How successful is your door drop activity?

by Graham Dodd on 29/01/2015

Its been an interesting few weeks since the turn of the year, with several thought provoking articles and reports being published.

The IPA Bellwether and the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure reports offer insight into future trends; the IPA suggesting direct marketing budgets for 2015 have been increased by an average of 3.9%, but the AA rounding down its forecasts for direct mail spend, though it remains the third largest medium after online and TV – report here.

A concern that many marketers are just thinking “online”, prompted Chair of the IPA Customer Experience Group and Wunderman Client Services Director Josette James to say “agencies should embrace dm and digital to protect clients’ businesses“.

At the same time, widely respected commentator Mark Ritson Associate Professor of Marketing, delivered a withering attack on social by sayingMarketers are putting too much emphasis on social media due to the hype in the media, and are forgetting how powerful traditional advertising and marketing can be” – report here.

And there are numerous recent articles about the real value of brand “likes” on Facebook.

Now the humble door drop is very much a part of direct marketing and whilst not referenced as regularly as direct mail in reports, articles and comments, distinct similarities can often be drawn between the two mediums.

Crucial to the success of door drop activity is its integration into the overall marketing mix, whether that includes broadcast media, press, online, social or any appropriate combination thereof.

FMCG couponing/product sampling activity dropped 2-3 weeks into a TV/radio campaign will create a spike in coupon redemption/product sales.

Charities commonly also see the same spikes in donation/contact levels.

But the measurement of door drop activity does not always accurately reflect the medium’s success.

If you are driving store footfall, do you know how many consumers have been motivated to visit by the door drop?

If one of the objectives of your door drop is to drive consumers online, are bespoke landing pages created to measure contact, or is it all just swallowed up in general statistics?

All too often, it seems that the door drop element of a media mix is treated as a poor relation and for a medium that is so accountable (in theory), commonly its not, because of a lack of front end client/agency thinking.

Since the turn of the year we have already had numerous discussions with clients of varying natures and sizes (often quite large!) about 2014 activities’ success (or sometimes the apparent lack of), but rarely do we ever see real results, yet bizarrely when talking to new clients everyone asks about industry or competitor success/response/redemption rates?

If there is a belief that the activity has “failed”, have you neglected to build in effective measurement tools?

Already this year we have had conversations with clients which have included them using phrases such as “we don’t have any web analytics”, “we don’t track call data”, “how can we be sure that the out of area response was generated by the door drop”, “we didn’t code the item’s direct mail and door drop response mechanisms so cannot differentiate the overall response by medium”, “we have to rely on feedback from retail staff about response levels” and “we did not allocate codes to the different door drop methods used”.

All of which is less than helpful!

The accurate targeting and planning at the front of the door drop plan is crucial.

The correct implementation of the plan is key.

Yet at its conclusion, if the results cannot be accurately attributed, read, understood and actioned for the future, are you not missing a (major) trick?

This article was written by...

– who has written 82 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

Graham Dodd is the founder of The Letterbox Consultancy - he has over 40 years of experience in the door drop industry and remains at the forefront of innovation in the business.

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