5 Ways Brands Can Thrive Despite Rising Marketing Costs

It’s about to get more expensive to connect with your target audience through the mailbox.

It’s not surprising, really. Inflation drives up the cost of paper, postage and transportation needed to deliver your message. Unfortunately, everything costs more.

For many, these are uncharted waters. How can you navigate them? What do you need to do to adapt to a world where it simply costs more to do business?

Here are five recommendations:

First, stay the course

Now is not the time to stop connecting with your target audience. People are very stressed and need help right now. Advertisers can be part of the solution, with advice, offers and opportunities to meet basic needs and self-care. Brands that prioritize consumer interaction will stay top of mind and be rewarded with long-term loyalty.

Second, measure your performance

You probably already do that… sort of. But now that every dollar matters more than ever, an objective assessment of the advertising ROI you’re getting (or not getting) for every campaign and tactic is essential.

Your audience is constantly changing behavior and developing new media consumption patterns. Smart money says to test and learn what works to drive sales profitably. This will include evaluating new channels like social media platforms and connected TV and finding the most effective media mix with proven tactics like split mail packages and display advertising.

It’s not about making a choice between direct mail or digital marketing. Instead, as Christine Moorman recently stated in Harvard Business Review, “When used together, traditional and digital marketing can reach more audiences, build and maintain trust, and motivate consumers to purchase. who otherwise might ignore the marketing messages”.

Third, refine your offers

Historically, consumers are more likely to seek value during tough economic times. This holds true in our current environment, as people prioritize relevant offers.

They want coupons and deals to help them stretch their spending as much as possible. Otherwise, they may have no choice but to stay home and spend nothing at all.

The harsh economic realities also mean that people appreciate brands that deliver messages that are sincere, empathetic and relevant. Just as you’re trying to make the most of current circumstances, consumers want guidance on how to survive and thrive in these times.

Fourth, be creative and flexible

As important as it is to maintain your share of voice and stay top of mind with your audience, current realities may require some adjustments. You hardly need to remember supply chain issues, and just advertising costs more. Overcoming these difficulties will require creativity and flexibility.

This may mean redirecting the budget to readily available or cost-effective media or finding a more reliable partner. Now may be the time to consider new formats, new tactics, and new offerings to account for logistical and financial headwinds. For example, due to cost and availability, the printing and mailing of a monthly catalog can be temporarily replaced with a direct mail insert directing recipients to an online experience.

Fifth, rely on reliable partnerships

Even in the best of times, investing in mutually beneficial partnerships is smart – it becomes vital in difficult times. The best partners are those with whom you can openly share challenges and work together towards the best solutions.

Tackling the rising cost of direct mail as a marketing tactic means investing in partnerships that offer:

  • The data and information needed to find and target your ideal audience
  • Production flexibility for various formats and deadlines, and access to paper given current shortages
  • Print and digital media products that work together to engage your audience
  • A consistent track record of spend performance long-term – especially in times of recession and inflation

Mail merge still works

Dollar for dollar, few marketing tactics match the effectiveness, efficiency, and long-term capability of direct mail as part of a robust omnichannel strategy. Since 2020, this powerful tool has experienced a renaissance of renewed interest among consumers.

To learn more about how you can get the most out of your direct mail campaigns right now, check out our ebook, “That Direct Mail Moment.”