This simple equation is the foundation of convergence. We bring together the best ideas and techniques that connect us to the individual, so that we can communicate with the individual on his or her terms. For over 20 years, I studied, tested and developed this methodology. It is the fastest way to create brand resonance and build brand loyalty. We have all the tools we need right at our fingertips to reach the individual and build an empathetic relationship.
From the utility of instant communications to the search box’s boundless sense of discovery, “always-on” consumers are busy entertaining and informing themselves. Spending is taking a back seat to experiencing. Now what? Successful multichannel brands are redefining the practice of branding themselves, and leading marketers are becoming publishers—driving a continuous stream of experiences and, ultimately, purchase behavior. Here’s how they’re doing it and how you can, too.
When was the last time you talked about love in your company meetings? Or passion? Or charisma? Or devotion? Perhaps it’s time to add those topics to your next agenda; not because it’s Valentine’s month, but because it’s the right thing to do all year long. When I facilitate and participate in strategic intradepartmental branding meetings with my clients, these words are always part of our conversations.
One thing marketers can learn from the recent presidential campaign is that with the help of brand evangelists, even the most skeptical consumer will listen to a passionate third party, or at least consider what they are saying on its merits.
Bills, bills, bills. Even marketers can think of them as so mundane as to be ignored as possible advertising vehicles. But that’s a mistake, says Lee Gallagher, manager of global solutions for InfoPrint Solutions Co. of Boulder, Colo. There are three trends emerging in transpromo, or the growing marketing method of placing promotions on transaction statements, illustrated by the rewards statement work InfoPrint recently performed for Phoenix-based Best Western International.
A long-term practice in direct mail was to compel respondents to complete some simple exercise as a way to further solidify their emotional investment, short of sending cash with order. For example, Time-Life Books and Prentice Hall asked respondents to initial order cards. And who could forget the punching out and affixing of product stamps to join Book-of-the-Month's and Columbia House's book/music clubs, or to purchase magazine subscriptions from Publishers Clearing House and American Family Publishers? (Hey, we can remind kids how tough we once had it; not only did we have to walk our orders to the mailbox, but we had to lick and stick the postage stamps, too!)
This summer, we all knew one person's dream quite well. Michael Phelps had his heart set on achieving something that had never been done before: winning eight gold medals in one Olympics. We all watched as he did just
that and achieved yet another dream for himself, his relay teams and team USA—all the while breaking many of his own world records in the process.
As marketers, we must think about what customers dream about when it comes to products and services. How will you go about discovering your customers' dreams this upcoming year?
As the sophistication of direct marketing programs grows, firms are compelled to ensure their marketing efforts are integrated on numerous levels. Brands that are sold via a distributor network face the additional pressure of having to coordinate such messaging and tactics across a widely disparate group of stakeholders.
Such was the case for Sylvan Learning, which provides private tutoring for children in grades pre-K through 12 via a franchise network of more than 1,000 local operators. In early 2007 the company worked with QuantumDigital, an Austin, Texas-based online provider of direct mail, on-demand printing and e-marketing services, to implement an online on-demand marketing program for franchisees. Called 1:1 Direct Mail Service Bureau, this solution offers users access to print mail templates (postcards, letter packs and flyers) and e-mail templates that are customizable to the local level. Franchisees may change up offers, headlines and pictures to give a local market feel to a nationally branded campaign, says Sara Costello, director of direct mail and conversion marketing at Sylvan Learning. In addition, the tool offers users the ability to define audiences via visual mapping technology and integrate print and e-mail campaigns for better response.