When working with clients, the discussion inevitably turns to digital versus online marketing. Clients are looking for a strong ROI. They want to know if their money would be better spent on an online campaign using email and social media or a traditional campaign using direct mail and brochures.
We explain to our clients the advantages and disadvantages of direct mail advertising. We also lay out the advantages and disadvantages of online marketing. And most of the time, we show them that the biggest advantage is to dominate both mailboxes with a combination of online and traditional marketing techniques.
Digital marketing vs online marketing
When considering online and traditional marketing we must first understand the benefits of each medium. Daniel Dejan, Print Creative Manager for SAPPI North America, describes how individuals process online and traditional print advertising as “bilateral literacy.” Ink on paper is more penetrating; it has a much longer mnemonic retention. Online material, on the other hand, is information that we need to get through quickly. It’s features, advantages, pricing, and linking to other information, which is very valuable in our society.
In today’s environment consumers seeking quick and convenient information turn to online sources for immediate gratification. But, if we’re looking for information on a subject that will have a long-term impact on our lives, we want it in print.
The roles of print and online in a marketing campaign
When considering online and traditional marketing we must also consider the role that each plays in a marketing campaign. Research from Google shows that many times traditional media is the stimulus that begins a search on mobile. 48% of smartphone readers are performing mobile queries off of ads they see in magazines, 35% search off of posters and billboards, while 57% do so from in-store promotions and 58% from TV.
Another report from Google shows that nearly a third of searches are started by individuals who have received mail, like a catalog or brochure, at their home from a brand or manufacturer.
The importance of data and targeting in a marketing campaign
The importance of data and targeting cannot be overemphasized in a marketing campaign. Gone are the days of “spray and pray” campaigns. Whether you are a start-up or an established company, understanding data is paramount in creating a successful campaign. The proper use of data will allow for personalization and relevance and that’s what fuels a true omnichannel strategy in both print and digital.
Today’s technology allows both online and traditional marketing campaigns to better target potential clients. Companies who use direct mail need a partner to help with mailing lists and mailing services along with direct mail copywriting and direct mail design. Companies who use online marketing need many of the same services including email lists, copywriting, and design. And, if you are planning an integrated campaign using both online and traditional channels, a marketing partner that can do both is a big advantage.
The importance of tracking and ROI in a marketing campaign
If you plan to dominate both the inbox and the mailbox then tracking the effectiveness of both are important. Digital tracking is possible with click-through rates and analytics. To track direct mail you need to make sure that any point of contact listed on your direct mail piece – phone number, URL, coupon code, etc. – is unique and trackable.
When discussing ROI one must consider response rates and cost per acquisition. The Direct Mail Association (DMA) reports that email has an ROI of 124% and direct mail, including catalogs, drives in excess of a 5% response rate.
The DMA also reports that nearly two-thirds of people have bought something because of a direct mail piece. Additionally, 70% of customers have re-started a relationship because of direct mail.
Utilizing both traditional and digital marketing techniques allows your company’s message to be spread across many different channels and helps you dominate both mailboxes.