Layering Inserts With Solo Efforts for Bigger Results
A reliable, low-cost marketing tool at any time, insert media typically gets more attention during times of economic adversity—but perhaps not for all the right reasons. While these programs can provide marketers with an alternative to a direct mail campaign, they also can help drive incremental sales as part of a multichannel campaign to the same audience.
"I don't think it's a secret that successful companies, working within their budgets, use insert vehicles to support their brand," says Jackie Gizzo, vice president of insert media and list marketing firm Leon Henry Inc. "Layering direct marketing media does not poach customers from one channel to another, but rather builds the brand for better sales."
What's more, a 2008 ICOM survey found that 67 percent of U.S. consumers tend to use more coupons in a recession, making them more likely to pay attention to insert media vehicles these days. As such, marketers investing in insert media campaigns should give some thought as to how they might leverage the advantages of a multichannel approach.
Timing Your Insert
All insert media types work equally fine for layered media approaches, states Al Stanton, president of insert media management and brokerage firm Stanton Direct Marketing, as long as marketers also follow the best practices of selecting the right programs to reach their audiences with appropriate offers and creative.
Selection of the insert programs used depends on how close the solo campaign drop dates have to be to the exposure period for your inserts. Besides the need to have the printed pieces or ad creative ready for the program owner, certain insert media vehicles offer better timing control than others. For example, says Stanton, co-ops and ride-along programs offer strong control over when insert messages hit the marketplace. Gizzo adds that statement stuffer and package insert programs tend to be pretty predictable when it comes to timing, since they plan their reach by month. But specific program counts are where marketers will find more variation; it's not 100 percent that projected volumes will stick over the course of a year, she explains.