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Transformational CMO Assembly Recap: Marketing Trends
Direct Mail
February 27, 2024

Transformational CMO Assembly Recap: Marketing Trends

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Stephanie Donelson

We recently had the good fortune to head out to Austin for the Transformational CMO Assembly and meet with CMOs to learn about the latest trends, technology, and strategies being used by marketing leaders.

Our very own Liz Purkiss, VP, Sales, sat down with some of these dynamic leaders to talk all things marketing ROI—especially when it comes to integrating direct mail with digital marketing channels. She hosted a roundtable discussion, Maximize Marketing ROI: Unleash the Power of Direct Mail in a Digital World, and led an engaging conversation on omnichannel marketing.

As soon as Purkiss returned, we sat down with her to hear all about the conference and understand what’s top-of-mind for those in marketing. Let’s see what she had to report!

Q: What would you say were the top three trending topics at the CMO Conference?

Purkiss: The three main topics were around empowering women in marketing, influencer marketing, and AI in marketing and using AI to target ICPs with specific and personalized messaging.

Q: At your roundtable, were most of the attendees new to direct mail or looking to up-level their skills in this marketing channel?

Purkiss: I'd say 80% were new to direct mail marketing and were looking for thought leaders within the space. The other 20% all spoke to how their biggest ROI comes from direct mail. Speaking with these marketing leaders, those using direct mail were focused more on customer acquisition. I'd estimate they focused direct mail programs 60% on acquisition and 40% on customer retention.

Recommended resource: Best Direct Mail Campaigns: Customer Acquisition

Q: What kind of campaigns were CMOs most focused on with direct mail? Customer acquisition, retention, or winback? Or were their direct mail marketing efforts more tied up into specific campaigns?

Purkiss: Most were split between customer acquisition and retention, but specific campaigns were the clear leader. Which only proves that direct mail fits into a variety of campaign types.

Q: What digital marketing channels were CMOs citing as ones they paired most often with direct mail marketing? Social media, email, SMS, or something else?

Purkiss: This is an interesting question, as the majority of the CMOs understood digital but were far removed from direct mail marketing. When talking about an omnichannel approach to marketing and what digital channels drive success, the channel that came up the most was email marketing.

Q: What about where direct mail fits in an automated workflow? How are CMOs creating a seamless omnichannel experience for their customers or prospects?

Purkiss: Most are just starting out with adding direct mail to automated marketing programs. We spoke about how direct mail can be used as a new lever for them to pull with their current efforts today. Most still use email, but have seen very little ROI over the past two years. We helped them understand how they can use direct mail to target individuals who no longer respond to their emails.

Recommended reading: How to use Direct Mail When a Customer Unsubscribes

Q: What metrics are being used to track the effectiveness of direct mail marketing?

Purkiss: Many cited using Return on ad Spend (ROAS). During our discussions, it was noted many CMOs have to have a clear ROI before they can even get budget for direct mail marketing programs.

Q: Did any of the results or success stories of using direct mail stand out to you?

Purkiss: I really enjoyed my conversation with the CMO of Fullbeauty Brands, who told me that direct mail is the most successful marketing channel. It was also interesting to hear that they are one of USPS' top five mailers!

Q: Any specific analytics tools or dashboards that caught your attention? Or, were most CMOs using metrics tracked in their marketing automation software?

Purkiss: Most are tracking metrics in their marketing automation software. This tells us the need for integrations between systems, and data sharing is critical.

Q: We know how important personalization is, no matter if your marketing campaign is digital or direct. What was the conversation like when it came to personalizing marketing messages? Do CMOs trust their CRM data? Are they testing new personalization variables this year?

Purkiss: They are all open to how they can do it better. We talked a bit about using personalized QR codes and PURLs in marketing campaigns. When talking with those working in retail, they were looking to personalize more elements, specifically imagery. Many discussed the need for images of what was left in the shopping cart for abandoned cart marketing campaigns, no matter if it's sent via email or on a direct mail piece.

Q: We know you asked about AI as AI is a huge conversation starter among marketers right now. What were our CMO friends saying when it comes to adopting AI technology in marketing? Are they using it more for analysis and predictions or creating copy or images?

Purkiss: AI seems to be replacing the content creation process. They are using AI to help them drive messaging for campaigns.

Q: What was your favorite part about attending the Transformational CMO Conference?

Purkiss: The roundtable. I enjoyed sitting around and discussing strategies with different brands across different industries, but at the end of the day they are all trying to better connect with their audience.

Sounds like it was a fantastic conference and we hope we'll return again next year to see how far some of these CMOs have come with their direct mail marketing efforts.

Image reading: 84% of marketers agree direct mail delivers best response rate

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