Tech Line

Don’t Just Engage, Elevate!

Some of the leading digital-marketing companies on the planet aim to help marketing teams deliver what they call, “exceptional experiences at every stage of the customer journey.” These companies understand that everyone today expects a personalized experience when interacting with a brand. Simply put, people no longer have patience for generic marketing. 

However, when you really think about it, these supposedly exceptional experiences only contribute more to the deluge of digital detritus foisted on unwelcoming recipients. This is one of the main causes of “digital fatigue”—which, believe it, is a real thing. More and better digital marketing isn’t going to change that people today have limited attention, making it harder than ever for marketers to connect with customers and prospects. Many of today’s innovative marketers realize these forces are at play and see the inclusion of physical mail as a key tactic to address this challenge.  

Just a Moment 

It has become clear that, in the quest to boost brand identity and drive sales, modern organizations don’t have a “reach” problem, they have an “engagement” problem. Digital marketing can reach a nearly unlimited number of people, but getting them to engage can prove daunting. 

The recent ebook PFL has published, “Creating Powerful Direct Mail Moments Across the Customer Lifecycle,” explores how brands that “think in moments” forge stronger relationships with customers and motivate prospects to engage, connect, and purchase. The Power of Moments, by Chip and Dan Heath, upon which the ebook is based, points out that brief but powerful experiences lead to transformative results for brands—and customers. They jolt people into a new level of consciousness and leave an indelible imprint that carries over to everyday life. Yet creating these “peak,” or “defining,” moments requires a rethinking of marketing.

Moments jolt people into a new level of consciousness and leave an indelible imprint that carries over to everyday life. Yet creating these “peak,” or “defining,” moments requires a rethinking of marketing. 

The “Elevation” Concept 

What’s clear is that conventional methods won’t cut it. In the book, we learn that “defining moments” are created in a number of ways, one of which is through the concept of “elevation.” This single element used properly can help organizations plan and multiply the number of powerful experiences they can create for customers. 

The question is: How to arrive at these peak moments? Digital tactics alone can’t get an organization to the finish line. To drive high engagement levels that lead to “defining moments,” it’s critical to include interactions rooted in the physical world—such as some form of direct mail. These interactions can supercharge brand recall and facilitate a smoother customer journey. 

The key to unlocking superior results is data. Organizations that have the right data at their fingertips are equipped to automate and orchestrate highly personalized and impactful direct mail campaigns. They can deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person. Applying the concept of “elevation” allows creative marketers to strike a balance between an organizational need for greater scale and efficiency—typically achieved through digital communications—and the customer’s desire for an authentic, genuine connection. 

The Heaths describe “elevation” thusly: “Moments of elevation are experiences that rise above the routine. They make us feel engaged, joyful, surprised, motivated.” To create these peaks, the authors suggest that marketers: 

  • Boost Sensory Appeal: Turn-up the volume on reality by engaging the senses through a richer experience. 
  • Raise the Stakes: Add elements of productive pressure to push beyond any perceived limits (this includes things such as competition, games, performance, deadlines, or public commitment). 
  • Break the Script: Violate norms and expectations about an experience by rewiring or revamping the way an experience unfolds. In other words, instead of always doing things by the rules, execute them in unexpected ways to enhance the experience. 

A recent report produced by PFL and Forrester Consulting, found that 78 percent of business leaders say that physical assets add value. Organizations that enhance their marketing through direct mail, and the sensory appeal it provides, create urgency while adding an element of surprise—and, if done right, elevation.