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.

Front Door Marketing Outlasts Internet Era

A Long day at work and you come home to a pile of mail full of ads that you probably won’t even give a second look at before throwing them away with the rest of your trash. There’s no appeal. Nothing to catch the eye.

That’s where Power Direct Marketing comes in with its powerful front door marketing strategy. Surely this is not a new idea but even so, front door marketing has proved to be very successful for a number of reasons and here are just a few to consider as oppose to other forms of marketing.

1. With the explosion of the internet over the last decade, advertising via social media has become crucial for many companies. Yet, these ads prove to be nothing more than a nuisance to consumers and are often ignored. The consumer of today has been exposed to so much of this type of advertising that they have learned to either blur or block out these ads as if they don’t exist.

2. Email blasts: this type of marketing ends up in our “junk mail” box and if it happens to make it through, individuals are more than likely to delete the email. Bombarded by the ridiculous amounts of direct ad emails received per day, there simply isn’t a way to stand out.

3. Power Direct offers a service through which your printed materials are specifically designed for each set market, client, and industry. The front door marketing programs are made uniquely to fit the demographic of the region in which they are to be distributed.

4. Unlike email or regular air mail, front door marketing simply cannot be ignored. Front door marketing does stand alone. They stand out and whether the homeowner chooses to admit it or not, they must acknowledge their presence. At the very least, the door hanger is given a glance, which is more than can be said for ads placed in mail.

5. Similar to when an individual misses a package delivery, front door marketing material is hung on the door. Individuals are more likely to read them.

With all options considered, front door marketing is still a very powerful marketing tool. Power Direct offers distribution across the country in various quantities for your marketing needs. In an era where the internet has become everyone’s favorite marketing game plan, take a different approach and watch your sales increase as the results of front door marketing work for you as they have for all of our valued clients.

Improving Subscriber Acquisition with Front-Door Marketing

Driven by Competition, Cable Marketers Get Creative with Precise Targeting Strategies

Subscriber-Watching-TelevisionAdvances in cable television, broadband speeds and communications options are fueling the growth of today’s cable services industry. At the same time, economic issues and an ever evolving landscape are causing consumers to take stock and make choices carefully, evaluating not only varied options for telecommunications service – such as MSOs (Multiple System Operators), digital satellite providers and telephone companies – but also their choices within the preferred company’s menu of services. In this highly competitive space, cable operators have seen their subscriber counts drop 3.8 percent to 23.2 million in the top 15 markets during the first quarter of 2011, according to SNL Kagan.

Furthermore, customer churn is an industry-wide problem, and new subscriber acquisition is a constant challenge for marketers. Advertising in traditional media like television, radio, and newspaper can be effective, but these methods are also overly broad and waste resources on audiences outside the subscriber footprint. Direct mail is inherently targeted, but can also be quite costly and not necessarily actionable. So what is the solution for marketers? 

Well, refining the direct option with response-driven front-door marketing is proving successful in meeting these challenges – leveraging improvements in data research, analysis and application for competitive advantage.  Today’s front-door marketing campaigns take a scientific approach that incorporates the same precise targeting methodologies as direct mail but remain focused on placing a relevant offer with only the most appropriate customers.

Tasked with growing their footprint while increasing their subscriber penetration, cable service providers are turning to this revitalized, grass roots medium. By leaving an ‘invitation’ at the front door, front-door marketing puts the message and corresponding offer directly in front of a captive audience – receptive and relaxed in their home environment where many purchasing decisions are being made. Additionally, the front door is distanced from the stacks of junk mail at the mailbox and the barrage of noise on the television and computer. With a targeted brand message and high-value offer in hand, subscribers are driven to give serious and immediate consideration to what has been presented.

Take the case of one of our telecommunications client whose regional team approached Power Direct to assist in promoting awareness of their branded fiber optics network among new and existing customers in two specific markets. Power Direct’s ability to quickly dispatch the campaign from start to finish within 14 business days was an important advantage for the cable service company. The recommended program delivered a printed 4-panel front-door media piece, which allowed the client to more fully convey the brand’s message and value proposition. Interested customers were then encouraged to call an 800 phone number printed on the inside. The client was also provided with a targeting recommendation that included targeting of zip codes with a high penetration of homes passed (homes within the cable provider’s footprint) to efficiently maximize the client’s reach.

What are your current media options for reaching new customers?

You may also be interested in reading more about our solutions for the Telecommunications industry here, or you can check out one of our case studies here.

