Cross Media Marketing is a Great Way to Get Customer Information

iStock_000003739214XSmallHave you ever considered using direct mail as a way of gathering demographic and psychographic information?  If not, then this is your opportunity to really get some bang for your marketing budget dollar.

With the advent of on-demand printing and publishing, we’ve been able to literally convert mass-marketing to a more personal one-to-one experience.  All it takes is a list, a database and some creativity and for a relatively small budget, you will be on your way to:

1. Getting more information about your list (email address, buying preferences, job title)

2. Learning  how to better communicate with your list (how would you like to be contacted?)

3. Drive list members to your website

4. Present them with a specific offer

5. Invite them to an event

6. Register for a conference or event, including break-out sessions, etc.

All of this can be yours by exploring “cross-media marketing.”  Don’t worry, this isn’t anything radically new.  What’s new is our ability to create a three-dimensional, relationship-building experience with our target audience by creating a single “themed” campaigned aimed at leading our list to water and then making them drink.

How Cross Media Works

A Cross Media campaign is powered by a database engine that will collect all kinds of information for you. First off, it will tell you who responded, and who didn’t. It will also track exactly how far each respondent goes into the pURL, and it will collect all of their responses to the questions you ask them on the pURL.

The database engine can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be, collecting information and using that information to trigger
subsequent events.

Cross Media campaigns utilize a variety of means of reaching your list members, and allow you to further qualify your list, and gain more information about its particular members. Your purpose is to learn as much as you can about your individual list members so that you can communicate with them on a meaningful and relevant level. This is the essence of 1:1marketing.

How to Start Your Own Cross Media Campaign

To run an effective Cross-Media Marketing campaign you will need three solid, experienced team-members.  First, you’ll need a marketing or product manager who knows your company, its strategy which information to collect and what you’re going to do with it.

Next you’ll need the one-two punch of a creative agency that has the capability and blend of solid creative ideas and design coupled with a technical team that can translate that creativity onto the web.

Finally, you will need a strong technical component to create this powerful list database that will be your money machine.  This technical team will be working closely with the design agency and if you find a design agency that has such a team – you are in luck.

What a Cross Media Marketing Campaign Looks Like

  1. Set an objective. For example, you have a list of 100,000 people that you want to whittle down to just your ideal customers.  Your budget has been cut, postage has gone up and you can’t afford to be mailing stuff that’s getting thrown away.
  2. Get your list. Let’s say our list has only addresses and no names.  To get to our ideal customer, it would help to have some names and some basic information that would qualify them for our offering.
  3. Send a simple mailing with a pURL (personalized URL). Since we have addresses and we want more information, we send a simple postcard to the address and since we don’t have a name the pURL is actually a “code.”
  4. The postcard is written to appeal to our ideal customer. The customer receives the postcard and goes to the web site. Once there, they have the opportunity to receive a “gift” in exchange for some more information; contact name, e-mail, and perhaps an answer to a question.  Don’t over-task the recipient, there will be opportunities for more touches later on.

At this point you have reduced the size of your list significantly and identified those people who have the most interest in your offer.  In addition to that, you’ve opened up a line of communication where you can ask them questions and they will answer in exchange for more goodies.

How to Get Started

Here are some resources to check out:

  • Personalized URL (Purl) Strategy Guide (slideshare.net)
  • Cross-Media Marketing Solutions (digitalprintink.wordpress.com)
  • TouchTree: The Effective use of Multi-Media Platforms (Blog)

There are still wonderful opportunities to connect with your ideal customer without breaking the bank.  Consider a cross-media marketing campaign in your marketing plan this year.

About the Author: Ivana Taylor is CEO of Third Force, a strategic firm that helps small businesses get and keep their ideal customer.  She’s the co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers” and proprietor ofDIYMarketers, a site for in-house marketers.  Her blog is Strategy Stew.