“Hybrid experiences are bringing direct mail into the digital age” Snapshot Opportunity Study Highlights Growing Need for Direct Mail Marketing and Personalization to Support Digital Efforts
LIVINGSTON, Mont.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PFL, the leading hybrid experience company, today announced the results of a recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting, revealing insights from 158 business-to-business (B2B) marketing leaders in North America on their use of direct mail experiences to overcome digital fatigue and deepen customer engagement. Commissioned by PFL, results from the Forrester “Hybrid Experiences Bring Direct Mail Into the Digital Age” study found that the majority (80%) of respondents agree that the pandemic has increased their reliance on digital touchpoints. Due to overreliance on digital, 76% agree that engagement with digital tactics is down, while 78% of respondents report that analog touchpoints such as direct mail have seen an increase in performance. Respondents also recognize the engagement potential of direct mail, as 81% admit that they are personally very likely to open a package they receive for work.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, companies have dramatically over-focused their use of digital engagement strategies to reach audiences. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, reliance on digital channels alone has led to increasing levels of fatigue. The new engagement challenge for B2B marketers is to build authentic, personal relationships with audiences to counter this fatigue and forge connections that drive business value,” said Nick Runyon, CEO of PFL. “Our research shows that the market is beginning to understand the true value of hybrid analog-digital experiences that can bridge the gap between modern digital marketing capabilities and audiences that demand more human-centric experiences.”
Most marketers missed direct mail’s entry into the digital age, leading to implementation issues
Despite the promise and performance of direct mail, many marketers today still view direct mail as a traditional and outdated marketing tactic incompatible with modern digital strategies. In fact, 81% of respondents say they focus more on digital touchpoints because they consider digital tactics to be more measurable and optimizable than physical. Eighty-five percent say reducing barriers to creating differentiated mail campaigns would encourage them to use the channel more.
Personalization is a major challenge for marketers when it comes to direct mail, and most marketers don’t recognize that direct mail personalization is even a possibility. In fact, only 17% of respondents say they personalize their direct mail campaigns. More than half lack the ability to use customer data systems for direct mail, while 50% believe measurability and optimization are purely digital capabilities. At least 40% don’t know it’s possible, think it would cost too much, or would struggle to align direct mail with other personalization initiatives. Many also say they don’t have the technology or skills to successfully handle personalized direct mail.
However, direct mail solutions have evolved significantly in recent years, ushering in a new era of highly personalized and scalable direct mail capabilities.
Direct mail investment rises as marketing departments battle digital burnout
Throughout the pandemic, businesses have raced to digitize all aspects of their business, which has had a negative effect on audiences overwhelmed by the amount of digital communications taking place in their daily lives. Smart marketers began to recognize that this digital burnout created an opportunity to capitalize on other physical engagement strategies.
Direct mail is a tactic that allows marketers to engage their core audiences throughout the buyer’s journey, from initial top-of-funnel awareness to ongoing customer success. Of the survey respondents who currently use direct mail in their marketing efforts, many say they currently apply this analog tactic throughout the customer lifecycle. This includes from early discovery of the product or service (72%) to the point of conversion (63%), and through customer engagement and enrichment (54%) to foster deeper brand relationships and encourage defense of customers.
With its ability to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing campaigns, survey respondents indicated that they plan to significantly increase their investment in direct mail. Of the marketers surveyed, 54% have increased their direct mail spend this year and 69% expect to spend more next year, a 27% year-over-year increase.
Unleash the value of personalized, targeted and orchestrated direct mail with hybrid experiences
The need to combine both direct mail and digital campaigns has led marketers to explore a new approach: hybrid experiences. Modern hybrid experiences are transforming direct mail into something that helps marketers deliver experiences to buyers by gaining a better understanding of their customer. It is through this tactic that marketers can frame, guide and improve interactions for the customer based on their history, preferences, context and intent. Hybrid experiences are becoming the middle ground where digital marketing and direct mail collide. More than 70% of marketers agree that they would appreciate the ability to orchestrate direct mail with other buyer touchpoints, schedule mail delivery based on buying signals, and measure and optimize direct mail using their current marketing technology stack.
Making direct mail strategies available and easily accessible is essential when developing a hybrid strategy. Three-quarters of survey respondents say the availability of hybrid experiences would cause them to increase their investment in direct mail, and 37% say they would significantly increase their direct mail spend by 20% or more if they could use this investment to run hybrid mail merge. mail.
Runyon concluded, “Our clients have witnessed first-hand the value of hybrid experiences as a highly effective marketing engagement strategy. With hybrid experiences, businesses can combine the measurability and predictability of digital marketing with the authenticity and effectiveness of analog experiences. Hybrid experiences are the key to making direct mail more engaging and measurable, which in turn can drive greater business value. »
To learn more, download the Forrester study.
This Opportunity Snapshot was commissioned by PFL. To create this profile, Forrester Consulting supplemented its research with custom survey questions posed to 158 B2B marketing leaders. The custom survey started and ended in January 2022.
PFL, the hybrid experience company, orchestrates brands’ physical and digital engagement with their key audiences, using data to automate direct mail and create more authentic human experiences at infinite scale. The key to successful marketing, customer experience, and employee engagement is attention, but it’s hard to captivate people who are tired of digital engagement methods. PFL’s industry-leading hybrid experience platform combines the emotional power of offline marketing with the measurement and predictability of digital so brands can deliver individual personalization at scale. The platform offers deep integrations with leading CRMs and MAPs, including Salesforce, Marketo and Oracle Marketing Cloud, allowing companies to seamlessly leverage digital signals and behavioral data to trigger physical touchpoints, with a Full transparency on order status and campaign performance. Leading organizations such as Medtronic, Zoom, Proofpoint, and Paycor use PFL to deliver hybrid on-brand experiences that capture the attention of their core audiences, build brand affinity, and amplify business growth.
Bhava Communications for PFL
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