I might work in the creative industry, but I'm also human and just like you I'm continually bombarded by people wanting my attention for one reason or another. From the hundreds of emails and constant drip feed of text messages to the odd piece of direct marketing landing on my desk and I have to say, I’m a little bored.
A taste of my own medicine you might say and you'd probably be right. But here in lies the rub. I create digital and print direct marketing for our clients, but on a personal level, I don’t like receiving them. Simply put, I don’t like receiving robotic, unfocused, non-personalised pieces that are irrelevant and quite simply, dull.
It takes a lot for a brand to peak my interest and deliver or sell me content that is thought provoking, relevant, fun
but above all engaging.
We are all in the same boat with the endless channels that companies use to communicate with us. Email, Twitter, Facebook, and good old-fashioned post - which do you prefer receiving? Does it make a difference? What turns you off? Which delivers the best ROI?
To be honest, there’s no straight forward answer. You might be office based or out on site or a mixture of both. You might use Facebook, or be an avid Twitter or LinkedIn user. No matter what channels and information we all consume, we are all fast understanding one thing, there’s far too much of it in our lives.
Personally, I don't have time to open my 100+ emails a day. So how do I filter them? I can't just trash all my email when there's important ones mixed within it? Well, it's easy and you’re all probably doing something similar. I call it the 'human filter' and it's all about brand association and content.
Eventually, we all build up a picture of how a brand is engaging with us, what type of content they are pushing, and more fundamentally, is it relevant and engaging? Our human filter kicks in and we predict what type of marketing content we are being fed, then we take an appropriate course of action. We’re constantly filtering every piece of digital or physical marketing we receive. It's our very own version of Microsoft Office’s 365 'Clutter' feature. It’s a survival tool, which helps us weed out the mundane marketing.
Take a step back, look at yourself and your own brand interactions and you can more fully understand the human reaction to being ‘marketed’ to. We are all human after all. We’re all exposed to brand marketing, are constantly being sold to, kept informed or being invited to engage with something. We are all on someone’s marketing database and I won’t even mention the cold calling…
When devising your next direct marketing campaign, either as a client or as an agency on behalf of a client, you need to remember why it’s so important to fully understand your audience, their content likes, and dislikes. You need to identify which channel is the optimum fit for both your budget and audience before creating those thought provoking headlines and content designed to maximise engagement and ROI.
If there’s a point to this blog, then it’s this. Never forget that your audience is human, brand aware and willing to swipe away your Tweet, your LinkedIn post, your mundane direct mail piece. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and make your communications engaging, after all, content maybe King, but context, timing, and distribution are Queen.
If you need strategic help and a better ROI from your direct marketing communications, get in touch.