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?

3 Steps to a Better Targeting Plan

Photo by cliff106We’ve talked about targeting in the previous post and how it’s done for a front-door campaign. In general, though, leveraging available consumer information, whether third-party or in-house, is one of the most important steps in a campaign.

Here, we share three steps you can take to creating a better targeting plan for your next campaign.
 
1. Start with the right strategy
Take a moment to understand how you are reaching your customers. If it’s through the front door, then evaluate whether your message will resonate in the same way that it does via a television commercial. Ask questions: What do we hope to achieve? Can we make a unique, high-value offer specifically for the front door? Is the offer compelling enough to drive ideal customers to action?
 
2. Leverage existing customer information
Many brands already have well-developed customer profiles, created from either internally managed sources or response data from previous campaigns. Leverage this information to create a unique profile for your campaign. Doing so will allow you to identify any new learnings from the campaign and enables you to track these customers and their behaviors more accurately. Furthermore, data modeling of this customer data can help find “look-alikes” and even predict future behavior.
 
3. Add other quality data sources
If you don’t have years of curated internal customer data, then use third-party resources. Resources like Nielsen Claritas, Simmons, and the US Postal Service provide demographic, behavior, and purchasing data that helps you further understand your target audience. Also, be certain to use up-to-date information, such as in the case of the Census demographic information.
 
What are some other ways you’ve improved your targeting plan? Share with us your ideas in the comments below.
 

5 Terms to Help You Evaluate Your Front-Door Program and Partner

Defining-Front-Door-MarketingOver the years, we’ve worked with a multitude of clients within various industries, all of whom have needed some education, in some form, in front-door marketing. Instead of providing all of our sales collateral and presentations, we’ve listed five key terms (and their definitions according to PowerDirect) to help you frame a better understanding of front-door marketing, and how to evaluate future front-door partners.

1. Front-Door Marketing
(noun) A highly specialized and measurable discipline that uses creative, precisely targeted media to reach and engage consumers through one of the last uncluttered environments — their front door.

Contrary to popular opinion, front-door marketing isn’t just door hangers. Polybags, boxes, and express envelopes are among the different print materials and construction that can be delivered to the front door. In front-door marketing, the focus is on the uncluttered space, rather than the media type. Your front-door partner should be able to develop any type of front-door program for you — and not just using door hangers.

2. Block Groups
(noun) Formally known as US Census Block Groups, these are Census-defined territories of approximately 100 to 400 households, and typically smaller than a zipcode, which includes approximately 13,000 households.

Block group targeting and delivery is unique to front-door marketing because it allows for extremely targeted and efficient distribution, while still providing enough market coverage. Ask your front-door partner at what level they target and deliver (DMA, CBSA, zipcode, or block group) to determine overall program efficiency.

3. Reco or Counts
(noun) Short for “recommendations” and “household counts”, these data sheets outline the program’s targeting recommendation based on specific consumer demographics

Recos and counts are a good demonstration of a partner’s targeting capabilities and experience. What typically happens in the targeting analytics process is that the front-door partner will rank all the block groups in your desired market based on your ideal customer profile (or specific demographics) and select the “best block groups” for your campaign. Ask your front-door partner for counts or recos in a specific market; your front-door partner should be able to provide you with recommendations that include not only demographic, but also psychographic and expenditure information.

4. GPS Delivery
(noun) Delivery that can be tracked and verified via a global positioning system

The use of GPS technology varies across the front-door marketing industry. What doesn’t vary is the back-end reporting and analysis of the GPS “maps”, which log GPS coordinates and movements on a satellite map image. Ask your front-door partner to provide you with a post-campaign GPS map and analysis. Their GPS teams should be able to provide you with information on how fast the delivery occurred, any indications of abnormalities in delivery, and a grade for the overall delivery.

5. Overages
(noun) Block groups that are similar to program-selected block groups, and have been identified as “contingency” zones in the case that program-selected block groups cannot be delivered to.

Overages are basically contingency areas. Most front-door marketing companies recognize that not every city is a perfect delivery zone. Geographical limitations may prohibit delivery in certain block groups; thus, overages will address this challenge. Ask your front-door partner what limitations they have on delivery and what their policy is to address these limitations.

Are there any other front-door marketing terms you’ve encountered and don’t have a definition for? We’ll be happy to help you define them; just leave your comments below!

