Cindy Hauff, marketing services, H.O.T. Printing & Graphics in Toledo, OH, shared how a chamber of commerce client that went all e-mail with its communications to members complained that after a while it stopped getting responses. She added that, "It's a slow eduction process to get marketers to understand the ROI and possibilities with targeted direct mail."
Kirsten Sabia, senior director of marketing services for The PGA Tour, offered the insight that using e-mail is seen as not having a cost, but "it can cost you a customer."
Picking up on that point, Tom Wade, PGA's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, noted that while it can be easier to go the e-mail route because of the cost, there's the question of does it work? Also, what statement the piece is making about the sender's brand needs to be considered, he said. There are campaigns such as the effort to get golf into the Olympics that "we wouldn't consider doing via e-mail."
There are lessons learned from e-mail marketing about the need to make the content relevant that should be applied to print, suggested Efrain Tapia, vice president of operations at General Marketing Solutions in Minneapolis. "We think in terms of a million campaigns for a million recipients, not one campaign to a million recipients."
In response to a question about how to develop innovative solutions for print users, Bob Hackett, executive vice president, related Lehigh Direct's success in establishing a Creative Council. The self-directed group currently consists of seven people who meet for no more than one hour every two weeks.
Al Kennickell, president of The Kennickell Group in Savannah, GA, echoed an observation made by Hackett that getting into data services requires a significantly smaller investment than adding "heavy iron" or previous printing business transformations.