May 20, 2019

Reverse Publishing – The Hottest Trend in Hollywood

With Netflix joining the long list of digital brands using print, the phenomenon of ‘reverse publishing’ is one of the biggest developments in brand content

The latest digital brand turning to print to reach a new audience has been announced as Netflix. With a market value of $21.2bn and a global user base of 150m, the streaming service hasn’t had to do a great deal of marketing – print or digital – instead preferring to plough much of its profits into making its own content. So the launch of its own magazine has come as a bit of a surprise.

“Netflix has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in pursuit of Hollywood awards”

With a working title of Wide, the 100-page publication will include features, interviews and articles about Netflix-produced content, focusing on the people that create it. But rather than targeting its millions of users, the magazine is aimed at the highly competitive Hollywood awards community, promoting its shows and stars in the middle of voting season for the upcoming Emmys.

“Netflix has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in pursuit of Hollywood awards,” writes Lucas Shaw in Bloomberg, “which help burnish the image of the streaming service’s still-young studio in the eyes of consumers and the entertainment industry.”

Influencing the influencers

This new marketing gambit aims to use a print magazine to provide a crucial point of difference when it comes to influencing an extremely hard-to-influence audience. By delivering a traditional magazine to the Hollywood community instead of a digital-only campaign, Netflix are looking to forge a deeper connection, as well as offering a physical object that acts as a permanent reminder of the brand and its programmes.

“In preparation for a groundbreaking year in film and television,” the brand wrote in a promotional message, “Netflix has gathered some of the most talented and sought-after writers and photographers, thinkers and creatives, to make the inaugural issue of Wide, the Netflix print journal.”

A developing trend

The curious phenomenon of digital companies using print to reach a certain audience or add gravitas to a message has been around for a while now. Shame-faced brands will often use the respectability and permanence of newspapers to let the world know they’re sorry for a corporate transgression – see Facebook’s apology for the Cambridge Analytica scandal or KFC apologising for running out of chicken.

Direct mail also holds an appeal for the online giants, particularly when it comes to reaching hard-to-reach contacts, such as company CEOs. Google and LinkedIn have both used well-crafted, creative mailers that have enough creativity to get past the office gatekeepers and land on the desks of company bosses around the globe.

Then there’s Amazon, who released a print catalogue last year to promote their toy range for Christmas, and Apple, who regularly use the world’s top fashion magazines to launch their new phones, linking their product with style, elegance and desirability.

The attention economy

What Apple, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and the many other brands that have built their fortunes on the back of digital know, is that print offers an entirely different experience to online. That experience not only gives the reader time and space to enjoy the content, free of distraction and the compulsion to move onto the next story but offers a longer read and a chance to delve deep into a subject to gain a better understanding. Whether that subject is a Hollywood director or a cute B&B just outside Barcelona, a stronger bond is created between magazine and reader, and by extension, the brand.

In a world overloaded with content, many companies are realising that their digital-only marketing strategies need to change if they are going to retain their customers’ attention and loyalty. And right now, the medium that’s getting the attention is print.

Article brought to us by Two Sides.

January 29, 2019

Why doesn’t Digital marketing work?

We have witnessed the switch from expensive TV ads and high spend on creative agencies to low pay per click and next to nothing costs for social media marketing. This might sound like a great development. In fact, the majority of companies have been quite happy to cut their marketing budgets. Experienced marketers have also been running to grab new qualifications in Digital Marketing. Newbie marketers quickly realised Digital Marketing was the only way forward.

 

We all thought Digital Marketing was perfect so what happened?

Everything seemed to be running smoothly. Facebook and Google grew stronger each year and provided business with new “best working” algorithms. Then suddenly, something appears to be going wrong.  Posts on our Facebook pages get barely 10 likes. Google charges us more money for the same keywords. Our e-mails go straight to spam folders and our overall ROI decreases. Why did this happen? Let’s analyse a few digital marketing channels and discuss their actual effectiveness.

 

What’s The Real Digital ROI?

