In the early 90’s Direct Mail was in fashion and was the most effective method by which to target tailored messages to specific groups and individuals. Back in ‘those days’ you would purchase a database of your target market, design and print a clever mailing piece and then pay a mailing house to send out your creation and await the response. Postage paid reply cards were hip and your customers and prospective customers were encouraged to send back the reply card to request more information, a follow-up call or to enter a prize draw OR, the ultimate reward … receive a branded pen. Respondent details were then passed on to the sales team for them to work there magic and turn the prospect into a customer. This process could easily take 6-8 weeks from planning though to design and implementation and a mailing would cost minimum £1 per target. So a ‘cheap’ mailing to 1000 contacts would cost a minimum of £1000 and had to be planned months in advance.
Technology really has revolutionised the way businesses and organisations can communicate and interact with their markets. We can reach significantly bigger audiences with more targeted and personalised messages, considerably quicker and at a fraction of the cost of direct mail. Websites, email, blogs, online content marketing, online forums, social media are all fantastic tools to develop contacts, network online, communicate, share information, update our knowledge, research …. the list goes on. And it can be fun too with social media being an ideal platform to create your brand personality.
If I could offer just one piece of advice on getting to grips with the online revolution, it would be to chum up with someone who specialises and works in this area. They tend to be early adopters and their passion for their business and hunger to keep abreast of the latest developments keeps them ahead of the game. They are an invaluable resource with a wealth of knowledge and will be like a best friend and an amazing asset to your business.
It’s been quite nostalgic re-visiting the start of my marketing career whilst writing this blog post … and brought back memories of some random 90’s fashion choices (no change there). Just a little bit of research suggests that like fashion, and in particular my beloved dungarees and baseball boots (not to mention my green tracksuit and jelly shoes in the 80’s), there’s still a place for the ‘old fashioned’ direct mail, as a nice mailing piece landing on your desk can lead to a more emotive and lasting response from the recipient.
So, for me it’s time to embrace ALL the opportunities that are available and keep learning about new opportunities that will help clients too. Key thing is to set out your goals, be clear about what you want to achieve, plan your activities and be consistent with your message across all media. If you need any guidance or advice, please get in touch … we’re always happy to help.
Have fun & be jolly
Omelette Blog Rating: tracey bird’s 90’s fashion was just a little bit …. radge!