Friday, October 30, 2009

Direct Marketing and the Retail Market Place

What is the current state of direct marketing these days? Pretty good thank you. When you consider that 3 out of 4 consumers (76%) read the direct mail they receive. Women 35-49 and the heaviest readers at 86% with men above 50 the poorest at 65%.

Direct Marketing Readership in Men
Age 2003 2008
18-34 65% 67%
35-49 64% 77%
+50 68% 65%

Readership in direct mail among women of all ages has increased. As with men the largest increase is among woman in the 35-49.

Direct Marketing Readership in Women
Age 2003 2008
18-34 65% 67%
35-49 64% 77%
+50 68% 65%

Readership of direct mail marketing has increased among woman all age groups. As with the men the largest increase in retail direct mail readership is in the 35-49 age groups.

Direct mail from discount and grocery sorts are the most heavily read, with more than 8 out of 10 respondents 86% say that they pay attention to direct mail form discount stores and almost as many, 83% saying that they read direct mail sent form their grocery stores.

So what are people responding to?
71% Coupons
71% Buy one, get one free
63% Single discount item
59% Percent off
52% Gift card
37% Everyday lowest price
36% Grand opening
34% Gift with purchase
29% Consumer tips
26% Loyalty card
23% Event invitation
8% None

Reasons that make a difference to what direct mail people open?
67% Timing coinciding with need
66% Consumers name on the front
60% The piece LOOKs interesting
54% A special offer or discount
52% The piece looks important (watch this one, can be effective, but might get you into legal trouble)
51% Feel something in the piece. (Personal favorite, MAKE IT LUMPY)
42% A free gift or token inside
35% Dated material enclosed
5% None of these

This shows or seems to that people seem to read their direct mail. And they are going through it even harder looking for information and the best possible value they can get. We have found that there is a direct link on sales with marketers who have cut back on their mailings and those who have kept their planned mailings going out as they organically scheduled in there (written) marketing plan.

Marketers said they prefer and rely on direct mail and print advertising for information on products but also used tactics such as telemarketing.

43.6% Newspaper/magazine
43.5% Direct mail (letters, postcards, catalogs)
32.0% Radio, TV
27.4% Phone call telemarketing

For online tactics marketers said they planned to increase spending on every online tactic they surveyed such as micro sites, resource centers, social networking and webinars.
72% Referrals
57% Search engine marketing
44.5% Educational web sites
38% Email newsletters
28% Social networking sites
20% Forms/chat rooms
19% Video/podcasts
8% Mobile ads

Keep in mind that the above staticsis are for a retail operation. In a B2B situation phone usage and telemarketing go up over 50% while use of newspapers goes way down below 10% with some moving over into their target markets trade magazines.

I have always preached a multichannel attack. I use what I call the 3 legged stool approach of telemarketing, mail, and web. You might choose to use print, email and web landing pages. Doing so shows an improvement of 35%, if personalization is used (variable data) you can see improvement of over 50% on what you are now getting.

Larson note: Now what can you do? Go back to the campaigns you have run in the past. Look at the results and see if the ROI if increased 35% or 50% would warrant the additional expenditures. You kept your results and worked out the statistical numbers, yes? If you did that you can predict in hard numbers what you can expect to achieve with little or no guessing.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

P.P.S. We are offering 2 free (a $75.00 value) ½ hour consultation periods per week to talk about marketing businesses. Call or email to get your spot to pick my brain for 30 minutes today.

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