. . . And The Envelope, Please!
If the envelope could be nominated for an Academy Award, the category would be Lifetime Achievement Award. Certainly the envelope has had its cinematic moments. Two that come to mind are Forrest Gump and the Harry Potter movies. Some of them can be viewed using the QR Code below, but the envelope's real star power lies in its value as a mysterious marketing package, and trusted method of delivering secure and private information. Does the envelope deserve our devotion because it's been with us so long? Can it hold its own with the new kids on the block?
In today's fast-paced world, we believe standing still for too long is going to be our demise. In many ways that's true. Imagine the world without e-mail. I can't, but every once in a while I wish I could. We constantly look for tools and ways to engage customers. New media choices are being invented, refined and used with success by marketers everywhere. If we dally too long on the old, we will miss out on the new. Some of the new include: social media, mobile marketing, SEM, SEO, Webcasts, RSS Feeds and Google Alerts. E-mail has been around for a while, but do we consider it old?
There are new hybrid versions of older media choices like direct mail (TransPromo, pURLs, variable content, and disc.) The aforementioned QR Code uses a web-enabled mobile device in conjunction with almost every other kind of printed document. Variable and relevant content is being packaged by marketers to reach customers in every medium. We are bound only by the limits of imagination and science.
None of us want to be left in the dust when it comes to bringing our customers the keys to everything new and wonderful.
One of my favorite industry studies from Target Marketing, a sister publication of Print Professional, comes out every year about this time. For the last four years Target Marketing has published an annual Media Usage Forecast. I immediately check on the pulse and overall health of that old media stalwart, direct mail. I like what I see. Compared to 2009, 32 percent of survey respondents plan to increase their direct mail budget in 2010. The new media choices like those mentioned above are garnering increased budget dollars in order to keep marketers on the digital edge, but not at the expense of direct mail according to the survey. In fact, direct mail has continued to play a major role in marketing strategies.