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Social Networks, Mobile Devices, Email and Direct Mail: Is This the Future of Direct Influencing?
 

Social Networks, Mobile Devices, Email and Direct Mail: Is This the Future of Direct Influencing?

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This paper is based on a presentation given by Jeffrey Stewart, Trekk’s Chief Technology Officer, at the 2009 PODi AppForum in Las Vegas. In it, he challenges print manufacturers and distributors to ...

This paper is based on a presentation given by Jeffrey Stewart, Trekk’s Chief Technology Officer, at the 2009 PODi AppForum in Las Vegas. In it, he challenges print manufacturers and distributors to understand new and emerging channels and to pay attention to where marketing priorities and investment dollars are going.

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    Social Networks, Mobile Devices, Email and Direct Mail: Is This the Future of Direct Influencing? Social Networks, Mobile Devices, Email and Direct Mail: Is This the Future of Direct Influencing? Document Transcript

    • white paper134 North Main Street, Suite 101 Rockford, Illinois 61101 toll free: 866.799.2879 www.trekk.comContact : Michael Frieri, Director, Business Development | Direct : 708.707.3100 Social Networks, Mobile Devices, Email and Direct Mail: Is This the Future of Direct Influencing? Jeffrey Stewart May 2009 What is the future of direct influence? This is a term that may be unfamiliar to many print distributors and manufacturers, but for those moving into the marketing services provider model, it is one they might want to familiarize themselves with. Marketers and end users are no longer looking at their marketing programs in a silo-ed fashion. Increasingly, they see their marketing efforts falling under the larger banner of “direct influence,” or simply an attempt to get someone to do something. That “something” might be to make a purchase, log into a personalized URL, or sign up for a seminar. To make this happen, marketers are finding that they cannot silo “What the Obama individual media, including print. They need to use coordinated, multi-campaign, in particular, channel campaigns that combine a wide variety of media – whether was able to do with direct mail, social networking media, television, or point-of-sale – many nearly unprecedented of which may be unfamiliar to traditional print manufacturers and skill, was to use the distributors. Internet to marshal a community force in its If the printing industry is to go where the print work is, we need to favor.” familiarize ourselves with this playing field. 1
    • white paper 134 North Main Street, Suite 101 Rockford, Illinois 61101 toll free: 866.799.2879 www.trekk.com Contact : Michael Frieri, Director, Business Development | Direct : 708.707.3100Communication TrendsWhile many of the technologies in this report may seem unfamiliar Lessons From the Obama Campaignfrom a marketing perspective, “unfamiliar” doesn’t mean irrelevant. Marketers should be learning these lessons. What the Obama campaign, in particular, was ableTechnology evolves in stages. It starts out with invention, then to do with nearly unprecedented skill was to use themoves to early adoption, then standardization, and finally, mass Internet to marshal a community force in its favor. Weacceptance. In terms of marketing, we’re in the stage of early call this “crowd sourcing.”adoption for many of these social and viral technologies, but once a Crowd sourcing is the effort of letting a large externaltrend is recognized as a lasting one, it’s far more profitable to get in crowd take upon a task that would otherwise beahead of the curve – before standardization and mass acceptance – done by a few internal people. Open source software,than trying to play catch-up later. Wikipedia and IdeaStorm (www.ideastorm.com) areJust think about some of the other “new” technologies that seemed excellent examples. Someone takes the kernel of anforeign even a few years ago but which have since transformed the idea, then allows people in the broader marketplace tomarketing landscape: comment on it, contribute their own ideas and flesh it• the Internet out. Then, these individual contributors distribute and• e-commerce market these ideas on their own.• content management• 1:1 (personalized) printing• 1:1 multi-channel marketing• marketing analytics• customer relationship management (CRM) and the age of “customer loyalty”Now, it’s social media.Those who have understood the importance of getting in front ofthese curves have not just profited from them, but transformedthe landscape in which they lived. As David Carr pointed outin his New York Times article, “How Obama Tapped Into SocialNetworks’ Power”: Thomas Jefferson used newspapers to win the presidency, F.D.R. used radio to change the way he In the Obama campaign, this started with the governed, J.F.K. was the first president to understand site itself, which was a veritable combination of television, and Howard Dean saw the value of the newsroom, online streaming video (“BarackTV”), Web for raising money. But Senator Barack Obama links to every major social networking site covering understood that you could use the Web to lower the every demographic (from Facebook to BlackPlanet cost of building a political brand, create a sense of to MySpace, YouTube and even lesser known social connection and engagement and dispense with the network sites like Glee, MiGente and MyBatanga) command and control method of governing to allow and tools to enable site visitors to connect with one people to self-organize to do the work. another and organize outreach events. 2
