Programmatic Direct Mail (PDM) was created to transform real-time online activity into personalized, dynamically rendered direct mail postcards or catalogs that are delivered into the postal mail stream within 12-24 hours of the online shopper's activity every day. Yes, within 12 to 24 hours of your web browsing, you could have a personalized catalog with your preferences on its way to you. To find out more, read on.
While most direct marketers will tell you about the importance of creative and word choice in crafting any type of direct response advertisement or marketing piece, the importance only increases when you need to work within the guidelines of a government oversight agency.
While the baby boomer and millennial generations have been an endless source of media fascination from past to present, there is an important “middle child”, so to speak, generation sandwiched in there, and its name is Generation X. Gen Xers are unique, and so are their buying habits. Specifically, we'll talk about Gen X home buying attitudes and what they mean for financial services marketers.
Social media has become a key component of a direct marketer's integrated marketing mix. When utilizing social media, it's crucial to determine goals and success metrics. Here's the scoop to help you define those actionable metrics.
If you're curious about how Anderson Direct & Digital came to be, we've got a quick rundown for you direct from our owner and CEO Ted Tietge (complete with those fun throwback pictures we all love to see).
It's June, and you know what that means—happy LGBTQ Pride Month! In celebration, we take a look back at our series on marketing strategies that help ensure that you, as a savvy marketer, are including the LGBTQ community in your marketing efforts.
Are you hesitant to develop a bilingual campaign? Overwhelmed or concerned about the time it will take and if you're approaching it correctly? With the population who speaks a non-English language at home almost tripling in the past 30 years, it may be time for you to consider developing a bilingual marketing campaign.
Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms, boasting 600 million active monthly users. Nearly 60% of users say they discover new products on Instagram and 75% take an action in response to a post. That’s a large audience of potential clients ready to interact with your brand, but are you ready to take on the ‘gram?
Since most Medicare marketing takes place during two time periods—when prospects turn 65 (Age-In) and the Annual Election Period (AEP)—prospects are hearing from you and your competitors. Here’s how to make your creative work extra hard to break through.
There are many tactics that can be used to entice a consumer to buy your product and/or service. Such tactics include: a free gift with purchase, a free 30-day trial, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back, respond now and receive a free gift, and so on.
Being a marketer for over a decade, I’ve used many of these tactics for my clients. However, in today’s world, gaining a consumer’s trust BEFORE they purchase your product or service is key in earning a lifetime customer . . . or in some cases, a customer at all! And part of this nurture tactic could include providing your consumers a service that isn’t even the product or service you’re actually selling. This concept is called “Value in Use.”
Whether the objective is to increase leads or reduce costs—whether the channel is online or offline—we are often overloaded with more ideas than we have time or resources to test. Since each marketing campaign is an opportunity to learn and improve results, it’s important to maximize the efficiency of your testing by making the correct strategic choices when “all” isn’t a possibility.
When you first begin planning your Medicare marketing campaign, there are a few key questions which you have to ask yourself and your teammates. Having these answers will guide you on the right path as you draw up your marketing strategy and can help save you time and energy in the long run.
Last November, I attended the Adobe MAX conference in San Diego. It was a massive event held over 4 days, attended by tens of thousands of creative pros from around the globe. The conference consisted of training sessions for Abobe software products, keynote speakers like fashion designer Zac Posen and filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, and much more, all designed to inspire creativity and, of course, promote all things Adobe.
Here at Anderson, we like to develop videos that assist fellow marketers in getting their marketing to work harder for them. One of the topics we get a lot of questions from our clients about is SEO strategy. Because everyone wants great SEO, but are not always sure how to get it.
Anderson takes our Marketing Minute video series on location to Hillcrest, in beautiful downtown San Diego. There, our correspondents will give you the one minute rundown on the 5 must-haves when including LGBTQ in your marketing campaigns.
If you are considering expanding your marketing to include the LGBTQ community, you’re like many other companies. As public attitudes have developed a greater acceptance of LGBTQ individuals, marketers are playing catchup to create campaigns that are inclusive of LGBTQ consumers and designed to overtly court this highly influential and growing consumer segment.
By researching what competitors and even other industries are doing in terms of LGBTQ marketing, you’ll be able to assess how to position your campaigns to succeed. According to Community Marketing, Inc.’s recent 10th Annual Community Survey, pro-LGBTQ brands that are recognized by the community include Target, Starbucks and Amazon.
Anderson takes our Marketing Minute video series on location to Hillcrest, in beautiful downtown San Diego. There, our correspondents will give you the one minute rundown on the 4 things marketers should know about the LGBTQ community
Being successful at LGBTQ marketing means having a specific set of LGBTQ Creative Guidelines. While some companies have hit the mark with LGBTQ advertising, like Honeymaid's LGBTQ Campaign, others wound up actually offending this community due to lack of truly understanding this audience and the diversity within in it, like the infamous Heineken Light Beer commercial.
Anderson takes our Marketing Minute video series on location to Hillcrest, in beautiful downtown San Diego. There, our correspondents will give you the one minute rundown on the 5 reasons why you must have LGBTQ marketing strategies.
4 Things Marketers Should Know About the LGBTQ Communities
(1) How Large the LGBTQ U.S. Community Is
- 5.8% of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. As younger adults are consistently more likely to identify as LGBTQ, these numbers are expected to increase as more individuals become comfortable revealing their orientation.
- 2.4 million LGBTQ adults over 50 in the U.S., which is expected to double by 2030.
- 5.6% of 18 to 44 year-olds identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.
To help you perfect your Marketing Strategy, you'll need to keep a pulse on overarching trends that developed in 2016. Read on for insights from the DMA's 2016 Response Report and Anderson's predictions on how these trends will shape the future of marketing.
If you haven’t already incorporated LGBTQ strategies into your marketing plans, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity. Here are 5 reasons why you must have LGBTQ marketing strategies.
