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Zen and the art of selecting a direct marketing agency

Posted by Victor Pinto on July 2, 2014

A great direct marketing agency is part beautiful-mind algorithm, part motorcycle-stunt fireworks show. If you find an agency that gets both parts right, you will achieve zen because it can help you increase customer engagement and conversion. How? This type of agency boasts right-brain and left-brain pros with the mojo and know-how to deliver multichannel, response-oriented communications.

The classic divide
Intrepid CMOs and other marketing decision makers often find it difficult to locate direct marketing partners who can provide both amazing analytics and creative problem solving. In fact, your agency search scenario may look like this:

  • You find a consulting firm that mines data to drive digital efforts
  • However, you feel compelled to hire a creative agency that crafts messages (visuals and copy) that motivate human beings
  • And you may consider that this double-dip approach is just a fact of life

Balderdash, we say! (Because we sometimes pretend we are actors in a period-piece play.) You can’t have one without the other. At Jacobs & Clevenger, we have found that great results happen when we help our clients:

  • develop a direct marketing strategy
  • put key performance indicators in place
  • create relevant/contextual experiences that touch heads and hearts
  • measure results
  • listen to end users and evolve

A client gets personal and successful
Case in point: J&C found a way to increase click-through rates by 36% for an automotive email marketing campaign. How? We approached the client’s engagement challenge strategically, defined what success would look like, conducted a study and found that 2 out of 3 consumers prefer personalized automotive communications. From that study, we also identified five key insights:

1. While becoming intimately familiar with car owners and learning the majority appreciated personalized communications — our research showed that 90% of consumers expect more specific communications from auto manufacturers.
2. Our solution was to present emails as service notices that highlighted vehicle updates. We mined databases and included vehicle make, model, model year and VIN number in our client’s emails.
3. This type of personalization made the emails more credible. Since these were messages directly from auto manufacturers with very specific information, recipients did not look at them as spam.
4. Further, personalization creates curiosity. That, combined with credibility, improves your chances of creating urgent messages that foster higher click-through rates. In fact, we tailored messages to ensure they spoke directly to owners of different auto brands.
5. Luxury auto buyers, economy-minded drivers, import aficionados, sports car enthusiasts and more received these personalized emails. Since you only have seconds to establish worthiness with a consumer once an email is opened, it was important to speak their language.

It’s all about the audience
If you’re playing marketing buzzword bingo at home, that means we identified client “pain points” (low engagement), made sure that we sent personalized emails and helped our clients “gain traction” (engage customers). Bingo! Or, rather, Zen! In short, J&C bridged the creative/analytics gap by approaching this challenge as an integrated team and used our collective expertise to generate customer-focused experiences and first-rate results.

As direct marketing evolves and helps us all better personalize and deliver messages via technology across devices and social media platforms, J&C still believes in putting this principle first: recognize that human beings are on the receiving end of all communications. Whether they’re business owners or consumers, you need to speak their language and offer something that they want on a personal level.

This level of personalization makes for happy clients and end users alike. And this is why, when looking for a direct marketing agency, you would be well served to find your “zen” with an agency that can live in both the creative and analytical worlds. It bears repeating, this kind of agency can help you increase engagement and conversion.



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Topics: Direct Marketing

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