The 5 Most Common Myths About Front-Door Marketing

Truth-Myths-Front-Door-MarketingTo be frank, when we say “door hangers”, there are certain perceptions attached to the media. Yet which of these perceptions are true and which are actually just myths? Learn the 5 most common myths about front-door marketing and door hangers, and the truths about consumer perceptions, delivery, and dumping.

Myth #1  Door hangers are a flimsy, low-quality media for mom-and-pop shops, not major brands.
The truth? While door hangers have historically been perceived as cheap and used by small pizza and laundry-mat chains, today’s door hangers are nothing like their predecessors. PowerDirect’s industry-leading standards have reinvented the media into a large format size (5.5” x 17”) that is printed on quality stock, and is visually impactful. Fortune 500 clients like Comcast, Clorox, and Verizon have recognized the value of the media and regularly employ it as part of their marketing campaigns.

Myth #2  During delivery, delivery crews dump the door hangers into the trash.
The truth? Dumping used to be an industry problem, but the introduction of technologies like GPS and dedicated auditing teams have minimized dumping issues. Furthermore, having worked with our delivery teams for more than 10 years, PowerDirect has trained and educated the delivery teams to meet our exacting distribution standards.

Myth #3  People don’t like door hangers, and response rates are dismal.
The truth? Less than 1% of all calls received through our Customer Service line are opt-outs from people who don’t want to receive door hanger advertisements. As for the response, while the industry average varies due to the different delivery standards, PowerDirect’s clients have seen response rates between 1% – 2% and usually greater than other comparable direct mail or solo mail efforts.

Myth #4  I don’t want to deal with all the consumer complaints.
The truth? Our policy is to direct all consumer inquiries, including complaints, to our in-house Customer Service team. Our team handles all opt-outs (usually less than 1% of all calls), requests for additional door hangers (yes, we do get these very often!), and miscellaneous inquiries. Aside from our phone support team, our in-field Auditors also deal with any field issues as they occur. 

Myth #5  Door hangers are more expensive than other print media.
The truth? The pricing for front-door media will vary depending on the media type (door hangers, polybags, boxes, etc.), but we’ve found that our pricing is very comparable to solo mail. We’ve also found that the ROI for front-door media campaigns are higher than other print media because front-door marketing, delivered to one of the last uncluttered spaces, successfully engages consumers. 

What other myths have you heard about door hangers or front-door marketing? Leave your comments, and we’ll add them to the list!

10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Direct Response Campaign

Leverage strategic thinking and execution to improve direct response campaigns

10-Simple-Ways-Increase-Direct-ResponseReaching the right consumer is becoming more difficult with the increasingly cluttered media landscape. Consumers are also becoming more accustomed to marketing messages, and their filters are more discriminating. However, this challenge is also an opportunity for marketers to win customers by delivering relevance, value, and, ultimately, engaging the customer.

Here, we’ve outlined the ten simple steps to improving your direct response campaign and your perceived relationship with your customers.

1. Think globally, but execute with precision
In today’s jam-packed direct response landscape, broad targeting can alienate. Reinforce your brand relationships and deliver on value expectations with precision targeting instead. Doing so will put you at the top of the consumer’s consideration list.

2. Execute today based on what you need to achieve tomorrow
Base your efforts on what can help you grow your results tomorrow and beyond. Capitalize on what you’re doing well and expand your strategies to include more than “just more” of the same.

3. Avoiding message clutter maximizes results
Take a savvy approach to your campaign by combining technology and a range of channels as well as grassroots communications such as front-door marketing. Remember: the only real difference between alternative and traditional media is perspective: the right channel is the one that reaches the responsive customer with the right message at the right time.

4. Customers expect you to know what they need; don’t show up empty-handed
Your brand message should always be persuasive, and give customers a genuine reason to respond and a high-value offer delivered in a useful, convenient way.

5. The path to purchase starts at home
Understand what makes your customers tick and meet them early on their path to purchase. While there are many elements that influence purchase decisions, perhaps none are stronger than experiences that start in the comfort of the home.

6. Science and technology drive results, but only if you stay close to the data
Integrate data about your customer into every campaign stage and use the data to support your plans rather than reshape them.

7. Don’t waste resources: targeting is the name of the game
Use factors such as demographics, lifestyle segmentation, consumer behavior, ethnicity, and consumer buying power as the starting points in your campaign’s targeting. Don’t forget to refine your ideal customer profile as the campaigns progress.

8. Test, evaluate, and adjust – learn something from every campaign
Always be prepared to re-prioritize data points that may unexpectedly impact your response rates, such as weather, geography, timing. Be further prepared to make adjustments with secondary campaign executions, such as increasing the frequency or value of your offer or shifting resources into a less cluttered channel.

