The Future of Reporting

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How to Leverage Direct Mail to Gain Business Insights

State-level consumer legislation, monopolistic power-moves by tech giants, death of the third-party cookie…all these recent events have begun to erode the efficacy of modern marketing tactics, rapidly forcing marketers to rely primarily on their own first-party data. That’s why today, we’re discussing a surprising tactic that will quickly and easily allow you to rapidly build your first-party data pipeline: direct mail.

Today’s Growing Data Hurdles

Today, 46% of brands use data to boost customer loyalty, and – 43% of them focus their data use toward conversions. Yet, many companies haven’t yet caught on (in the grand scheme of things). 25% don’t use automation to understand and utilize their data, and only about half use automation in their operations. It’s important to be ahead of the curve – a part of the data and automation-using 50%, to surpass your competition and understand your audience(s). As AI and machine learning availability increases, valuable insights are more readily available. But – with this increase comes an increase in security measures and data hurdles, as we noted above. It’s vital to understand that while there is more information out there than ever before, there’s also more and more protection over this information.

The importance of acquiring data (ethically) grows each year, as competition increases for nearly every market, and customers expect marketing that’s authentic, relatable, and catered directly to them. They often expect highly personalized marketing – and are not very persuaded by that that is generic.

Data, reporting, and automation can do many things for your business, from keeping clients and your team in the know, to making better marketing decisions and creating better strategies, to keeping your budget under control. It can create more personalized experiences for customers, help you advertise the right features to the right people in the right channels at the right time, have better context around and understanding of your product and marketing efforts, construct predictive analysis, and ask/answer the right questions. So, if tech giants, legislators, and search engines are increasing protection and making usual data practices more difficult, there’s a need to think outside the box.

How Direct Mail Provides Quality Data Insights

Around 50% of companies today are using, primarily, first-party data. Most of these companies are large and have significant investment in the reporting that they can still get to ensure campaigns are well-strategized and customer experiences are personalized and well-tracked. One physical experience – direct mail, is still top-dog in supplying well-informed data. And – it’s one tool that can never be blocked from your inbox, is rarely perceived as unethical, and is very minimally flagged as spam.

Additionally, unlike many digital data practices, with direct mail, you’re not targeting a blanket of people with similar traits and somewhat blindly hoping for the best. Instead, you’re sending to specific addresses that have quite a bit of data information associated with them. Here’s what we mean…

Say you’re launching digital ads to an audience profile. Google (for instance) is picking specific people that match that profile, but you are unaware of these specific audience members and never have or acquire a list of these people.

Next, let’s say you’re launching a direct mail campaign. You have to send the direct mail pieces to specific addresses. You have a list of these addresses and their associated tenants. From this list, you can likely already extrapolate their income (based on their address’ home value), and later, you’ll very likely be able to extrapolate their age, interests, ethnicity, and possibly more from returned BRCs, QR code scans to online forms, coupon redemptions, and other interactions with your direct mail. And, if there’s a major shift in their actions and engagement, you are often able to tell when they’ve had a life change, or that a totally new potential customer has moved in.

Plus – users almost always have to opt-in these days or accept digital marketing initiatives like ads, emails, and pop-ups, but that’s not the case for direct mail. What we’re ultimately saying is, it seems that the more potential data that’s out there, the more security concerns and protection. So – it’s important to have not only a back-up practice, but a tried-and-true marketing effort that will always deliver high ROI and quality analytics.

Interested in acquiring the right data and lists to meet your customers with effective marketing where they are, with what they want and need? Contact Strata.

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