Welcome to My World
As my string of significant others can tell you (it's a grand total of two during my 16-year career) sometimes it's not much fun to be attached to a reporter. Right now, for instance, I'm not at home because I'm with the nice folks at InterACT! figuring out more about what my audience (you) and what you need to know/may find interesting.
Sitting this morning in "Multi-Channel Direct Marketing Campaigns: Blending Print and Online," I realized that all of you have gone from being the significant other (who can't figure out why I get so angst-ridden about not having a functional letter P on this computer and having to cut and paste it repeatedly before my 1 p.m. deadline) to actually being me. You're on your mobile or your laptop tweeting along with me, or not doing so well because your connection's awful, too.
What this session, and even the keynotes beforehand, really made me realize is that everyone's trying hard to navigate a new reality and everyone can agree on only one thing—everyone's getting it wrong. Give it another minute and everyone agrees that marketers are all getting it right.
Who's right? Everyone and no one.
How does this help you? Well, dear marketer, it means that you're in the fray with the rest of us, trying to not only figure out what your audience wants to know, but actually trying to figure out where they are.
- Session speaker Dave Sribnik, manager of trends and technology for food and beverage agency MarkeTeam, says, "There's no magic bullet channel anymore." So marketers should provide as many touchpoints as possible. Sribnik details a case study of bringing the hospitality industry online so they could, for instance, create their own print collateral online and sell a drink differently in Times Square vs. Idaho. (Sribnik explains many other innovations in this realm that helped the new trends and technology department at MarkeTeam double its number of employees and its revenue from 2007 to 2009.)
- John Kiralla, senior director of Web, new media and design for Loyola Marymount University, cites how admissions counselors for the Jesuit school can reach out for recruitment and, after gaining contacts, can send off personalized postcards to them. Other touchpoints include the university's dedicated video channel, i.lmu.edu, and in September mobile apps will debut. Generally, the university reaches out to known contacts by print and then follows up in the prospective student's channel of choice, such as a Web portal, an e-newsletter or even a social networking Q&A. At the same time, the university's seeing a lot more contact initiated by prospective students who find the school through the Web, characterizing the largest growing recruitment sector as "stealth applicants."
- Laura Gale, vice president of marketing for United Stationers, says that the company's clients are still seeking them out to print hefty catalogs, which still matter as a touchpoint, but can no longer be standalone. So, she says, United Stationers is shifting to guiding more and more of its clients' campaigns, letting them know they need an overall theme and that marketing is not a once a year event anymore.
One fact that all of the panelists agreed on: Keynoter Jonathan Salem Baskin is right that marketers need to tell consumers something that matters. Marketers need to tell consumers why they should buy something, so they can actually sell something.