December 19, 2013
The Meredith Sales Guarantee Program (more information here) continues to see success in 2013. The program guarantees clients that they will see higher ROI results when advertising through Meredith Corporation’s magazines, such as Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies Home Journal, Parenting, Fitness, Family Circle, and others.
In 2013, Nielsen found that households that are exposed to print magazine advertising campaigns spent anywhere from 3% to 36% more than those households who had not been exposed to the magazine campaigns. The 25 brands participating in the Meredith Sales Guarantee Program all saw the 3-36% increase in sales through advertising in Meredith publications.
According to Nielsen, positive ROI for each of the brands ranged from $1.69 to $19.99 incremental for every media dollar spent.
Meredith’s $7.81 ROI, incorporating the impact of both annualized consumer response and total households, was far better than the average $2.79 ROI for campaigns run on digital portals/ad networks as measured by Nielsen Catalina Solutions over the last five years.
December 12, 2013
The USPS recently announced its promotions for 2014. A detailed description of each promotion can be found here. Here is an overview of the offered promotions with their coinciding registration timelines and promotion periods:
- Earned Value Promotion:
- Registration: February 15th – March 31st
- Promotion Period: April 1st – June 30th
- Color Print in First-Class Mail Transactions Promotion
- Registration: June 15th – December 31st
- Promotion Period: August 1st – December 31st
Standard and First-Class Mail:
- Branded Color Mobile Technology Promotion:
- Registration: December 15th, 2013 – March 31st
- Promotion Period: February 1st – March 31st
- Premium Advertising Promotion
- Registration: February 15th – June 30th
- Promotion Period: April 1st – June 30th
- Mail and Digital Personalization Promotion
- Registration: March 15th – June 30th
- Promotion Period: May 1st – June 30th
- Emerging Technology Featuring NFC Promotion:
- Registration: June 15th – September 30th
- Promotion Period: August 1st – September 30th
- Mail Drives Mobile Commerce Promotion
- Registration: September 15th – December 31st
- Promotion Period: November 1st – December 31st
View the full calendar here.
December 5, 2013
Frequency in marketing campaigns can be a balancing act for marketers. On one hand, sending out a single mail piece campaign may be effective, but not very memorable. On the other, inundating your target audience and/or current customers can be frustrating for the prospect or customer and lead to them ignoring your marketing efforts completely. There is a balance in between those extremes that is right for your brand, message, and target audience.
Figuring out that balance may take time, but there have been studies that show that a few different components are key to frequency balance:
- Know your target audience. Are you reaching your current customers? New customers? Know exactly who you are targeting, so you can get the right message to the right audience, and can strategize on the frequency of your message accordingly.
- The message. The marketing message should vary from each point of contact with the customer. Identical mail pieces should not go out on monthly rotation. Instead, mix up your message to engage customers and keep them interested in what you have to say. Coordinate messages to lead to the next point of contact with the customer to engage them further.
- Have a strategy. This is key. Before you send any direct mail piece, flyer, or coupon, have a strategy on how you will implement the rest of your campaign. When is the next piece scheduled to be mailed out? What type of message will be sent next? Will other types of media be included in this campaign? No matter the results of the first piece that is sent, continue with your entire marketing plan in order to see the overreaching results.
- Integrate many different kinds of touch points. For example: send direct mail, and through that mail piece, have a call to action that sends the customer to your website for a coupon. Make them provide an email address in order to get that coupon. Then, follow up with an email. There are many different routes to touch a customer, so use all that are available. This will keep your message fresh, while reaching customers from many different angles.
Multichannel marketing has been seen to be very effective, when planned appropriately. A study was done and the following was found:
“A joint study from the University of California, Riverside, Boston College and Southern Methodist University examined the benefits of using different multichannel marketing efforts in the auto industry, specifically focusing on the most effective mediums and frequency. The study, which was published in the Journal of Marketing, found that after adjusting and readjusting sending schedules and methods, the most effective advertising mix was nine to 10 postal mailings, three phone calls and three to four emails over the span of approximately three months. The study found nine to 10 paper mail promotions resulted in upwards of $200 in repurchase spending – far more than any other medium.
‘Good old snail mail seemed to be more effective in the long term than phone or email,’ said Andrea Godfrey, co-author of the study and assistant professor of marketing at UC Riverside.” -SmartSoftUSA.com
November 21, 2013
The USPS has announced that customers will see a 2.4 percent increase in shipping rates at the beginning of the new year. New shipping options are also being introduced, such as domestic Priority Mail Express, which allows customers to select a specific day they would like an item delivered at a charge of $5.00 plus the cost of shipping.
