MediaPost Publications Brands Tweak Ad Campaigns As USPS Ceases Saturday Delivery

Marketers expect quirky idiosyncrasies in multichannel brand campaigns to produce the most disruption to strategies as a result of the U.S. Postal Service stopping Saturday mail delivery starting in August.

"The real issue is whether not having a Saturday delivery matters to consumers," said Robert Passikoff, founder of Brand Keys, a research consultancy specializing in predictive consumer behavior and engagement metrics. "There’s already an issue of whether the motto of neither snow nor rain or gloom of night has a real impact on direct mail outreach."

Read more: MediaPost Publications Brands Tweak Ad Campaigns As U.S. Post Office Ceases Saturday Delivery 02/08/2013.

Valassis: Report Indicates Marketers Continue Steady use of Coupons

LIVONIA, Mich., Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Valassis (NYSE: VCI), a leader in intelligent media delivery,released today the annual topline report of U.S. coupon trends prepared by its subsidiary, NCH Marketing Services Inc., providing retailers and marketers with redemption response insights for manufacturer coupons that are offered to consumers. The findings include that consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers issued a steady flow of coupons in 2012, distributing 305 billion coupons to consumers, the same quantity as the year prior, although the marketing objectives were substantially different for those coupons.

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USPS wants to test “guaranteed” direct mail

The USPS last week filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission for approval to test a guaranteed direct mail product, the “Mail Works Guarantee.” The program would offer companies that don’t already use direct mail a money back guarantee if their test marketing campaigns don’t produce results:

The United States Postal Service hereby gives notice that it intends to conduct a test of an experimental market-dominant product. The experimental product is the “Mail Works Guarantee.” The top advertisers in America represent $90 Billion in total expenditures for media advertising. The USPS share is currently 3.1% or about $3 Billion annually which represents a huge revenue potential for the Postal Service. Thus, this new product will be offered to a group of companies who spend a minimum of $250 Million annually on advertising as identified by Advertising Age magazine and for whom mail is not currently a large part of their advertising mix (postage is less than 0.36 percent of the company’s total spending on advertising). These companies will be offered a postage-back guarantee to test advertisements for their products through First-Class Mail and Standard Mail. The market test will begin on or shortly after May 16, 2011.

During the Mail Works Guarantee market test, 16 initial companies will be offered a postage-back guarantee to test the effectiveness of advertisements for their products using First-Class Mail and Standard Mail.

For each selected mailer, a set of unique metrics will be developed jointly with the Postal Service against which to evaluate the performance of a test Direct Mail campaign. For example, a retail company’s Direct Mail offer could be designed to increase store traffic, an e-commerce company’s offer could be designed to drive Web traffic, or a product goods company’s offer could be designed to promote increasing sales of a specific product. The threshold for determining success will be an agreed-upon percentage of increase in the uniquely established metric. Each participating mailer will be expected to mail a minimum of 500,000 pieces up to a maximum of 1 million pieces of First-Class Mail or Standard Mail. The Postal Service will provide assistance in developing the Direct Mail campaigns during the market test, as well as in the benchmarking and measuring the test metric.

If the Direct Mail campaign fails to meet the established metrics, as verified by a Postal Service representative, the Postal Service would only refund the postage paid during the market test, up to a total of $250,000, issued as a credit to the company’s Centralized Account Payment System account. Production and printing costs for the Direct Mail campaign would not be refundable.

Depending on the results of the test, the Postal Service may file a request with the Commission for approval to offer the Mail Works Guarantee to additional companies under the market test.

RR Donnelley buys 8touches, provider of online marketing tools

CHICAGO, Jan. 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company (Nasdaq:RRD) announced today that it has acquired 8touches, an online provider of easy-to-use tools that allow real estate sales associates, brokers, Multiple Listing Service (MLS) associations and other marketers to create customized communications materials such as direct mail, flyers and brochures.

8touches’ branded online resources provide access to more than 1,000 customized templates into which profiles, MLS data and pictures for selected listings can auto-populate. The comprehensive toolset also offers sophisticated mapping features, the ability to obtain surrounding address information and access to demographics that enhance targeted direct mailings.

“This acquisition expands our portfolio of proprietary Internet-based solutions,” stated Thomas J. Quinlan III, RR Donnelley’s Chief Executive Officer. “8touches brings to RR Donnelley a proven solution that will benefit from our larger scale in software development and distribution. It will also accelerate our ability to create targeted applications for additional industries and vertical segments.”

8touches’ templates are available for residential, farm and ranch, commercial and new construction real estate marketing programs.

“Integrating 8touches’ front end Internet services with our exceptional digital printing and fulfillment platform will enable us to offer even more efficient and responsive service. For customers, our national and international platform reduces cycle times to enable marketers to gain first-mover advantages,” added Quinlan.

More information about 8touches products and services is available at 8touches.com.