As we continue with our inclusion series, we will now shift our focus to how marketers can include women, most effectively, in their marketing efforts. We will take a look at why this segment of buyers is so powerful and a few insights gleaned from original research Anderson conducted.
For our latest installment of our inclusivity series, we interviewed Dr. Jason Chambers about the complexities and nuances of marketing to the African American community. Dr. Chambers is an expert on the African American consumer market, Professor at the University of Illinois, and author of the book Madison Avenue and the Color Line: African Americans in the Advertising Industry. Read on for his insights:
Feeling a bit behind as to what trends are expected in 2017? Fret not! With all the technological advancements that continue to pop up, there are many digital trends that are expected to peek their lovely heads out this upcoming year. We’d like to share five that you should pay close attention to and consider when planning your marketing efforts for the year.
The US Hispanic population continues to be the fastest-growing minority segment in the US. In 2014, there were 55.3 million Hispanics in the United States, accounting for just over 17% of the total US population. That’s about 15% of the total adult population and 22% of US millennials.
Hispanics tend to be younger than the general market and have larger families, a larger percentage was born in the digital age, and the share of adult Hispanics born outside of the US has been steadily declining (48.7% in 2014 vs. 55% in 2007). And lastly, Hispanics have a collective buying power of $1.2 trillion.
Their buying power alone makes them a lucrative marketing target, but before you rush to include this segment, you need to know more about it. How can you include them in your marketing efforts?
Many web design trends over the last few years have come about by a gradual evolution, rather than a sudden leap. Much of this has been influenced by the rise of mobile devices and responsive design, as well as an increasing desire to present information in a visually-appealing and accessible way. Some of the most interesting and important trends aren't brand-new, but 2017 will be the year they really shine. Many trends are even being combined to create richer experiences for users. Here are five examples that are likely to have the most impact on our digital marketing efforts.
2016 has come and gone! Well, we do have a few days left until it’s officially over, but we can all agree it’s been quite a year. At this time last year, we shared with you 5 Digital Trends to watch out for in 2016. Let’s take a look back at what these trends were and how they panned out over the year.
Goal: Share basic Google Analytics metrics marketers should keep in mind when assessing their website’s traffic, specifically based on the goal of their sites.
Along with having a new car or two in the driveway, a job for life, two kids and perhaps an adorable dog, owning a home has always been a central part of the American dream. Things like a reasonable housing market; a stable, robust domestic economy and wide, post-war use of the G.I. Bill, made that dream much more achievable for the Silent Generation (born from the late 40s to the early 60s) and Baby Boomers (born in the years following World War II).
At 75 million strong, Millennials have officially surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest consumer group. But this younger generation faces many financial challenges which at the same age their elders did not, notably an uncertain world economy, comparatively large student debt, reduced upward mobility, plus a big erosion in middle-class spending power.
What is the preferred marketing channel people choose to be communicated to over any other channel? 72% of consumers surveyed said Email, the oldest digital medium still in use.
Over the last few months we have been running a Customer Intelligence series, which included 5 installments of both blogs and supplementary videos. Today, this video brings it all together and gives you a breakdown of how Customer Intelligence can truly fuel your marketing efforts.
To wrap up the Customer Intelligence series that we have been running throughout the summer, here’s a recap of the Customer Intelligence series that our Manager of Customer Intelligence, Deb Morel, has written.
Last week, we spoke about how to write a business case and how to leverage Customer Intelligence to get a "yes" on your proposal. In case you missed it, you can read about it here.
Since we were kids, we’ve been asking the question “Why?” Why can’t I do this? Why do I have to do that? And sometimes the reason we were given was simply “Because I said so.”
As we all know, no business can grow and thrive by remaining static and ignoring changing demographics. Each generation has characteristics that must be understood to effectively communicate and provide experiences that engage patrons to become loyal customers. The gaming industry is keenly aware of this and has been urgently focused on steps to modify their marketing strategies and their casino environment to appeal to the younger generation without interfering with the experience of their core players. The casino industry mainstay demographic, Baby Boomers (ages 52-70), will eventually “age-out”, and growth for the gaming industry will rely on their ability to adjust to generational preferences, especially the Millennials.
MARKETING MINUTE VIDEO: Predicting the Future: The 3 Must-Have Metrics That Reveal Customer Churn Potential
Last week, we spoke about customer churn and how you can identify trends in behaviors that indicate customer churn, and in turn incorporate strategies to mitigate that risk and increase retention. In case you missed it, you can read about it here.
Churn: the annual rate in which customers leave a brand.
Two weeks ago, we spoke about customer profiling and how you can find more of your most responsive and profitable customers—and clone them. In case you missed it, you can read about it here.
360 video marketing is here and it's pretty exciting! During this year’s Fast Company's Creative Counter-Conference, I was lucky enough to get a seat at the Samsung Virtual Reality Workshop where we were treated to an exclusive experience of Samsung’s Gear 360.
Have you ever been in a meeting discussing the success of your marketing efforts and had someone say… “Great work! Now go out and get more customers that look like that.” You might scratch your head and think to yourself, if only it were that easy.
MARKETING MINUTE VIDEO: 5 Steps To Get More Bang for your Marketing Buck Through Customer Segmentation
Last week we spoke about customer segmentation and how vital it can be when determining where to allocate your marketing budget to yield the most rewards. In case you missed it, you can read about it here.
In the second installment of our five-part Customer Intelligence Series, we will continue to discuss the components of Customer Intelligence. If you missed part 1, you can find it here.
VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Customer Intelligence: What You Don't Know Could Hinder Your Sales & Marketing Growth
Last week we spoke about how Customer Intelligence can change the game in terms of your marketing and sales growth. If you missed it, you can read about it here.
We all want to be smarter at what we do. We want to have the inside scoop. Be one step ahead of our competitors. But where’s the secret sauce? It’s in understanding who your customers are and what drives their interest, consideration and, ultimately, their buying behavior. In other words, it’s the strength of your Customer Intelligence.
