Looping Your Marketing

Donovan Cronkhite
President, RJM

Posted On November 1, 2012

Too often we think of marketing as a once and done, unconnected activity. When our marketing choices were limited to direct mail, television, radio and print, this might have been the case. It was difficult to connect each media to the other through anything other than message and brand. Now the world has changed. Not only has technology allowed us to connect multiple media seamlessly, it also allows us to create messaging campaigns that combat our ever shortening attention spans.

Creating these feedback loops takes effort and planning before starting a campaign, but the total impact of the campaign can be greatly increased with a little forethought. What do we mean by a feedback loop?

The first layer on the feedback loop is mass media. These traditional radio, television, direct mail and print advertising cast a wide net to bring in customers unfamiliar with a company's products and services. Traditional mass marketing still delivers a message to an unfiltered mass, hoping to catch a return of only a few percent. But the twist on this marketing is to then connect it with something else.

Instead of just letting that advertising lie flat, the direct mail piece features a QR code that recipients can scan to be led to a YouTube video. The print ad points people to the website. The television commercial prompts people (many who are watching with a laptop on and connected to the website) to connect with you on social media.

Now we're into the second layer of the campaign. This level is focused on connecting the person to the brand more intimately. The website might prompt people to sign-up for an eNewsletter. Or it might promote a contest that is happening on the company Facebook page. It might prompt a visitor to download your mobile app.

In a recent RjM study, on average 75% of all visitors to your website will never return. This second layer of the feedback loop allows you to lower this number by implementing a third layer of the loop. This layer aims to re-engage people who have opted into the brand. By sending eNewsletters with links back to the website, you can push people back into your marketing message weeks or months after initial contact. With social media such as Facebook or Twitter, you can provide them with information about the brand at regular intervals - including links to other social media accounts or your website.

In this continual communication, it's then easy to insert the beginning of the feedback process into the discussion again. Maybe there's an ambient advertising promotion that has a social media element to promote the message. This includes both the first and second level of the loop, but is built upon the third. Possibly, you offer a specific landing page on your website to people of the third level that either spreads your message to the masses (first level), or it delivers a printed brochure or catalog to their door.

When you begin to think of marketing not in single level, individual campaigns and begin to view it through a never-ending chain of events, opportunities arise that you might not have otherwise considered. The media landscape offers a wide array of technological advancements made only more interesting by the sheer number of possible outlets. So next time you're looking to craft a marketing strategy, don't stop at the execution you have in front of you - ask, "what's next?"