Multi-channel Marketing Is Thriving
NEDMA’s Annual Conference – A Multi-channel Marketing Showcase
I had a marketing professor who hated cell phones. Ironic, I know. Many professionals welcomed the new age of technology, he wasn’t one of them.
To Professor Corbin, technology was a vessel that would turn our society into an embarrassment – a gateway to tweets and texts, Facebook friends and selfie central.
“Ten points will be deducted from your grade every time I catch you with your phone,” Professor Corbin said.
“Don’t hold it, don’t look at it, don’t even acknowledge its existence,” I thought.
I had a similar mindset coming into the 2017 NEDMA Conference, held on May 15th. I walked into the crowded room filled with eager-to-learn marketers who sat and watched a presenter. I seated myself in the back where the Boingnet team had a table set up. I thought about my professor, and how he’d be attracted to the idea of using the mail for marketing. What I didn’t realize was how furious he’d be at the multi-channel marketing revolution that I was about to witness.
My phone faced upward on my lap and glowed as I opened the Twitter app. My first thought was “don’t let him catch you.”
USPS Keynote: Mashup Mail With Tech For Success
The keynote speaker was Coakley Workman, presenting “Irresistible Technology Integrated with Mailing Solutions”. The presentation focused on how mail and technology are becoming integrated in new ways that make advertising mail a more powerful marketing channel than ever. Multi-channel marketing has taken off at the Post Office.
Even though he preached about the use of technology, I still found it strange when I saw at least one person, in every direction I looked, on his or her phone.
I had grown accustomed to the idea that it’s disrespectful to have your phone, or any sort of device, in sight while someone is presenting/teaching/talking/in your presence.
I looked at the conference handout sitting on the table in front of me.
“Tweet at us,” it read.
“Use the hashtag #NEDMA17.”
“Connect to the Wi-Fi by following these steps.”
I scrolled through the Boingnet Twitter feed to tweet about the conference.
I looked at NEDMA’s hashtag to find countless posts, which were sent just moments prior- yes, during Coakley Workman’s presentation.“Look at the hype this guy is getting right now,” I thought. So my question to all of you Professor Corbin’s in the world – is such a device so terrible if it’s helping marketers gain attention in a matter of seconds?
As a writer, I know when you create a character it’s vital to keep in mind nobody is all good or all bad. There needs to be balance. I find the same concept to be true with cellphones, and technology in general.
I can’t deny the fact there are a countless number of people who spend too much time editing a “mirror” selfie for Instagram to make sure his or her face is flawless – Have to get those “likes,” right? Or those who write novels on Facebook to complain about a personal matter that probably shouldn’t be posted on the Internet. And yes, sometimes the millennial generation is known for sitting in silence, looking at our phones rather than conversing with the people we are with.
What about the “good,” though?
How Social And SEO Combine For Better Results
The integration of marketing efforts, a result of technology, seemed to be a consistent theme at the NEDMA conference. Harry J. Gold presented 17 Ways To Integrate SEO and Social.
“Harry highlighted how Social and SEO are joined at the hip to optimize the brand search experience. He reviewed how to incorporate the power of social media and SEO combined to improve brand search results and revenue,” said Boingnet team member, Cassie McDermott.
Embracing the advancement of technology doesn’t seem so bad when it’s going to make a marketer’s life easier. When marketers use technology to bring multiple channels together, there seems to be a compounding effect on results.
Multi-channel Marketing Creates Attribution Challenges
I listened to a presentation given by Boingnet’s CEO, Dennis Kelly, as he spoke about E-Commerce, Direct Mail, and Attribution.
At this point, there was no hesitation as I whipped out my phone, took pictures and live tweeted. Within a matter of minutes, I received retweets and likes on my posts from people sitting in that same room. And it was as simple as using the NEDMA hashtag.
Dennis reviewed how the explosion of digital marketing channels has created a need for marketers to assess the value of each marketing touchpoint, in order to optimize budgets and activities.
The result has been a hodgepodge of different techniques being used by marketers, most of which tilt the table in favor of new, digital channels (like SEO, PPC and display ads) and against offline media like TV, radio & direct mail. Why? Because clicks are the easiest and quickest things to measure. Clearly, an unintended side effect of multi-channel marketing efforts.
Direct Mail, E-Commerce and Attribution
Dennis then zeroed in on direct mail. Direct has traditionally been the most easily measured of the offline media types, with matchback analysis, business reply cards, 800#’s and pURLs that have used to measure the exact response rates of mail campaigns. However, with fewer recipients choosing to respond via mail and phone, and pURL systems (like Boingnet) requiring significant new infrastructure to be built, E-Commerce vendors that use direct mail have tended to focus on matchback analysis as their primary means of capturing direct mail attribution.
Matchback analysis can and should be done. However, it is a “lookback” that happens weeks or months after a campaign has ended, and it lives outside of the “clickstream” that other channels are being measured by.
The conclusion? There is no “silver bullet” in multi-channel marketing attribution. It’s best to begin building a solid data framework, and start measuring, even if the measurement is a simple attribution model.
Boingnet Audiences – A New Way To Track Direct Mail Results With pURLs
What came next was an unveiling of some amazing new Boingnet technology. Dennis showed the audience the recently released “Boingnet Audiences” campaign tool.
Essentially, Audiences is a new way to use direct mail or catalogs with pURLs and any landing page. Direct mailers get the “clickstream tracking” and personalization of traditional pURLs, while using landing pages from their E-Commerce, Landing Page or Web Content Management System of record.
A live demonstration of how direct mail recipients are tracked and receive personalized experiences in an E-Commerce platform is what followed. Boingnet pURL targets were “redirected” to a Shopify store, where Dennis bought some fictional items. The navigation of each pURL user was tracked, across all of the Shopify store pages. The purchase page was set as a “Conversion Goal”, and so every purchase driven from the direct mail campaign was captured, as it happened. The Shopify pages also used data from the direct mail file to personalize the shopping experience, just like in a traditional pURL campaign.
We all saw firsthand how new technology can solve significant problems that today’s marketers face. The Audiences technology enables:
- Real-time direct mail tracking & attribution
- Synchronization with marketing automation systems like HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo & more
- “First touch” or “Last touch” attribution models for direct mail – which levels the playing field with new digital channels
To learn more about Boingnet Audiences Campaigns and how they work, read “Boingnet Audiences Launch Press Release“.
Embrace The Rapid Evolution Of Marketing Technology
As Dennis concluded the demonstration, I noticed members in the audience scribed and typed every last detail mentioned about Boingnet’s patent-pending new features they’d just learned about.
What prompted such eagerness? Simple: The undoubtable fact this recent feature is another example of how new technology creates better experiences and more measurable outcomes.
Technology has evolved at a rapid pace, so the hesitation of many to embrace such drastic change is understandable. But look at what it can do for your business.
“I read this article,” Professor Corbin said one day. “A three year old girl held an iPad in her hands. She knew how to unlock it, buy apps, and even change the settings. Then, she was given a magazine. She grew frustrated when a simple swipe with her finger didn’t turn the page. She didn’t understand how to flip to the next page. This is what is wrong with our society.”
I rolled my eyes; and don’t get me wrong, I understand the concern. But what’s that cliché about working smart?
If we are going to advance further, faster with technology, then we need to embrace the efficiency of these innovations.
I listened to Coakley Workman make his final conclusions and wondered how folks like Professor Corbin could disagree; the growth of multi-channel marketing technology seems to be inevitable. Businesses that embrace multi-channel are winning. It’s time to join them.
Professor Corbin – here’s a big selfie taken with a massive selfie stick at the end of the NEDMA Annual Conference. Just for you.