There you are. Lounging on the beach at that secluded resort miles away from anything. Far from home. Away from care. Away from…direct marketing? The vintage bi-plane chugs into view, tugging a banner that reminds you to apply sunscreen of 30 SPF or more. Naturally it recommends a specific brand.
The end of summer means back to school. You’ve ordered the new (larger size) pants, tops, etc. from that trusty mail order company you always use. Of course the package includes the latest catalog. In addition to that catalog are postcards and flyers for additional back to school items from other – branded – sources that will surely resonate with the kids.
Direct Marketing Means ANYWHERE Marketing
These are just two examples of using alternative media for direct marketing. The category includes outdoor experiences, package inserts, co-op mailings, and many more. These are effective ways of extending a direct marketing budget. After all, the idea behind direct marketing is to target your customer individually wherever they are.
As with traditional direct mail marketing, successful campaigns excel at being timely and relevant. Smart direct marketers construct propensity models to help predict where their best customers will be, and when they are most receptive to offers:
You’re at that secluded resort. You don’t want to be holed up in your expensive room (FOMO alert) with a sunburn. Get that SPF 50 sunscreen NOW.
The kids have everything they need to wear on the first day of school. But do they have the latest techno-gadget? Branded backpack? The school bell is about to ring! (One day shipping is available.)
Alternative media offer another way of connecting with prospects at the moment of persuasion. The target is focused. The need requires less justification. Your offer is more likely to be regarded as a helpful suggestion than an intrusion. This is an opportunity to grow existing customer relationships, or create new ones. The two examples above demonstrate how alternative media can work both far outside or well within the bounds of typical daily life. (Maui versus Main Street.)
Alternative Media Is Versatile Media
In addition, alternative media can be equipped with features that enable easy integration with digital media channels. This discussion is not an either/or. The omnichannel world is ready to serve those who can imagine untapped opportunities for reaching their audience in a timely, relevant way. Postal mail, email, telemarketing, web banners, native ads, blow ins, package insert programs, samples, skywriting, billboards, and more complete the direct marketers toolbox.
There Is No Alternative To Quality Data
It is essential that data be fresh, accurate and meaningful. Twice we have mentioned relevance, and it bears mentioning again. Know that you are reaching people based on what they need, when they need it. Be certain (and be honest) that this dovetails with what you have to offer. Traditional media, digital media, and alternative media are ready to work together for your omnichannel marketing mix.