Many businesses struggle with effectively reaching customers in today’s digital age. With consumers constantly being online, whether via email, social media or shopping online, it is more difficult than ever to cut through the digital noise and reach customers while also maintaining a competitive edge.
However, there are tried and true methods that can help with this challenge, one of which is tactile marketing. Tactile marketing, which involves sending direct mail as part of a larger content marketing and demand generation campaign, is blowing up the B2B marketing space and starting to make inroads in B2C.
For example, direct mail, once considered a dying art, is still a strong niche. Furthermore, when tied into HubSpot or other automation suites, it can be a powerful tool in a content marketer’s quiver.
Learn what tactile marketing is, how you can easily get started with it and what techniques you can use right now.
What is tactile marketing?
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, what exactly is tactile marketing? Tactile, in its most basic form, is the human need to touch something. Tactile marketing involves the connection between a consumer and a product. A customer’s experience of walking into a store and touching or interacting with a product on a physical level before making a purchase decision is the perfect example.
Therefore, an effective tactile marketing strategy would be allowing consumers to familiarize themselves with your business’ products by allowing them to touch them, hold them or interact with them in some manner. This experience allows them to feel something when interacting with your products.
Marketing psychology teaches us that consumers subconsciously make a purchase decision based on texture, shape, weight, temperature and malleability. So, if you can nail these in your advertising strategies, then you increase your chances of making a sale.
If your particular product doesn’t allow you to achieve certain characteristics, such as temperature or malleability, this doesn’t mean you are doomed for failure.
All in all, a successful tactile experience for a consumer allows them to assess, understand and “feel” the value, durability and functionality of your particular product.
How does tactile marketing work in today’s digital world?
Of course, in the world of digital marketing, where everything is virtual, it can be difficult for today’s content marketers to provide consumers with that tactile experience.
Furthermore, marketing experts and the media are convinced that the world of print advertising is dead. Many believe that in the future we will buy everything online and never have to leave home to purchase something we need.
On the other hand, other marketing experts believe that print advertising is still effective. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal (gated), direct mail marketing, on average, garners up to 37 times more responses than email. Furthermore, 30 percent of millennials claim that they responded to a piece of direct mail, compared to 24 percent who responded to an email.
Despite your own beliefs or doubts about digital marketing versus print advertising, this challenge presents an opportunity: reaching customers when they aren’t online or tuned in, as we mentioned above; thus, creating the opportunity to reach them via other methods, such as direct mailer, brochure or a print newsletter.
How content marketers can leverage tactile marketing
We know what you are probably thinking… As a content marketer, how do you effectively cut through the digital “noise” to really reach your target audience with content and now on a tactile level too?
We aren’t suggesting that you ditch online advertising altogether; content marketing is still king in today’s digital world. However, implementing several tactile marketing techniques into your overall marketing strategy can prove to be successful.
Here are some tactile marketing methods you can use to expand your content marketing reach and improve its effectiveness:
1. Print newsletters
Print newsletters can help build relationships with leads as well as existing customers. Print newsletters are often one of the most overlooked opportunities to build relationships — and they are also one of the easiest.
By personalizing your print newsletters, you can keep your prospects, leads and customer base up to date on company news, events and even sales and promotions.
2. Event marketing
If your company is hosting or attending an event, such as a local trade show or conference, or a community event, you can send a personalized invitation or postcard to your mailing list.
Event marketing direct mail also serves as a great touchpoint for many consumers, keeps them up-to-date on what your company is up to, and also helps your company and brand remain at the forefront of their minds.
3. Loyalty marketing
Any type of rewards points or referral system is highly effective at keeping customers satisfied. They also help drum up new leads and prospects for a fraction of the cost of outbound or inbound marketing, drastically increasing your ROI.
Although loyalty marketing strategies are super effective, customers can easily forget about their rewards or points balance. Sending customers direct mail pieces with this information is another great touchpoint, and it will also help them make future purchases to redeem their rewards.
Depending on which decade you grew up in, you may or may not remember the giant Macy’s, Sears or J.C. Penney catalogs that would be delivered during the holiday season. Before the internet age, this was the best way for these large retailers to reach their customers with information about new products, sales and holiday promotions.
Of course, the retail industry has changed drastically since then; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that catalogs are ineffective or obsolete. If you are getting ready to launch sales, promotions or a new product line, sending your customers a printed catalog is a great way for them to get their hands on your new items. Literally.
5. Customer renewals
If your business offers subscriptions, then sending them reminders or renewal notices is another great tactile technique that has proven to work. It is also a great way to remind them about their milestones and journey with your brand, which can encourage them to make future purchase decisions.
6. Send swag
Sending new and/or loyal customers gifts, such as gift cards, coupons or even swag with your company name and branding is one of our favorite tactile marketing strategies. Not only is this a great way to say “thank you,” but it is also a surefire way to delight your customers, allowing them to touch your products, especially when they are least expected.
Why your marketing strategy should also be tactile
All in all, many marketing and business experts believe that the internet and digital devices are the only effective methods to reach their customers today, particularly millennials; however, nothing is further from the truth. Tactile marketing still works, especially when leveraged successfully.
If you are currently reviewing and revamping your marketing strategy, consider implementing some of the above tactile marketing techniques into your strategy. You will likely be surprised at just how effective they are, in terms of reduced costs and ROI, as well as customer satisfaction and conversions.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can leverage tactile marketing, and what some of the biggest players are up to today, then keep an eye out for our next #MartechMonday article.