Every good marketer knows that the most effective way to communicate with your customers is the way that they want to be communicated with. Building trust with customers is difficult if your messaging is an annoyance to them, rather than a benefit.
The explosion of media channels has only complicated the issue. With more channels to communicate, which is the right channel at any given time?
A recent Consumer Channel Preference Study by Epsilon Targeting found that 60 percent of U.S. consumers “enjoy checking the mailbox for Postal mail” and, compared with e-mail, direct mail is their preferred channel to receive financial service information (36 percent for mail vs. 8 percent for e-mail).
Epsilon’s conclusion is that “direct mail continues to serve as the channel of choice and most trusted for recipients of marketing information in many categories.” In fact, mail topped e-mail in 14 categories measured by the study.
Trust is a big reason. Consumers still struggle with the credibility of information they receive through social media channels.
Now, no one is arguing that marketers should abandon their digital communication strategies. Clearly, the best course of action is a smartly devised multichannel communication plan that surrounds your customers with your brand messages.
But as you consider how to spend your increasingly limited marketing dollars, be careful about pulling money from traditional media to fund emerging digital channels. It might be a move that your customers will not appreciate.
The smart advertiser knows the consumer is the center of the marketing strategy, so listen to the voice of the consumer. If their preference is mail, why not include it in your overall strategy or test the addition of a direct mail component to your next campaign?
To help, the United States Postal Service® has assembled a new Advertising Agency and Association Team as a resource. This consultative group is designed to interact with advertising agencies and marketing firms to help determine how a direct mail component might add fuel to their campaigns.
The team can also assist with identifying other strategic partners necessary to create, produce and distribute a direct mail component as part of any integrated marketing and communications strategy.
Ad agencies and marketing companies can take advantage of this resource team by e-mailing Janine Konieczny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cliff Rucker is Vice President of Sales for the U.S. Postal Service.Brand Marketing, Loyalty, Opinion, Statistics, Strategy