Panel discusses running an inexpensive multichannel campaign

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SAN FRANCISCO - Is it possible for marketers do a successful multichannel campaign on the cheap?

The answer was yes from a DMA06 panel Oct. 16 called "Insert Media's Role in a Multichannel World: A Solid Acquisition Tool." The talk centered on ways the inexpensive media can help acquire leads with high returns on very specific markets.

"I think a lot of us want to do big integrated campaigns on as little of a budget as possible," said Ofelia Morera, senior manager of brand management at Verizon Communications. "You can do it with big budgets or little budgets. As advertisers, we need to find as many touch points as possible."

Ms. Morera used a July campaign Verizon  ran for its One Bill service as an example of an effective yet inexpensive multichannel effort.

The telecommunications provider ran the same offer in an insert in the customer newsletter, print announcement in billing statements, e-mail newsletters banners, unique landing page and main Web site banners - all affordable ways to message.

Another merchant doing insert multichannel is DirecTV with program owner Rodale Inc.'s magazines, PIPs and billing statements.

According to Diane Tancredi, senior director of list and alternative media sales at Rodale Inc., DirecTV runs creative on the back of Rodale's billing envelopes to drive traffic to call centers and run reinforcing offers as blow-ins and other more traditional media.

What about over-saturating a consumer base?

Verizon, a company that largely uses its own customer base to cross-sell new services, combats potential list fatigue by printing new creative versions and offers each quarter.

Ms. Tancredi said DirecTV's objective was in merely driving traffic to a bigger base of consumers.

The technique of using inserts as a low-cost way to acquire leads or test offers was echoed by Neil Williams, senior marketing consultant at New York Life/AARP.

"The low cost of inserts is a way to generate prospects," Mr. Williams said. "You can then follow up with more qualified leads with the more costly channels."

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