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5 More Surprising Marketing Forecasts for 2009—Part 2
By Craig Huey, president of Creative Direct Marketing Group

2009 is all about shaking up the marketing industry as you know it. The recession will have far-reaching effects, but that’s not the only challenge that lies ahead. Here are the last five forecasts to help you prepare for the rest of the year.

Forecast #7: The shopping cart insanity will end in 2009.
It’s time to transform your shopping cart into another direct marketing opportunity. Forget multiple pages with a boring techie fill-in-the-blanks setup.

Most marketers lose more than half of their sales to shopping cart abandonment. But that will change in 2009 as online retailers rush to stop the bleeding.

The smart direct marketer will use the following 2 response-boosting techniques:

1. A seamless ordering process. Streamline your process so only one or two clicks are required to place an order or submit an inquiry.

2. Direct response copy and art in the shopping cart. Use testimonials, sales copy, product information, a guarantee and direct response graphics throughout the process to keep your prospect excited.

Action Items:

• Review your shopping cart.

• Take another look. Is your shopping cart missing copy and art? Is the guarantee placed where your prospects fill in their name and credit card information?

Forecast #8: Direct mail is about to be outlawed.
Impossible? Not at all. Both state and federal bills proposing “do-not-mail” lists threaten to stifle direct marketers. This would cripple, if not destroy, the industry.

And it’s not just politicians, but also several groups like GreenDimes and 41pounds.org that are launching campaigns to stop direct mail.

Direct mail marketers have always supported the Direct Marketing Association’s “opt-out” lists, but these new renegade campaigns seek to demonize direct mail…even though many consumers say they want the offers they receive. (Obviously they do, because they respond.)

Environmental activists are now in positions of power in Washington. Their actions will also affect paper costs as they push for recycled paper use.

Action Items:

• Write to members of Congress and your local representatives and tell them that “do-not-mail” laws would cause massive job losses across a number of industries, affecting USPS® workers, thousands of businesses, manufacturers, printers and the already-suffering paper industry. (I expect roughly 25 states to consider this legislation.)

• If you’re using recycled paper now, take advantage of a public relations bonus by letting your customers and prospects know it.

Forecast #9: The list market will grow by 25% in 2009 (more than double 2008’s growth).
The recession will put more new mailing lists on the market as companies enjoy the easy extra revenue that list rental brings.

Postal mail and email lists will be in big demand by direct marketers looking for niche markets. You always have approval of the pieces that are sent out, and the rental is for a one-time use.

Action Item:

• Take a look at your email and postal mail lists.

Forecast #10: Market shift arrives: Maturing Baby Boomers and Generation Xers change your product positioning.

As the oldest of the Baby Boomers prepare for retirement and Generation X is entering their 40s, their needs are changing. In response, smart direct marketers are adjusting their marketing and product mix strategies.

Baby Boomers care about investment issues, health matters and vacation packages. Generation X will now be taking the Boomers’ place in the post-30s demographic and will have their eye on child raising, mortgages and long-term financial planning.

Businesses impacted by these changes must shift their marketing strategies to reach prospects. For example: Baby Boomers love premiums. Generation X loves discounts.

Action Item:

• Take a close look at your marketing and product mix for Boomers and Gen Xers. Remember that no one likes to marketed to as an “old person,” which is why Cadillac has redesigned its cars and reinvented its image. Oldsmobile didn’t…and paid the price.

Forecast #11: Format shift: The magalog and bookalog are exploding.
Postal mail continues to be the #1 avenue for most aggressive marketers to reach prospects. In an age of skepticism and declining response rates, a huge number of marketers will use, for the first time, magalogs and bookalogs. These formats are an unbeatable way to reach prospects.

Magalogs are powerful sales pieces that resemble traditional magazines. Typically 16 to 24 pages long, they feature one central article with several supporting sidebar articles. With great direct response copy, your prospects will be drawn into the article, and you get an excellent opportunity to make a full pitch for your product or service.

A bookalog is similar but resembles a paperback and typically runs about 100–150 pages long. This type of sales piece has been used successfully for both business-to-business and consumer marketing—including fund-raising.

Both of these have immense potential for sales and are a key example of how great direct response copy and strategy can deliver proven measurable results.

Action Item:

• We have some case studies on our website that can really give you a fresh perspective on direct mail campaigns.

If you missed the first six forecasts for 2009 click here!

---Source: Craig Huey is the president of Creative Direct Marketing Group (CDMG), a direct response agency. Reach him at craig@cdmginc.com or 310-212-5727.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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