We were overwhelmed by all the metrics social media provided us. Each year the variety of metrics was increasing. Platforms were quick on calculating the cost per click, and this looked very attractive. It felt like platform owners cared about us since they were providing us such great, detailed metrics. Sadly, the truth is: each platform cares only about themselves.

According to eMarketer, digital metrics are quite problematic  

Let’s face it, click through rate doesn’t really reflect ROI. Even if the customer clicked on your digital ad, it doesn’t secure the sale. What digital marketing is calling “Conversions” does not represent real conversions. Most digital conversions are tracking the action on the website page. Such metrics can be quite confusing as they show engagement, but these metrics do not necessarily reflect the sales.

Consumers soon became aware of digital marketing tactics

Clicks on display ads on average are less than 1%. People learned to ignore digital advertising and just focus on user-generated content. Do your Facebook ads really reach the audience numbers that Facebook shows you?  Or maybe, viewers just scrolled down and didn’t even notice your ad?

Do you work for Google or your company?

Over the past 10 years, Google AdWords rules have updated at least 10 times. Each time we would hurry to adjust our campaigns, add more details, links, phone numbers etc. But did you notice that bids for the same keywords simply get higher and cost per click increases? Well, no wonder. It is advised to start using long tail keywords, as they are less expensive and bring more conversions. People tend to search the way they talk, so they are more likely to click on the long tail.

Therefore, should we stop spending marketing budget on AdWords?

Should we invest our time and money in SEO instead?

Studies show that overtime SEO increases ROI, whereas PPC brings approximately the same number of clicks for X amount of money. However, Google keeps changing its algorithms. The trick here is that we never really know how it works, we can only guess intelligently.

Keeping this in mind who do you work for, your company or Google? Are you adjusting each campaign with every new update and your website content with every change of algorithm? Sounds like a full-time job. If you think about it’s most likely you work for Google by making your content look neater on their search page.

Email or Mail? Your choice

On 25 May 2018, GDPR was finally enforced. Remember that day filled with a bazillion number of e-mails from various companies trying to opt you in? But did all of them really need to send those e-mails to us? The answer is no. Unfortunately, not everyone fully understands regulation rules. However, it did annoy most of the customers and cut off a good portion of marketer’s databases.

Are you battling against apathy and boredom?

The problem with e-mail marketing is the same as social media advertising – people got used to it and cease to notice or care. A report from Royal Mail MarketReach says that people tend to take mail more seriously, than e-mail. They feel that receiving information through the mail will make them feel more valuable. Maybe it’s time to remember the good old direct mail channel and include it into your marketing mix?

 

Channel performance

So, it brings us to our final question, what else, if not digital? For experienced marketers, it’s time to remember old tricks and use other channels. For young marketers, it’s time to learn how these other channels work.

Ebiquity produced a fantastic report comparing what advertisers and agencies expectations were from various channels versus its actual performance. It revealed that the top 5 channels for short-term sales are still TV, Radio, Direct mail, Newspapers and Magazines. These channels still perform better and are worth considering for your next marketing campaign. Since people jumped on digital marketing over a decade ago the traditional advertising significantly dropped in price, so it’s more likely that you can afford it now.

Conclusions

We are definitely not saying that you should stop using Digital channels for your marketing campaigns. What we are suggesting is that marketing channels need re-evaluation. You cannot necessarily put all your trust into reports from your digital platforms anymore. Inevitably these platforms show you only what they want you to see. They also do not expose the information that will move you away from their platforms. Why would they?

The best way to run your campaign is to consider using various channels through different stages. Implement your digital campaign with Direct mail and follow up by Radio ads. Or just create it in the order that is more suitable for your niche, product or service.

We can help you make your campaign work by adding the Direct Mail channel to your marketing mix. If you have any questions or have never explored direct mail, we would be more than happy to assist you. Please give us a call on +44 (0) 020 8293 8550 or e-mail us at hello@romax.co.uk.

October 16, 2018

How to Integrate Digital with Direct Mail

It’s a fact that including Direct Mail in a marketing campaign helps to increase the overall campaign ROI. At Romax we have several great case studies where the ROI has rocketed by 350%. But the question is how a company can use direct mail to reach those figures?

