Are You Targeting At the Right Level?

A look at  DMA, zip code, and block group level targeting

Can you visualize who receives your marketing message? Is it 10,000 people or just 100?

Prior to the skillful targeting capabilities applied today, front-door media, like other many other media, was delivered based on zip code or even DMA market saturation. That meant everyone within a zip code (approximately 13,000 households) or a market would receive the same media message regardless of demographic importance or project objective. However, by abandoning this type of approach and moving to the use of US Census block groups — census-defined territories consisting of 100 to 400 households–marketers can now define and execute extremely targeted distributions.

How targeted are we talking about? Here’s a simple map illustration of the difference between targeting at the DMA, zip code, or block group levels.

DMA-ZipCode-Block-Group

And here’s a more detailed look at the difference between the zip code and block group levels.

Block-Group-ZipCode

How are you currently targeting your ideal customers? Is your message targeted enough to help achieve your marketing goals?

Go Multi-Channel to Beat the Ad Clutter

How adding underutilized, alternative media channels can help your brand beat the clutter

In our previous post, we discussed the challenges that marketers face in diminished response in their brand marketing efforts. One of the key issues was that of ad clutter and the increasingly noisy communications landscape that marketers are facing. To combat ad clutter, data suggests an advantage goes to marketers who embrace a highly targeted yet multichannel approach. 

Multichannel-to-beat-ad-clutterA recent study by ATG  confirmed that nearly 80 percent of consumers consider more than one media channel when making purchasing decisions, and 25 percent use three channels or more. Furthermore, 78 percent of those surveyed said they use catalogs to browse and discover products — a notable validation for print media in the face of a growing array of digital strategies.

Advances in digital media — such as email, websites, social channels and mobile apps — have indeed forced print advertising and direct mail to take a hit. But the reality is that a decline in print tactics does not correlate directly to greater successes on digital initiatives. IDG Connect (2010 Report) recently confirmed that consumers receive 14-15 brand message emails daily, above and beyond their busy inbox for work-related communications. As a result, email overload and clutter is driving disappointing response rates for email marketers. Email is cheap though, so marketers determined to stick with an email strategy may simply increase outbound mailing efforts. This reinforces the cycle of clutter — with consumers using more powerful spam filters to stop the onslaught and email marketers further increasing their traffic. It’s part of the misguided approach that says the means to beat clutter is to just distribute more and more of it.

In contrast, data from Pitney Bowes indicates that the typical American household receives roughly 15-17 pieces of advertising-related mail per week. Although light in comparison to that amount received each day digitally, these direct mail materials pool in the mailbox and represent another source of clutter. The inherent advantages of print — the quality sense of color and heavy paper, the emotional connection of holding and feeling the material — these benefits are often undiscovered in a pile of mail that is statistically very likely to head straight for the recycle bin. 

The front door, however, represents an underutilized, additional channel that addresses some of these issues — free of the clutter that appears in the mailbox, online and on TV, and a highly visible avenue for message placement. This represents a vast and largely untapped channel for Fortune 500 brands to bring value to a precisely defined audience, with measurable results enabled by technology-based processes. Most consumers are tired of established mass advertising and direct marketing methods that bring self-serving messages and little to no value so the high-value offer left just for them is perceived as personalized, special treatment from a trusted brand.

Given the current marketing climate, all of these characteristics have coalesced to re-invent the front door as a strategic marketing channel. Further, science and technology — the same tools that are routinely applied to the more crowded media venues – are enabling front door campaign execution with controlled, technology-based precision. Marketers have a quiet, uncluttered environment to offer value and build ROI with an intelligent, response-driven mechanism.

What other alternative media channels have you added to your campaigns?

Boost Last-Minute Holiday Sales!

For retailers and brands, front-door marketing can be quickly executed and a complement to holiday marketing campaigns.

Looking to drive last-minute holiday sales? Then consider the targeted and uncluttered medium: front-door marketing.

The NRF estimates that 2011 holiday retail sales will grown 2.8% during November and December, totaling nearly $465.6 billion. With several key holidays (like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas) just around the corner, is your advertising or marketing campaign garnering you a good share of consumers’ spending dollars?

Consider giving your campaigns a boost with front-door marketing. With a speed-to-market of only 14 days from receipt of approved art work, front-door marketing is the perfect complement for retailers and marketers who need to get a message into a market quickly to:

  • Increase store traffic
  • Promote specific brands or products
  • Boost slumping markets

Learn more about front-door marketing’s unique speed-to-market here and share with us how you boost your holiday retail sales.

