July 23, 2020

Direct mail provides an opportunity for brands to cut through the noise

The continuing spread of Covid-19 and its tragic effects has left very little of the print world untouched. The combination of an economic lockdown and staff either furloughed, laid off or working from home has completely transformed the industry landscape, with the majority of print companies reporting a significant decrease in order levels.

There are however, glimmers of light in the darkness. A number of areas within the print industry, such as food and pharma packaging, as well as suppliers for the NHS and other public service sectors, are as busy or busier than ever. And with the rapid decline of experiential marketing, many commentators are seeing an opportunity for direct mail.

Brand in the hand

With most people spending the vast majority of their days at home, being able to get a piece of mail or a door drop directly into the hand is a big advantage for any brand, particularly at a time when marketing is dominated by TV and online. Offering something physical that communicates an appropriate message can be a powerful way to build a brand or ensure loyalty once this is all over. And for charities whose donation levels have been hit hard by the virus, direct mail offers valuable levels of engagement and ROI.

The Opportunity for Direct Mail

Brands should understand the power and effectiveness of print. While TV has the reach, it remains a highly expensive option for many companies and organisations, plus it lacks the targeting power of DM and partially addressed mail. Of course, right now many people are living their lives online, but the constant bombardment of online ads and content makes it difficult for any company to really cut-though and engage a consumer.

Done well, direct mail has the power to stop people in their tracks, grab their attention and compel them to take action. The physical nature of the medium also means that it’s likely to stay around in the home for longer – 17 days according to the Royal Mail study ‘The Private Life of Mail’.

What’s more, direct mail has a perceived value and importance that virtual media simply doesn’t, which is why the Government and the NHS have been using it to communicate key messages and health advice to the population throughout this crisis.

Ahead of the curve

In any crisis, marketing is usually the first budget to be slashed. But marketing experts agree that continuing to communicate with customers during a crisis is vital for brands, keeping them front-of-mind for consumers that will want normal life to return as quickly as possible once this situation is over.

“The best time to market to people is when others are not,” said Robin Sumner, Managing Director of Romax. “After the initial panic subsides and the society accepts the ‘new normal’, then the trade will return swiftly – those that have continued to promote during that time will be ahead of the curve.”

The article was created by Two Sides.

July 15, 2020

Strengthening Your Brand Positioning

Consistency is the golden rule in brand messaging. In unprecedented situations like the pandemic, however, it may not be bad to shift the way you position your brand. Today’s customers do not hesitate to call out brands when they feel that it’s not doing anything or not doing enough for social causes.

As you navigate the post-COVID-19 economic landscape, you will find that customers are actively listening to and watching a brand’s every move. As such, it’s best to review the messaging in your direct marketing campaigns in the UK to ensure it puts your company in the best light.   

Positive Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is the extent to which your brand is perceived as different, favourable, and authoritative. If you have a strong brand positioning, customers will:

  • Easily distinguish you from your competitors
  • Believe in your credibility
  • Be more loyal to your brand

Strengthening your positioning is ever more crucial during a crisis. In April, firms have lamented the downward spiral in customer spending, and it may take a while for it to bounce back. You will have to be more diligent in winning over customers.

How you reacted to the pandemic, how fast you served customers and how fiercely you protected your employees will be remembered by your customers. Your next move matters.

Some may argue that all things come to pass and that whatever negative publicity brewed during the crisis would blow over. We, however, cannot say this for certain. This is the first time we have encountered such a widespread problem, and people will recall it for the rest of their lives.

It’s best to be proactive about the image of your brand.

Solidarity Through Public Service Announcements

The social media reach of the government and the NHS is extensive, but they would appreciate a little help. It’s good practise to echo the guidelines set by the authorities, whether those are quarantine protocols or hygiene etiquette. It may not be usual for your brand to share government-related information, but this crisis is a different matter altogether.

Take, for instance, Nike’s Play for the World. The sportswear giant launched a campaign that compared staying at home to playing for millions around the world, conveying the message that this is a chance for any aspiring athlete to make a huge impact.

If you are amplifying PSAs from the government, go the extra mile by tailoring the message to your customers. In Nike’s case, it related sports and staying indoors. If you are in the food and beverage industry, tweak the message to make it more relevant to a diner. If you are offering auto repair services, customise the message to car owners.

That said, accuracy is crucial. Make sure to cite only credible COVID-19 sources. The last thing you want is spreading misinformation about the pandemic. Not only will this potentially cause damage to those who read it, but it will also hurt your credibility.

Donating to a Cause and Create Platforms to Help

Brand giants have been donating to recovery and research efforts. Customers pay attention to these contributions, especially if it comes from small organisations. It sends a hopeful message: you may not have the resources to match the billion-dollar contributions of Facebook, Samsung and Twitter, but you are helping to the best of your abilities.

To further boost your efforts, create a platform that enables your customers to help. This way, you are not merely a passive donor, but a catalyst that unites your community towards a common goal.

These efforts not only show you are in solidarity with everyone, but that you are also willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help. After all, the entire country is fighting this crisis — we are aiming for a collective win.

Discover how we have helped clients fortify their marketing and messaging. View our case studies today.

July 1, 2020

Happy New Year?

Amongst all the mayhem, lockdown and COVID related economic uncertainties, July 2020, sees the start of the new financial year for Romax! This is cause for celebration, it may not exactly be the year-end we had envisaged – the trumpet fanfares and bunting will remain under wraps for now. Our plans as with many have been knocked back – but life is full of knock-backs and our strength is in getting up and going another round, perhaps a little older and a little wiser!

During the last 3 months, all of the Romax team have gone beyond the normal call of duty. They have completed without complaint, tasks that have helped the business to continue to operate under far from normal conditions. They have been brave and adaptable in the face of uncertainty and applied themselves in a professional and admirable manner –  as directors, Margaret and I are incredibly proud of them all.

Romax has been trading since 1997. We have just completed 23 years of data-driven marketing and communications, helping our customers to reach their clients and promote their services and products. We have been an enabler, an advisor, a preferred supplier and we have grown together with many of them. We are extremely grateful to all clients and partners for their support over the years and are excited about the next 23!

23 has special meaning for many…

Discordianism is a self-declared religion based on the premise that discord and chaos are the building blocks of life, 23 is their Holy Number and a tribute to the goddess Eris, who surveys a world of chaos. This is an apt comparison perhaps for ‘COVID world’ and although we all look forward to the past, when we can once more shake hands,  meet face to face and give our friends and family a hug, we can take a moment to thank and actually celebrate the positivity and tenacity of the human spirit.

Michael Jordan, the American basketball player, wore the number 23 throughout his career – this as a great number for him –  we should all look at the focus and commitment that he had in taking the Chicago Bulls, a mid-level team, to become winners of 6 NBA World Titles in 8 years– perhaps we can all learn from this that a clear and determined focus on what we want will help us all to recover and all come out winners in the coming months and years.

New life is created from the fusion of 2 x 23 chromosomes. The building blocks of a new beginning, a new life. At Romax we can use the combined knowledge and experience gained from the first 23 years and fuse that into a vision for the next 23. Adaptation requires a change in an ever-changing environment, positive change that keeps us fit for purpose, in Darwinian terms, adapt or die. At Romax we aim to continue our goal of being the best, to remain the business that is most fit to survive the world that we live in, and help others along that journey too.

Next year will be a rollercoaster, but let’s strap in, take the bumps, twists, turns and flips with smiles on our faces (but no screaming – it’s not allowed ) and enjoy the ride – let’s face it, when we get off and look back – we do so having conquered our fears!

Managing Director,
Robin Sumner.