Why Physical Direct Marketing Reigns Over Digital Alone

Physical Direct Marketing Reigns Over Digital

From Long Sales Cycles to Fostering Loyalty, Dimensional Mail Often Works Best

There is a large number of incredible digital opportunities— automated emails, direct correspondence, pop-up ads, video ads. Yet, there’s a challenge in the overabundance of digital competition.

What do you do when the hottest marketing platform the world has ever known — the internet — presents such a substantial challenge?

A smart and savvy solution is to invest more heavily in physical direct marketing and pair it with your digital efforts. Despite the decades-long digital obsession of the marketing world, tactile and experience-rich direct marketing is continuing to succeed where its purely digital counterpart falters.

There’s a reason most industries — from global technology companies and Ivy League Universities to retail stores and your local pizza shop — run direct mail campaigns as crucial parts of their marketing initiatives.

Here are four reasons why:

Digital Overload

Some people refer to it as e-fatigue. Some people have labeled it digital burnout.

While the Internet is an ultra-valuable asset to every flourishing business, it can also be a significant challenge, like when we see too many digital ads. This competition can tire us, resulting in us paying less attention.

In fact, a relatively well-known Microsoft study suggested that between the year 2000 and 2015, our attention span had dropped from 8 to 12 seconds on average.

The challenge with digital isn’t just digital; it’s digital distraction — there are simply too many options immediately available to your audience to compete with.

We can use the idea of a teacher and tutor as an analogy for digital vs physical marketing.

Mass-scale digital marketing is like a teacher trying to educate a large, loud, distracted classroom — he or she may get a few words to especially attentive ears, but most of the students are so distracted by their environment, they’ll likely walk away with nothing.

Physical direct marketing, on the other hand, is more like a tutor that comes to your home, spends one-on-one time with you in an environment with far fewer distractions, and gets you acquainted with the material on a deep and lasting level.

The analogy extends: you don’t only use a tutor, you use a tutor to supplement the teacher — use both digital and physical for best results.

Long Sales Cycles

A place where high-impact physical direct marketing thrives, particularly when digital marketing is used as supplementary technique, is within long sales cycles.

Where digital may be a great way to begin creating brand awareness and invaluable in the consumer learning experience, it can be difficult to close the deal via digital platforms alone.

There are a few contributing factors here. For one, even personalized digital campaigns can lack the personal touch required to build trust and consumer confidence. Rarely does digital alone suffice to propel your audience into the final stages of the sales cycle. Another shortcoming of a purely digital strategy lies in the aforementioned competition for attention online, particularly in the case of social media.

Powerful tactile experiences, especially those delivered in the form of high-value direct mail such as dimensional mailers, can get you over these hurdles by conveying personal interest in your audience. They also keep your product at the forefront of consumer consciousness by entering avenues that competing products may sometimes neglect, i.e. entering their physical realm via the mailbox.

In a long sales cycle, these traits specific to physical direct marketing are invaluable.

Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is one of the most challenging aspects of modern-day business. With so much competition, it’s important not only to build a connection with your consumer, but to foster the development of that relationship in unique and thoughtful ways.

One of the best ways to build brand loyalty is through physical direct marketing efforts. This is particularly true when it comes to promotional items delivered via dimensional direct mail. We’ve touched on this before: a dimensional mailer consists of direct marketing materials that come in a box or another, 3-dimensional vehicle.

Not only do these tactile direct marketing experiences – through their dimensional presence – have the power to cut through the static, but they also have the ability to offer unique gifts or other promotional items. For instance, a “thank you” campaign sent out to valued customers can include everything from key chains and water bottles all the way to tablets and other high-end electronic accessories.

This kind of thoughtfulness and unique mailer does something that digital struggles to — it builds a real connection between brand and consumer. It speaks to a brand who truly values a customer and their business.

Influencing Silent Decision Makers

With virtually limitless information so readily available on the internet, more and more buyers have become silent decision makers. This means that most buyers aren’t reaching out to businesses to learn more about their products, instead relying on user reviews and independent research to form their opinions.

Physical direct marketing once again shines here, giving your brand the opportunity to stand apart and reach silent decision makers via a less competitive channel. If you can separate yourselves via physical direct marketing and convert that into an additional opportunity to make your case, you stand a good chance of making a lasting impression.

When it’s time for the silent buyer to pull the trigger, that impression you made with physical direct marketing may make all the difference.

An Invaluable Tool

With physical, experience-rich direct marketing’s ability to bypass digital channel overload, it’s no wonder why marketers consider it an invaluable tool. It possesses a unique ability to retain consumer focus through long sales cycles, building brand loyalty and influencing silent decision makers.

Are you working on a new product launch, looking to close a stalled deal, or simply want to strengthen existing customer relationships? Contact us to learn about our innovative approach to capturing mindshare, enhancing loyalty, and driving more high-qualified leads to the pipeline.

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