Let’s Start with the Basics

Mail is hard to ignore. According to the 2018 JIC Mail Report, the average UK householder receives 1.3 addressed mail and 3 unaddressed mail items per day, compared to 281 emails per day. So, including a piece of Direct Mail in a campaign will help your brand to stand out from the crowd.

If you want to know more about how Direct Mail works, you can find useful tips in our blog posts listed below:

There are different ways to integrate Direct Mail with your digital campaign. Here is some advice on how to do it. How to tailor them to obtain a higher response and increase the ROI of the overall campaign:

Use Direct Mail as part of the Whole Campaign

You can use Direct Mail as another channel of your campaign. Or take a step further and use it as a channel that stands alone. The first option reinforces the other channels and helps the user to take an action on your website or store. The second one gives your mail an opportunity to present your brand or product/service in a way that it lasts for a while. The JIC Mail report also shows that 57% of householders open an addressed mail item and keep them for 28 days on average. So, you can create a printed communication that you know will have longevity.

For example, product catalogues help customers get to know your brand. It helps them to get a better understanding of your products and  to make an informed decision. It can be either impulsive if you have a short promo or a meditated if they want to buy out of season.

Drive your users to Digital and other channels using Direct Mail

To integrate Direct Mail into your whole campaign it’s recommended to drive recipients to your key purchasing channels to have a result. The Mail and Digital study by Royal Mail MarketReach confirms that 92% of people move to digital as a direct result of receiving direct mail. Moreover, the study shows that 43% of people download something and 54% engage in social media.

You can drive them to download your app, visit a physical store, attend a live event or visit your website/landing page. Send them a sample, a catalogue, a voucher, or whatever you consider would help you to build a new database and increase sales and brand awareness.

Tailor your Direct Mail to suit your audience

How you present your direct mail will depend on the age and living standard of your audience. There is a series of advice that you can find for every type of customer. However, if you want that target audience to respond in all your channels, you would want to tailor your campaign, both on digital and direct marketing.

Young people have a high rate of response and sharing in communication on social media, so that should be one of the focuses with direct mail. Elderly couples have more time and prefer more detailed texts with proper grammar. Adapting your communication, on length, expected response or language that suits your audience will help you to have a higher global campaign ROI.

Personalised Direct Mail

Your customer will feel that you care about them if you personalise the communication to their needs. You can tailor your message for the group that your customer belongs to. But the personalisation message will grab their attention.

If you are already promoting your campaign on the digital, you can connect more with your audience with a personalised printed communication.

Hello “First name” is a good start, but if you are working with your database, you have a huge amount of information about your clients and their behaviour. You can personalise the content, images and more.

If you want to build your database, you can use a personalised door drop with location or redirect to a specific store or landing page. It can also help you to know the impact of this channel.

Stand out from the crowd

One advantage of incorporating Direct Marketing into your global campaign is that you can use different paper and finishing process to attract a sophisticated audience. Use embossing or foiling. If you want to stand out from competitors, use a thicker stock on your next postcard (we advise to use 530 gsm compared to a standard 350 gsm). There are multiple options in Direct Marketing that you can choose to offer the best user experience for your target group.

Automate your Direct Marketing Communication

To provide the best user experience for your future or returning clients, having personalised, automated communication is crucial. At Romax we work with companies who connect digital with direct marketing to send both, personalised electronic and printed communication. Examples include: welcome packs, including membership cards, welcome letters, periodic communications, the website generated responses and call centre responses. The impact on your customer’s perception of your brand, as a result, is extremely positive. Helping to build trust and confidence for a long-term client relationship.

Romax has more than 20 years of experience in managing customer communication, managing membership, marketing, printing and communication services for organisations including Southbank CentrePlusnet and Mercedes Benz. Contact us for a bespoke Direct Marketing Solution: hello@romax.co.uk, +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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March 18, 2016

Getting Started with Social Media

As a business it is likely you do not have a marketing department “on tap” let alone a social media manager. So why go to the expense of using social media to promote your business and where do you start?

