Integrated marketing is a hot button topic right now.

So when our Managing Partner & Director, Dan Boerger, recently spoke on a panel for the PhillyDMA about the topic, he had a lot to talk about.

With over 30 years of direct response marketing success, Dan has witnessed the industry evolve and transform. In his opinion, adopting an integrated marketing strategy is a non-negotiable. 

I sat down recently to get his thoughts on the panel and the state of direct mail marketing today. Here’s what he had to say.

What was your biggest takeaway from the panel on integrated marketing strategies?

Well, there are a few things we know.

First, we know that print can be a highly targeted channel. We can reach a finite audience with very specific demographic and psychographic profiles through direct mail.

We also know that direct mail has the ability to interrupt someone’s day enough to capture his or her attention. It’s tactile – it can’t be reduced.

But the final thing we know is where things get interesting. We know that once people are finished reading a piece of direct mail, their eyeballs are also going other places. They’re looking at their phones, their laptops, and their TVs. So if you ever questioned, What is integrated marketing? This is it: reaching your audience no matter where their attentions wander.

What’s your point of view on integrated marketing?

When the heat in your home is working properly, you don’t even notice it’s on. Good marketing is the same way. When people have a positive and seamless experience between print and digital channels, they are less likely to notice you’re marketing to them.

Data is becoming a bigger part of this experience every day. But the challenge is to make sure this data turns into something useful and meaningful. It’s easy to think any new data source will be a panacea for driving higher response rates. The truth is, all data is not made equally, and how you translate it into a better marketing experience is most important.

Where is integrated marketing headed in the future?

More channels. More ways to buy directly from brands.

There are two things that have never been easier: spending money on goods, and spending money on advertising. That’s why customer insights and precise targeting will be more important than ever.

The financial industry has struggled with this for a long time. Generally, they tried investing in “fun” experiences for their consumers. But that’s not what people are looking for. More than anything else, customers want to be able to communicate efficiently and conveniently.

It’s a case study for the need to be in-tune with where our customer is and what our customer wants. With the proliferation of different channels alongside print, that’ll be more important in the future than ever before.

What about the common complaint, “Direct mail is more expensive than digital.” How would you respond to that?

You can’t talk about “expense” without balancing the “revenue” side of the equation.

Given that investing in direct mail is front-end heavy (the USPS doesn’t take credit cards, plus the costs of printing and data), we’ve found our general response rates are holding and there is less competition in the mail. For some of our clients, direct mail provides their absolute highest return on spend.

So, the burning question is, is print here to stay? 

Yes. I absolutely think print will stay part of the mix.

All of this emerging new media reminds me of the supposed demise of movie theaters. TV’s were supposed to kill them. Then cable. Then VCRs, DVDs and Netlix. Yet, there are more movie theaters now than ever before.

So I still tell clients now what I’ve been telling them for years. Ignore integrated marketing at your own risk – it’s not going away!

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