Voice Response, Offline, Online Marketing Team Up for Maximum Effectiveness

Applying blanket principles (e.g., all Millennials are only tuned into online marketing) has been proven wrong — as many look to such “new” vehicles as print to access information and interact. In many cases, the broadest and best response comes from a combination of such offline marketing as direct mail and print/TV/radio advertising and online marketing.

The “marketing megaphone” captivating audiences and capturing engagement is voice activated calls to action via smart speakers. Voice response is the cutting-edge marketing ingredient that can transform so-so response into star power.

Megaphone Can Drown Out Competitors

Voice response calls to action using smart speakers can be an effective megaphone to get heard louder than the competition. It’s growing, right along with sales of smart speakers themselves. A recent Forbes article notes:

“Smart speakers are continuing to grow in popularity. It is estimated that there are at least 120 million smart speakers in homes across the United States, and that number only tends to grow … when the devices are put on sale … ” adds:

“A report by Deloitte points out, ‘Potential demand for smart speakers could be in the many billions of units. A speaker could be installed in every room in a house or a hotel, every office in a building, every classroom in a school, or every bed in a hospital.’”

Pair the marketing megaphone with a voice response campaign that encourages consumers to try out this frictionless way to communicate.

Offline Marketing Counters Technology-Driven Mindset

Fully two years ago, Adobe blog writer Aurelie Lepley pointed out that offline marketing is proving a powerful alternative to technology fatigue. She writes:

“There’s a growing pushback to the world’s digital progression. Social psychologist Adam Atler’s book ‘Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked’ is one example in the list of many people who are pushing for a less technology-driven mindset. That’s where offline marketing comes in with power. Not only is it a good way to connect with such people who want to be sometimes or wholly disconnected from online, but it provides a well-rounded (and, hence, complementary to online) connection with our customers … many younger people are beginning to prefer it for some specific messages.”

Even while such offline marketing platforms as direct mail enjoy a resurgence in the U.S., they’ve always been popular in other parts of the world. A year-end article offers a surprising assessment about the Indian marketplace:

“Why traditional marketing will continue to hold fort … Digital advertising still accounts for only about 18% of India’s advertising spend, says Abhishek D Shah, Managing Director, be positive 24 … Is traditional marketing dead? Not yet. In fact, not ever.”

The Motley Fool reinforces this view:

“In the age of the Internet, it’s easy to write off offline advertising as a viable marketing or sales channel. But remember, not everyone uses the Internet to find information on the products or services they need … According to a recent study by Pew Research, 10% of U.S. adults don’t use the Internet. Worldwide, the United Nations expect more than half of the world’s population to be connected to the Internet by the end of 2019 — a goal initially set for 2017 — leaving a still staggering number of people without Internet access: 3.8 billion. This only means that there’s still a wide audience demographic that you can reach through offline advertising.”

Direct Mail and Voice Response Tally Total Attribution

To see total attribution, direct mail coupled with voice response offers a perfect platform. By definition, direct mail is a targeted medium. Add to it the ability to respond via voice to a generic code or phrase printed on the direct mail piece — a methodology growing by leaps and bounds right along with smart speaker use.

For generic attribution, phrase or code response gives the advertiser a wealth of tracking information for a particular campaign. To get even more targeted, marketers can use a one-to-one unique identifier code on each piece, providing true attribution. Besides identifying responders, marketers also can determine what type of device — Google or Alexa — was used, exactly when they responded, and assess level of interest based on respondents providing cell phone information to continue interaction.

These mailings can reach tens of thousands of households in the target city, or just a few hundred carefully targeted households. Marketing collateral improves brand awareness (and, consequently, desire to get more information) and is suited for targeted offers. Advertisers can see total attribution and know exactly where money was spent based on voice response.

This combination also provides a compelling A-B test opportunity. One campaign just uses a generic phrase. Another uses one-to-one attribution, where a unique identifier code pegs all pertinent response information. In turn, this enables assessment of the offer itself, list performance, and helps drive decisions about moving forward.

Other respondent information includes the device they used, the exact time of response and, in some cases, cell phone info for one-on-one ongoing communication.

Add Online for the Perfect Blend

Add in online marketing with one or more offline channels (e.g., direct mail, TV, radio, billboard, collateral, label/packaging, billboard) to ensure the best targeting, highest visibility, and strongest engagement. While there are many ways to combine offline, online, and voice response, the Motley Fool article offers one compelling combo:

“Pair offline advertising with an online conversion activity. Most offline advertising campaigns are run alongside online marketing initiatives. At the minimum, include a call to action asking recipients to visit your website or follow you on social media.”

When that call to action includes voice response, a powerful program can result.