Publishers Clearing House
Target Marketing readers are a discriminating lot. In 2014, the subjects they cared about most were copywriting, mobile email design, direct mail, LinkedIn, legal matters, and the relationship between print and digital marketing. The tally of the most popular Web articles of 2014 is based on the site's analytics and begins with the articles the magazine published online this year. Next up are pieces from past years that readers clicked on in 2014. Both numbers reach through to Monday's totals.
We are very pleased to share that the Direct Marketing Club of New York has chosen the Target Marketing Group for this year's corporate Silver Apple Award! We are delighted to be receiving such an honor alongside this year's impressive lineup of individual honorees (including a Golden Apple!).
To the casual observer, Publishers Clearing House (PCH) appears to have luck on its side. The nearly 60-year-old company that got its start selling magazine subscriptions has weathered stringent sweepstakes legislation and the accompanying publicity stirred up by Congress; the shrinking of its original customer base; and the not insignificant challenge of duplicating its offline dominance in the online sphere.
All customers are not created equal. And one aspect of Publisher's Clearing House's success that we did not have the space to get into in the cover story is the way it leverages real-time consumer profitability data to customize its offers based on the recipients financial risk.
It's been the year of integrated marketing, and nothing proves that more than GEICO's appearance on our annual list of the top 50 direct mailers. You've probably seen so much of GEICO's gecko, cavemen and the googly-eyed stack of money that you're not surprised to see it anywhere now. But it's been five years and about $5 billion in revenue since the TV-slick and Web-savvy insurer last mailed enough to make the list.
From catalog makers to magazine publishers and direct mailers, the battle is now joined over the proposed rate increases for U.S. mail. American Media, Condé Nast, ESPN, Hearst, the Magazine Publishers Association, Publishers Clearing House and Time Inc. are among the companies that have formed the Affordable Mail Alliance this week. The group is trying to appeal to the Postal Regulatory Commission to reject the United States Postal Service’s request for substantial increases in the mailing rates both for standard postage and bulk and magazine rates.
Psychology—largely defined as the study of the human mind and its functions as they relate to behavior—is not an entirely foreign concept when it comes to marketing, especially direct response activities. For example, Publishers Clearing House knew exactly which human drives it was tapping into with the lick-and-stick magazine stamps in its sweepstakes direct mail packages of yore. But while copy, design and offer development has leveraged psychological findings to the hilt, the utility of this tool can be extended deeper into marketing strategy to develop more continually relevant interactions with prospects and customers.
Viral marketing is tantalizing. The promise of vast coverage with minimal cost is alluring. The problem is bad news travels faster than good. Creating campaigns designed to become the next trending topic on Twitter is risky behavior. When attempts to manipulate the marketplace are discovered, the negative response irreparably damages the brand.
The only hard part of Publishers Clearing House's mobile marketing plan is going to be getting that huge check to fit in those tiny cell phones. In June, PCH launched two iPhone applications—PCH Trivia and PCH Slots—to begin its push into the mobile marketing arena. Historically a direct marketing giant, PCH expects a lot from this marketing channel that fits in the palm of a hand.