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A French Commercial and a Client Asks “Is Direct Mail/Paper Dead?”

Restoration contractors have a lot of options when choosing where to spend their marketing dollars. And there’s many options out there both on and off the world wide net. But, as budgets and resources (time, energy, people) are limited for many contractors, the ultimate question of “which marketing activities do I pick?” can be a tough one to answer.

Although many possibilities are available, one activity that always gets a big question mark is that of direct mail. One of our clients asked us verbatim, “Is Direct Mail Dead?.” And it’s a great question to pose. With the onslaught of technology and devices available today, the words “direct mail” sounds archaic. And possibly expensive. So, why would someone spend time on this type of marketing activity?

The importance of paper is comically summed up in this commercial from France that shows us all while technology/electronics is a huge part of who we are as a society, you can’t disregard the tried and true…(click on the link below to view the video!)

Click here for the video before reading on!

Now that you’ve had a good chuckle and are starting to think about your non-electronic approaches to sales and marketing, you really need to first ask yourself, what is it that I’m looking to say or do? And who is it that I need to talk to? The best activities mix is to use a blend of electronic and more traditional methods of marketing to get your message out. Can you have an email and digital only approach? Sure thing. Can you have a print-only campaign? Sure betcha.

But, when you focus on only one of the two ends of the spectrum, you make your marketing approach a whole lot more difficult. And, you’re missing out on the increased possibility of someone remembering your brand and message. We are creatures of multiple sensories. In an “noisy”, oversaturated world of communications every day, using a well-thought out, integrated and cohesive mix of activities gives you the best odds at reaching your target audience. Let’s look at the internet alone and how “noisy” that is…A great infographic (http://www.slideshare.net/ResearchNow/arf-data-is-only-good-if-disgestible) shows a day in the life of the internet…

In one day:

-Enough info is consumed by internet traffic to fill 168 million DVDs
-294 billion emails are sent (which would take 2 years to process that many pieces of mail in the U.S.)
-2 million blog posts are written-that’s enough to fill 770 years worth of Time Magazines

‘Nuff said! Looking like the digital-only approach a tough road to hoe? With those numbers, there’s no doubt. But, it’s a tough road with print-only as well. Our noisy world means that we need several mediums to help us with brand recall, and with that, we need to be communicated at several times. So, is direct mail dead? For the smart restoration contractor, and any smart marketer, the answer is no.

It’s all about finding your marketing mix — creating the right message and getting it out there in an effective and consistent manner. Use both ends of the marketing spectrum (in the case of the video, Emma (the “paper” and the husband “digital”) with regards to both print and digital, and sprinkle it in between with all the other great activities that make sense for you such as PR, tradeshows, etc.

And remember, as a marketer (or the French husband in the video), you need to keep the necessary “paper” as part of your normal marketing routine!

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