Marketing History: A Present Day Success

Front Door
The Marketing industry has dramatically changed over the years. With new advances in market research and technology, marketing has taken a new spin, allowing it to generate all new avenues for clients and marketers alike. Even so, door-to-door marketing has been able to withstand the hands of time proving over and over again that sticking to the very foundation of marketing proves to be the most efficient way to grasp the attention of the consumer, making marketing history a present day success.

Beginning with the early 1900s, marketing has become a topic of discussion as it sprung upon the general public as a means by which to generate data to increase client revenue. In fact, “The idea of what later was called market research became endemic to the period between 1910 and 1920,” (Lockley 733). From this time forward qualitative research became a new means of market research for marketers. A man by the name of “George B. Waldron was doing qualitative research for Mahin’s Advertising agency around 1900. Harlow Gale, at the University of Minnesota, was using mailed questionnaires to obtain opinions on advertising in 1895 and in 1901, Walter Dill Scott undertook a program for experimental research on advertising for the Agate Club of Chicago,” (Lockley 733). Market research by the means of questionnaires was just the beginning of market research. It was the only way to get data and statistics for the time period.

In 1911, a man by the name of Curtis Parlin changed marketing research through his new techniques and ways of study. Parlin’s studies “were studies of marketing structures of industries—broad in their sweep, yet affording guidance where none had previously been available,” (Lockley 734). Parlin “built up a tabulation of the volumes of sales of department stores in cities of 54,000 and over—a tabulation sufficiently accurate to withstand considerable checking,” (Lockley 734). By studying not only the industry but also the volumes of sales, Parlin was able to increase revenue for his clients in the same way that door-to-door marketing does so for their clients as well. This was the foundation of market research at its best.

Since the early 1900s, there have been many changes in marketing and market research as a whole. It can be said that, “over the decades, the marketing discipline has experienced changes in terms of its dominant focus, thought, and practice,” (Kumar 1). Marketing has continually changed as the consumers have developed new ways of communication and as technology has advanced. These new changes have called “for a complete integration of marketing activities with business functions and creates opportunities for marketing scholars whereby research studies must now consider not only the marketing function but also its interface with other business functions,” (Kumar 4). Whereas before, marketing was strictly done so on a door-to-door level, marketing has become a multidimensional industry.

In recent years, social media has become a major part of the marketing industry. Marketers have found that “media usage patterns have undergone changes over the years. Specifically, the variations in customers preferences toward media channels have increased: people are spending more time on interactive media (interactive television, pure-play Internet and mobile services, and video games) than on traditional media (radio and print),” (Kumar 4). Even so, media cannot withstand the very foundation of market research. Advertisements via media only capture the consumers’ attention for a moment or two before it is quickly forgotten. In addition, consumers are bombarded by so many advertisements all at once that it is easy for an ad to get lost among the crowd.

Another form of marketing that has developed over the years is that of telemarketing. However, telemarketing has proven itself to be problematic especially “now that a nationwide do-not-call list makes it impossible to reach millions of potential customers, some U.S. marketing companies are returning to an old-fashioned alternative: door-to-door salespeople,” (Reeves 7). Although this form of marketing was once effective because the consumer had no choice but to answer a phone call, advanced technology, caller IDs, and blackout lists have made this sort of marketing inefficient for marketing firms. Hence, marketers are returning yet again to door-to-door marketing to achieve their campaign needs.
Email, yet another form of inefficient marketing, is still out and marketers are slowly learning that it is proving itself to be another lost cause. While some marketing firms still choose email as a means to advertise, this form of advertising can be frustrating and incompetent. For the most part, “unsolicited email annoys most computer users, and improved spam-blockers makes the tactic less effective. And it’s hard to persuade customers to visit a company’s Web site,” (Reeves 7). Although it is true that we live in a technology-based society, it is still difficult to drive consumers to company websites. Unwanted emails can be a disturbance to consumers and can easily turn them off. If a consumer receives an unwanted email, it is easy for that advertisement to be sent straight to the junk, spam, or trash box.