Highlights of the new retail pricing for domestic Priority Mail Express products include:
- Retail Flat Rate, Padded Flat Rate and Legal Flat Rate envelopes — $19.99
- Flat Rate Boxes — $44.95
The postal service is working to stay competitive in the shipping industry by offering competitive prices and service. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will be reviewing these rate increases and new service options, and if approved, the prices will be effective on January 26, 2014.
The USPS is now beginning its busiest time of the year, with holiday mail and packages increasing deliveries. The busiest mailing day this season is projected to be Monday, Dec. 16, when more than 600 million pieces of mail are expected to be processed. The busiest day for packages will be Thursday, Dec. 19.
November 14, 2013
Print is Big is an interactive website that debunks myths about print and shows the facts in an interesting way. Here is a quick at-a-glance from the website:
- The print industry is valued at $640 million
- 45 trillion pages are printed annually
- 51.5 million tons of paper was recycled in 2010
- 11% of cut forest trees are used to make paper
- Direct mail increased company sales by $702 billion in 2010
- Direct mail has a return of 1300%
Check out all the stats and facts at http://www.printisbig.com/
November 5, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa, SEATTLE, Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP,www.meredith.com), the nation’s leading media and marketing company serving 100 million American women, announced today that Allrecipes magazine, the highly anticipated print extension of Allrecipes.com, the world’s most popular digital food destination, is now available nationwide.
Allrecipes will be published six times per year with an initial ratebase of 500,000. The newsstand cover price is $4.99, and a one year subscription is $12. The December 2013 premier issue arrives just in time for the busy holiday cooking season. The launch coincides with the introduction of a regular Allrecipes-branded television segment airing on Meredith’s nationally syndicated television program, The Better Show, which airs in more than 160 markets and nationwide to 90 million homes on the Hallmark Channel.
“We believe that Allrecipes magazine and the branded segments on The Better Show deepen what is already an incredibly powerful media brand,” said Meredith National Media Group President Tom Harty. “If you look at the range of advertisers in the premier issue – including automotive, packaged goods, financial services, home decor, toiletries, and broadcast media – it’s clear that theAllrecipes brand appeals to a broad base of marketers interested in reaching very highly motivated consumers.”
Allrecipes’ premier issue features advertising from well-known brands such as General Motors, GEICO, Nestle, Bed Bath & Beyond, P&G, ConAgra, and Domino, demonstrating the brand’s unique voice and position in the food and lifestyle marketplace.
“The multi-platform strength of the Allrecipes brand, combined with the highly visual and accessible content of Allrecipes, creates a powerful opportunity for marketers to connect with the busy, active lives of adults passionate about cooking for their family, friends or just for fun,” said Allrecipes Publisher Steve Grune.
Allrecipes joins Meredith’s leading portfolio of food-focused magazines, including Family Circle and Every Day with Rachael Ray,and the multi-platform EatingWell brand.
“Meredith is the clear leader for advertisers in the food category,” said Meredith National Media Group Executive Vice President Tom Witschi, who guides Meredith’s Lifestyle Group. “We understand the ‘What am I going to make for dinner?’ dilemma women face around 4 o’clock every afternoon better than anyone else. We have the content to answer her, a powerful 100 million plus database to give us insights into who she is, what she wants, and the avenues for advertisers to reach her.”
Cheryl Brown, Editor-in-Chief of Allrecipes, says the premier issue reflects the diverse range of interests and ideas about cooking that have made Allrecipes.com the world’s most popular food content destination.
“We wanted to capture the voices and personalities of everyday cooks who have always fueled the enormous popularity of Allrecipes.com,” Brown said. “Their perspectives and twists to recipes and insights and passion for creative ways to enhance meals – combined with eye-catching visual imagery – are the special ingredients that make Allrecipes so appealing.”
Editorial features in the premier issue include:
- Ultimate guide to holiday cookies featuring recipes rated 4.5 to 5 stars by more than 1,000 home cooks, plus tasting notes
- International holiday food trend report on popular dishes served around the globe
- Top-10 list of popular food gifts, including packaging suggestions from the editors
- Cooking School: A how-to guide to make the perfect prime rib featuring instructional webisodes from the AllrecipesTest Kitchen
- Comfort-Food Face Off: A recipe dual highlighting indulgent vs. light seasonal favorites
- Allrecipes Superstar: A spotlight on the brand’s most popular recipes, including fun facts about the home cooks who submitted them
Brown and her creative team worked closely with the Allrecipes.com staff in Seattle to ensure the magazine captured the brand’s unique, consumer-driven voice.