9. Tracked results validate efforts and help expand targets
Direct response campaigns have the advantage of trackability, so keep a close eye on your campaign, budget, and results. Implement tracking and campaign management tools to help you close the loop on your investment, and when results are validated, use assumptive data modeling to build on what worked.

10. Even class direct response strategies can benefit from a fresh approach
Marketing budgets are tight and campaigns need to deliver, so develop a process for every campaign. Compare channel and results and think of ways to connect media touch points to maximize your efforts.

What are some other tips you would recommend for improving a direct response campaign?

Front-Door Marketing Proves Effective in Reaching Culturally-Diverse Hispanic Audiences

Precision Targeting, Cultural Relevance and High-Value Promotions Work Together to Engage Hispanic Consumers

Front-door marketing can influence purchasing decisions by reaching Hispanic consumers at home.

Marketing to a diverse Hispanic audience is becoming an important challenge for major brands across the country.  According to recently published reports from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half of the growth in the total population of the United States between 2000 and 2010 was due to the increase in the Hispanic population. In fact, in 2010 there were 50.5 million Hispanics in the U.S., accounting for 16 percent of the total population – some pretty impressive statistics that are causing marketers to rethink this important audience and how best to reach them.

This week’s Hispanic Retail 360 Summit in San Diego will no doubt highlight this new data and offer up some innovative methods to turn Hispanic prospects into customers. Front-door marketing is one such method that is growing in use based on its ability to reach precisely targeted Hispanic market segments whose country or place of origin (such as Mexico, Puerto Rico or Cuba) typically affects similarities in dialect and cultural traditions. Highly motivating incentives and promotions are characteristic to front-door campaigns and a boon to marketers – essential for reaching a value-conscious Hispanic consumer base and amplified by the word-of-mouth communication inherent to many Hispanic communities. Door hangers remain a popular choice, made today in high quality, oversized formats designed to get attention.  Polybags, courier packaging and other creative approaches are also available, including scratch-offs, affixed gift cards, or even sensory options such as sound, scent, or taste.

Recent Hispanic front-door marketing campaigns have been deployed by PowerDirect for clients such as Clorox, Hillshire Farms and Fingerhut. Have you joined the ranks of culturally-savvy brands, thinking outside the box to get the attention of this growing audience? Are you embarking on front-door campaigns to offer relevance and respect for what the Hispanic audience values most? What are you doing to reach and engage the Hispanic consumer?

Big Brands Take a Fresh Look at Coupons

Record-Level Couponing Reaches Best Customers, Not Just Deal-Seekers

After a coupon glut in the 90’s, some brands refocused efforts on everyday low pricing – however sweeping factors like unemployment, rising gas prices and a faulty economy have steadily increased consumers’ sensitivity to pricing and sharpened their focus on getting a good deal.  On everything.

Coupon redemption is up almost 17.6% from 2009, according to Valassis' 2011 US Mid-Year Consumer Packaged Goods Coupon Facts Report.

Coupons and coupon users have changed with the times. From casual users, to enthusiasts, to evangelists, to extreme couponers a la TLC’s television show – brands have recognized a shift in how coupons are perceived, valued and redeemed. Today, coupons are a hot commodity valued by a much broader range of the American public, and offered strategically by forward-thinking brands charged with developing buzz and profits amid recession.  Via Google Insights for Search, “coupon” or “coupons” recently indexed at more than twice their 2006 pre-recession levels. Growth was steady through 2009, leveled off in 2010 and reached new heights in early 2011 – in step with growing consumer concern for value and savings.

Brands are more than ever recognizing coupons as an opportunity to build consumer awareness and trail, as well as a platform to tell their value story.  Front-door marketing is proving highly viable in this effort – but requires some expertise in order to make of the most of a strategic opportunity.  For example, your brand is being invited into someone’s home right through the front door – don’t show up empty-handed.  Consumers have a strong expectation of quality from their favorite brands, and front door marketing campaigns must meet or exceed this bar. As a result, the front door offer is typically higher in value than offers made through other channels, providing the most compelling call to action and ensuring greater result by being remarkably worthy.

Are you considering the strategic couponing opportunity presented by the front door and its ability to communicate powerfully on a personal level?  And if so, are you tapping channel expertise to develop the most compelling offers and maximize the front door as a customer venue?