Let’s start with the why

  • Easy way to learn about your audience
  • Target Audience can easily be defined
  • Expand your audience and find new customers
  • Instant feedback from your customers
  • Improve market intelligence and get ahead of your competitors
  • Increase website traffic and therefore SEO ranking
  • Share content faster
  • Generate low cost leads
  • Create relationships
  • Increase brand awareness and become a “thought leader”

Just reading the list above would make any MD scream “why are we not active on social media – I haven’t posted anything since that funny cat video in 2013!”

However, a note of caution, if you believe that suddenly by becoming a social media expert that big corporations will be knocking on your door you had better re-think. At best you will raise your brand awareness, which is no bad thing, but it is unlikely that through social media posting alone you will land the “big contract”.
So you want to go social? The first thing to do is research – what social media channels will my target audience be active in? Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram? Whilst you can post to all these channels, and more, it is better to start off with a more targeted approach so you can focus on that.

From my own experience, Twitter and LinkedIn, have proven to be the best channels to target first, however, it does depend on what your business is and does.

Next is to think of your company or personal brand. What do you want to portray? What story do you have to tell? What tone do I want to establish? You can find more on this subject here from the team at Hubspot. Now ensure that you have set up the social channel correctly in regards to BIOS and banners. A useful tool for creating banners is gravit – this can give your channel that touch of professionalism.

So you are now all set. Ready to post? Now hold on what about content? What time is best to post? Is it OK to retweet? In truth, there are no hard and fast rules, however, one of the best sources of knowledge is this recent blog and don’t forget the importance of imagery! Several free stock photo sites are unsplash, picjumbo and my favourite placeit.

It is perfectly acceptable to use others content, however, that will only take you so far and it is important to contribute your own words. Writing a content calendar can help you visualize all your planned posts for the next weeks or months ahead. And on top of that, it will help you craft your posts in advance so that you always have something ready to share.

As for posting, two of the most popular tools are Buffer and Hootsuite. Personally, I prefer Buffer for its cleaner interface but both offer good platforms for free and for a relatively small charge can offer further benefits such as teams, deeper analytics and even content to share. Tweetdeck is also popular but interacts with Twitter only.

Happy sharing!

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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October 19, 2015

Email the great marketing tool! Build your brand using digital marketing!

Email ­the great marketing tool! Build your brand using digital marketing!
Mantras that have been around now for a few years however there is one sure fire way to  harm your brand’s reputation ­ ignore the unsubscribers.

I recently realised that my inbox was getting to overload and it needed a serious pruning of my previously subscribed (or maybe not but we will discuss that later) email nirvana. So I went through a pretty tedious exercise of unsubscribing from those communications that were now irrelevant to me.

 

It seems however, that just following the link is not enough you then have to give a reason and in some cases your email address. Why? Then to rub salt in the wound you find yourself still receiving the emails you asked to be stopped. A particular case for myself was a renowned Marketing email alert (I won’t embarrass them by naming them directly) who after  4 attempts to unsubscribe are still sending me their daily digest email that I immediately  delete!

So this experience got me thinking on how other marketing communications could harm a  brand’s identity and what you can do to limit any damage when you build your brand using digital marketing.

 

For a start always running your data against MPS (Mailing Preference Service) or TPS  (Telephone Preference Service) depending on the chosen communication route ­- don’t  forget this is obligatory for “cold data”. Running your data against other suppression files such as NCOA (National Change of Address) and most importantly Mortascreen will help  ensure your data is as clean and up to date as possible.

 

Ensure what is being communicated is relevant, timely and engaging. Nothing will turn your clients and prospects off more than poorly executed campaigns. Remember evoke an emotional  response and the benefits will follow.

And finally talk to your customers and prospects how they have indicated they would like to  be. Don’t email someone when they have asked to receive updates by mail for example.

 

In short, respect people’s wishes, including unsubscribing from emails, and your brand will  be stronger as a result.

Blog written by Wes Dowding, Operations and Technology Director at Romax.

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550.

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