“Traditional Media Is Dead!”

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You’ve probably heard this common saying among those in retail marketing. Although more and more people are increasingly turning to the internet in lieu of newspapers, direct mail, radio, magazines and TV, not all traditional mediums are dead and buried.

Consider Groupon. It’s the largest group buying website in the world and it just launched a multi-million dollar branding and awareness campaign on that ancient thing we call network TV. So why then would Groupon use national network TV when it currently succeeds in reaching every major demographic market area in the United States simply through word-of-mouth, search engine optimization and public relations?

It’s simple. Online marketing is slow while traditional media encourages speedy transactions.

Internet growth takes time, energy and labor investment before you can even begin to consider purchasing online advertising. In some cases the entry costs can be so high that a business or financial consultant would advise you not to invest because someone else would be willing to outspend you.

So, how do you reach people online without busting your budget?

Create a website strategy and environment that answers all of the consumers’ questions and gives her incentive to purchase your products. Make sure you only allocate 10 – 12% of your annual advertising budget towards this medium. Once you have developed your online strategy to be an effective way to reach the customer, make the transaction happen faster.

Use direct marketing tactics to drive the customer to your online world. A great source for this type of conversation is direct mail.

According to a 2009 study conducted by the United States Postal service (published in April 2010), 79% of all advertising mail recipients in 2009 either read or scanned the advertising mail pieces they received from standard and bulk mail.

Also found in this study, 18% of all recipients was either going to respond to the piece or think about it.

So, how do you utilize this medium to drive the customer to your website or your store?  Follow these three golden rules:

1. Know your target audience. The most important part to expediting business is to know your target audience. Understand the income levels of your customers, the wants, needs and desires of the lady who visits your store and how many people you want to reach. Since 18% of all standard mail pieces (cheapest way to deliver mail) will potentially create a transaction, you have a better chance to make a sale when you target a larger audience.  Also, take into account people with a higher income level are more likely to respond. Notice the following findings from the 2009 USPS study:

2. Give them everything you’ve got. Stand out from your competition! Announce that your deal is The Best,
no one can match it. If you utilize an eCommerce site, offer a bigger discount since your cost of the online sale is much less. Consider taking a hit to your margin to earn a new customer’s loyalty. Whatever your “Maybes” may be, turn them into “$$$” and make your mailing pay for itself … and then some!

3. Creative (size) matters. Creative sometimes can be misconstrued as “pretty” or “flashy”.  Creative is standing out in the eyes of your customer and establishing your identity. Select the size of your mailer carefully and take into account that everyone sends out letters—what can you send out that will knock the socks of the recipient so you can make that transaction happen faster?

Finding the way to mesh these two mediums together will help turn both your advertising budget and website into a cash cow.

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