Cover Story: Full Sweep
The foremost medium used to support both direct mail and the websites is TV. PCH started broadcasting TV ads in 1974 to hype the sweepstakes component of its direct mail campaigns, and later its email efforts. For the past 12 years, says Goldberg, "TV ads have driven a tremendous amount of traffic and opt-in memberships for PCH business ventures."
PCH complements its TV advertising with a blend of online media, including paid and organic search, email (including third-party list rentals), social media, mobile media, online display ads and even more experimental marketing, such as its AOL takeover this past July.
To promote its prize promotions, particularly a chance to win $5,000 a week for life, the company purchased a significant amount of real estate on the main entry page for the AOL site. For the entire month, a display ad ran on the AOL Mail login page; on July 12, a rich media Prize Patrol van ad unit moved across the login page to further engage AOL customers.
As the company continues to test and learn online, it's looking to hone in on new channels for awareness, engagement, sales and lead generation. One area that is showing early promise is mobile marketing. Says Glantz, "When you think about the time people spend in front of a TV, with direct mail or on a computer, you can put all of that into little buckets. But the mobile channel is something that people have with them all day long."
Princiotta sees the channel shift to mobile happening pretty quickly in the next few years. "We're seeing new audiences engage with PCH," especially those who don't have continuous access to a computer and internet service.
On top of opening up a new layer of the market to PCH, the emergence of mobile marketing has reinforced the company's belief in overall growth for multiple channels, as opposed to cannibalization among them. "We're getting incremental revenue from mobile," says Glantz, "including new customers and more share of wallet from current customers."