Archive for May, 2012

Firestone Loves Me…or Is It Just My Car?

Firestone Heart Dripping Oil Card

“Dear Jeff, Our love once began with a glance across a crowded parking lot. You possessed me in just a few days…” Several days ago a direct mail piece from Firestone came to me in the shape of a greeting card. The outside has a black heart that appears to be dripping oil. Interesting. Upon opening, the creative messaging was styled as a love letter sent from my car with all the mush and gush of “first love.” And all I could do is smirk at the notion that of piece – when done correctly, direct mail is still a home run.

A recent survey by Source Link suggests direct mail will be the top marketing channel in the US in 2012 while brands focus on customer retention. To demonstrate this point, Firestone pulls off a “daring” direct mail piece with style – and with a hint of full convergence.

As the Firestone mailout demonstrates, unfolding the card reveals an integrated, thorough campaign that combines traditional and new media channels. It immediately opens to the value proposition and coupon with an expiration date to the offer that coincides with the timing of the delivery. By utilizing their CRM, they knew I was getting close to needing an oil change and even had the local manager of the store I last visited “seal the pitch” with a personal signature. Even better, the card provided with me a unique URL and “personal access code” that gave me exclusive access to other great deals and even “automated maintenance” reminders. This well thought out campaign demonstrates that traditional media and new media are converging faster than ever.

Direct mail is not dead. More than 69% of respondents to the Source Link said they would focus on multichannel marketing, with 56% saying it was integral to their strategy. However, many companies are still struggling with how to segment their data to achieve the full potential of conversion from their offline efforts and their online presence. This is a good time to begin looking at how the “convergence strategy” can work for your business. And how every marketing decision truly counts toward an uplift in sales.

Firestone Inside Mailout OfferFirestone Personal Access Page


Mobility Is The Next Step

Mobile Trends in USA for 2012 Inforgraphic - Jeff JamesCheck yourself before you wreck yourself. Have you looked to see how your website and content is currently displayed on a mobile or tablet device? With 4 out of 5 US smartphone owners saying that they use their mobile devices to help with shopping and company research, the need for easily accessible content about you is no longer the “next cool feature” – it is mission critical.

If people can’t easily read, understand and utilize your message per services and products offered, you aren’t just leagues behind, you are already a sinking ship. In the next 2 quarters, making your company accessible through mobile devices should be one of your top priorities.

The Big Question: How Do I Make Myself Mobile Accessible?

Step 1: Think about it from a usability standpoint. “If I am a potential customer or client, what is it that I am doing here?” What IS the critical information users look for and are key drivers to keeping them on track to transact. Contact us (phone number, email or form), product information, sales information, directions, news, blogs: these are just a few of the compounds that should be simple, easy to read content that is displayed perfectly on a myriad of devices.

Step 2: Think big buttons. For the critical content components, these need to be easily navigated and tell users exactly where they need to go to get the information they are looking for. Sure, anyone can go back to your main website and get information, but if someone is standing in a store or hears a radio ad, what would you want them to see most? (Hint: make sure your promotions match up on your mobile site, the core services or information are easily accessible and a way for the user to transact is apparent.)

Step 3: Configure your site hosting to pick up that a mobile user is accessing it! No one accessing your website from a mobile device wants to “find” a small button that says “check out our mobile website” in the ocean of miniature content and graphics. If done properly, your mobile site should be configured to auto-detect the device and route the browser to the mobile site without the user even knowing.

Take It To The Next Level…

Numerous companies are now enhancing their mobile promotion strategy by optimizing their web pages for the mobile web, including PPC and display advertising in apps and the search engines.

The mobile realm is only going to continue to expand, so get creative and go mobile.