The New Alternative
Recognize the limitations inherent in your brand. Made in New Mexico was unsuccessful at lead generation in a regional lifestyle publication. The number of appropriate prospects as a proportion of the overall magazine circulation just didn’t justify the expense.
Never doubt the need to “test, test and retest,” as Eastman Vidal of 1-800-Flowers.com recommends. Her comment underscores the fact that it can take a bit of trial and error to find the right creative to make a given alternative media work.
Pare Back Variables
On the other hand, don’t test too many variables at once, says Johnson of Joules. “Testing too much too soon is difficult to measure, often not statistically relevant, and it produces a lot of hard work and headache for little reward,” she warns.
“Balance beautiful creative with tried-and-true DM techniques,” Johnson advises. One of the biggest mistakes Joules made initially in alternative media was not providing enough information about what Joules was.
In multichannel marketing, it’s the rare cataloger who won’t want to seek out alternative strategies for prospecting. Being a “one-trick pony” and relying on traditional catalog direct mail is risky in the current economic and competitive environment.
The keys are determining which media make the most sense for your brand, identifying goals, gathering input from knowledgeable experts and testing until you find your path to success.
Shari Altman is president of Altman Dedicated Direct, a direct marketing consultancy specializing in acquisition, continuity, DRTV and loyalty marketing. Reach her at (336) 969-9538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.