The costs of printing direct mail pieces has been increasing over the last decade. From 2000 – 2013, the average cost of a simple postage stamp has increased by 39.4%.
These cost trends are expected to accelerate, even as response rates for direct mail remain relatively flat. Direct mail is still a valuable part of the marketing mix, but business that want to add more customers and earn more profits need to expand into digital channels.
More and more companies are including social media as part of the marketing mix. Social media provides a relatively inexpensive channel through which to engage customers and prospects in a two-way dialogue. It is also a great channel to cultivate brand awareness and get people talking about your business, but social media is difficult to monetize.
At the same time, customer behavior is shifting and their privacy concerns are growing. Increasingly, prospects and customers are concerned about sharing their personal data, and regulatory shifts are making it harder to share such data even as digital channels makes it sometimes easier to gather such data.
The simple fact is that the days of discrete “marketing campaigns” are coming to an end. Today’s firms need to engage prospects and customers in a “constant campaign” that targets people based on their personal preferences—not mere interests.
This shift means that companies serious about growth need to bring a holistic approach to their marketing efforts. This includes multi-channel marketing efforts that allow prospects and customers to engage seamlessly through any medium they chose, whenever they want. Responding to the challenge means transforming the marketing function from a simple cost center into a high-ROI investment in growth. Sadly, few companies have the organizational or technological capabilities to capitalize on these emerging opportunities.
About the Kabardian Group: We help clients achieve profitable growth. Short, simple and to the point. Our clients include companies large and small and at every stage of their development, including start-ups. www.kabardian.com