With advertising spend on Google exceeding the ad revenues from some TV channels; it is easy to ignore traditional marketing: but do so at your cost! There is no doubt that the internet has changed lives, there is also no doubt that the way we research information has changed. Searching is no longer associated with a trip to the library, having access to billions of web sites from the comfort of a box in your front room has opened up markets worldwide.
However, that said there is also a degree of mistrust spreading. Not only does the average internet searcher have to negotiate around the bogus, rip off sites that are appearing daily, but also avoid the poorer service providers who may not intentionally be there to rip anyone off - but are just incapable of providing a service efficiently. Many of these sites are very convincing and professional, so much so that it is getting more difficult for real trustworthy businesses to distinguish themselves from the sharks.
In a recent survey by the Royal Mail, the
The survey found that more than 50% of respondents said they were more likely to click on a link for a company that had already communicated with them by post.
What was even more surprising was that the survey highlighted that nearly 70% of respondents would type an internet address in the address bar, as a result of a direct mailing. This does emphasise the need to keep the URLs short, and as much as possible, free of dashes, underscores and take care to avoid using obscure top level domain names e.g. .biz, .uk.com , .gb.com which if working from memory most people will get wrong.
But the most significant element of the survey, certainly as far as internet marketing is concerned, is that two thirds of respondents said information received in the post had influenced their decision process when purchasing online.
The point here is that the Royal Mail has demonstrated how an internet marketing campaign's effectiveness to achieve visitors, and more importantly conversions, can be influenced not only by rankings but by the strength of the brand. Consumers are more engaged by a brand and thus more likely to want to discover more about the product or service on offer if they have been approached by a multitude of channels. This of course is not confined to direct mail, but TV and other forms of traditional advertising as well.