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The digital revolution has fallen victim to its own success!  People are leaving social media in droves, but marketers are not heeding  the warnings.  If you are still pumping dollars and time into social media, then you need to take a long hard look at your marketing strategy.

Digital fatigueThe problem

During the dark days of the pandemic, social media rose to the forefront as the go-to platform.  Its popularity grew exponentially and marketers around the world jumped on that speeding bandwagon to cash in on the vast number of eyes scanning the apps.
The results were staggering, of course.  It became an essential part of business marketing strategy to have a presence on the major platforms.  Marketers themselves rebranded as 'Digital Marketing' experts, Influencer became a real job title and marketing 'gurus' everywhere were advising business owners on ways to market their products and services for peanuts to get remarkable returns on their investments.  We were awash with self appointed experts advising businesses from their dining room tables and promising extraordinary outcomes.  It worked, of that there is no doubt.  Even with relatively low cost investment, businesses were getting engagement and conversions.
It looked like digital was the way to go for marketing.  It was easy, cheap (or even free) and without risk.

Move forward to 2024 and the landscape has a very different look about it.  The very platforms that promised to be the saviour of small and medium sized businesses have morphed - and not in a good way.  They have become crowded, noisy, belligerent and toxic environments filled with get-rich-quick teasers and ill-informed opinion.  The very freedom that made social media a success, has become its downfall.  The crucial ingredient of any marketing strategy is trust.  To convert, we need to be able to inspire a sense of trust and belief in the product or service.  Social media, sadly, has been hijacked by the unscrupulous to the point where it becomes hard to believe anything we see on the major platforms.

Added to that, the prices for advertising on these digital platforms has crept up and up, whilst the chances of getting qualititive engagement has dwindled.

This is a very big problem for marketers!

The solution?

There has been a remarkable downturn in the screentime given to social media, across all platforms.  Digital fatigue has meant people are spending less time trawling through the clutter.  This also means digital marketing on these platforms is fast losing its effectiveness.  Cut-through is becoming harder and harder to achieve.  That is a fact.

So where do we go now?

Astonishingly, it seems the answer is to go backwards!   All the time that this digital revolution has been taking place, there has been a stalwart of traditional marketing, just slowly moving along in the background, doing what it does best - getting traction and good returns.  We are talking about that reliable old dinosaur called Direct Mail.
Remember?  We used to call it 'Junk Mail', when a handful of leaflets in our letterbox bothered us.  Those were the times before the onslaught of continuous digital notifications and email alerts that make the old 'Junk mail' days seem like a minor itch on the forehead of our 24 hour migraine that is today's digital information overload.

Direct Mail benefits

The exponential increase in use of direct mail is driven by several major factors.

Research by Postgrid has found that 90% of Australians make it a point to read their posted mail!  Imagine if that were the case with your social media posts!
Furthermore it is found that 60% of Australians read their mail thoroughly and 54% retain the literature for future reference.

According to Postalytics, response rates to direct mail is a whopping 9% compared to only 1% for both social media and email marketing.

The traditional benefits are probably even more relevant now;  The physical, tactile nature of direct mail is clearly an advantage over digital.  The longevity of direct mail is also obvious.  US Postal Services research shows that a mailer is likely to stay in view for at least a week in the home as opposed to the digital message which stays visible for seconds in comparison.  It is also well documented, that Gen Z respond extremely well to direct mail with a 63% satisfaction rate, which is quite astonishing by any standards.
New advancements in direct mail serve to increase those benefits very significantly.  Digital print technology is now able to use CRM data to personalise mailers using first names in the text,  There are also significant improvements in digital print that were previously only available in long run litho printing, such as embossing, foiling and metallic inks.  Tracking was always considered an issue with direct mail, but with a QR code or other strategic calls-to-action, then engagement and conversion can be just as easily tracked as digital marketing.

In our opinion, the biggest benefit of direct mail, is the freedom of design.  It allows for almost unrestricted creative excellence, unfettered by the constraints of the digital medium.   It can't be ignored that the vast number of digital marketing efforts are - how can we put this politely? - er, 'pedestrian', to say the least.

Templates are a poor substitute for creative thinking and establishing a brand identity.  Trained and experienced designers understand the psychology of design and how to use techniques to guide the viewer through a design to the final call-to-action without them even knowing it.  No template can do that, because every message and every product and every service is different and requires a different set of skills to achieve an outcome.

The cost

Now this is where digital marketers will try and fight their corner.

There is absolutely no doubt, that direct mail marketing has a significant cost component associated with it in order for it to be done effectively.
This is largely because it can never really succeed as a 'do-it-yourself' alternative like social media or email marketing.  It has to be carefully thought through, expertly executed and professionally distributed.  This all costs money.  So you have to seriously consider the Return On Investment!
We know that properly, professionally executed Direct Mail is going to get more engagement per impression than any digital equivalent, so it needs to be meticulously planned in order to protect that ROI.

You also have to consider what the real cost of digital marketing is.  Even with 'free' posts and EDMs, there is a very significant time factor that is too often forgotten.  For a business owner, time is money, but we have found that nearly every business we have dealt with does not put a dollar value on the time taken to imagine, execute, implement and track their digital marketing.  Because they are doing it themselves, they think it costs nothing.
At Bulldog Creatrix, we are in the time selling business, so we know it is most definitely not free!  Every business must understand the concept of billable and non-billable hours.  Very few take into account the incredible amount of non-billable hours spent on digital marketing.

Some have the foresight to see that it could be considered a false economy!


Talk to us about engaging direct mail