In case you missed our last post on the fourth of four ingredients to a successful SEO campaign, you can read up on it here.
In the past few weeks we’ve gone into detail about each of the major facets that impact your natural search rankings and traffic. We’ve discussed the need for content to be robust and authoritative, how that content then attracts high quality inbound links to your site, and finally covered why the technical structure of your site needs to be transparent to search engines. (In case you missed last week's post on the third ingredient, you can read about it here).
In case you missed our last post on the third of four ingredients to a successful SEO campaign, you can read up on it here.
In last week’s post we talked about how inbound links layer on top of content to help search engines make their ranking decisions. While those are the two most important factors in a successful SEO campaign, the technical structure of a website can be a huge detriment to your efforts if not handled correctly. In case you missed it, you can read all about it here.
In case you missed our last post on the second of four ingredients to a successful SEO campaign, you can read up on it here.
Last week we talked about content and why it’s the most important ingredient to having a winning SEO strategy. To summarize, search engines use incredibly complex, lightning-fast algorithms to make split-second decisions on who is an authority on a search query, and the core of the decision-making process starts with content. In case you missed last week's introduction to the first of four ingredients to a successful SEO campaign, you can read all about it here and see the corresponding infographic here.
We kicked off SEO Month at Anderson with a first of four blog posts on the four key ingredients to a successful SEO campaign. You can find the first post on ingredient #1 here.
At Anderson Direct & Digital, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the many marketing services we provide to our clientele. We think of direct marketing as both an art and a science, and in terms of difficulty it’s easy to say that SEO is considered by many business leaders to be a form of marketing black magic. As one client I worked with years ago put it, “Everyone knows they want great SEO, but no one knows what great SEO is.”
Imagine being invited to a party whose guest of honor is someone you’ve been dying to meet. The place is packed. The cacophony of voices is deafening. Throughout the evening you make many attempts to introduce yourself, but you only get a few measly seconds of eye contact before their attention is drawn away by hordes of others trying to do the same thing.
Yesterday, April 10th, 2016, was the day the USPS put a little money back in our collective pockets. Our First Class postage stamps have just decreased from .49 to .47. Not since 1919 have we experienced a postage stamp decrease. So, for many of us, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience just like Halley's Comet. Okay, well maybe not that exciting, but you get the idea.
Online marketing is evolving at a pace that most businesses may have a hard time keeping up with. Users are getting flooded with more and more content from a variety of media, and this can be overwhelming.
Finishing the last post in our series that began a few weeks ago, we have already spoken about the first two essentials for success when combining direct marketing and brand. The first essential you must have for marketing success is a clearly identified market. The second essential is a laser focus on marketing ROI. If you missed either of these posts- you can find them here and here.
Continuing our series from two weeks ago, we spoke about the first essential for success when combining direct marketing and brand. This essential you must have for marketing success is a clearly identified market. If you missed this post- don't fret, you can find it here.
Both your direct marketing and brand can increase revenue and make each other more effective. It is crucial to understand the difference between these two aspects of your marketing strategy and how they can support each other.
The last few years have seen some big changes in the world of digital design. With the rise of mobile devices and the importance of usability as primary influences, 2016 is likely to be a year where we see many of these trends reach maturity and become more refined. Here are 5 design trends for 2016 that you can expect to discover and see becoming a standard.
Pundits say that Americans now spend up to 60 hours a week engaging with media¹. In fact, with active and passive consumption (e.g., watching TV while surfing the web and/or reading tweets) it is actually possible to sit through more than 24 hours of linear content in a day.
In reference to our last post, What's Hot in Digital: 5 Digital Trends for 2016, here is a snapshot of the top digital marketing trends for 2016:
Online marketing is continually evolving, so it’s important for companies to keep up with trends so they can optimize their online marketing strategy and stay ahead of the opportunities that arise. As 2015 comes to an end, here are five digital trends to watch out for in 2016.
You’ve done your due diligence. Still, your direct marketing response rates are sagging like an old pair of stretch pants, or waning like voter turnout in a midterm election. All eyes are on you. Just yesterday, your boss flashed you his infamous death stare when you passed in the hallway. Your heartrate is up. It’s panic time.
Immerse yourself in the marketing world long enough, and you’ll likely hear some pretty interesting terms and phrases. For example, have you ever considered what the term “full-service marketing” means?
The experience was all too familiar: I was well into developing a new brand identity for a large company. Great ideas sprang forth like daisies—not just from me, but a surprising range of people across the organization. Yet these were quickly trampled and discarded by an onslaught of naysayers or literalists who held enormous sway because of their position. This went on for weeks, squandering untold hours, fraying nerves, disrupting productivity and costing the company a pretty penny.
One of the very interesting things about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is that while most business professionals understand what it is, very few understand how it works. It’s kind of like a layperson talking about a nuclear reactor – they might know it generates energy, but if they had to explain how, they would be hard-pressed to do so.
How many fields should I have on my online form to increase form conversions? There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to online forms field limits. Based on the 2015 report in MECLABS Research Digest, elements to increase conversion are:
When traveling to a show, especially one as big as the DMA’s 2015 &Then conference, it is imperative you do your due diligence and come prepared. Even if you’re a tradeshow veteran or a DMA newcomer, seemingly minute items can sometimes fall through the cracks, presenting major problems. For both exhibitors and attendees, we have created a mini do’s & don’ts list to act as reminders for you as you prepare to travel to the &Then conference.
Is a picture really worth 1,000 words? One could argue yes in the digital marketing landscape today. As data bandwidth increases and the amount of information communicated to consumers daily continues to grow, the challenge marketers face more and more is how their target audience not only prefers content online, but also the speed in which they can process the information.
Major companies spend millions, sometimes billions to create or recreate a distinctive identity, including a logo, tagline, unique selling proposition, vision, mission statement, plus various other brand accouterments. This is certainly time and money well spent, since brand equity is often the most valuable asset an organization will ever own.
