Media Mixology 101: Blending Direct and Digital Campaigns

Here are three essential elements for marketers to consider when creating their next campaign's media mix to drive the best results.

Like oil and vinegar, some marketing strategies fail to blend. It's not until marketers shake things up that they can begin to determine the right outreach approach with regard to their customer base.

Media mix modeling (MMM), also known as marketing mix modeling, enables marketers to assess and establish multichannel campaigns, the ROI of each campaign, and the most effective mix within. For the modern marketer, success comes from finding the right blend of communications and customer outreach as he or she works to dismantle silos and create seamless experiences. By clarifying what works and what doesn't, companies can then begin to create the integrated experience customers crave and deserve.

Forrester highlights that 86 percent of marketing decision-makers see integrating multiple channels-both online and off-under one single integrated marketing strategy as critical to their success, for integrated campaigns work together to deliver results. For instance, using direct mail to drive Web activity with email follow-up allows marketers to create seamless cross-channel experiences that enhance one another while promoting the same result.

"Today's business faces new levels of complexity in media mix," says Lila Snyder, president, document messaging technologies at Pitney Bowes. "What worked in a simpler world was more channel-based. Today, marketing mix is more about the integrated campaign and not one channel's success over another. It is the 'and' story."

However, the challenge becomes measuring the impact of each campaign element and understanding the role each media property plays in contributing to those results: How important is each component to the multichannel campaign? Ultimately, success comes down to enabling physical and digital media to work together, developing a symbiotic relationship that delivers better results. For example, as Winterberry Group highlights, if you look at marketing spend in the U.S., direct mail spend is flat over the past five years. However, digital marketing's allocated spend has increased about 7 percent, ultimately taking share away from other media, such as newspaper and radio.

Direct mail's continued effectiveness can be linked, in part, to the integration of digital technologies into direct mail campaigns, for using physical mail to drive digital activity creates exciting new possibilities for engaging consumers. From launching videos on smartphones, to enabling quick purchases from catalogs or postcards, the effectiveness of direct mail in combination with digital messaging can be very powerful. By collecting data from digital channels, companies can then develop highly targeted, individually personalized direct mail pieces, bringing the right message to the right consumer at the right time. Direct mail has only improved since the dawn of digital, for an increased understanding of consumer behaviors allows brands to tailor their direct marketing messages to generate the greatest impact and engagement.

But, for marketers looking to determine the right media mix model, establishing the correct balance will never be cut and dry, for as consumer behavior evolves, so must the average brand's approach to customer outreach. Each brand must consider the three following elements when creating their next campaign's media mix to drive the best results:

  1. Optimize Your Marketing Mix Using Consumer Data: Collecting and retaining customer data can no longer sustain any company's marketing strategy for very long. Not only must marketers harness this information, but they must also integrate the tools necessary to define customer preferences and bring this data to action. Software solutions have the power to cleanse large data sets with accuracy as they work to identify behavioral patterns and discover new, relevant opportunities for increased engagement, upsell, and cross-sell. By running such analytics, marketers can then begin to develop tailored, personalized campaigns that target the individual, not the demographic. Marketers can't establish an effective media mix until they understand how each component performs, thereby making overall customer response the ideal indicator for future sustainability and success.
  2. Embrace Obscure Channels as an Engagement Opportunity: Though some methods of communication may seem entirely routine, yet separate from basic marketing messaging, brands must look to these unlikely channels as ideal opportunities for engaging consumers. One InfoTrends report revealed that U.S. consumers open 97 percent of invoices and statements with consumers spending 2-5 minutes reading each one. For instance, banks would be able to add personalized offers and other relevant information, such as credit card offers and mortgage rates, directly on customer statements to drive action. This incredibly high level of engagement often goes overlooked as it's typically managed outside of the marketing department's reach, thereby rendering the channel useless in its current state. By embracing such channels, marketers open themselves up to the possibility of creating personalized, one-to-one marketing messages via these already important modes of communication.
  3. Collaborate Closely with Colleagues Throughout Your Organization: Just as channel strategies must align to complement one another, so must staff members across any given enterprise. There are now more people than ever at the table when it comes to developing an outreach strategy and executing the campaign. By working across the business, marketers can tap into other customer touchpoints and optimize their media mix and the customer experience simultaneously. Because companies are innately departmentalized, it's easy to remain siloed and oblivious to the opportunities that arise elsewhere within the organization. Ultimately, the challenge becomes how to introduce prospects and current customers to new products or complementary products. Marketers often lose sight of this-the push side of the marketing-but by learning to communicate internally, employees can expose one another to the opportunities that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Every company must recognize that the ideal media mix varies from brand to brand and campaign to campaign. But, at its core, media mix modeling must enable marketers to understand that the value of an improved customer experience comes from both physical and digital communications working together.

Domino's Delivers Positive ROI via Direct Mail

When establishing an effective media mix, companies must experiment to determine the best approach. Domino's Pizza of Australia, for instance, relies upon direct mail to fuel its online ordering system and vice versa. Combined, the two mediums allow Domino's to develop cross-channel synergies that encourage engagement and increase sales. Domino's operates by communicating with customers online first to cost-effectively spark interest. The brand then uses print as its final push to attract customers and promote purchases. By sending out 80 million unaddressed direct mail pieces and one million addressed pieces each year, Domino's understands that print remains vital to its success, for each mailer is inherently engaging by nature, as consumers can easily delete an email or unsubscribe, but all must interact with the physical mailer regardless of their interest.

Through direct mail, Domino's has the power to tailor its pricing for each of its franchisees. With hundreds of franchise territories, the country's largest pizza chain routes customers to their closest location. Australia Post's centralized online booking system allows Domino's to access geographical maps so it may send targeted mailers to unaddressed recipients and drive business to the appropriate location. Harnessing data in both physical and digital worlds also allows the brand to more effectively reach addressed consumers and direct them to the correct store. Overall, Domino's averages an ROI of 1.5-3 percent for unaddressed direct mail pieces and an ROI of 6-10 percent for addressed mailers, continually emphasizing the success of their current media mix.

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