So Long Average Joe, Hello Targeted Consumer

Segmentation and Targeting Make the Most of Today’s Diverse Audience

The term ‘Melting Pot’ has been used for some time to describe the makeup of the United States but has never before been more descriptive of today’s diverse population. With 2010 Census figures released this summer, many are speculating the growth of various ethnicities, age groups, familial status, etc. For marketers, this means figuring out what the new data will mean and how it will affect marketing efforts for years to come.

Effective data targeting can help you find your best prospects in a sea of consumers.

One thing is clear – ‘one size fits all’ messaging has no place in achieving real marketing goals. Census data and obvious societal changes over the last half-century represent not only the demise of the ‘average American,’ but also the resulting critical focus on segmentation in effective marketing. Knowing all there is to know about your customer is what it takes to be relevant with messaging and find the best ways to reach an audience.

Thoughtful analysis of segmented data predicates development of defined target groups that take into consideration not only who your best prospects are, but where they live and the probability that they will be moved to purchase your product or service. 

With PowerDirect’s front-door marketing approach the best prospects are identified and used to determine the most effective distribution strategy.  Geo-demographic clustering information and complex data are applied to identify and further segment the best prospects.  These groups can be targeted in much smaller units, based on “block groups” of about 400 households instead of entire zip codes.  Digging even deeper, custom profiles can be created using Census data, purchase behavior and lifestyle segmentation to identify clusters of homes that will in turn deliver the highest response rates on a campaign’s objectives.

Are you still trying to reach the ‘average Joe’ or are you honing in on your true targets? Are you taking advantage of segmentation methods that can be used to pinpoint your ideal customer’s front door?

Be Direct; Bypass the Mailbox

Getting Attention with Front-Door Marketing

As the United States Post Office continues to take a beating – posting a $747M net loss in April alone – marketers have got to wonder about the long-term viability of this once stable and reliable entity to effectively deliver marketing messages.  Postal staff has been reduced, offices have closed, and changes in service may be coming soon as the USPS looks to find ways to survive losses in the billions for its fiscal 2011.

Is your advertising message getting lost in the clutter?

The mailbox is certainly finding it difficult to compete in a world where marketing messages have permeated nearly every aspect of daily life; it has sadly been relegated to the role of clutter collector. Smart marketers are responding by targeting their best prospects with offers that bypass the tired mailbox and bring value directly to the front door.  Major brands like Kohl’s, BestBuy and McDonalds have learned that front-door marketing is a highly effective tool in getting the right message to the right consumer at the right time – ensuring that messages are both delivered and heard over the noise.  A direct response discipline in its own right, front-door marketing eliminates the reliance on postal services and bypasses a clutter-filled mailbox, reaching consumers with personalized brand value.

Are you relying on outdated methods to generate customer response? Perhaps it’s time to consider broadening your reach beyond the mailbox with a more focused and effective front-door marketing approach.

Getting Front-Door Media to the Front Door

Going the Extra Mile with Expert Delivery and Tracking

We’re often asked how we do it – that is, how do we ensure our clients’ branded front-door marketing pieces are being delivered to their pre-determined targets. Well, as far as PowerDirect is concerned, delivery is the mission-critical aspect of campaign deployment.  Execution is everything, and our clients reach their customers based on our sophisticated, technology-fueled approach.

PowerDirect's GPS delivery verfiication is tracked via "clicker" devices carried by our trained walkers.

The selection and education of distribution teams is something we take very seriously. We’ve taken great care to develop a network of skilled and reliable ‘walkers,’ carefully trained in PowerDirect’s systems and processes.  They carry identification and maintain a positive, homeowner-friendly image through their assigned neighborhoods.  Equipped with wireless handheld GPS devices, walkers record their travel paths and geo-tag homes as they distribute client materials.  Timing and exact distribution location can then be pinpointed via Google Earth map technology. This allows potential issues to be recognized in real time via GPS technology integrated on board PowerDirect’s branded delivery vehicles.

Beyond this, four levels of in-field auditors shadow distribution crews to verify accurate and complete delivery.   Our strict auditing standards are part of an advanced, proprietary monitoring system that not only raises industry guidelines, but also ensures superior distribution by compiling proof of delivery via computerized GPS maps, job logs, digital photos and field reports. Auditing staff monitors every job each day and uploads vital information in near real-time, keeping data flowing into PowerDirect’s own tracking systems.  

This layer of accountability distinguishes the expertise and resources of PowerDirect, and it’s one of many factors that make us unique in this industry. Does your front-door marketing partner take great care in developing your campaign but leave you guessing about actual delivery?  Can they show you proof that your offer made it to your customer’s door?