As a veteran marketer, you are typically more than comfortable receiving and reviewing creative layouts or proofs from your internal marketing team or external vendor. You know what to look for and what to double-check. As a new marketer or someone who has transitioned into a marketing role, these tasks can seem daunting.
For years, experts across every major industry have been predicting the death of Adobe Flash due to its browser- and desktop-slowing effects and security challenges. Many credit Steve Jobs for starting the movement to end Flash use in 2010 when he published the lengthy open letter titled “Thoughts on Flash,” which detailed six reasons why Apple chose to not allow the player on their devices. This marked the beginning of the end.
Back in the day, when direct marketing was new and giants like Les Wunderman and “Rocket” Ray Jutkins roamed the earth, you engaged audiences with proven performers like stickers, written checklists, tear-off coupons, membership cards and so forth.
You spend a lot of money and effort to drive prospects to your website. But the reality is that perhaps only 2% - 5% of your website traffic will convert on the first visit, regardless of whether your definition of conversion is a product purchase, registration for a service or an event, completion of a lead form, or other action. But what about the other 90%+ who had at least some interest in what you’re offering?
With free tools available online, almost anyone can publish decent compositions of text and images seen by millions in minutes. But just as having a driver’s license doesn’t make you a Formula One racer, access to stock photography doesn’t always beget great creative.
Digital projects are also called “interactive” for a reason—they are constantly changing, with varying user environments, endless options, and frequent updates. Ensure you have a good base and mutual understanding with your pre-flight, but also know that testing must continue through the entire life of the site. Follow our tips below to take your digital quality to the next level.
As an agency that offers SEO management services to clients, we make it a point to always stay abreast of changes to search engine algorithms and how they can impact the web properties of our clients. When Google announced in February that they would be rolling out a change to include mobile friendliness as a ranking signal, a lot of people in the business of SEO were rightfully concerned. After all, previous Google algorithm changes generally did not come with such a long runway for an announcement, or any announcement at all.
The financial industry is changing—and so is the marketplace. Combined, these trends have created a “perfect storm” of opportunities and challenges, which many companies are not prepared to weather. Those that can navigate these new waters by tailoring their business tactics, products and services are destined to reap the rewards.
Business reply cards (BRCs) have deep roots in American marketing, starting as far back as 1928. They’ve been around longer than Medicare. Frozen foods. Scotch tape. Canned beer. Teflon. And even Monopoly. But despite their longevity—or perhaps because of it—some companies may question their effectiveness in today’s highly digital world.
Overwhelmed with all the digital technology out there? Don’t have $50,000 to spend on a digital consultant but want to optimize your website?
The digital pie is growing fast as people increasingly consume content from screens instead of more traditional mediums. The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets lets us bring an immense world of communication, information—and distractions—almost anywhere we go. Plus, few would argue that real life is simply more complex and moving faster than it was just five short years ago.
Here’s something you may not have thought about: Spanish is different in different Spanish-speaking countries. Don’t assume that because Hispanics speak Spanish, they all speak the same Spanish. Everyday words can have such different meanings within each Hispanic cultural sub-segment that, in the extreme, one group may respond positively while another may do so negatively to the same word.
Do you find your marketing in this situation? Everything with your marketing communications seems to be going well. Your brand has been in place for months, maybe years. Guidelines, templates, asset libraries and training are all available to employees and resources. Then you begin to discover that:
When was the last time you launched a direct marketing effort with the goal of generating a 0% response? (Nope, that’s not a typo. There is no digit missing in front of the zero. We’re talking zip. Zilch. Nada.)
Twenty-five years ago it was hard to move words around. If you wanted to publish anything you had to submit your work to a battery of editors, who hemmed and hawed over 1,000 other submissions before deciding whether yours was worthy enough.
Digital reporting can give you information overload! How do you sift through all the available data to glean insights for your digital campaigns? Here’s a cheat sheet to assist in measuring your campaign success without getting lost in the data.
As Robin Williams once said, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” This sentiment is especially true in advertising. As any Creative Director will tell you: Every word matters when there is so little space and time to get a message across. And when advertising to Hispanics, one challenge is: Do you need original copywriting? Or is translating an effective option? What’s the difference? A copywriter writes copy. A translator translates words. Translating just the words may not be enough because it doesn’t always translate (pun intended) into good copy.
It’s easy to see the importance of external communications in creating a potential client’s first impression; however, internal communications are just as important. Consistent and effective internal communication builds a highly organized and driven workforce and creates internal brand champions by connecting your employees to the brand they represent. Here are four ways you can get started perfecting your internal communications.
It seems like every month there’s a new story about Google releasing yet another algorithm update that alters search engine rankings. If you don’t follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) closely, it can be especially confusing when you hear code words like Penguin and Panda, Pirate and Payday thrown out to describe any of these changes.
As direct marketers, we’re on a constant quest for reliable intel to help make each new campaign more effective than the last. Response rates. Offer. Mailer format. Contact frequency. These are just a few of the many reporting elements we slice, dice and obsess over to try and move the proverbial needle.
Even the best marketing creative geniuses need a roadmap to point them in the right direction. In order to develop the most effective marketing materials that are spot on for your audience, your creative team needs the proper direction.
As we all know, lists, targeting, segmentation, modeling, etc. are one of the most important components of a direct marketing program. Through years (OK, decades) of testing, I’ve come to realize that in nearly every client program there is a significant opportunity to improve results through the use of multiple data sources. The roots of this strategy trace back to the nonprofit industry, where organizations regularly rent multiple third-party lists for donation appeals in addition to their house file of past donors. These third-party lists are closely analyzed based on number of donations, average donation amount and total amount of donations. Underperforming lists are quickly eliminated from the campaign and new lists are constantly tested against the best performing list.
The basic rule in business is that keeping customers is far less expensive than finding and cultivating new ones. While the burden of that isn’t wholly on Sales and Marketing, it is extra important to make sure your marketing communications are as engaging, personal and relevant as possible.