While technology-based marketing can be costly, door-to-door marketing can be an alternative for those looking to keep a low budget campaign. In fact, “door-to-door leaflet distribution is not only an extremely effective form of marketing, but it is also very cost efficient,” (Greener 30). While some companies chose to spend top dollar to get the latest and greatest technology based marketing campaigns, they fail to realize that the most efficient and cost efficient ad campaigns are right at their fingertips. Door-to-door marketing offers an inexpensive way of delivering direct advertising to targeted audiences.

Door hangers are showing that door-to-door marketing is proving that getting back to basics is the way to go. Statistics show, “as many as 79% of recipients keep, pass on or glance at leaflet distribution items, 38% keep it for days, while 13% retain it for a week or more,” (Greener 30). The longer the advertisement stays in a homeowner’s home, the higher the likelihood that the consumer will react to the campaign. With door-to-door marketing, “every household that is targeted by your leaflet has the advert viewed,” (Greener 30). Whereas other marketing campaigns are given a simple glance, door hangers are kept for longer periods and are proven to be kept for longer periods of time, thus further increasing response rates for the marketing firm and client of interest.

It is easy to get blinded by what is shiny and new. Everyone wants to be a part of the latest and greatest in technology to advance their ad campaigns, but what they don’t realize is that the foundation of marketing rests in the very basics. There is no need to mess with impersonal advertisements. The general public now seeks a personalized approach. Parlin and Waldron in the early 1900s had it right when they stuck to door-to-door advertising. Reaching their clients at their doorstep was the key to success and could be the key to your success as well. It’s time to stop looking for the new approach and stick with the foundation that works: door-to-door marketing.

Works Cited:
Greener, Robert. “Door Dropping Efficiency.” The Journal 1.1 (2012): 30. Newcastle Chronicle & Journal
Ltd. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.
Kumar, V. “Evolution Of Marketing As A Discipline: What Has Happened And What To Look Out For.”
Journal Of Marketing 79.1 (2015): 1-9. Business Source Premier. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.
Lockley, Lawrence C. “Notes On The History Of Marketing Research.” Journal Of Marketing 14.5 (1950):
733-736. Business Source Premier. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.
Reeves, Scott. “Door-to-door Sales Making a Comeback: Do-not-call List Curtails Marketers’ Efficiency,
Spurring Companies to Revive Old-fashioned Approach to Reaching Potential Customers.” The
Gazette (2003): 7. CamWest Interactive. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.

Making a Grand Entrance for Your Grand Opening

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Grand Openings can be stressful and hard to plan as they involve a great deal of advertising and planning for months on end.  With the stresses of the business itself at stake, the grand opening must come forth with a bang.  Businesses look to advertising agencies to help set just the right campaigns to bring forth as much clientele as possible.  Their goal is to get the business’ name out to the community as fast as  possible and to create a hype so grand that people will quickly flee to the grand opening to see what all the fuss is about.

A grand opening consists of welcoming clients to the very doorstep of the business and to lure them in.  Marketing campaigns such as door-to-door advertising further develop this idea as they bring the very notion of business right to people’s very doorstep.

Door hangers as a sense of advertising for grand openings work for a variety of reasons.  They can be utilized to announce the business’ very existence.  Presence alone can be hard to announce.  Door hangers allow a means by which to announce that a business has been created and will be opening in the near future, thus creating an awareness in the community. The goal is to avoid an unannounced grand opening and “To prevent your new franchise location from becoming yet another failed business statistic, it’s important to tackle the grand opening with advance planning, digital ingenuity and local relevance,” (Bowyer 38).  Without an announcement, individuals might not ever see or hear of such a business until months later or by hearsay.

