Over the last few years, Craig Wood, like many of you, has noticed a disturbing current in the direct marketing world: Response is down, costs are up and the result is a decrease in the productivity of marketing efforts as a whole. Wood, who recently left his position as group president and head of the database division at Yankelovich to become founder and CEO of Chapel Hill, N.C.-based consultancy The Clarity Group, attributes much of this troubling trend to a rise in consumer resistance. But he also sees another emerging force, one with the ability to reverse some of this resistance: values-based marketing. Values-based marketing
By Gayle Davey and Carrie Manross Let's see ... creative concept approved? Check. Data standardization and hygiene performed? Check. Personalization proofed and accurate? Check. Collation samples at the letter shop? Check. The mailer meets postal regulations? Check. Have you forgotten anything? You certainly may have. When creating a direct mail campaign, one of your opportunities for improving response comes from your message. Typically, creative versions are developed for a couple of reasons: to test new creative against the control package or to separate the audience using demographic or behavioral characteristics. But smart direct marketers also are segmenting their audience to
"Some brand disappointments are treated as brand betrayal," says Craig Wood, group president, Yankelovich. Any changes could lead customers to think you've forgotten about them, or worse, don't care about their preferences. "Be cautious about brand changes," he warns.
Today, there's a distinct "claustrophobia of abundance," says Craig Wood, group president, Yankelovich. To overcome this fear, keep your offers relevant and ensure they strike an emotional chord. "Emotional resonance is very important today," he says. "People are getting overwhelmed [with marketing messages] ... But there's a huge dichotomy because people are saying they want more choices. The answer," he surmises, "is less choices, but the right choices. Precision is more critical today than it's ever been in the past."
Time is a precious commodity in this day and age. According to Craig Wood, group president, Yankelovich, "Time is too precious to just give away." He says in order to get prospects to spend their time on your messages, you need to "get to the 'why' through attitudinal data." Use the data to "be as precise and relevant as possible." No matter your current marketing tactics, there's always room for improvement. "Make it relevant to me and only me," he advises. Only in this way will prospects give you the time out of their day.
In order to reach the illusive "them," your customers, you have to: - cede control; - break down the walls [of communication]; - invite people in; - dial down the hype; - simplify the process; - offer flexibility; and - avid stereotypes. Only then, says Craig Wood, group president, Yankelovich, can you truly reach out and touch someone.
By Tracy A. Gill Children's marketing is enjoying a good deal of attention right now, and with good reason. As the Yankelovich Youth MONITOR 2005 study reports, kids increasingly are involved in their families' buying decisions. And with Generation Y outnumbering the boomers, a loyal kid customer today can mean money in the bank for years to come. Kids today are media savvy, and to reach them, your marketing communications have to be spot-on, explains John Page, youth insights manager for Yankelovich. Page offers three touchpoints you'll want to hit when marketing to these young consumers: 1. Authenticity. Your messages should
With Tracy A. Gill Last month, The Yankelovich MONITOR released its second-ever Multicultural Marketing Study. Although Yankelovich has been surveying both the Hispanic and African-American marketing segments separately since 1988, this new multicultural format, first conducted in 2003, was designed to compare and contrast the attitudes, values and behaviors of the major ethnic segments in the United States in order to "get into the multicultural consumer mind-set and psyche and provide marketers with actionable marketing insights," explains study Director Sonya Suarez-Hammond. Suarez-Hammond spoke with me recently about some of the study's key findings. TG: What were some of the most
By Hallie Mummert Target Marketing talks to industry experts about the trends that are shaping the way direct marketers do business. If it feels as if the floor is moving beneath your feet these days, it's not just your nervous knees knocking together as you map out your direct marketing program's path. Major changes in culture, technology and process are occurring that will radically alter today's business model, pushing direct marketing in new directions, too. This business revolution is both information- and customer-driven and, if direct marketers don't catch up with these trends, it could be government-driven. Of the eight industry experts interviewed for
By Donna Baier Stein If you've seen "I [heart] Huckabees," you either loved or hated it. The movie talks mostly about consciousness as two "detectives" (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) help others figure out the meaning of life. Seems to me that conscious-ness is something we marketers need to expand in these interesting and challenging days. It's been a year since Yankelovich Partners President J.Walker Smith, while giving a speech entitled "The Vision of Home: Generational Lifestyle Value," identified a "Post Accumulation Marketplace" that "want(s) intangibles, experiences and service, but no 'stuff' left over." In addition to the "stuff" we're selling, we're creating a