Darwill recently exhibited at the re-branded Direct Marketing Association (DMA) &THEN conference in Boston, where there was some outstanding sessions around direct marketing trends, including new ways of reaching Millennials. Members of Generation Y, also known as Millennials, is the most digitally connected, diverse age group in history, with a spending power of roughly $200 billion according to the DMA’s research on reaching the new generations. Just because Millennials have spending power, however, does not mean they will behave like previous generations. For example, they don’t necessarily want to “own” product to gain social status - as Baby Boomers do - and they also place high demands on “authenticity.” Millennials also spread their attention across multiple devices — and touch points — to give marketers a run for their money. This means cross-channel marketing needs to hit home! Young media savvy consumers - who can be reached across print, social media, websites, video and more - require a targeted approach to make the best out of each channel. The &THEN sessions delivered some surprise observations that are happening on the marketplace. First of all, email is still appreciated by consumers when it is targeted and relevant (DMA Statistical Factbook), and the majority named email the preferred channel to be contacted by brands. More surprising, “snail mail” is far from dead, but actually exponentially more effective than digital channels: In the 2015 DMA Response Rate Report, direct-mail response rates were at 3.7% compared to 0.1% for email and social media! Note: Analog mail needs to be targeted, personalized, and based on customer data to be efficient. We are regularly seeing this on a first-hand basis here at Darwill as we help support our customers and their direct-marketing programs. We have a major dot-com furniture retailer as a client who is now re-shaping their marketing strategy for 2016 to include more direct mail. They have long been dependent on digital advertising to attract new customers and e-mail communications to retain customers. They are finding targeted direct mail has a place - maybe not to everyone in their database - but with the right analytics and cadence, the results will have a great ROI. This customer is seeing relevant offers combined with targeted datasets (especially combined with digital communications) can achieve outstanding results and make direct-mail “payoff”.
By Mark Pageau