When considering a marketing plan, users of paid media often invest unilaterally: “We are running television ads,” or “We use exclusively digital marketing.” While many strategic considerations go into the media vehicle you select and the proportion of your budget allocated to that vehicle, it is generally regarded as a mistake to invest unilaterally in one media.
Investing in paid advertising is essentially buying the audience of the publication with which you are spending money — and their associated media consumption behaviors. Each media vehicle has strengths and weaknesses. Digital marketing is inexpensive and can target audiences with a high degree of accuracy and granularity, allowing you to pick a much more specific audience than investing in a television commercial. But digital marketing is a “quiet” medium. It tends to be more interactive than interruptive, although engagement times for emails, banners, and even paid video ads are extremely short: under four seconds, by the estimation of top marketers.
On the other hand, print media is tactile. Magazine ads see very high engagement compared to other advertising media, often boasting engagement times upwards of thirty seconds. But well-executed direct mail can see interactions that are minutes, even hours long. And it can be expensive to print, mail, and staff phone lines necessary to see the prospective mailer through to conversion.
When paired, direct and digital create a synergy greater than the sum of its parts. In one example of a dual media campaign, after leveraging digital marketing to reach a targeted audience cheaply, marketers can qualify leads generated from digital marketing and identify which leads are most likely to convert, sending high-engagement direct mail to help seal the deal for our most valuable customers. For customers who still need some coaxing to become high-value leads, we can continue to execute dirt-cheap digital marketing, like email marketing, social media, and even retargeting ads. Other media vehicles, like print and broadcast advertising, can be added as supplemental traffic-generating paid media opportunities, but the core of the conversion engine remains the digital lead generation + direct mail follow-up campaign.
In another campaign example, a marketer might opt to reverse the process, using direct mail to generate the initial leads. While direct mail can be expensive when mailing highly-interactive pieces, like catalogs or full-color sales sheets, it can also be used cheaply and effectively with simple techniques: a basic postcard or sales letter. When mailing a campaign designed for lead generation, rather than conversion, we can build an online nurture funnel, rather than a direct mail nurture funnel. Then we can follow up with emails, customized landing pages, and other “content as a service” pieces.
The difference between these two strategies? We prefer the first one for more expensive products that have a shorter purchase cycle, while preferring the second one for cheaper products with a longer purchase cycle.
When you partner with Ballantine to build your direct-digital marketing plan, we’ll build a custom campaign using the right elements to achieve your business goals. Contact our professionals today at 973-305-1500 to get started!