    • white paper 134 North Main Street, Suite 101 Rockford, Illinois 61101 toll free: 866.799.2879 www.trekk.com Contact : Michael Frieri, Director, Business Development | Direct : 708.707.3100Influencing Behavior different media, including micro-sites/personalized URLs,As members of the marketing and graphic communications Twitter, FaceBook, ads/POS, mobile and RSS Feeds. This isindustry, how do we begin to tap into this world? what we call the “content-centric model.”It starts with the website. The website is the bedrock of thecampaign, where all of the content is linked. Next, you make it easy for people to find this content. This means making sure the site is structured correctly so it can beThis requires a good Web-based content management system, indexed by and optimized for search engines. Then you layer onwhich allows you not just to centralize all of your campaign keywords campaigns or ad word campaigns that will make useinformation, but to spit that information back out to all of the use of the same content. Write for the search engines – write to give your content maximum visibility. Think you can avoid email as part of marketing? Email was media, as a channel, is about having conversations, getting a huge part of the Obama campaign’s success. Organizers people together and getting them to do things on their own collected more than 13 million email addresses and sent regular initiative. The challenge for marketing professionals, especially email alerts, news releases, event reminders, solicitations and CMOs, is to let go a little bit and let people do the work. email newsletters for a total of one billion messages. To a certain extent, this means letting your audience control the message, too. This is frightening for many marketers, but look at The campaign also used RSS Feeds to push content into other the results. sites, such as Twitter, iTunes and Flickr. These communications even included podcasts – (available directly from iTunes) and PR 3.0 & Going Viral included an “embed link” URL next to its YouTube videos so that This type of social, virally based marketing is what is being bloggers could easily embed these videos in their posts. called “PR 3.0.” With 1:1 printing, marketers are having individual This consistent stream of up-to-date – in some cases, nearly conversations with recipients of the direct mail pieces. Social real-time – information allowed grassroots supporters to take media is also about people having individual conversations, but ownership of the campaign itself and disseminated information those people are going to talk among themselves. with a level of effectiveness that the campaign could not have PR 3.0 is about using the Web to create a community, then purchased using traditional marketing methods. allowing that community to have it own conversation. If you can harness that as a brand, it’s more powerful than spending a few Changing the Face of Marketing million dollars on a SuperBowl ad. Just ask Apple! Its customers Marketers should be sitting up straight, because this may promote the brand with religious fervor. be the future of marketing. The Obama campaign used It is that passion you want to harness. This is why a critical aspect every combination of social media and online information of PR 3.0 is designing campaigns to go viral, or to be distributed dissemination to reach into every corner of the voter world. They from one person to another. This is where online media have fed people information, then encouraged them to comment on power that traditional media do not. This is also where the it, take ownership of it, and disseminate it – and they did. Obama organization also excelled. It created a network for Of course, the campaign made heavy use of traditional media, blazing fast information dissemination, whether through blogs, as well. Especially toward the end of the political season, it spent podcasts, audio, social networking sites, or other media. record amounts on traditional media – upwards of $600 million Traditionally, the work of the PR specialist is to make it easy for – but the campaign didn’t start that way. Everything started with the writer or editor to pick up your story. In PR 3.0, it’s the work social media. of the PR specialist to make the information available and easy to The Obama campaign changed the way politicians – and go viral. marketers – understand media. The lesson we learn is that social 3
