Cinderella will go to the ball: GDPR, door drops and the DMA Awards | DMA

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Cinderella will go to the ball: GDPR, door drops and the DMA Awards


GDPR might be the biggest headache for most members of the data driven community, but for door drops it’s the biggest blessing since sliced bread.

Door drops have, for many years, been seen as the poor relation of the marketing world. Media planners have had shinier toys to play with. Creatives would hardly go begging to work on the door drop brief.

As Mark Davies (Chair of the DMA Doordrops Committee and MD of door drops company Whistl) says “they’ve been seen as a bit of a Cinderella.”

And maybe that’s why, at the DMA Awards, we’re failing to be wowed by the entries. Don’t get me wrong, the winners have been worthy ones, but it’s been from a pretty paltry pool of pickings.

Nicky Bullard, Chair of the DMA Awards Committee and Chairman/Chief creative officer of MRM Meteorite, says “Most of them are revolting. But get one that tells you about something relevant, and looks half decent, and you might actually keep it for weeks.”

Door drops on average get kept for 31 days…one whole month of opportunity.

Sales data supports this time lag, and shows that door drops are still driving sales weeks, sometimes months after they land on a doormat.

They’re a really powerful way of driving acquisition, for start-ups, for finding new audiences, and for sampling. They drive brilliant ROI (13 times higher than untargeted digital for example) whilst simultaneously providing reach.

Yet, as a marketing community, we often overlook them, but not so consumers.

When I’ve sat in research groups with IKEA customers, one of the things they got most excited about was the beloved IKEA catalogue. Yes, we as a marketing community do get excited about their augmented reality app, but customers adore that old-school catalogue that sits on their Billy bookcase, and gets kept for months (60% are kept for a year) as a source of inspiration.

Hail the humble doordrop

The world of door drops is getting a whole lot more interesting. Especially around use of more precise targeting and better measurement techniques

And in the year of GDPR, we’re likely to see more clients than ever turn to them. “This is their moment” says Mark Davies, “today’s door drops are combining sophisticated data targeting techniques, with exceptional reach, and brilliant ROI, all without any GDPR headaches.” Whistl are seeing an significant increase in clients knocking on their door to get a look in (so Mark is one happy chap).

Andrew Creed is founder and managing partner of a new agency that specialises in offline direct marketing, but represents a lot of tech and digital only brands. He believes that as online marketing becomes ever more expensive and competitive, more traditional direct marketing channels are experiencing a renaissance.

He says that there are three main reasons that digital only brands should embrace door drop media.

“Firstly, most digital only brands have aggressive growth targets and need to maximise their market penetration, so using online techniques may only appeal to a fraction of their audience.

Secondly, it’s difficult for online brands to build brand equity from a pure online presence. Some consumers need to ‘see and feel’ a brand before making a decision towards taking action.

And thirdly, location, location, location…brands can be precise on where they deliver their messages.”

One of the key reasons that doordrops should be considered, especially for acquisition, is the exceptional results that they can drive.

Arm and Hammer, Bronze winners of a 2017 DMA Award for their sampling doordrop, reported that 65% of people who recalled the sample converted to purchase.

So why are we not seeing the quality that we’d like to see when we’re judging the DMA Awards?

Perhaps people are shy about entering door drops. When you’re filtering through last year’s work and looking for the sexiest case studies, door drops tend to overlooked, unless as part of an overall campaign.

But at The DMA Awards we know they are out there, and by the time our entries deadline looms in September there will be more than ever.

My hope is that increased interest and volume, means increased effort in producing work that has a bit more doormat drama. Who knows, door drops might just have that renaissance in the creative department where they become the hot brief.

But to do that we all need to be a bit more open to the possibilities of door drops.

They’re not the channel they were 10 years ago, they’ve got a whole lot more sophisticated. So, let’s give the nation’s doormats the doordrops they deserve, and let’s see more in the Awards.

For more on the DMA Awards, click here

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