Front-Door Creative Ideas for CPG Marketers

In our last post, we discussed why a media like front-door marketing which delivers to the home is crucial for CPG and shopper marketers to leverage in creating an integrated shopper experience. But how can an alternative, non-traditional media like this be incorporated into a full-fledge CPG campaign? Here, we’ll share three front-door ideas to help you get started.

Front-Door-Shopper-Marketing-Ideas1. Front-door Sample
Sampling through the front-door is a very targeted approach, different from in-store or event sampling which reach category non-users and therefore have wasted sampling. Other benefits of front-door sampling include a shorter lead time (usually 10 to 14 days), no duplication (such as occurs in-store with repeat booth visits), and efficient cost per targeted sample delivered. Front-door sampling campaigns can mimic the brand’s campaign creative to drive synergy from the the contact in-home through to the store.

2. Shopping List Door Hanger
Get the ultimate control with shoppers with a shopping list door hanger and dictate where shoppers go in-store. You can also highlight brands front and center by adding them as a “must-have” item on the shopping list or by offering a specific promotion. A shopping list door hanger is also a great way to tie-in various different products, such as a “Family Dinner Shopping List” which could outline all the different products needed to cook a family dinner.

3. Reusable Shopping Tote
A reusable shopping tote, delivered as a branded bag or packaged into a smaller shape, helps you gain brand impressions from the store all the way to the store. Shoppers will value a quality tote that is environmentally conscious and additional incentives can be tied into the tote (i.e. 5% discount if you bring it in-store). The tote can also serve as a vehicle to physically hold other offers and inserts. 

You may also be interested in this case study about how front-door marketing was leveraged to increase trial for a product launch.

4 Creative Print Add-Ons to Drive Response & Engagement

One of the key benefits of print media is its tangibility, which opens up the possibilities for creative flexibility. Die-cut shapes and tri-folded panels are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some creative print media enhancements that range from simple to more complex, and can work for any budget.

Power-Direct-Front-Door-Marketing-Creative-Add-Ons1. Scratch-offs
Scratch-offs are most often seen and used in lottery games and tickets. That element of surprise and chance is a characteristic of scratch-offs that makes them a simple and relatively inexpensive add-on to any type of print creative. Most commonly, we’ve seen scratch-offs used for sweepstakes with one grand prize winner. However, other marketers have used scratch-offs just for the additional interactivity between the consumer and the print media, and the underlying prize is the same for everyone.

2. Gift cards
Affixed gift cards literally add some weight to a piece of print media. While gift cards can vary in type, less expensive options are available with gift cards printed just on a heavier stock. Gift cards are a great creative add-on because 1) they extend the life of your advertising message when the consumer keeps the card for use, and 2) they can achieve a variety of objectives, such as drive foot traffic, increase average load, or encourage repeat visits.

3. Rub-and-smell
One of the newer introductions to print media is scent technology. While past rub-and-smells delivered only standard stock smells like strawberry and lemon, today’s technology can mimic nearly any kind of unique scent. A Pine-Sol front-door campaign executed by Power Direct introduced two of the brand’s new scents on a two-sided door hanger, and the home care brand leveraged the front-door media’s ability to deliver directly to the home to maximize impact.

4. Paper engineering
What is paper engineering? Think pop-up construction, shifting panels, and pull tabs. While paper engineering is an interesting way to make a printed media engaging, keep in mind that more complicated constructions can get confusing and may not always represent your brand the way a simple pop-up would. Paper engineering is also a great option for marketers on a tight budget since the additional cost is usually for only paper rather than external materials.

Would you like to see some live, physical samples of any of these creative add-ons? Just contact us to request a media kit.

What are some other unique print add-ons that you have seen or used?

Why Print Media Isn’t Dead, According to Forbes

Print-Isnt-DeadAccording to this recent article from Forbes, print media is far from dead–it’s still a powerful and necessary component of any ad campaign.

Read the full article here, and here are some of the main benefits–all of which we agree with!–of the print media that makes it a strong contender in today’s marketing world.

  • Tangibility – The physical nature of print media increases its longevity, a direct contrast to the ephemeral nature of online ads.
  • Credibility – A sense of legitimacy is still inherent with print media. Unlike online ads which have spawned a fear for spam and viruses, there’s no danger posed with print media.
  • Target Marketing – The variety of print media options means you can target and reach any specific audience, no matter how niche.
  • More Engaging – Websites and online ads are skimmed, usually within 15 seconds. On the other hand, print media is tangible and thus, more engaging.

Are you currently using print media in your ad campaigns and, if so, what advantages have you seen over other media channels?