Many catalog mailers are seeing large increases in revenue and growth in their new-to-file buyers because of the surge in pandemic-driven online purchases. However, with the growth in the number of buyers comes lots of uncertainty. Are these new buyers different than buyers pre-pandemic? The business issue with the significant influx of pandemic buyers is whether they will convert into loyal customers and respond profitably to future catalog mailings. Response rates for pandemic buyers can be quickly tested to know if they are the same or different from the existing base of buyers. The new-to-file buyers can be broken out with precision. Segmenting should be straightforward.
The U.S. Postal Service reported fourth-quarter 2020 revenue and service volume Tuesday, reflecting the end of a year of turbulence -- both pandemic and political -- including its impact on marketing. While the report did not offer explanations for the shifts, the bottom line was a pronounced decline in media-related revenues -- both marketing mail and periodicals -- although commerce-related shipping services soared. The decline in marketing mail -- 5.6% in revenue and -3.9% in volume -- is significant, given that the fourth quarter of 2020 included what would normally be an exception period of political direct-mail marketing, in what otherwise was a banner year for political media and marketing spending.
The way people interact with brands is not as orderly or linear as a customer journey map seems to indicate – or a sales funnel, for that matter. I’m not implying that understanding, mapping and optimizing the customer journey, and your path to conversion isn’t mandatory – it is. But I am suggesting that it’s worth looking further in an attempt to understand the way actual, living, breathing, thinking humans experience your brand. As a human, I can attest that my journey from awareness to purchase and later repurchase is never linear or orderly. If we drill down to a closer view, we can talk about the cluster of interactions that are driven by something the customer did. Place an order? There’s a cluster of activity there. Visit the website? There’s a cluster of interactions there. Sign up for email? Ad cluster. more at source: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/look-inside-the-customer-journey/
Retail print catalogs have often struggled at the expense of digital or online catalogs. As with so many aspects of our lives, the pandemic is causing change and lockdowns are proving that print is still very much a contender. It’s not hard to see why so many catalogs have transferred online. Digital does away with expensive printing and delivery charges and there’s no pulping of old catalogs or waiting around for new ones to be printed. The analytics associated with digital are now incredibly powerful, making it easy to collect large volumes of detailed data on user behaviors. An online catalog is a powerful package, so why is print making a comeback? With another national lockdown upon us, people are being forced to spend a huge proportion of their time at home and home is where print catalogs score. Recent research by Royal Mail revealed that 88% of people surveyed said they paid as much or more attention to mail during lockdown. This means leaflets and catalogs are far less likely to be dumped straight in the trash.
Catalogs are a tried-and-true instrument in a marketer’s toolbox delivering an in-depth product experience right to any home or office door. With the rise of the digital age, many thought that e-commerce would supplant catalogs, but the opposite has been true. Catalogs continue to hold their own as a marketing channel operating steadily alongside its digital brethren. Catalogs originated as a method to communicate product availability and highlight new goods. Now a company’s website functions in the same capacity and in real-time. Catalogs of today have evolved to serve as a means of inspiration, allowing consumers to visualize products in real-life situations with thoughtful detail and narratives. They also allow brands more room to tell their story and gain consumer trust. This can occur because, unlike the more frenzied pace of online shopping, catalog readers spend between 15 minutes to 30 minutes turning the pages and catalogs are retained for several weeks as a reminder to place an order, shop online, or visit a store.
A while back I wrote a blog about price as an often-overlooked brand positioning tool. Marketers are always looking for ways to influence how consumers perceive their brands in an effort to build relationships that are more than simply transactional. They know that effective brand positioning helps separate them from the competition and not just capture, but keep a larger share of both consumers’ minds and wallets. Here are six of the most common positioning strategies that companies use. Depending on the product category, some will be more effective than others and all come with some potential drawbacks. Learn more at: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/lets-talk-about-brand-positioning/
As many of us know, it’s easier and more profitable to reactivate a lapsed customer than trying to gain a new one, whether through digital, postal or retail. There are many techniques that are deployed in order to identity the proper audiences in the offline world, such as RFM+ segmentation and optimization, or modeling through a co-op. All of these techniques are tried and true and should continue to be used to identify the appropriate reactivation group for any campaign. But now there is a new player in the game and it’s proving to be a game changer. CohereOne has had a long-standing relationship with the digital company 4Cite, leaning on their technology to drive many programs, which has increased our client’s digital performance. Using their digital data, 4Cite could identify the postal address for anonymous site browsers and/or cart abandoners, and thus we quickly determined that we should be using that powerful data in our postal efforts. Learn more at: https://cohereone.com/a-game-changer-in-customer-reactivation/?utm_medium=email&_hsmi=107235557&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9ESPdGAIhmNcVSGZR77As1qmy4lY9GqSh2PQ9NzBP9Kv4yqujTZTJsfpoWxLiFkdMvnjrIsPwNHFtnsS51cux8k_J2E-IohhzmZ_lBHIiBqBPTApg&utm_content=107235557&utm_source=hs_email
2020 is a year we will always remember, yet one we would like to forget. It was a year that changed our lives forever. Some have been affected more than others, but we all have a story to tell. People talk about “the new normal,” but what exactly does that mean to retailers and direct marketers? Let’s take a walk into the future and see what it looks like. Actually, we're living the future now. Several of our clients cut circulation in early 2020 in light of the advancing pandemic. They reduced their marketing efforts in anticipation of what was to come. It was the logical action to take, but for many consumer mailers, it was the wrong thing to do at the time. Revenues increased unexpectedly and remain strong today. Trips to retail stores reduced by at least half, and consumers went online to order gifts, apparel, home furnishings, food and other products. COVID changed the way we shop. It also leapfrogged us into the future. From a marketing standpoint, 2020 looks more like what we would have expected five years from now. read more at source: https://www.mytotalretail.com/post/catalog-and-digital-marketing-the-future-is-here-now/
When was the last time you truly enjoyed scrolling through page after page of search results on Amazon? Settling into your favorite chair to just explore and see what comes next? If you’re like most consumers, probably never, really. Search for products online is more like a task-oriented scavenger hunt to find the thing that best matches your keywords, “lost in the noise of digital advertising.” A catalog, on the other hand, is a journey in itself, an inspiring experience that opens up new ideas in a tactile way that our brains relish. Recent news from IKEA that they are doing away with their catalog after 70 years is going to break a lot of hearts; they were a prime example of catalogers who “get it” and turned paper and ink into a journey of possibilities. (And their wickedly good catalog marketing campaigns ensured robust buzz about it.) It’s a mistake, no doubt. Given the resurgence of catalogs during the pandemic lockdowns, marketers have no doubt that catalogs serve a critical function in the retail and e-commerce experience. much more at: https://freeportpress.com/the-experience-of-the-catalog-is-what-makes-it-work-so-well/
“Lift Off” is the new Sappi publication that explores and explains how pairing print with digital can be a potent formula for transforming marketing results. After all, there’s a reason why nine out of ten people remember a brand after receiving its advertising in their letterboxes. And why campaigns that use magazines deliver a 161% improvement in customer acquisition. And why, for that matter, targeted printed catalogue distribution during peak periods can generate ROI of between 300% and 900%. And there’s no reason why the strategic marketing implications of facts like these shouldn’t be brought home to more brands, advertisers and consumer companies.