If you’re lucky enough to have a strong control, in any medium, by all means keep using it. You may be tired of it—but as long as it delivers great results, don’t mess with a winner
I've actively worked in direct marketing for more than 30 years, and never before has it been this easy to be a great marketer. The Internet now provides access to virtually unlimited free information on marketing best practices through blogs, webinars and more.
“In order to understand the big picture, everyone should fear becoming mentally clouded, and obsessed with one small section of truth.” -Xun Zi, 312–230 BC
It’s not an exaggeration to say the world is going digital. But does that mean direct mail—
long the standard for highly focused, results-driven marketing—is no longer effective and relevant? On the contrary.
The thing that makes targeting Hispanic consumers a bit tricky is not that they are vastly different from other segments, it’s that sometimes the cultural nuances are hard to put into words. You often hear, “Hispanics consider family to be extremely important.” Well, that’s the case for all segments. But it’s how this sentiment is executed that defines whether advertising will work or not.
When looking for the right direct mail partner, it’s important to find a firm that is committed to quality. Following are some direct mail quality best practices that will ensure your campaign is executed without a hitch.
Anderson has some specialty equipment on the production floor that streamline our print and mail jobs. These machines coat, stitch, perforate, and so much more, and allow us to process unique jobs in-house with efficiency and high quality. The following pictures, video, and descriptions will demonstrate our productivity in action! Here’s a bit more information about each one…
Think your current direct mail package is worn out and ready to retire? Well, it may only appear that way to you and others in your organization—but not to your prospects.
Have you ever tapped a customer on the shoulder (and by “shoulder” I mean mobile device), and offered them an incentive just as they’re about to walk away from your product? The technology has been around for a while, however it wasn’t until this year’s 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) conference that these shoulder-tapping devices, called beacons, got their spotlight.
It’s been two months since I attended South by Southwest (SXSW), but the experience hasn’t gone stale. The food was tasty, the music was invigorating, and the technology was pretty impressive. There were also some helpful and insightful pieces of information that I vividly remember, and continue recalling today.
If you have a printer at home, chances are it’s an inkjet. Anderson’s five commercial inkjet machines are bigger and more complex than the average desktop model, but they operate on the same printing principles.
A great story has a beginning, middle and an end, and it includes characters that you can relate to, care about and ultimately believe in. Advertising is a great storyteller and great brands know how to tell their story with clarity and consistency, and by delivering a continuum of positive experiences: each marketing touch, each customer interaction. But sometimes brands lose their way by not defining what they stand for, or by making decisions that are not in line with their core values. This can cause customer confusion and directly affect the return on investment (ROI) you get with your marketing dollars.
In 2013 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, which changed the healthcare landscape drastically, and sent consumers and marketers into the flurry of a whole new system. We at Anderson Direct Marketing are intrigued with this restructure, both in a personal way and also for what it means to our clients in the healthcare space.
When is the last time you tried to convey a concept to a person who had a different primary language than you? Or even a different cultural background? I personally ran into this when I moved from the Midwest to the West Coast and found differences in my dialect and terminology. I was even diagnosed as having a case of a “hard Midwesterner accent.” My enunciation of certain vowels was easily identifiable by locals and harassed as being “different,” and I was asked over and over again to repeat that word for their amusement. I was also informed that I was calling certain things by their wrong labels: it is “soda” not “pop,” “lunch” not “dinner,” and “you all” not “y’all.” I have attempted to overcome this debilitating disease and finally call soda by its correct name, but this so-called accent is going to stay.
Food, technology, music. There is much to be excited about at South by Southwest (SXSW). Three of us at Anderson will be attending, including me, to soak up the sights and sounds plus sit in on sessions so that we can bring you the latest in interactive marketing.
In order to succeed with marketing, you must consistently work to evolve your processes and strategies to account for changes in your target market, taking into consideration new technologies and the potential changing demographics of your market. Much of that involved the creative design and overall user experience. New technologies are emerging all the time, and often these new technologies come from a great idea, but have many initial barriers to usage.
Postage rate increases went into effect on January 26, which affect the price of a number of mail pieces. Across the board, rates increased 6 – 7%, making this the largest postal increase in over a decade.
My wife bought me a rice cooker for Christmas. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more elated I saw this burst of genius written on the box:
To bid or not to bid. That is the question. It seems there’s a big debate about bidding on competitors' keywords when engaging in paid search campaigns. Anderson believes you shouldn't bid unless you know a few things in advance. The following provides you with a list of best practices for bidding on competitors' keywords.
Keeping your audience engaged with a steady stream of fresh content is important to the success of your and any business. But the task can seem daunting. Here are some basic tips to ensure you have a solid content strategy for 2014.
Chances are, the landscape of your art director’s desk looks a bit different than yours. And it’s likely that she spent a lot more time than you did choosing and maybe even designing her smartphone cover. But here are some important things your art director really cares about, and why you should care about them as well.
Is Digital Part of Your B2B Marketing Mix?
9 out of 10 business buyers will find you when they're ready to buy. Digital B2B marketing can increase your leads and gain you 10x higher conversion rates. Learn why digital marketing must be a part of your marketing mix.
Customers and colleagues have been pondering the LinkedIn endorsement feature and wondering if it’s good or bad. There’s even a rumor that people get points for endorsing their network. I hope that this article sheds some light on the positives and negatives of the feature and dispels some of the rumors surrounding it.
Earlier this month, 8,000 people from around the world gathered in Chicago for DMA 2013, The Global Event for Data-Driven Marketers. The theme was Big Data. Bright Minds. Best Practice—and there were many great presentations about data, analytics, technologies and trends.
There is so much to learn. And if we’re listening and open-minded, we’ll learn something new every day. From new emerging technologies, to new media, to relationship-building skills, our teams are hungry to improve their skill sets. Quite frankly, that makes us very happy. But it also begs a question. “How does a business educate their employees and get the best ROI on their training budget?”