Grand Openings also create a great way of announcing sales and what better way to advertise this than on a door hanger.  With companies who can customize door hangers size, look, and text- it’s the perfect way to get a buzz going about the business that is about to open. Promoting a sale could be a great way of putting the customer first.  Do just that by putting;

“The individual needs and wants of your local customers at the center of your offer- wherever they might see your business, whatever devices and channels they research and buy, and even the types of content and ads that are most likely to influence them to come in-store to browse and, if you’re planning this right, buy items repeatedly (Bowyer 38).”

It is important to note that allowing the customer to be the center of a marketing campaign can prove to be a highly effective marketing strategy.  In addition, when joined together with door-to-door marketing, the door hanger’s design could be crucial to the suspense and element of surprise it adds to the grand opening itself.   Make sure to “write, design, promote and optimize your content with the mindset that your customers’ local needs always come first,” (Bowyer 38).  Individuals always want to feel that their needs are being taken care of and always want to be amidst anything new and trending.  A fresh perspective and new business adds an element of excitement.

While sales are a great way to announce the grand opening, coupons are another great way to advertise the new business as well.  This can also be easily incorporated on the very same Grand Opening door hanger announcement. One must stop to question, “Is the offer of 20-percent-off the first visit strong enough to convince them to head over to your store on grand opening day?” (Bowyer 38).  If that percentage is not good enough, the marketing campaign or even future planning needs to be thought out further.  Through these coupons and discounts one might question, “could you convince them to return for a second, third or even a fourth visit with the promise of a discount?  These are just a few questions you should ask to make that offer compelling and irresistible enough to consider buying from your store over and over again,” (Bowyer 38).  Coupons give future clientele a reason to believe they will be getting a good deal that they simply cannot miss out on.  Adding the element of the “Grand Opening Event Sale” only further increases this idea that these deals might be a one-time deal.  Thus, coupons and sales announced in these advertisements can be a creative way of generating greater revenue and a higher response rate.

Giveaways are another great marketing tool at these Grand Opening events.  These giveaways can also be announced directly on the door hangers themselves.  People love to get anything that is free.  Announce a raffle giveaway to create an element of excitement.  This will get people wanting to step foot into the business for the simple fact that they might just have a chance of winning a prize.

Giveaways work but what better way to welcome someone to your business or make someone feel at home than to offer them food?  Just as one might find a friend at their doorstep and welcome them in for lunch or dinner, free food works as a great way of bringing in clients.  Yet, another element to add to the marketing campaign.

When running Grand Opening campaigns it is important to note that marketing companies must track all data.  In order to better understand the target audience, marketers must first gather this information from business owners so as to create a successful campaign.  In addition, all data in terms of where the door hangers were sent and the response rates, must be closely analyzed, as these will help in future advertising campaigns.  Grand Openings create a means by which to create new clientele but in order to keep those clients and expand clientele, the data gathered from these campaigns must be kept so as to further appeal to these clients in future ads.

Grand Openings should be just that- Grand!  With these marketing techniques and a few new door-to-door ideas, your new business should open with a bang! Know your market, create offers people won’t be able to deny, bring them right to their door step with a door hanger campaign that will leave them coming back and forth from their door step to yours, time and time again.

 

Works Cited:

Bowyer, Tracey. “Four Steps To Nail Your Grand Opening Marketing

Strategy.” Franchising World (2015): 38-39. Business Source Premier. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.

 

 

Direct Delivers Results

Living in a world of media overload, Front-Door Marketing campaigns can generate impressive results.

The Direct Mail Association (DMA) 2013 Factbook reports that 65% of consumers have made a purchase as a result of direct mail.  Moreover, Direct Mail News announced that the average response rate for direct mail was 4.4% for both business-to-business and consumer mailings – quite a bit higher than industry expectations and significantly greater than its electronic mail counterpart at just 0.12%.

In addition to these impressive results, a more compelling fact to consider is that unlike solo direct mail or other direct response media, front-door marketing represents a uniquely visible channel with influential impact for message placement – free of the clutter that appears in the mailbox.

Power Direct is the leader in Direct-to-Door Marketing and proud to have helped leading national and regional brands achieve their goals. Front Door Marketing can be executed in any market across the country, at CPM’s less than solo direct mail, and with better response rates than newspaper, magazines, and shared mail.

