Given the continuing uncertainty over the future of how the USPS conducts its operations, it may seem a little counterintuitive to see bright days ahead for direct mail. But the development of some recent creative trends, as evidenced by mail cataloged in Who’s Mailing What! (the most extensive database of direct mail and email in the world), shows this is a medium that is alive and quite capable of learning new tricks.
Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: QUAD) ("Quad/Graphics") announced on Jan. 16 that it has completed its acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Vertis Holdings, Inc., for a net purchase price of $170 million. This assumes the purchase price of $267 million less the payment of $97 million for current assets that are in excess of normalized working capital requirements. Quad/Graphics used cash on hand and drew on its revolving credit facility to finance the acquisition.
Quad/Graphics, Inc. and Vertis Holdings, Inc. today announced the execution of an agreement through which Quad/Graphics will acquire substantially all of the assets comprising Vertis' businesses for $258.5 million, which includes the payment of approximately $88.5 million for current assets that are in excess of normalized working capital requirements. Upon completion, the acquisition will enhance Quad/Graphics' position as a leader in the production of retail advertising inserts, direct marketing and instore marketing solutions while providing continuity, financial stability and continued business investment for Vertis' clients and employees.
Consider newspaper inserts—enhancing this traditional space advertising platform by leveraging a QR Code or geoPURL is a cost-effective approach to facilitate a two-way dialogue through traditional print channels and can transition print material into customizable online content.
Personalized mail pieces take care of job No. 1: get attention. Even better? By using content that's relevant and unique to each prospect, that attention has a much better chance to turn into action than with the traditional direct mail piece.
In a digital era of e-readers, email and text messaging, it would be easy to assume that the traditional print marketing medium has lost its appeal. Yet studies on consumer response defy such predictions—direct mail, ad inserts and other print channels are still incredibly viable marketing tactics and continue to communicate a brand's offerings and appeal to consumers in ways that online channels simply cannot do alone.
With the direct mail landscape changing fast, with new technologies playing bigger roles and the shifting dynamic of choosy prospects, I thought it was a good time to pick the brain of a veteran direct marketer: Kathy Calta, who in 2009 was named Chief Marketing Officer at Vertis Communications, a provider of targeted advertising and marketing solutions to leading retail and consumer services companies.
One of the challenges marketers face today is providing relevant information and offers in a timely manner. Because consumers can shop online rapidly, leads can grow old in days—and in some instances, even hours. Thus, failure to fulfill marketing leads in real time reduces the opportunity to close. Other challenges include lengthy print and distribution lead times, obsolescence, and regulatory disclosures. Establishing an asset database and digital workflow can work to resolve these problems efficiently, reducing cycle time while increasing response and overall return on investment.
Hold onto your seat belts. According to a Vertis study, 73 percent of adults who plan to buy a new vehicle respond to automotive direct mail. As a result, direct mail remains a key marketing tool for the automotive industry, says a 2006 white paper from Carlson Marketing entitled “New Rules of Engagement: Delivering Results in Automotive Direct Marketing.” While there is more competition in the automotive marketplace than ever before, the standard rules still apply: Get to know your prospects and segment them by needs to engineer personalized communications. However, relying on the mail alone may be a mistake—the presence of the Web
How are you planning to deal with 2007’s postal rate increase? If you aren’t already thinking about your preparations, you should be, advises David Colatriano, senior vice president and general manager of direct marketing and premedia for Baltimore, Md.-based direct marketing consulting company Vertis. “My primary piece of advice is don’t wait,” asserts Colatriano. “Start to explore how you are executing your mailings right now, and work with your partners on ways to update the formats or evaluate the current mailing plan to look for opportunities to bring more efficiencies. They’re very complicated regulations, but there [are] ways to minimize the cost through good