A marketing strategy lays out where you are, where you want to be, and what the best steps are for getting from here to there. Many people assume that a marketing strategy is the same as a plan; in fact, they’re very different. A plan is like a road map that charts your course from point A to point B. A strategy is a “smart” GPS system that tells you the easiest and fastest route, accounting for traffic, accidents, and road closures. A direct marketing strategy, then, accounts for changes in the market and changes in the needs, desires, and demographics of your target audience. In other words, trends.
4 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2014
1. Personalization will continue to be one of the top keys to direct marketing success in 2014. With marketers bombarding your audience’s email inboxes, mailboxes, and even their cell phones, personalization is one of the best ways you can stand out and (even more importantly) build recognition and loyalty with your audience. As we highlighted in How Should I Address My Mailer? personalization can be very targeted, but you can also find creative ways to “personalize” mail without in-depth segmentation and targeting.
2. Mobile marketing will continue to gain prominence in 2014 as smartphones become ubiquitous. According to the Pew Research Center, 56% of the whole population and 80% of people 18-34 owns a smartphone. On top of that, most of those people use their smartphones to browse the web, update social media, check email, and make purchases. People want to visit websites that are easy to navigate and access from their phones. Having a mobile website allows you to reach your customer where they are, which will improve their experience with your brand and in turn increase your success. At Click2Mail we make mobile integration easy with a variety of mobile marketing solutions, including mobile websites and QR codes.
3. Consumers want simplicity, plain and simple. Marketing has become more complex as the number of prospective customer touch points (social media, web, direct mail, email, television, radio) has exploded. Cutting through the clutter with simple messages and easy, seamless response mechanisms will be key to successful marketing in 2014. This is where mobile integration plays a huge role. For example, your prospect receives a mailer that includes a QR code. He uses his smartphone to scan the QR code and is taken directly to your mobile website. From there he can connect to each one of your social media pages, sign up for your email newsletter, view your current promotions, and map a route to your location.
4. Data, when used right, can dramatically boost your success. “Big data” is one of the most overused and little understood buzzwords of 2013. But leveraging data to improve your direct mail marketing is no fad, and in 2014 it will be easier than ever. By analyzing demographic data – age, gender, income, etc. – you can create a more targeted marketing strategy. For example, if you discover that your customers are mostly female, 25-40 years old with an average household income of $50,000, you can purchase a mailing list of all the people in a given area that fit those criteria. The more you know about your audience, the better you can serve them.
As always, Click2Mail is here to help you take advantage of these trends and succeed with direct mail marketing in 2014. If you haven’t already read the articles in our 7 Steps to Selling through Direct Mail Marketing, they’re a great primer for direct mail success in the New Year and beyond (hyperlinks below take you to the individual articles).
7 Steps to Selling through Direct Mail Marketing
- Understand the market and your audience – Discover your target market. Who is your audience what do they want? Which competitors are already trying to fill that need?
- Give your audience what they want – Once you know your audience, give them what they want.
- Be consistent– Be consistent in all of your mailings to increase brand recognition and form a lasting relationship with your audience.
- Focus on ROI – Pay attention to your return on investment (ROI) to ensure that your marketing strategies are effective.
- Develop a strategy – What strategy would be most effective for your specific audience?
- Integrate direct and mobile marketing– Integrate direct mail marketing with your other marketing tools.
- Measure, test, and repeat.