Smartmail: The Power of Physicality
Episode 5. I hope you enjoyed our previous Cup of Jo videos. You can access the full playlist on Youtube. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel to receive notifications when we publish new content.
Today, we’re speaking with General Manager, Influencer Marketing at Canada Post, Jennifer Campbell. In this video, Jennifer discusses the power of physicality and how Smartmail Marketing is an effective driver uniting the physical and digital world.
Grab a coffee and take it all in.
It’s a very interesting world we’re living in right now. I wanted to learn a little bit more from you about Smartmail Marketing.
The premise behind Smartmail Marketing is, we’ve known as a marketer growing up in the multi-channel marketing world and always understanding the power of direct mail in the mix, that it has such a wonderful ability to get a message out, has the tangibility, the share-ability and truly the emotional and physical impact of getting the message and the offer.
What was really exciting for us is that we undertook some neuromarketing research. That really helped us to solidify and craft the message of Smartmail Marketing, the science of activation, because we understood a little bit more about how it impacted the brain, things that as consumers we’re not even really aware that we’re thinking and that we’re making decisions on. Smartmail Marketing is not a new widget. It really is an approach, a holistic and strategic approach to the marketing mix of incorporating the power of physicality, the importance of data; from everything we do has got the ability to target, to measuring results, then the importance of connectivity. I think that’s really one of the big opportunities for marketers, is to understand the role of physical in the mix. It’s not one thing versus another, it’s not physical versus digital. What we see is the power of it together, the power of that lasting impression, of ultimately driving action. As marketers, that’s really what we’re trying to do. We want consumers to take action, to buy what it is that we’re selling.
Tell me a little bit about when brands combine physical and digital together. What happens for them?
It’s magic. It’s like an orchestra. Each instrument on its own has a role and can be really good, but when you put them together it’s just a much more holistic and amplified sound. As a marketer, that’s what we want.
Our second round of neuroscience research really looks at the amplification impact and the ordering, the sequencing. Adding direct mail into the mix be that with email, with banner ads, or with pre-roll video we saw the lasting impression, the recall of brand, the heightened intent to take action. Just by adding that physicality and the staying power, then it really helps a marketer to get the results that they’re trying to get.
What are brands and agencies missing when they negate print from their mix and go to this digital pure play world?
I’ve seen it and it makes me want to shake them sometimes. I think we, and marketers, and agencies, we’re guilty of shiny object syndrome. I’ve watched a lot of companies go after likes and tweets. Those all play a role but if that’s where you put all your money, ultimately … I’ve seen some of them come back to say, “You know, we’re actually not selling what we’re trying to sell.” You’re missing not only the tangible and the impact on the brain and the likelihood to take action.
I think one of the really interesting things that our science research showed us is that this is not a generational thing. I hear it a lot as I’m sure you do, that “print is old school” and “it’s for old people, we’re all about millennials, millennials are digital”. In fact, the research that we’ve done, and we’re not alone – there are others who’ve done neuroscience research – shows the importance of physical on the brain regardless of what age group you’re in. Our brains are wired, they’ve been wired for a long time in this very specific way. What’s really great is that when you do include it, and especially in a younger generation when you’re talking to that audience, not everybody is doing it, it’s like a new medium for a lot of people.
You think about watching a kid get something with their name on it. We’ve all wanted to see something with our name on it, something physical, tangible. By incorporating that regardless of the generation that you’re talking to, you really can amplify. I think that’s a huge opportunity for brands and for agencies, and we’re happy when we see them come back to a more balanced mix. That’s really what it’s all about.
Tell me one thing that brands can do today to transform the way they engage with people.
Obviously adding physical to their mix is great. One of my favorite elements of Smartmail Marketing is connectivity. Because the print industry has come so far in what they can do scientifically, from scent and sound and actually even taste. There’s edible ink if you really want to do that to get that impact across, you can do that as a marketer. You can have luminescents. Digital can be embedded into the paper. What I love about that is it’s taking those different kinds of experiences and really putting it into that tangible place. The physical can be a jumping off point to something digital. I can get a piece to take me online to create awareness of a site that I didn’t know about before, I can buy something.
Then that receipt experience, what does it feel like when I get something in the mail, whether that’s a parcel that I’ve ordered, or a response piece or a thank you. A simple handwritten thank you goes so far. We’re seeing some really interesting brands take that to the next level. Nothing makes us feel more special than a handwritten thank you card from somebody that we’ve got a relationship with.