Back to Basics: The Advantages of Direct Mail As Part Of Your Programmatic Media Buy

Gift giving stretches beyond the holiday season.

After researching the top marketing trends of 2018, no matter the source, the majority of topics include social media, influencer marketing, video marketing, artificial intelligence, and marketing software. Granted, all of these tactics are extremely important to create a thorough marketing mix, it is essential that as marketers and media planners, foundational marketing strategies are not lost. These practices, such as direct mail, have been used for years, and are still highly relevant and effective today.
The first reported use of direct mail dates back to 1888, when Sears sent out printed mailers to potential customers. These printed mailers, promoting their latest product offerings gained popularity very quickly. However, over 100 years later, as more companies started using this tactic, our mailboxes – which has now transitioned to our emails – are inundated with countless messages and offers.  This influx of “junk mail” – either via snail mail or email, is not enjoyable. So, the key to direct mail, just as with any marketing tactic, is to make it relevant, personal and unique.

Direct mail is so successful because it takes advantage of deep and intuitive part of the human experience that is giving, receiving and handling tangible objects, as determined in a study by UK Royal Mail, The Private Life of Mail. The emotional connection of receiving a tangible object results in a higher recollection rate and also makes the customer feel more valued. This tactic creates a more authentic relationship between marketer and consumer.
Simply put, finding a voice in an extremely chaotic and cluttered world is essential for marketers. CBS News has reported that people view almost 5,000 ads per day, up from 500 ads a day back in the 1970s. This is due to the mass amount of media. Direct mail is a great way to break away from the madness and utilize a much less cluttered channel. The small number of voices that use this channel results in a higher response rate. Email sees about a 0.12% response rate, whereas direct mail is more than 36 times that, at 4.4%, as analyzed by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Marketing will continue to move forward and utilize technology, but we need to ensure that we aren’t losing site of some great, long-standing tactics, especially as new generations gain more spending power. 

Anagram who is Agency of Record for brands, uses a variety of channels and tactics including OOH, Radio and Direct Mail.  When you think digital marketing, direct mail is probably not first on your list but today it is possible for a prospect or customer online behavior to lead to real-time, action-triggered direct mail. Those visiting a website, clicking on relevant emails, or replying to a comment on a social media site can receive targeted direct mail within days of their visit. By taking these actions, prospects indicate interest, and by following up with them via direct mail to leverage that interest, immediately increases the chances of customer response.

Marketers and media planners are very focused on reaching Millennials, and now Generation Z. There is an overwhelming amount of information stating that this group of people is married to all things digital. And, granted they have grown accustomed to phones, tablets and computers, Gallup has reported that 95% of 18-29 year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters. This same report stated that 36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes everyday. There is a great opportunity to target this group of people, projected to hold $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, in a unique way, that sets itself apart from the mass media craze.

Staying up to date on the latest marketing and advertising trends is crucial. Technology is an amazing way to reach and target customers. However, every now and again, we must remember the “old-school” techniques that brought marketing to where it is today. Don’t be afraid to send a customer a letter or package. What’s most ideal about the world today, you can even send them a follow up email – combining the best of both worlds.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic Part 4: Behavior, Retail, and Location Targeting

The 2018 Fifa World Cup has officially come to a close as France was crowned the champion in a very exciting championship game. Throughout the tournament many new records were set. The knockout round saw the most goals ever scored in history, Iceland became smallest country by population to participate in the tournament, and Cristiano Ronaldo became the oldest player to score a hattrick in the World Cup. These among many other statistics and records made for an extremely exciting month of soccer. The excitement didn’t stop at the games. Advertisers, media buyers and television networks saw fast shifts in viewing habits and purchasing power. This final post about the 2018 Fifa World Cup will cover all things Behavior, Retail & Purchasing Power, and Location & OOH Targeting.


In Post 3 of the Fifa World Cup Infographic series, it was very clear that there is a captive audience very enthralled with the tournament, giving advertisers a great opportunity to engage and promote their offerings. Now that the games are done, we are able to see where fans were engaging in order to ensure that in future sporting and media events like this, that digital and programmatic advertising money is being spent and optimized to drive results.
In the infographic, it was projected that 48% of soccer fans planned to use their smartphone to follow the action. As reported by digiday, Telemundo saw that between 48 and 51 percent of its live digital viewers consistently watched the games on their smartphones. However, the most popular format for watching the games was still traditional television – although many chose to stream either on desktop or laptop. When comparing this tournament to other worldwide sports competitions such as the Summer Olympics, broadcast by Telemundo’s parent company NBCUniversal, people watched the events on their phones during the week and switched to television on the weekend. The World Cup saw stable numbers, despite the day of the week, mobile watchers stuck to mobile and TV viewers stuck to that platform.