Day 1 of the DMA2013 started with bustling energy both inside and out as the Chicago Marathon ran right past the McCormick Place Convention Center. Combined with perfect, crisp fall weather, day 1 was a definite success, and, day 2 promises to be even bigger. If you are at DMA2013 this year, be sure to stop by to enter to win a brand new Vespa!
People don’t read. They have short attention spans. Copy needs to be short. Really short.
When Ted Tietge, Anderson’s CEO, bought Anderson Mailing Service in November of 1985, the company had just seven employees and the business had yet to establish a strong culture. “It was chaos,” remembered Ted. “When we started, the equipment was dirty, people were coming in late, and the pieces weren’t getting out on time. People just threw the bad samples on the floor and no one cared. It wasn’t a good company to work for until we changed the standards.” Together, Ted and Gary Batchelder (who have both been at Anderson for close to 28 years!) completely reformed the way Anderson was run and created a culture of hard work and integrity.
For 28 years, Anderson has been hard at work creating and producing the best direct mail(DM) in the business. We are an ever-evolving organization, committed to staying fresh and providing our clients with the best services possible. As a one-stop shop, our people do it all— strategy, creative, data, interactive, production—you name it! But what is the bigger picture? How exactly does a DM piece go from start to finish?
Super powers aren’t just possessed by comic book characters and actors in movies—you can discover and cultivate them in all of your employees if you give them the opportunity. At Anderson Direct Marketing, we take pride in our high-quality relationships, products, production processes and services, which can only be achieved by having superstars within our organization. Starting in 2013, we began a new program to recognize and reward our Quality Superstars!
Big Data is a term that both inspires and confuses many of us in the marketing industry. We hear about it at our conferences and in the boardroom on a daily basis. But what does it mean? And more importantly, what does it mean for your business?
On April 24, 2013, Anderson Direct Marketing participated in its first Google+ Hangout. Creative director Carlos Perez represented ADM in the second episode of Xerox’s “Ask the Experts” series. Joining Perez were Gordon Kaye, editor and publisher, and Ilana Greenberg, creative director from the magazine Graphic Design USA. The question that brought these experts together was, “Is print dead?” All of the experts answered confidently with a resounding no. Kaye started the conversation with the subject of tangibility. With print, you can touch, hold and feel a piece. Other mediums cannot connect to us in this way.
We’re all familiar with the formula—the success of a direct mail package is 40% list, 40% offer, and 20% creative. So why do we spend 90% of our time on creative—edits, revisions, etc? Oh wait, that’s another blog topic. Today, let’s talk about direct mail offers—when they work, and when they don’t.
I don’t know about you, but I trust my gut on most things. But what I don’t take chances with is my clients’ or my company’s money. Gut decisions can drive great insights into what to test, when to test and where to test, but these need to be calculated decisions. Decisions made with consideration to the overall risk to your business.
When it comes to marketing today’s complex products and services, less can be more.
This is the first in a series of articles recapping interesting sessions that our staff attended at the 2013 SXSW (South by Southwest) Interactive Festival. Anderson Direct Marketing (ADM) made the investment to send three team members to Austin, Texas, to learn about interactive marketing ideas that we could apply to solutions for our clients. This session was a discussion about the use of new technologies to reach your customers and includes notes and video clips from the session to share our knowledge.
Where does great creative begin?
Not with the writer or the designer. Not with a brainstorm or a concept, an image or a message. When it comes to driving response, great creative starts with a good creative brief. And a good creative brief starts with the customer or prospect.
Marketing strategies and tactics are often defined by Segment (B2B or B2C), Channel (Email, Direct Mail, Social, etc.) or Industry. However, one of the most important categories to understand is Target Audience and one of the most commonly marketed target audiences are High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI’s)… also known as millionaires, rich or wealthy. HNWI’s have $1,000,000+ of investible or liquid income/assets (excludes Real estate, IRAs, durable/consumable goods, collectables) and represent 3.35 million households in North America*. These households collectively have approximately $11.4 trillion in investible or liquid income/assets and they account for more than half of all consumer spending.
SXSW (South by Southwest) Interactive Festival is an annual conference to learn about emerging technologies, network with cutting-edge vendors, and attend training sessions from some of the brightest minds in the Interactive arena. For SXSW Interactive 2013, Anderson Direct Marketing (ADM) sent three team members to the festival to attend sessions about social media, mobile marketing, direct marketing, email marketing, engineering viral videos, using emerging technologies, trending web design techniques, seamless customer experiences across multiple screens, gamification, augmented reality advertising, and much more.
You thought everyone was using email? Think again. There are still people out there who have never used this method of communication. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, email usage is expected to continue to increase through 2015. What does this mean to you as a savvy e-marketer? It means you have new prospects to engage. Yet, you will also need to find ways to capture the attention of email veterans. Here are three trends to keep in mind when executing your email marketing efforts.
Congratulations to the winners of Anderson Direct Marketing’s Presidents’ Day Blog Scavenger Hunt.
Admittedly, it’s not brain surgery. And it won’t solve world hunger. But the practice of transforming a corporate litany of product or service features into dynamic, can’t-live-without-‘em benefits can often mean the difference between generating a qualified lead...and suffering the deafening silence of non-response.
Reading blogs is like Christmas shopping... your goal is to find a variety of specialized items to match several unique needs on your list. When shopping, do you prefer driving to 20 specialty stores or would you prefer to visit one superstore with all the products that you want? When reading blogs or news sources, would you prefer to go to 20 different websites or have all of those sites available in one single location? With an RSS reader, it's like shopping in Santa's Workshop with all the gifts in one location!
As a trusted organization for promoting tourism in San Diego and California, the San Diego Tourism Authority (formally called San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau or “ConVis”) recently announced details about their three-year strategic plan. At Anderson Direct Marketing, we support many local and national businesses with their hospitality-related marketing campaigns, so I was excited to attend their presentation to find out what the SDTA would reveal.
