Halloween is around the corner, so for this week's post I wanted to turn to a topic that is most definitely apropos: creepy marketing. No, we're not talking about marketing for Halloween. What's creepy marketing, you might ask? Creepy marketing is what happens when personalization goes horribly wrong—when good intentions morph into, well, disturbing communication that has the opposite of its intended effect and, instead of helping a brand push a product or service, sends recipients running for the hills.
To achieve special visual effects on direct mail pieces that not only create more eye-catching efforts, but help to more effectively communicate messages and boost overall response, consider applying various coatings at the finishing stage. According to Jeff Banks, technical manager, continuous improvement at Menasha, Wisc.-based Banta Corp., one technique that has gained popularity over the last few years is applying a textured coating to direct mail pieces. Using a polymer, rubberized plate and an ultraviolet coating, nearly any type of raised impression can be created on a mail piece—from faux, raised fingerprints to wood grains. Other special techniques available to mailers interested in developing high-end
More than 20 years ago, only a small group of very progressive companies and nonprofit organizations used direct mail to penetrate the Hispanic market. Most of these “pioneer” companies naively allocated the majority of their resources to the front-end processes of market identification, list selection, copy and creative, and print production, and paid little attention to back-end operations. Today, although more companies are targeting the Hispanic market, many still do not have the necessary back-end infrastructure. Back-end operations designed to address the needs of Hispanic customers are key to developing lasting relationships in this market. Understand the Differences Within the Market To build strong
Edited by Lisa Yorgey Lester When it comes to multicultural marketing, much ado has been made of front-end processes such as creative, and list and media selection. However, the back-end processes of direct marketing often get neglected. If you sell to the Hispanic market, is your database set up to handle multiple surnames? If customers respond to your Spanish-language offer via a toll-free number, are they greeted by a Spanish-speaking teleservices rep? As Gustovo Grüber of Banta Direct Marketing Group points out in "Shore Up Your Back-end," these all-important, but often ignored, back-end operational issues are key to solidifying customer relationships in ethnic
Some hope for the world's worst business model Vol. 1, Issue No. 38 IN THE NEWS SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 5--Kepler's Books and Magazines, an independent bookstore and Silicon Valley institution that went out of business Aug. 31, plans to reopen Saturday thanks to investment from area residents and executives. The bookstore, in Menlo Park, Calif., near Stanford University, opened in 1955, and became known for its broad selection of literature and periodicals and its regular author readings. But it was undone, like some other independent booksellers, by chain bookstores and Internet sales, said Anne Banta, new chief marketing officer for Kepler's.
Why and When to Outsource Your Operation Speed and agility mean everything in today’s market, which is why companies large and small are evaluating whether it makes sense to outsource their literature fulfillment process. It’s a particularly big issue in the B-to-B sector where manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors often incorporate significant non-catalog literature into their direct marketing programs. If you’re making a fulfillment outsourcing decision, here are several trigger points that could mean you need a better solution: 1) Is your internal fulfillment world-class? Would another company hire you to perform this service? 2) Are you experiencing excessive obsolescence because of an inability to
By Alicia Orr Suman Getting a catalog produced used to require a complex network of vendors and service suppliers and a dedicated staff person with a detailed schedule to coordinate them all. Today, many large catalog printers say they can take that burden off your hands. They now offer a variety of non-printing services—from digital photography and prepress to list selection and mailing. Some even will handle fulfillment for you. You may pay slightly more for some of the specialized services, but it may be worth a few extra dollars for the convenience that one-stop shopping provides. Perhaps a more important aspect
Maybe you print six catalog versions a year or mail 50,000 envelope packages every month. Most likely your company hosts a Web site with at least a half a dozen pages. Perhaps your marketing department utilizes CD-ROM for complex promotions. Your company doesn't have to be doing all of this to be in the direct marketing game. Chances are, however, the more media used to promote your products and services, the more time your departments spend on creating communications. And time is everybody's biggest competitor. The best way to get better control over time is to get better control over your message and how
by Jack Schmid In almost every survey taken during the past decade, catalogers have consistently mentioned the rising cost of paper, printing and mailing (including postage) as a major area of concern. And we see no trend that will lessen this concern. If it isn't postage cost increases, it's paper. Catalogers are forced to find innovative ways to reduce the cost of their catalogs in the mail—or any cost increase will come right out of the bottom line. What is the right answer? Should you: • Raise your prices to reflect the cost increase? • Find a new printer who can print for less?