If the shoe fits....
If the shoe fits....

You may remember our recent article ‘To print or not to print?’ if you’ve not read it yet, here’s a shameless plug to it. We thought we would follow up to it to discuss if direct marketing in a B2B environment is still relevant.  We’ve worked on a lot of digital campaigns and we love how flexible they can be.  But what about good old-fashioned direct mail?  It took a real hit when digital advertising campaigns took off.  However now, more than ever, people are looking for standout in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Many people are overwhelmed by the variety of online messages from MPU’s to animation.  A simple yet effective piece of direct mail will be a refreshing change for them. 

A foot in the door

A successful direct marketing campaign must have a defined audience.  Then, and only then can you implement a specific campaign to target that audience.  People like personalised mail, especially if it’s well-designed and relevant to them.  The more innovative the campaign, the more effective it is likely to be. 

We recently created a DM campaign to target prospective clients for ourselves.   Ensuring we had the right details for each Marketing Manager we wanted to target was the first step (no pun intended).  Once we had gathered that data, we could then look at what an effective communication piece would look like to that group.  For this particular campaign, our group happened to be all female.  So, we created a pink (Platinum pink obviously!)  stiletto and introduced it as ‘A foot in the door’.  We’re not saying every female likes a pink stiletto but the idea was to make it memorable as well as having a practical use.  The response to it was great, reassuring our belief that smaller, more targeted campaigns work well.  We’re currently working on our next one, so watch this space….. 

Anyway, we digress.  There are lots more reasons why direct marketing in a B2B environment is still relevant and should be considered to complement your digital marketing strategy.  

GDPR

We know.  It was the Brexit of marketing for a while, you couldn’t have a discussion without it being brought up.  But with hindsight, it has been a good thing in the digital world. However, it doesn’t apply to direct mail. For direct mail, your target mailing group needs to have a ‘legitimate interest’ in your service or product.  Basically, meaning it’s easier for you to target ‘warm’ leads and increase your chances of acquiring that customer. 

Mix it up

We’re not suggesting cutting loose your digital marketing strategy but if you can send your clients or suppliers a hard copy comms piece (other than an invoice!), they might just appreciate it.  

Customer communication pieces that compliment your digital campaigns could include;

  • A monthly newsletter
  • Corporate brochure
  • A Christmas mailing
  • Satisfaction survey
  • Data update/permissions mailing – a great way to do a quick data cleanse! 

Talking of Data….

Undertake a data audit before you send any mailing.  Make sure your data fields are consistent with things like salutations and of course that you collect postcode and house/building number wherever you can.  You’ve taken the time to identify your audience – you need to ensure your mailing arrives at the right place! 

Reassuringly honest

Each and every one of us get spam emails.  The rise in phishing scams makes people more cautious about what emails they open.  So that digital campaign that you spent time creating and planning may never actually reach the intended recipient.   But the good news is that for direct mail, it’s the opposite.  People believe it’s trustworthy compared to emails.   

Next steps

So perhaps now is the time to consider using direct mail as part of your overall marketing strategy.  In a digital world, direct mail stands out and people feel like they aren’t one of a cast of thousands.   Tailored, relevant direct mail should instantly create customer engagement, and done well, loyalty.  We’re not saying direct mail is right for everyone but at a time when budgets need to work harder and competition in the marketplace is increasing, creating an innovative or quirky campaign may just be a step in the right direction. 

Work with a creative agency with a record of delivering results on direct mailings. The more DM becomes specialist, the harder the key skills are to find and higher the risks of spending money on agencies who can’t take you through the whole process. Oh look, here we are!  Come and talk to us… 
Work with a creative agency with a record of delivering results on direct mailings. The more DM becomes specialist, the harder the key skills are to find and higher the risks of spending money on agencies who can’t take you through the whole process.  Oh look, here we are!  

Come and talk to us about your next campaign, we’ve already got our thinking caps on!