In a recent presentation to the Undergraduate Marketing Association (UMA) at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), I challenged students with 10 Action Items to Become Successful in Marketing. My goal was to provide them with ideas that they could apply immediately or strive to achieve to become more marketable for their first job after graduation.
1. Tell a story. Be sure your webinar has a beginning, middle, and an end. When planning your content, begin with an intriguing main idea and develop an outline around it to ensure you stay on topic. Build your content steadily as you progress to that great “aha” moment at the end. And remember, every great story has a great title. A great title is an excellent way to grab attention and increase attendance.
I’ve always been a customer advocate and truly enjoyed the six years I spent managing our client services department, so when I was asked to move into a sales role at Anderson Direct Marketing I was honestly scared to death. I never imagined myself in a position that would require selling, much less one where I’d be blogging about it.
On Thursday, December 13, 2012, the owners of Anderson Direct Marketing hosted a holiday party for the entire staff. The party consisted of beautiful decorations, a delicious meal and desserts, a presentation about the successful 2012 year and our plans for 2013, and then the grand finale. As the final event, a group of employees got wild with a dance routine to the energetic song "Gangnam Style". You won't want to miss this hilarious video!
‘Tis the season to think about the year ahead and how you can best maximize those marketing dollars (and your ROI). Let’s face it; it’s not easy looking into that crystal ball. To lessen the time spent developing your plan as well as to improve the plan’s accuracy, consider the following marketing planning tips:
For the past 8+ years Anderson has proudly assisted Crystal Cruises with their direct marketing planning and execution. While I have had the great pleasure of working on this account for more than two years and am therefore familiar with Crystal’s copious accolades, I often wondered if they could possibly all be true.
It's that time of year where holiday lights are being hung, decorations are being displayed and marketing experts are looking into their crystal balls to predict the future. The Interactive team at Anderson Direct Marketing (ADM) is continuously researching marketing trends and has compiled our favorite recent articles about Online Marketing trends for 2013.
Whether you’re new to interactive marketing or have been doing it for years, it’s never too late to hone your vocabulary. Anderson Direct Marketing’s Interactive team put together the below list of commonly used interactive terms and definitions. Have a term that’s not listed? Email InteractiveSolutions@andersondd.com and we’ll add it!
- Participate often. You can’t just open the dialogue and then leave the room. You have to keep talking! Keep your posts fresh.
- Don’t just talk; you’ve got to listen! Don’t let your followers think they are talking to a wall (or is it more appropriate to say “a blank screen”?).
- Be honest. Honesty is the best policy—do I need to say any more on this point?
- Don’t sell—engage! Use social media to build customer relationships and to interact with your customer base. Nothing makes your followers run for the hills and “unlike” faster than a hard sell.
- Respond to complaints; don’t ignore them. Remember—an unhappy customer gives you an opportunity to create a happy customer (okay that’s kind of Pollyannaish but it’s true). An ignored unhappy customer can only be an unhappy customer. And through social media, an unhappy customer can make his/her disappointment widely known...very widely known.
- Be creative. The same old, same old is really just old.
And don’t forget—have fun!
Back in September I wrote about our company’s quality mission statement, which highlighted how Anderson strives to provide the highest level of quality and direct marketing services in the industry. This time I want to share Anderson’s quality policy mission statement: We are committed to understanding our customers’ expectations and meeting or exceeding those expectations as we continuously improve our processes. As a company, we strive to reach perfection and are always looking for ways to improve our procedures.
As Thanksgiving is upon us, I reflect upon how fortunate Anderson Direct Marketing is to be in the position it is in and through hard work, inspiring leadership and amazing people we are able to shine in an uncertain economy. In addition to all of the above, I believe Anderson is successful because as an organization, it cares. It cares for its people, it cares for its clients and it cares for the world we share.
‘Tis the season for charitable giving. But why donate just during the holiday season? Over the past year, Anderson has participated with and donated to numerous organizations, both locally and nationally. During the month of September, which is Hunger Awareness month, ADM partook in the Feeding America San Diego’s Finest City Food Fight, a food drive dedicated to collecting food for local San Diegans in need. This drive helped collect over 5,650 pounds of food and raise $15,516 for hunger relief in San Diego. Quickly following September was October, Breast Cancer awareness month. ADM associates were proud to wear pink on Fridays to symbolize those who have been affected by breast cancer. Not prone to sitting around, ADM then joined together to form a team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure San Diego, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research. Our Breast in Class Marketers contributed to the 1.2 million dollars raised the foundation. 75 percent of this money raised will stay in San Diego helping with treatment, education and patient/family support. The remaining 25 percent will go to fund breast cancer research.
Hang around the marketing world long enough and you’ll likely hear some pretty interesting terms and phrases. For example, have you ever heard the term “full service marketing agency” and wondered what it means exactly?
Landing pages, microsites and all things interactive are hot topics at Anderson these days. More and more often we are approached by our clients to help take their campaigns into the integrated marketing realm, and a great landing page is one of the best places to start.
While we thrive on generating exceptional work, we know that every individual contributes to our unbeatable level of service and quality. As a full service marketing agency with 147 employees from various backgrounds, we are proud of the great individuals who make up our team. Through our Anderson Associate Spotlight, we acknowledge how the members of our team contribute to the quality, experience and environment here at Anderson Direct Marketing. Every month, we recognize different individuals, not just for their work, but for that extra something that they bring to the table.
The ROI experts at Anderson Direct Marketing (ADM) have found three important marketing developments in the news recently that will affect our clients.
The landscape for small, medium and enterprise businesses and their marketers today may be the most challenging of our lifetime. Several factors have created this “perfect storm” for marketers; an economic recession, increased competition, evolving technology, emerging marketing channels, etc. Therefore, the discussion between CMO’s and CFO’s ultimately leads to the Return on Investment (ROI). However, measuring a true ROI can be challenging when considering all factors that impact this “nirvana” of marketing metrics—sales efficiency, operational overhead, pricing strategies, etc.
