Recent research has shown that given today's technology, most human beings have a shorter attention span than that of a goldfish when it comes to staring at a screen ... around 9 seconds before they become distracted by something else. On the other hand, having a direct mail piece in a customer's hands will last longer than the flickering of a screen.
Timely industry information about direct mail marketing continues to be published at prominent business websites like Forbes. They're still delivering current and valuable facts when it comes to direct mail statistics, strategies and how they relate to our marketing efforts and the success of these efforts. Given our current digital age, some trend followers are turning a blind eye to formats like postal mailers and how often these recipients spend their hard-earned cash once receiving these paper pieces via the US Mail. Consider these numbers...
- Opening direct mail pieces occurs two-thirds or 66% of the time either by the addressee or an "occupant" that receives this type of advertisement in their traditional mailbox
- Regardless of age, 56% of all consumers respond to direct mail by either physically visiting the store or surfing by their location via the internet
- Using a personalization identification technique made 84% of all recipients more likely to open a direct mail offer, even if unsolicited
- Of those given a direct mail offer, 62% of these deliveries resulted in a purchase within a three-month period of time
- Viewing of direct mail pieces occurs for one full minute 82% of the time following opening
The possible saturation from something truly worthy from a marketing standpoint given a mere sixty seconds may seem minuscule at best, but pitted against the average time a web-browsing, prospective new customer spends looking at a web page, the results are irrefutable… traditional mail continues to deliver.
As we’ve mentioned in previous blog entries, “Customer Experience” has become a critical facet in every marketing mosaic. It involves a unified approach to every interaction a customer has with your business. In other words, Customer Experience is essentially a business-customer relationship. Gone are the days of trying random, unrelated marketing tactics and seeing what happens; these days, an integrated, cross-media approach is the only viable one. And print can play a significant role in the success of this approach.
Marketers know that a data-driven campaign complete with measurable metrics produces the best results. You have to intimately understand your customers to effectively market to them. While a great deal of marketing data is collected from online purchases and other online activity, your customers' offline spending habits may be different. Coupons, vouchers, and other print reward systems as part of a loyal program can help fill that data gap by showing you the types of offline purchases a particular customer makes. In-store customer satisfaction surveys can still be effectively used for this purpose as well.
Once you have usable data, you can personalize your marketing techniques, using print to enhance your online marketing strategies. For instance, if you have a group of customers who are parents of small children, you can develop a coupon booklet to mail to that specific set of consumers. The booklet can direct those parents to a relevant blog or Facebook post, where they can find tips and advice for parents and share their knowledge and experiences with other parents. Your marketing team can devise a separate strategy for college students, health-conscious consumers, and so on. Your customers will feel like you know them, and you won't spend thousands on print material that will just go in the trash.
The Follow-Up Experience
Loyal customers will remain loyal when they feel like their opinion is being heard. Social media platforms designed to spark conversation are a great place to start. For many, simply typing a line or two about their experience at your place of business is enough. Print can take it a step further, however. After a successful event, such as a fund-raising event or an inventory reduction sale, send out letters personally thanking customers for their participation. When a customer leaves negative feedback or calls with a complaint, a letter signed by the business owner or CEO thanking them for their input can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
A customer experience strategy takes commitment. It also requires the street smarts that only comes from years of experience to be truly successful. At Roundhouse Marketing, we’ve been working with print for every one of our 94 years in business. We will help you understand how to continue using it as a key part of a cross-media customer experience strategy that generates life to your sales.
Technology is a powerful weapon. It’s not only changing the way marketing warfare is conducted, it is an evolving entity that can totally transform your Customer Experience strategy… in the time it’s taking you to read this sentence. Your CE team has to be virtually superhuman to give your customers an experience like none other, using both new and time-tested experiential marketing techniques. Are they up for the challenge?
For many companies, keeping a fully operational Customer Experience team on board is impractical. Outsourcing certain executional functions from within a CE strategy can keep internal resources fresh, on task and thinking big picture. Choosing the right partner can be tricky, but the benefits usually outweigh the tedium involved in the vetting process.
