Top integrated marketing ideas for multimedia magic

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Michelle Farabaugh
Michelle Farabaugh

Integrated customer marketing is the key to driving increased loyalty, customer lifetime value and overall return on ad spend. Customers are being inundated with various marketing media from direct campaigns like catalogs, direct mail and email, to indirect media like paid search and affiliate and social marketing. By creating an integrated, customer-oriented marketing program, you will increase the retention rate and overall value of the base.

We have termed this phenomenon “multichannel or multimedia magic.” When retailers can get their customers to interact with different channels or multiple forms of media, the lifetime value of a comparable multibuyer increases exponentially.

Merkle recently set up and tested an integrated marketing campaign that utilized both print and digital communication in an effort to reactivate inactive customers. A reactivation campaign is not unique; however, very few marketers integrate their print communication with their digital communication at the customer level. One of the primary reasons is due to the lack of integration and linking of the customer record, postal address and email address. Pulling these key elements together is critical to being able to create and implement an integrated marketing program.

In this test, the appropriate inactive customers were selected to receive a special dot whack offer to get them to come back. In addition to the catalog mailing, a coordinated email was sent to the same customers providing the special offer. As a final component of the integrated campaign, a reminder email was sent to any eligible inactive customer that had not responded to the campaign.

The results of this test were staggering. In order to truly understand the results of an integrated multimedia campaign, results must be read at the customer level, not the campaign level. In other words, all sales and transactions for the control and test group should be calculated from the customer database. In the example above, the integrated campaign drove 40% higher results than simply mailing the catalog with the reactivation offer.

In addition to being able to track all sales and transactions during the reactivation campaign, the database allows marketers to see what the usage or breakage of an offer is. By understanding how many customers actually utilized the offer, a true ROI of the campaign can be calculated. In this case, very few of the reactivation orders actually utilized the incentive or discount, yielding a very high overall ROI for the campaign.

Michelle Farabaugh is VP of specialty retail at Merkle.


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