The term marketing has become almost synonymous with digital marketing, a conglomerate of emails, blogs, social media posts and graphics that have one thing in common – they lack a physical, or tangible presence. This ignores the fact that physical marketing material still plays a significant role in driving sales and creating brand awareness. Tangible marketing, therefore, incorporates all physical marketing materials, including direct mail letters, posters, leaflets, retail display units, and product samples.
These tangible marketing solutions, when used strategically as part of a marketing campaign, are extremely effective, especially when deployed alongside and in support of digital content. In this article, we discuss the benefits of tangible direct marketing, and why mail and other printed media channels are still relevant.
Digital marketing materials are easy to receive and easy to forget. If you don’t grab a prospect’s attention immediately with an email or online advert, you’ve probably lost your opportunity. Tangible marketing materials, by contrast, tend to have a longer lifespan than their digital equivalents. A flyer or letter that arrives on a person’s doorstep may hang around for some time, even if it’s initially ignored. Recipients are more likely to file printed marketing material away for future reference than they are to save promotional emails. This increases the overall likelihood of conversion.
It is because people are so used to receiving digital marketing material that tangible materials stand out. It takes greater expense and effort to design and manage a printed direct mail campaign than it does for an email marketing campaign, and people are aware of this. This relative rarity and expense gives tangible marketing a sense of exclusivity, and makes the recipient feel that they are cared about as a prospective customer. Far from being a faceless and impersonal medium, well targeted direct mail can, in fact, come across as more personal, and be more effective at building a rapport, than purely digital content.
Digital marketing materials engage the mind and the eyes, but tangible marketing engages all the senses. You can feel the paper, smell the ink, hear the tearing of the envelope as you open the letter. All this makes the experience more tactile and hence more memorable to our Palaeolithic brains. It’s simply more enjoyable and meaningful to receive a letter than an email. And a brand that is memorable is more likely to be at the forefront of a prospect’s mind when making a purchase decision.
How many letters does a person receive each day, on average? One, two? And a business? Twelve, twenty-five letters? This is a paltry number compared to the number of promotional emails that land in email inboxes each day. UK office workers receive over 120 emails a day on average, and many of these go unread. The bottom line is that, for tangible direct marketing, there is a far less crowded marketplace, with fewer brands competing for attention – hence a better chance at getting noticed by your prospects.
Tangible marketing is not without its downsides. If a campaign is misjudged, it may come across as wasteful or unsustainable. However, for high-quality printed material and direct-mail, the climate is ripe for a comeback. Several luxury brands in the UK are taking advantage of a receptive market of younger prospects who are not used to receiving postal direct mail, and do not have the negative preconceptions of the older generations. To find out more about the benefits of direct mail for your brand, and how you can increase your market share through tangible marketing, please give us a call or email today.
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