Thursday, October 31, 2013

Deep grooves make bigger sound (and what you can learn from old school)

CDs Kill Vinyl...

We all know that business changes. We need to adapt to stay on top of our game. But what if you refuse to change - will you survive?

In some case this can work as a unique selling point. For example, when CD's came along the end of vinyl was cited. Of course most of the vinyl manufacturers have long since disappeared and we are left with CD's (and of course now MP3 files will perhaps have the same effect on CDs).

But you may be amazed to hear that a small number of specialist vinyl manufacturers still thrive. Their USP - sound quality and retro devotees. Of course we should all know that digital sound is not as 'good' as analogue sound. Analogue has tiny grooves that vibrate via a stylus and effectively amplify the sound. A digital file can only work within a certain 'bandwidth' so cannot provide deep base or toppy highs. Whereas vinyl has no such limitation. In other words, the old technology actually works better.

Recently we were involved in a very successful campaign. So successful in fact that it enjoyed a 5% response rate. Did we use email?, yes. Did we use a web site?, yes - did we use metrics to record results? yes. In fact we did everything a cutting edge creative agency would do.

We then repeated the same campaign  but this time with a 42% response rate.

The only difference: the second time we used traditional printed direct mail.

Now I am not suggesting that this will work every time, a 42% response rate is pretty high. Also the campaign cost more to do (postage is considerable and print, whilst cheaper than it used to be, is still an expense. In fact the print campaign cost around five times more to do than sending an email did.

However, the result was so good that the total cost was more than covered by the first converted enquiry. So,  does this mean that email is no good? Not at all. It simply means that email should be used as part of a campaign rather than the sole delivery mechanism. Email is perfect once a client is engaged with you. But new business often requires a more 'hands on' approach.

The truth is this - just because it's new does not always mean its better. When email marketing first appeared it was easy to get your message to the recipient. People were fascinated by animated images and quirky messages sent directly to their inbox. However, the advent of spam filters/firewalls etc has all but destroyed the 'quirky' e-shot. Not to mention the mass of email we now get every single day. It is getting harder and harder for electronic direct mail to reach and have impact. A letter or printed mail piece has the advantage that it is tactile, personal and makes the recipient 'feel' more valued.

So when you are weighing up your next campaign, consider traditional direct mail as a vehicle. It may cost more, but developed in the right way with the right creative and messaging it can have a profound result on your ROI. figure. It might just result in music to your ears..!

Have a chat with us about an integrated campaign on 01332 291141 and we can see if it'll work for you!

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