Communication is perhaps the most critical aspect of the Customer Experience journey. We must be prepared to speak to them as they prefer to be spoken to, not how we prefer to speak to them. One important, yet often overlooked facet of a communication plan is consistency in messaging. Expertly-extended design can enhance the customer experience dramatically. Print is still an important part of CE, a notion that is often dismissed in the digital age. The FCC and FDA regulate a good portion of the CE world, therefore print plays a key role. Not only that, many older customers may actually prefer to read print materials. It then makes sense that well-designed print, from brochures to user manuals, can make or break a customer’s decision to give you their business.
At Roundhouse, we have worked for decades to perfect our methods of communicating in the Customer Experience arena. Our in-house design, print, warehousing and fulfillment teams work hand in hand with CE teams to deliver on strategies across a wide spectrum of categories; from Telecom to Healthcare and CPG Food to Manufacturing. So go ahead and use the benefits technology provides in building your CE model. But when it comes time to press the button, reach out to Roundhouse and put our experience to work for you.
Any creative agency understands the importance of adhering to deadlines. Although sometimes it may be difficult to stick to these deadlines based on urgent needs. Project scopes change, deadlines are advanced, but whatever the reasoning, we realize the importance of being flexible in the face of all these situations to provide urgent creative services when needed.
Providing a product that is delivered in a timely fashion, while still maintaining quality is not an easy feat, but we always find a way to do so. In fact, our clients frequently tell us that we deliver "Miracles from Madison."
What does that entail exactly? For us, having our creative design, project management and marketing strategy teams under one roof is a major factor. When these services are on one campus, work is streamlined for maximum efficiency. There’s no bottleneck within our teams because of their proximity to one another. Amazing how much talking with a teammate, rather than emailing can get things done quickly and correctly.
This is one of the reasons why we are able to address urgent creative needs and accommodate varying deadlines and changes in direction as they arise. Moreover, our team works hard to fully understand your brand and what its creative needs will be.
Since 1923, our company has been providing creative solutions to answer our clients’ urgent (as well as not-so-urgent) marketing needs. The next time you need a marketing miracle, we’re a call, email or text away… and ready to answer the bell.
Why great Customer Service never gets old.
Long ago and far away, before the advent of voicemail, email, texting, IM, social media and RSS, there was a much simpler time. A time when people spoke to one another. The customer had a need, clearly communicated that need and the service person addressed it. Quickly, adeptly and correctly. If you are reading this and nodding your head in agreement, then you are likely a product of that simpler time. If you have no idea what I’m writing about, I feel sorry for you, because it was … wonderful.
Times change. Clients and agency partners do indeed speak less and less, which can create a challenge when it comes to customer service. According to Forrester, 72% of businesses say that improving the customer service is a top priority. If that didn’t stop you in your tracks, NewVoiceMedia reports that U.S. businesses annually lose an estimated $62 billion following bad customer experiences. Those are alarming numbers. More importantly, is anything being done to stop the bleeding?
Of course, world-class customer service can still be had without directly speaking to each other. Clear communication is the key and when that occurs, magic happens. Here are three easy ways to take your CS/CX game up a notch:
- Speak to your client in the manner they prefer. Depending upon the time of day (or night) it could be email, text, DM or even a good old fashioned phone call. Pay attention to how they respond and if positive, replicate the process next time.
- Attack even the smallest favor with the same vigor as a large task. Respond to requests in a timely fashion. We are all busy, but far better to be busy, than not at all.
- Develop a “servant’s mentality”. This doesn’t mean genuflecting at every request, but rather building a relationship with a mindset of giving back. Doing the little things goes a long way. Personal notes of congratulations, thanks or condolences shows your marketing partner you care. Give a bit of yourself and you’ll get back more than you ever have before.
Retaining great customers is rewarding in so many ways. At Roundhouse, we have several clients that have been with us for over 30 years. Another over 25 and some more over 10. They trust us and know that when they have a need, we’ll roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty and deliver. You may hear a lot about “Customer Success” programs. These typically speak to meeting a perceived need and are tied to product satisfaction. On the other hand, Customer Service connects with an individual on a deeper level. It’s the personal touch that shares who you are and shows how much you care. So fill ‘er up, check the oil and wash those windows while you’re at it.