Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How Direct Mail Joins in Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is a strategy that sometimes has more buzz than sting, embraced by 88% of B2B marketers but with only 30% saying they are effective at it, per a 2016 MarketingProfs/Content Marketing Institute survey. But more than half of B2B marketers are planning to increase their budgets for content marketing, with a focus on digital delivery for social media content, case studies, blogs, e-letters, website articles, videos, white paper downloads, infographics, webinars, etc. Direct mail is notable by its absence. Yet we think it's a mistake to assume that mail can't fit into a content-oriented pull strategy to build leads and sales. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as "a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience--with the objective of driving profitable customer action." That certainly works with direct mail, too. In fact, a recent business2community.com post by Yvonne Lyons, Right Source vice president of content marketing, cited five reasons to include direct mail as a content marketing tactic: 1) the unique ability of print to engage via design, dimension, and sensual appeal (color, texture, and even sound and scent); 2) targeting with mailing list selection and segmentation that is unmatched digitally; 3) trackable response devices; 4) integration with digital content via PURLs, QR and AR; 5) and high response rates--3.7% for a house list and 1% for a prospect list, compared to 0.62% for all digital channels combined. More specifically, Paul Bobnak, director of Who's Mailing What!, offers some great examples of mailers delivering content marketing's "valuable and relevant content for the defined audience," such as Williams-Sonoma and Trade Joe's. See his presentation at http://www.piworld.com/xchange/dm-spotlight/content-marketing-direct-mail/

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