    • white paper 134 North Main Street, Suite 101 Rockford, Illinois 61101 toll free: 866.799.2879 www.trekk.com Contact : Michael Frieri, Director, Business Development | Direct : 708.707.3100This process includes the following components: You learn by watching what’s working. This means tracking where your results are coming from: print, email, 1:1 printing,• Search Engine Optimization: organic search, keyword print ads, banner ads, adwords, SMS/MMS, social networks, definition and optimization, index submission and radio/TV, then tweaking and optimizing. monitoring, link harvesting and exchange.• Search Engine Marketing: i.e., Google AdWords, Like the Obama campaign, the point is to be everywhere that DoubleClick Ad Networks prospects’ eyeballs are. Once these eyeballs are in the right• Social Media Optimization: continually push content into places, have in place a continual process of testing to figure out the social networks by feeding them content and creating what works most effectively. links for people to comment on.• Testing: Check the effectiveness of different phrases and Look at the following ad words examples, as described in Super improve your performance. Establish a process of continual Crunchers: Why Thinking-By-Numbers is the New Way To Be refinement. Smart, by Ian Ayres:Launch and Learn Super CrunchersAll of this may sound very foreign to print distributors and Why Thinking-by-Numbers IS the New Way to Be Smartmanufacturers, but the value to investing in the learning curve www.bantamdell.comis high. As the great hockey player Wayne Gretzky has said, “Agood hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey The End of Intuitionplayer plays where the puck is going to be.” Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart www.bantamdell.comIn printing terms, we might say, “A good printer knows wherethe print marketing is. A great printer knows where the print Think both ads are similarly effective? Not at all. The “Supermarketing is going to be.” Crunchers” ad is 63% more likely to be clicked. Marketers can get this kind of basic analytics from any “Technology will never replace people. adwords campaign. Google analytics, for example, will give you People who use technology will replace information on referring sites, search engines, traffic sources and keywords. This will tell you who visited your site, where they people who don’t.” came from, what keywords they used to find your site, which ads they clicked through and more.For someone coming out of the traditional print marketingenvironment, this can be a frightening proposition. How do you You can also layer on additional analytics. Quantcast, forlearn these new playing fields? It’s not as daunting as it might example, is an activity reporting tool that reports on visitorsseem. Identify the most important elements. Look to maximize to the site and then, based on their IP address and trackingthe commonalities among them. Use the same messaging and with cookies, takes a good “guess” on their demographics. Thisimagery. Package it appropriately for each channel. gives you an inside into the demographics by adding profile information to those visitors. 4
    • white paper 134 North Main Street, Suite 101 Rockford, Illinois 61101 toll free: 866.799.2879 www.trekk.com Contact : Michael Frieri, Director, Business Development | Direct : 708.707.3100If you are using a centralized Web console for all of yourmarketing campaigns, you can monitor all of the different Measure Return on Investmentelements of your campaign, such as print, email, banner ads, As you measure your ROI, you’ll want to look at atelevision and radio, in a single interface. You can compare and variety of different “return” metrics, including the valuecontrast their results, identifying which campaigns were most of product sold (profit margin); value of qualified leadproductive, in which languages, using which lists and so on. (projected sales); and value of customer lifetime loyaltyThis might seem like a lot of work, but if you can’t measure it (historically).– you can’t manage it! You also want to break down your investment into fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are things like . . .In the end, all of this measurement has two benefits. It allowsyou to tweak and improve your campaigns over time. And • campaign research and concept development,it allows you to measure your return on investment for each • tactic design and implementation, andelement of the campaign. • tracking and measurement tools. Variable costs include things such as . . .Are You Shifting? • list acquisition and cleansingThe marketing mix is shifting. Clients’ and end users’ marketing • printing and fulfillmentpriorities and investment dollars are shifting – moving toward • offline and online ad placementmulti-channel marketing in which social media are a critical • operation and measurementcomponent. These costs should be compared against the results you are getting from each element of the campaign.If print manufacturers and distributors want to maintain a For example, you want to look athigh level of profitability, they have to stay where the print is. • broadcast impressionsIncreasingly, it’s in multi-channel campaigns. That is going to • response ratesrequire an investment in a new learning curve, but it’s one that • cost per impressionwill be critical over the next few years. • cost per click • cost per lead • cost per conversion • cost per direct mail • cost per email (delivered / opened /clickthrough) This tells you, not only what’s working, but where you are getting the most value for your investment. 1. Identify unique segment behavior. 2. Use test results to refine the message and designs. 3. Calculate individual tactic ROI. 4. Continuously improve midstream. 5. Refine the campaign for the next cycle. 5