Quad/Graphics (NYSE: QUAD) (“Quad”) announces a new technology platform for testing direct marketing that lifts response rates, increasing reliability and shortening time to market at a fraction of the cost of traditional mail testing.
The testing platform, called Accelerated Insights, is a virtual platform that can test up to 20 content variables in one pass. It uses a sophisticated persona matrix that combines demographics with emotional characteristics to predict what factors motivate someone to act on an offer. All of this can be accomplished without a physical mailing. Using Accelerated Insights, Quad has helped direct marketers:
• Reduce total testing time to 60 days;
• Realize 97 percent level (+/-3 percent) accuracy on projections;
• Achieve increase in response rates of 18 to 27 percent; and
• Lower testing costs by as much as 90 percent.
“Marketers have been following the same testing methods for decades, many times with disappointing results,” said Scott Harvey, Quad/Graphics Senior Vice President of Marketing Solutions. “This technology creates a roadmap for campaign creative that tells marketers exactly what is most important to customers and prospects.”
In addition to the persona matrix, the Accelerated Insights testing platform relies on a vetted pool of millions of survey respondents, differentiated based on hundreds of characteristics. The technology draws from that pool to create survey panels that mirror direct marketers’ target consumers.
The panels are presented as mailing packages that each have multiple variables. Based on the panels’ responses, a proprietary algorithm predicts which combination of format, offer, messaging and imagery will be most successful. With that information, marketers can determine the most cost-effective package before sending out a single piece of mail. The Accelerated Insights testing platform has been in limited release for the past two years, used by customers in a range of business categories including financial services, insurance, health care and retail.
“We have worked with our customers for decades to fine-tune the tools, data workflows and logistics of direct mail,” said Andy Bear, Quad/Graphics Executive Director of Marketing Solutions and part of the team who helped develop the platform. “It puts us in a unique position to analyze all the steps involved in direct mail testing and to develop a breakthrough approach that doesn’t take so much time and calculation.”
Marketers receive a complete picture of which variables are important – and which are not – through the Accelerated Insights Simulator, a cloud-based application that displays all testing parameters and results. Marketers have secure access to the different package scenarios 24/7.
“The Accelerated Insights testing platform allowed us to efficiently pre-qualify the potential of variables prior to executing a live mailing,” observed one marketing director involved in an early release of the technology. “That way, we were able to successfully optimize our highest performing elements while also mitigating waste in terms of both time and money.”