Shopping: the Cure for the Summertime Blues

Whether you’re prepping for summer vacation or back-to-school, now is the time to save big 

Mass retailers like Kohl’s, Macy’s and Target are looking to move summer merchandise fast to make way for their fall offerings.  In addition to slashing prices, retailers across the country are attracting customers out of the heat and into their cool, air-conditioned stores with front-door marketing.  So what are your customers waiting for? Help them decide that it’s time to pick up that super cute bathing suit they wanted back in April, not only at a sale price but perhaps at an even deeper discount in the form of an attention-grabbing coupon right on their doorknob.  

With a high-value retail offer waiting at the front door, brands have the opportunity to get the attention of parents who are busy juggling summer activities and priorities.  And while more families are taking ‘staycations’ to save on gas and lodging, that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t trying to beat the heat in the latest summer fashions and accessories. With a big need for shorts and tank tops but little room for big splurge, consumers are looking to brands that appreciate and respect their position.  Retailers must in turn attract consumer dollars more creatively and at every strategic opportunity.

Front-door marketing can be executed quickly and easily to drive response with a compelling offer that gets consumers to act.  With a start to finish timeframe of as little as two weeks, retailers can have their branded message delivered to the front door of some of their best and most promising customers.               

What are you doing to get shoppers into your store during the lazy days of summer?

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?

Tapping into the New Normal

Value-Conscious Americans are Driving Marketers to Adapt

Wide-sweeping financial, economic and even political issues impact American life today, inspiring ‘a new normal,’ or permanent changes in consumer thinking based on the recession and economic challenges.  In actuality, consumers are embracing a series of ‘new normals,’ including dramatic changes in the way we think, act, plan, shop, spend and save.  Americans are adapting and marketers must follow suit. These trends represent a significant opportunity for marketers to move well beyond grabbing someone’s attention, and instead deliver usefulness and value. 

"New normal" consumer habits like penny-pinching continue in the post-recession economy.

Shoppers are seeking value as a priority, paying cash for necessities, foregoing credit cards, searching for discounts and putting money in the bank as the rule rather than the exception – courtesy of the recent recession. Spending is more cautious, with consumers looking for deals, using coupons and actively focused on getting the most for their money.  In turn, trimming advertising and promotion budgets is part of the new normal for marketers, who now must turn to more streamlined, targeted, ROI-based practices.

The current marketing climate is ripe for alternate strategies such as front door marketing, using the same targeting tools routinely applied to more crowded media venues – yet providing a quiet, uncluttered environment to offer value and build ROI with an intelligent, response-driven mechanism.  The call to action on the front-door marketing piece attracts the attention of the recipient by proving to be remarkably worthy. Gift cards, sweepstakes, tear-off offers, and sensory marketing with sound, scent or taste are available options, and represent a highly-strategic, savings-based approach suited to major brands and promotions.

The recession may be showing signs of recovery, but many economists predict that most of the changes in our spending habits, initially seen as temporary, have taken hold for the long term.  If consumer behavior has truly evolved on a socio-economic level, what are you doing to meet or exceed a consumer’s expectation of value from a favorite brand?  Are you tapping into the front-door marketing channel to deliver savings to your best customers?

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?

Effective Front-Door Marketing Can Meet a Variety of Goals – Quickly

Working with an Experienced Partner Sets the Foundation for Success

Handled with skill and technology, today’s front-door marketing campaigns are able to generate results faster than most other media. In fact, with a highly-efficient distribution system in place, speed-to-market can be maximized with campaigns frequently executed in a 10-14 day timeframe.  Now that’s a fast track to results, which can be tied to a range of client metrics or priorities.

Consumers redeem front-door media offers in-store, and coupon redemption is tracked to evaluate campaign results.

There are a number of ways to measure success and it’s important to determine those criteria up front.  Frequently, the ultimate goal is redemption of a promotional offer, however front-door marketing can and does serve a variety of purposes.  It can be used to generate traffic, provide loyalty incentives, increase awareness or reinforce branding efforts; it is an ideal component to an acquisition, retention or ‘re-activation’ program. 

The medium also works well to reinforce a position when a company is expanding or finds itself going head to head with the competition.  New product launches and trial programs can be targeted with pinpoint accuracy, getting information and product into the hands of those most likely to respond. Response-driven mechanisms like coupons, toll-free numbers and drive-to-web incentives are popular and effective – made even stronger by working with a skilled, trusted front-door marketing partner.

Meeting marketing goals effectively – while communicating a strong sense of brand – is a top mandate for national and regional businesses, and is well-supported by delivering a high-quality message of value to a very precise target.  Are you defining metrics and moving quickly to engage your best prospects? Are you teaming up with an experienced and knowledgeable front-door marketing partner that knows the ins-and-outs of deploying a successful campaign?