As we adjust to working from home and self-isolating from our colleagues, friends and family, we remain hopeful that we will still have an economy when we get out of the other side of this. We are in an unprecedented situation, and it has never been more important to try and carry on, and to keep our industry active.
We have had a lot of enquiries from clients and prospects about the best route forward in this environment. Should businesses keep marketing as usual or cut costs and save for the future? There’s no clear answer, and of course much will depend on your business, your sector and the combination of channels that you use.
Early indications show that TV and pay per impression are likely to increase across the board, with an audience that will be very different throughout the day than you would normally expect. Is this therefore a good time to put budget to a different use and test lower volumes of highly-targeted TV through Sky Adsmart, All4 and the like? And if more people are on social media but time spent on each post or ad is likely to be shorter, would it be better to focus on direct messaging rather than generic adverts?
The case for direct mail
If used correctly, there are a number of advantages to implementing a direct mail campaign. For one, with the majority of the UK population staying home as per Government advice, this means that more people will be looking at their mail every day. This can only be a good thing for open rates, cut through and conversion. We are already seeing clients not just continuing with direct mail but looking to increase volume. This is also true for door-drops and partially addressed mail.
If you are a charity and traditional communication routes to your audience, such as events and collections, are being restricted then using direct mail is a great alternative. It works well for your audience and it will elicit good engagement. And in the current environment, there are companies who should do well out of our current isolated status, including food and fast food delivery companies, home entertainment and gaming, and online shopping and subscription services. For these companies it is imperative that they can compete and be seen.
While online and digital engagement is vital in these working from home times, when so many people are sat in front of their computers all day, supplementing this with targeted mail can only be advantageous: direct mail will bring a welcome distraction to intensive screen time for consumers. Well-produced mail can also communicate brand values and boost engagement and activation. It’s also safe: Public Health England has advised that people receiving parcels and letters are not at risk of contracting coronavirus, advice reinforced by independent scientific advice from immunologist Dr Alexander Edwards.
Make it targeted
If you’re going to invest in direct mail, then targeting is key. Make sure you know your audience, and can identify them and select them. This is where profiling and targeting really matters. Additionally, use those profiles across other channels such as email and digital to enhance and provide a halo impact for the mailing to help deliver reach and salience.
The bigger picture view is that there is no point in saving for a rainy day: this is the rainy day. Now is the time to back your brand and make your message stick, and direct mail is a great way to get in front of your customer or prospect.