We might get thrown out of the magic circle for saying this, but sometimes, objectives aren’t met, campaigns fail and money is lost. Sometimes it can’t be helped, there are no sure-fire guarantees in marketing. Some types of failures have value though, they provide key learnings for next time, after all, some of the best marketing results have come from taking risks; they don’t always pay off, but the ones that do can pay off big time. This blog isn’t about them though, this blog is about the campaigns that were never going to work because they were set up to fail from the start.
These are the top 5 common bad practices to avoid in your offline marketing.
1. Short-term thinking
Not every corner was made to be cut, it’s time to stop going with the easiest, quickest route, and to start thinking about the longer term. This means taking the time to get the right data upfront, it means building in robust features like A/B testing into your campaigns so you’ll be able to optimise your next campaign. It means integrating your offline marketing with your other channels and integrating it to create a joined-up customer journey. Think of it like gambling versus investment; with gambling, you may be lucky and win big occasionally but more often than not, the bookie will win. A long-term approach is more like investing for your future with a knowledgeable and trusted advisor. There may be an odd bump in the road and not every campaign will be fantastic but over time, the end result will always outperform.
2. Not being targeted
It’s a common misconception that direct mail isn’t targeted, but it is. Campaigns are heavily informed by data, with many different fully GDPR compliant options available. You can identify people who have bought similar products to yours, find people who have a particular interest or behaviours, and use profiled data like Mosaic and Acorn to target specific demographics. Many campaigns are done with a high-volume approach rather than strategic targeting, meaning money is wasted and the possibility of a positive ROI is reduced.
3. No data sharing
The more data you share, the better the insights and recommendations will be from the outset. The better you know your customers, the more focused and targeted your messaging will be, and not all customers are equal. While it’s nice to have a picture of your ‘average’ customer, they will all be motivated by different things and so creating a general approach to fit all customers will, more often than not, generate average results.
By analysing and segmenting large quantities of data, you’ll be able to uncover different cohorts who behave differently that can be targeted as such using different offers, techniques, and formats. With thorough end-of-campaign reporting, you will learn something new on every campaign and use that insight to improve the next.
4. Bad creative
One of the big advantages of offline marketing is that it is a tangible touchpoint, a growing novelty in an increasingly digital world. It’s a big opportunity to make a big impression. Too often designs aren’t thought through or optimised for the format, or even the format itself is wrong. Offline marketing gives you a chance to show rather than tell about your brand. The textures, the feel, the look, it all helps reinforce your positioning and quality. A piece of direct mail has more space to play with, giving you the opportunity to tell your brand and product story in a more compelling way. Its format means you can immediately present the premium quality of your brand in the print design and finish.
This all provides a platform for real engagement and creating a lasting impression. Marketreach studies have shown that physical mail has a powerful impact on long-term memory encoding, +49% stronger than email, +35% stronger than social media advertising. By putting more thought specifically into how your campaign is executed on direct mail, you can see big impacts
5. No benefit validation
Sometimes, people get so busy and preoccupied planning the next campaign, they don’t take learnings from the previous one. Evaluating the performance of campaigns is the best way to ensure your next campaign is even better. During a campaign, you should have a process in place for regular review and improve meetings to optimise as you go.
Every campaign should have built-in mechanisms to track and capture data for measuring ROI. Too often this is either an afterthought, or over-simplified, and provides too little insight, or worse, an inaccurate result. You should be using unique tracking codes, matchback reporting, phone numbers, and specific landing pages, to track when, how, and even who acted on your direct mail campaign. Doing this gives you pinpoint accuracy for tracking offline marketing campaigns – from view and response rates, through to conversion rates and cost per acquisition – basically you should be able to see exactly what you’re putting into your marketing, and how that is translating to money out, so you know how to tweak your next campaign to be better.
So how do you avoid these mistakes? The answer is easy. Use us. Offline marketing isn’t part of what we do, it is what we do. We have over 25 years’ experience, and are trusted by brands like HelloFresh, Pact Coffee, Radley and Beer52 to deliver outstanding offline marketing solutions. We don’t just do fulfilment, we are a hub of insights, innovation, strategy, design, and delivery…Basically we are experts at every aspect.
If you’re wondering just how great offline marketing can be for your brand, then get in touch with us today for an informal chat about what we can do.