“One of the advantages of our collaboration is that we can capture information about what is on the minds of everyday cooks in real time and infuse it into every issue,” Brown said. “It’s a great example of how consumers can share their voices in the magazine.”
For example, Brown notes that every issue will showcase one of the Allrecipes.com Superstar contributions, as well as favorite recipes from general Allrecipes.com users. “These cooks have created some of the most popular dishes on Allrecipes.com, and the magazine gives them a new platform for their ideas,” Brown said.
Allrecipes.com is the world’s largest digital food brand with more than one billion annual visits from family-focused women who connect and inspire each other through member created and shared recipes, reviews, photos, videos and blog posts. Allrecipes.com’s U.S. audience is 65 percent female with a mean household income of $75,000, and it reaches nine out of 10 primary grocery decision makers.
Allrecipes.com is the top how-to recipe channel on YouTube, with more than 600,000 subscribers. Allrecipes’ 11 top-rated mobile apps for iPhone, iPad Android, Kindle Fire and Windows 8 have been downloaded by more than 18.5 million home cooks. The brand has 18 websites, and 18 mobile sites serving 23 countries in 12 languages.
October 30, 2013
The Deputy Postmaster General spoke with Direct Marketing News about the latest hike in USPS pricing. All quotes come from this interview; the original article can be viewed here.
Ron Stroman, Deputy Postmaster General, strongly believes that Congress can reenact the postal reform so that the 4.3% increase in postal pricing can be avoided. “You’ve got the chairman and the ranking member of both [postal] authorizing committees saying that they want reform and they want it now. You have the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader saying they want reform this year,” said Stroman.
Stroman understands that customers are not thrilled about the increase in pricing that the USPS must pass on to its customers if something doesn’t change. The proposed increase will go into affect on January 1st, 2014 (per approval of the Postal Regulatory Commission), if nothing is done in Congress before that to diminish the financial strain the USPS is feeling. The USPS’s largest obligation is pre-funding retirees’ healthcare. The subject of eliminating Saturday delivery was also on the table earlier this year.
“It’s difficult to get any piece of legislation enacted, so you have to say getting this legislation passed will encounter problems going forward,” Stroman said. “But I don’t think they’re insurmountable. There’s tremendous interest for getting it done. We were in one senator’s office yesterday who said, ‘Look, postal is one of the issues on our list of things to do.’”
The Deputy Postmaster General is urging people to become educated on this situation and to start writing letters to Congressmen. He’s hoping this information will spur Congress to action, since the USPS is a vital service in this nation and has a large effect on local jobs and the economy.
October 23, 2013
Since the number of print-to-mobile activations are on the rise, Meredith Corporation has been keeping a close watch on the technology used to engage customers. Meredith has ran over 200 print-to-mobile activations, making it one of the most aggressive companies in the mobile arena. Augmented reality has been one of the most successful forms of print-to-mobile technology Meredith has seen, based on the amount of customer engagement that augmented reality can produce.
“We’re pursuing augmented reality now,” said Doug Crichton, director of mobile engagement at Meredith. “Digital watermarks unduly complicated our editorial production processes, and QR codes/Microsoft Tags weren’t moving the needle,” he said. “So far, augmented reality is driving more reader engagement than QRs/Tags did.”
In June, Meredith launched the Mom+ app for four of its parenting titles (American Baby, Family Fun, Parents, and Eer Padres) which allowed readers to access further digital content from the magazine. This brought readers a new experience, along with their beloved printed magazine. This branded augmented reality function was highly successful for these Meredith magazine titles.
More magazine celebrated its 15th anniversary by rolling out the Blippar app, which also allowed readers to access digital content. 15 advertisers leveraged the digital ad space as well. The Blippar app is scheduled to be used for the Better Homes and Gardens December issue, and will be used in more Meredith titles soon. The new Allrecipes magazines, derived from Allrecipes.com will definitely be integrating augmented reality and other print-to-mobile technology, since the brand got its start online. The end goal is to bring printed content to life and engage the reader, and Meredith is seeing great results with the use of augmented reality.