If you are old enough, before the rise of content and digital marketing, you may remember getting over 5% average actual inbound response from email campaigns and more than 12% from printed postal campaigns.
Those were the days!
Then the rise of email ‘spam’ volume choked response down to well below 1% and even printed post was largely binned. The brave new world of content, social and digital marketing seemed to herald a golden age for marketing engagement and, for a while, that was true as response levels rose significantly.
Buying behaviour is changing again.
According to PewResearch.org, there has been no notable growth in content marketing in the last two years, time spent on websites has declined, and social media is preferred as a pathway for news. (The number of U.S. adults using social media, including Facebook, is mostly unchanged since 2018.)
Content marketing is 50% less effective than it was only three years ago. In 2018, BuzzSumo’s research claimed to prove content marketing was dying.
The only constant is that whenever people want a solution to a problem they habitually search online. So long as people still do that, then the opportunity to engage remains. It’s now a matter of determining which way works best?
Organic reach isn’t dead, but it is on life support. According to Nielsen’s Agora Pulse, Facebook showed your posts to 26% in 2011. By 2017 the percentage had dropped to 0.05%. This percent has dropped precipitously since Facebook started pay-to-play advertising.
The next big things apparently are AI (already well entrenched), Search by Voice, Texting (open rate of 100%!) and , amazingly, online email newsletters!
There is growing evidence to suggest that marketing is coming full circle. Social Media and Digital is increasingly ‘saturated’. Linked-in, once an excellent lead generation platform, is now is more social and genuine new business opportunities have dropped through the floor.
Now print is making a comeback.
For many, it’s new, different and intriguing – and it is getting cut through where online/digital do not in the same way anymore. An agency friend posted a creative printed Invite for a seminar recently and gained over 70% response. Beat that!!
Perhaps it’s because there is something tangible and personal about receiving something though the post. Do recipients feel a sense of ‘trust’ in that form of communication that is harder to find digitally?
Instantprint has seen a 131% growth in printed material sales over the past five years with booklet and brochure sales growing 32% in 2019 alone.
Traditional Marketing provides better targeting techniques
A much over-used term in the 90’s was ‘integrated marketing’. Online, Social and Digital have achieved ‘integration’ to a degree but, by including traditional marketing too, it means your message can be much more pervasive and precise in reaching the intended target audience.
Posted direct mail will go to the intended recipient – or gatekeeper.
But, for door drops, you can target very accurately using demographic software to reach the most appropriate audiences by owner-occupier status, by postcode sector – consumer or B2B. This has often been overlooked during the last 15 years or so but remains a very effective approach.
Now traditional marketing’s targeting accuracy can be powerfully linked to online/digital by printers auto generating personalised barcodes for any piece of printed collateral. This triggers a digital engagement once a smartphone camera captures it. The barcode automatically opens up a web page customised to the client, and a notification message will be sent to a dashboard. It’s also GDPR compliant.
The return on investment is always very clear.
Royal Mail research found 92% of householders read door drops and 67% of people have been prompted to buy as a result.
Email marketing yields $44 back for every $1 you spend – a 4400% ROI.
Wondering what’s the ROI for social media? So are we all!