Contributed by Rohan Vaidya, General Manager, A P South, InfoPrint Solutions Company

Rohan Vaidya

The combination of a weakened economy and the proliferation of new media have encouraged many companies to cut corners to reduce spending. In most cases, marketing departments in many large corporations have begun opting for online communications over direct mail as a lower cost alternative. However, some local businesses stuck with traditional direct mail — even through the economic downturn — and are now enjoying impressive results.

Local businesses aren’t planning to drastically cut direct mail spend and have proven that consistent communication plays a major role in developing significant customer relationships.

One example is a dental practice that implemented a marketing programme including a newsletter and postcard mailing. Prior to implementing the campaign, this office typically had an average of fewer than 22 new patients per month. Post-campaign the average rose to 30-40 new patients, and revenue has increased $10,000 per month. With results like these, it’s evident that direct mail produces an increased return on investment.

It’s no surprise that technology has significantly improved over the years – not only with regard to new social media tools, tablets and smart phones, but also in relation to traditional direct mail. This technological growth for conventional tactics is often referred to as precision marketing.

Both local businesses and international corporations can take their direct mail a step further using precise data analytics to deliver more customized and relevant communication to recipients. One might argue that precision marketing is not an optimal tool for securing new customers as we don’t have much data – but that’s not true. What it does mean is that a company’s data analytics solution must be strategically implemented across all areas of a business to ensure consistency and integration.

For example, a company may know where their potential new customer lives and can market what is most relevant based on that specific location. Once the patient is in the door and their information is entered into the company’s computer database, the relationship with the consumer can grow to become more personal, allowing for the customer to feel a close relationship with the company. The business can then decide how they can utilise this information to implement precision marketing. This can mean deciding between direct mail and online communications, finding relevant and customised information to add to the document and much more.

Every type of business can make their own type of mailing, mining the appropriate data from their databases to implement a successful precision marketing campaign.

Will others realize the importance of keeping a streamlined, continuous communication with their customers via direct mail, in efforts to solidify a relationship with relevant, meaningful data? Largely it remains to be seen, but we’re interested in what you see and think.

What do you think? What are you seeing?