of Data in Targeting Enhancement

Most marketers are familiar with using first-party data such as subscriber data, site visit data, and other types of data for improvement in targeting. However, fewer marketers are familiar with third-party data, which is data collected by compilers and associated with individuals or households. This information can be gathered from private sources and public sources and can include behavioral data, demographic data, and other niche data. Third-party data, combined with predictive analytics and first-party data, helps identify a prospect universe and rank order the prospects within the universe.

The IWCO Approach

At IWCO, we have access to thousands of data attributes from credit and demographic sources with which we enhance customer supplied first-party data, develop predictive models, and create marketing strategies that consider response, conversion, and value probabilities. By further using media preference data and segmentation analytics, we are able to hyper-personalize marketing campaigns and better select and weigh marketing channels within a multi-channel plan.

To find out more about the IWCO approach to mail and media planning, contact us today.

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