Are you using the best medium to meet your objectives?   Broaden your reach beyond broadcast, email and the mailbox with a targeted front-door marketing campaign.

 

 

3 Tips For A Better Hispanic Marketing Campaign

Targeting-Hispanic-Consumer-with-Power-DirectThe Hispanic market represents a huge potential and challenge for every marketer. As reported by AdAge, US Hispanic media spending grew faster than general market media, with a 4.6% growth in 2011. However, strategies and spending varied across the board for the 50 largest Hispanic advertisers, with some slashing budgets while others, including Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Company, and Kraft, posted big increases.

With these varied results, how can marketers ensure their advertising dollars are maximized with the Hispanic audience? Here, we share 3 tips to get your best result:

1. Deliver cultural relevance.
As with any type of multi-cultural campaign, differences in dialects, food, acculturation level, and values can impact a marketing campaign and should be considered. For the Hispanic audience, whose constituents identify by country of origin (e.g. Mexico, Puerto Rico, Salvador, etc.), even idioms or local colloquialisms might not translate from one Hispanic subgroup to the next.

2. Reach consumers when they’re most responsive.
Hispanic shoppers are responsive to incentives and offers, and reaching these shoppers during the decision-making process is critical. As most purchase decisions are made even before a shopper steps into a store, marketers must make an effort to reach shoppers at home. With the increasing number of consumer touch points available to marketers now, care must be taken to rise above the ever-increasing ad clutter.

3. Create word-of-mouth to amplify impact.
Localized campaigns, like front-door marketing, that are relevant and include valuable offers can create greater traction by leveraging the natural word-of-mouth, large family size, and the close-knit nature of Hispanic communities. The key here is to focus on delivering a hyper-local advertising message that can be naturally shared by the Hispanic shopper and their immediate community and network.

To learn more about how front-door marketing reaches and engages Hispanic consumers through the front-door, check out this Portada article or read one of Power Direct’s case studies.

What other tips would you offer to maximize a Hispanic marketing campaign?

Using the Front Door to Meet Cable Subscriber Goals

Front-Door Marketing Helps Increase Customer Acquisition, Retention and ARPU

Photo courtesy of redjar via flickr.com

In nearly every aspect of life, economic concerns and a rapidly evolving landscape are causing consumers to make spending choices cautiously. Yet even so, IDC’s recent report on U.S. Consumer Fixed Broadband Services forecasts consumer demand for fixed broadband services to remain strong. The market is expected to increase by nearly 13 million new consumer broadband subscriptions before 2015, even amid economic challenges for the industry. This anticipated growth is great news for cable providers, but capturing market share is clearly a tricky proposition that will take some creative thinking and smart marketing.

Leading cable providers such as Comcast, Time Warner and Cox Communications have leveraged front-door marketing’s sophisticated data intelligence, high-quality physical media, eye-catching creative and an attractive offer to meet a variety of marketing objectives. Front-door marketing has the ability to attract new subscribers, while working to recapture subscribers who have “cut the cord,” downgraded their service, or may be in the market for bundled services.

Consumers may be just plain tired of scrimping and saving – driving interest in minor indulgences such as affordable access to cable services for home entertainment and communication. But making cable affordable is just part of the equation. The ability to get the right message to the right audience – whether it is a limited-time offer, special pricing promotion, free trial period (premium channels) invitation, tiered package offer, or other subscriber incentive – is critical to gaining market share.

Front-door marketing is proving highly effective in this arena, delivering special offers and promotions to meet new customer subscription goals and increase average revenue per user (ARPU).  Are you efficiently and effectively reaching the consumers in your subscriber area with relevant services and ‘can’t miss’ offers?

Deal of the Day?

Random Deals Have Their Place – But Targeted Offers are Often the Better Deal, Both for Consumers and Major Brands

Groupon's deep-discount model is enticing, but offers are not always relevant.