There are so many different social media channels and while each one is different, there are best practices for businesses that apply to them all. And probably the most important best practice is having a social media policy.
This Halloween, dress for success! Join the Halloween fun by entering our 2nd Annual Halloween Costume Contest. The winner with the most likes and repins on Facebook and Pinterest wins a $100 Visa Gift Card.
Effective January 5, 2013 the Postal Service will revise Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 201.3.14, to provide new standards for folded self-mailers (FSM) and non-enveloped mail pieces that are mailed at automation or machinable prices.
A combination of the current economic state, unemployment rates and healthcare reform are pushing the uninsured consumer market into the spotlight of the healthcare world. This market growth has caused many marketers to focus and review the best ways to reach this group. As most consumers prefer to receive healthcare information through direct mail, the key is to utilize the right message to stand out in the crowd. Recently, Anderson Direct Marketing was faced with a similar challenge reviving a plateaued direct mail campaign targeted towards the uninsured consumer for a large healthcare provider.
One of our finest creative directors had this to share from #DMA2012:
It’s finally here! How excited are you that it is National Boss Day? Lucky for me, I have a great boss (and yes, she may read this), but for those who may not be so lucky and have to sign the card going around the office with platitudes for someone that maybe isn’t as wonderful as the card indicates, it must really be a mystery why this holiday ever came to be a nationally recognized holiday. Even those with a wonderful boss may be curious about its origins.
Matthew Downey checking in from #DMA2012:
Anderson Direct Marketing has seen a huge increase in mail volume over the past year, and to accommodate this increase we have made a few production floor upgrades by increasing our inkjet, folding and gluing capacity. We have also replaced our Xerox iGen3 digital printers with 5 brand new Xerox iGen4s. The new Xerox iGen4 has the ability to run a 14.33” x 26” digital press sheet, which means we can produce more pieces at a faster rate.
Every superhero needs an arsenal of tools to succeed. Batman has his utility belt, Superman has his super powers, and now you will have 6 amazing free tools to add to your arsenal. As a web development professional for over 14 years, I’ve seen many online tools appear and evolve. Here are 6 of my favorite FREE tools that I've enjoyed using recently to succeed on my projects…
Whether the objective is to increase sales or reduce costs…the channel is online or offline, we are often faced with more ideas than we have time or budget to test. Since each marketing campaign is an opportunity to learn and improve results, it’s important that we are not overwhelmed with the concept of continuous testing.
Every Friday morning at 9:00 am, you will find our largest conference room a bustle as members from numerous departments gather for our weekly iBreakfast Break training session. Everyone stops for a moment for a workshop (led by our savvy interactive team) about relevant interactive topics.
I would like to hear from anyone and everyone regarding your plans to go to the DMA conference this year. Those of us who are members gain a lot from the DMA in general but the conference is a wonderful event, if you are exhibiting, or simply attending. Whether you are a full service direct marketing agency or a mail house, you will learn, engage and build relationships at this global event.
Did you know that Anderson Direct Marketing has a Proofreading Department? That’s right; everything from email blasts to websites to letters, self-mailers and postcards (and more!) is reviewed by a critical eye several times prior to being released. Our department is just one example of Anderson’s commitment to quality.
Having the right people, doing the right things, at the right time. That’s the core approach to developing interactive projects. Each department should be represented and team players need to be aware of their part in the big picture. Leaving a key player out, even during the first kick-off meeting, can have consequences in the later stages of the project. This chart is an example of what makes up an Interactive Team. Refer to Six Stage Interactive Process to see how each department coincides with the phases of an interactive project.
To help ensure the success of an interactive project, it’s essential to communicate with the client and your internal team during each stage of your process and when key stakeholders’ reviews and approvals are required. ADM’s six interactive stages are the foundation of all our interactive services. Our six stage interactive process is as follows:
Here at Anderson Direct Marketing, we pride ourselves on our commitment to quality as noted in our direct marketing quality mission statement: Anderson Direct Marketing is committed to providing the highest level of quality and direct marketing services in the industry. We accomplish this by educating and communicating with our associates to drive quality and consistent timeliness for our clients.
After two decades of working on business projects with technical components and over a decade of Internet-related project management experience, one of the best pieces of advice that I can share to increase your project's Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI) is to focus on PLANNING. While taking my first project management course in 2005, I was introduced to the saying "one hour of planning today will save two hours of work tomorrow." Back up and read that statement again, then let it sink in because you'll want to apply that motto throughout your career, starting today, to be an effective project manager.Do you want to reduce or prevent scope creep? One hour of planning today will save two hours of work tomorrow.
As we continue to enhance and refine our digital marketing services, I love to see that social media continues to evolve for the business world. Did you see that Facebook has recently rolled out its “Offers” marketing platform to local businesses in the U.S.? It had been running recently in just a “test” phase but has gone National now. The program is similar to the already established Google Offers, Groupon and LivingSocial programs but unlike its competitors, Facebook won’t take a sales cut for redeemed vouchers.
Probably the most popular rule of thumb in direct marketing is 40/40/20 Rule. The rule states that the success of any DM program relies 40% on the data/list strategy, 40% on the offer and 20% on the creative/messaging approach. My experience is that this rule of thumb typically holds true and as a result, I spend most of my effort guiding clients to test and optimize their list and offer strategy. However, we certainly can’t ignore the last 20% and when it comes to DM campaigns (mail, email, DRTV, etc.) as there are many best practices that need incorporated to develop creative that is truly “effective” at driving the desired action.
This is Anderson Direct Marketing’s first official blog post and we are truly excited to join the blogosphere! There will be several contributors to our blog so you will have the opportunity to get a variety of perspectives about a wide range of topics that center around direct marketing, interactive, and a host of other subjects. It is our hope that you get to know each of us and keep an eye out for the topics that you are most interested in. Please feel free to share with us what you find valuable and what you don’t so we can share the knowledge we have that is most beneficial to you.