Target Marketing April 2014



Every year, we try to be one social step ahead of the pack. Inventing a new hashtag that will catch on viral fire, like #TBT, is easier said than done. Social media is a living organism, and it's anyone's guess how it will evolve. By January 2015, your mom may receive a coupon on Snapchat. (Whether or not she'll redeem it before it implodes is an entirely different story.) If you are ready for a glimpse into the social future, look no further.

Desperately Needed: Old-Time Marketing Pros

The techie Web hotshots are screwing up big time. They say the right things and do the wrong things. Example: To Marissa Mayer, the chief executive of Yahoo, fashion magazines like Vogue and InStyle have achieved the Holy Grail of advertising. "The ads in those magazines are as interesting as the photo shoots and the articles," she said in an interview last week at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters. "I miss the ads when they are not there. I feel less fulfilled."

HA Uses Laughs, Cute Kids, for ACA DRTV

A bespectacled boy in a sweater vest and a bow tie stands in front of a classroom of elementary school students who say they are confused about the Affordable Care Act. Pointing toward what he's written in blue, pink and yellow chalk on the blackboard behind him, the "teacher" has a simple answer for all of the questions coming at him.

How Do You Use Mail Today?

Last month, we looked at what media marketers plan to use in 2014, and direct mail ranked high on your list of priorities. The follow-up question was beyond the scope of that survey, but worth asking: How do you use direct mail today? We live in a time when most response happens online. There are some exceptions—fundraisers, for example, still seem to get a lot of response by mail. But for other mailers, it seems like the mail piece's job is to drive recipients to another channel, either to a website, retail location or telephone call.

Opportunity Unfolded

This year in "Data Driven," we're exploring the opportunities unfolding in real time within the world of data-driven marketing. The single most important change recently is a single data analyst can now drive significant value using the powerful and affordable tools available in today's information technology arena. Let's look at the data processes involved with a sales team and the four parts required to create value with high ROI in this arena.

Playing the Hits Lifts Email Opens

If "Happy" by Pharrell Williams makes email recipients clap along with subject lines mentioning the song, then makes them tap along their keyboards to open the messages, that's something that might make marketers feel like that's what they want to do, says recent research from Retention Science.

Scions of Local Search

Andy Barton, Scion digital and interactive marketing manager, agrees the Torrance, Calif.-based Toyota brand had astronomical search engine marketing issues back in June 2012. That's when Scion leaders, national and regional, met to figure out how to drive increased traffic and leads to dealers and found "key gaps" in the brand's search results—specifically for local terms.

Stop Them in Their Tracks

Are you using violators to capture your scanner's attention and quickly transform him or her into a reader-responder? If not, why not? A violator is a powerful creative element that can be used across channels to violate natural eye flow and pull a scanner into reading your messages. I first learned about a violator's disturbing power as a catalog and direct mail writer. I was taught to use violators to call out value pricing, free trial offers and discount deadlines. While violators may not be aesthetically pleasing to fans of fine art and white space, it's their uncomfortably disruptive quality that makes them effective in driving response.

The Second Screen

By now, many of you have heard about second screen experiences and even may have considered them to connect with your consumers in new ways. There are a variety of definitions for second screens; although for the sake of this column, I will define a second screen as any companion device that acts alongside a primary device.