A couple of months ago at the National Postal Forum in Tennessee, there was a lot of chatter about re-imagining and communicating the effectiveness of direct mail.
At the opening reception, Harris Diamond, CEO of McCann Worldgroup (McCann), compared the latest studies of online behavior showing that the average person spends over 50 minutes a day on Facebook to a recent study by McCann showing that the average person spends 25 minutes a day with printed direct mail. Although time spent with printed mail is 50% less than time spent online, Diamond noted that those 50 minutes online are but mere glances at tons of images and text where as “The Mail Moment” is an important time for marketers to reach their audience with a high touch and, therefore, a memorable experience.
Diamond shared some principles that can be used to creatively and effectively reach a target audience. The guiding principle, as in any marketing effort, is understanding your customers. Who are they? Where are they? What are they reading? Where do they get their information?
He then noted that we need to consider ways to maximize an opportunity to engage. The Australian Air Force’s most recent mailer to engineering students consisted of a box with parts of a radio, but no instructions. The enterprising students who were able to put the radio together were able to tune in to a station and, to their delight, receive a message that they had been offered spots in the coveted engineering program. Talk about a meaningful message! Using creative concepts for print and technology like the Air Force campaign and print techniques such as augmented reality with direct mail can be an important marriage, Diamond stated. Some of the most effective campaigns push the relationship between digital and paper to showcase new experiences.
Lastly, Diamond reiterated that, while there are limits to how much information customers want to give to marketers, we have the capability to look at data more deeply than ever before.
I’m always amazed at what mail, paper, print and creativity can do together. I’m looking forward to the next great direct mail piece in my mailbox. Will it be from one of you?
Does that make sense?
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