The appeal of a deal that is just too good to pass up can be, well, difficult to pass up. And a new one every day may sound great in theory – but that sweet price break is not always a highly relevant offer. More accurately, it is rarely relevant.  Daily deal websites such as Groupon, Living Social and Gilt may entice the saver in all of us, but as they fill up email boxes, text messages and Facebook pages, the subscriber may begin wondering what they really signed up for.

From the marketer’s perspective, Groupon charges a comparatively high percentage of the pre-paid coupon’s face value.  This model is only ideal when the marketer’s product has a very high margin (like services such as spas) or needs brand awareness that is too costly to develop through other channels (e.g. small, unknown, local businesses). Larger retailers such as restaurant chains, major retailers and brand manufacturers have slimmer margins, are better known and just don’t need to widely offer such deep discounts.

Are there better options? While daily deal sites are still proving their usefulness, there are alternatives that are highly targeted, provide significant value and cost the consumer nothing up front.  One such method is front-door media – used by major brands like McDonalds, Kohl’s, Home Depot and Best Buy to bypass the mailbox and get the right message of value directly into the hands of their target shoppers. Similar to the daily deal sites, the discounts are significant – often in the neighborhood of 50 percent off or more – but unlike those sites, the offers are highly targeted and meant for the recipient based on a variety of factors such as demographics, lifestyle segmentation, consumer behavior, ethnicity and consumer buying power. Front-door marketing is not a new tactic, however it’s more sophisticated than ever, and effectively poised to drive traffic and purchase decisions as part of an overall marketing program.

Are you considering new, untargeted and unproven methods to increase sales? Will the end result warrant the investment? Shouldn’t a major brand like yours be speaking directly to your customers with branded offers delivered directly to the front door?

The Short List: Brands, Marketing to Women, and Loyalty Programs

Our mish-mash list of articles on the web that we find interesting, compelling, and should be on your radar.

  1. According to an Experian study, this year’s holiday season is expected to grow 1% to 2% over last year’s. The holiday and winter shopping season competition is gearing up, with retailers hoping to attract female shoppers with their latest partnerships with private labels. MNG by Mango recently finalized their exclusive deal with JC Penney, Macy’s launched Madonna’s Material Girl collection earlier this month, and Sears still exclusively distributes the junior brand BONGO.
  2. Marketing to women apparently means better packaging, for one thing.
  3. Expect to see an increase in Kroger’s store-branded line of cosmetics and beauty later this year and into 2011.
  4. Do customer loyalty programs give you a competitive edge?  Ninety percent of respondents in the National Restaurant Association’s latest survey think so.
  5. The latest partnership between online and offline media is apparently scented banner ads.

Growing Population of Baby Boomers Dominate Generation Y

Via AdAge.com:

Nielsen is out to disprove one of the industry’s oldest beliefs: that consumers over 50 aren’t worth targeting.

Its research indicate that the 78 million baby boomers are a more attractive segment for marketers than the often touted Generation Y (also known as “Millenials”). Nielsen’s research suggests that the trend towards fewer children will result in smaller households and thus fewer younger consumers, and the recovering economy will lead to young families spending less and lower salaries for the younger generation.

Doug Anderson, Nielsen’s senior VP-research and thought leadership, states that America is likely to be a nation of a large older population and slower-growing younger one.

In 2010 so far, baby boomers account for almost 39% of all dollars spent on consumer packaged goods, 40% of total wireless services customers, and 41% of paying customers for Apple personal computers. And changing technology has unleashed new devices and gadgets that are new to all consumers, allowing brands to market to the often forgotten age 50+ consumer. Yes, contrary to popular belief, baby boomers don’t just need life insurance and dentures; they want cell phones and iPads just like the rest of us.

At PowerDirect, we’ve developed thousands of targeting plans for clients, but I’ve rarely seen marketing plans directed at baby boomers. If Nielsen’s study proves true, new front-door marketing opportunities may be available for brands to reposition themselves with one of the largest US demographic segments, especially since this is a medium they’re familiar with.