Regarding the type of advertisements and its content, despite fans saying that they were more concerned about the advertisements being entertaining and interesting than relevant to the World Cup, most advertisers still chose to use the tournament as the platform for their ads. Companies like Pepsi, Coca Cola, Budweiser and Adidas all aired ads that starred fan favorite players and action from soccer games. These ads were successful as many sites, such as Highsnobiety dubbed them the best of the tournament. Contextually relevant content is always a safe bet for digital advertisers when choosing ad content and placement. Whether viewers realize it or not, when the excitement from the games carries over in the commercial breaks, they are much more likely to stay engaged.

Retail & Purchasing Behavior

The Fifa World Cup ranks the fourth most valuable sporting event brand in the world, falling short of the Superbowl, Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics. Even at fourth place, a 2017 Forbes survey revealed that the tournament is worth $229 million. This high price tag doesn’t solely fall on the games. Many companies find that this event has a high impact on their brand and they have significant pressure to make sure they get the most out of this captive futbol-fanatic audience. Adidas, arguably the most famous soccer brand in the world, projected to sell 10 million official tournament balls, 14.9 million replica jerseys. The top five selling jerseys are for Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Spain and France and people are most inclined to search for Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar Jr and Coutinho.

But, as was published in our  infographic, advertisers need to be weary of changing emotions based on the outcomes of the games. After a loss, with lower morale, fans may be less inclined to make purchases unless prompted by a promotion or sale.

Monetary value didn’t stop at merchandise and fan apparel, this years ticket sales were tremendous. In May, it was already reported that 2.374 million tickets to the 64 matched had already been sold, accounting for 89% of all available tickets. The Moscow Times reported that there was a  98% attendance rate in the first 61 games of the tournament. Those attending paid high prices in order to see the action first hand. Newsweek reported that scalpers were selling tickets to fans for as much as $2,300 for one match!

Location & OOH Targeting

The World Cup offered great opportunities for advertisers to run location and Out of Home Targeting (OHH). Location targeting uses programmatic advertising to deliver ads to users who have attended an event or set of events at specific locations, dates and times. In regard to the world cup, this offered advertisers a great opportunity to run ads in areas that they knew fans would congregate and around and during the times of games. This allows great opportunities, as discussed in the behavior section, for fans to continue to see content surrounding the excitement of the World Cup. After a big win, if a fan sees an ad on the metro with their favorite player promoting a certain product, the advertiser has targeted and reached that fan in an ideal setting.

With each world-wide sporting event, advertisers and media buyers learn new strategies and tips on how to best reach their audience. This World Cup saw a very captive, engaged audience both at the games and watching – whether online or on television. Fans also took to social media to interact with their favorite players and teams. They were also quick to purchase apparel and gear and fans lucky enough to be close to where the games were played, were willing to purchase high-priced tickets in order to see the action live.

The Fifa World Cup only comes around every four years, making it essential that advertisers are prepared to showcase the best content in the ideal setting. For 2018, we have broken down the audience, social, content, behavior, retail and location targeting for the tournament. Comparing this 2018 information to the 2014 tournament, noting any similarities and changes, advertisers and media buyers can note any trends and study up for the next few years to ensure that 2022 World Cup sees the best use of media and advertising.

Digilant’s FIFA 2018 Digital Advertising Infographic covers who the consumers are, social media trends, how the content is consumed and by who, and more!

Download the full infographic here and don’t forget to share #DigilantData.

Did you read all four parts or our FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic series? Start with Part 1 learning about the facts and figures of the World Cup here.


FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic Part 3: Content

Knowing that the United States was not competing in the 2018 Fifa World Cup, people were skeptical about how many Americans would tune in to watch the other countries compete. Now, as the semi-final games approach, it is clear that not having a home team to root for, the United States is simply not as interested in this year’s competition as they were in 2014. Bloomberg has reported that the number of American viewers watching the games has fallen by 44%. In 2014, the games averaged about 3.55 million viewers, and this year its around 1.98 million.   

Fox and NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, who together paid more than $1 billion, for the rights to the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, were somewhat expecting this decline. After the announcement in October that the US would not be competing, Fox lowered the audience it guaranteed advertisers as much as 20%. In order to still prompt excitement for the games, these networks focused their attention on Mexico’s appearance in the competition, hoping to gain viewership from bilingual fans. This found success as Telemundo’s most watched game, with 6.6 million viewers, was Mexico vs. Germany on June 29.

Despite the lack of World Cup interest in the United States, other countries all over the world are bringing in record-setting viewer numbers. 19.9 million people tuned into BBC to watch England beat Sweden to advance to the semi-final game. Those numbers only reflect people watching in their living room, not taking into account the hundreds of people that gathered at pubs to watch the game. When these fans are taken into account, the total number of people that watched that game, jumps closer to 30 million people.

Whether the number of viewers watching in respective countries is higher or lower than the competition four years ago, media analysts are focusing on the number of fans tuning in on their mobile device or streaming. BBC has reported that their online platform has had more than 31.2 million people watch the group match round. This is shocking when compared to the 32 million viewers who used an online platform throughout all of the 2014 tournament in Brazil. It is clear that the shift in favor of cable cutting is affecting all areas of television, even one of the most-watched global events.

More and more people are shifting away from cable, but still finding ways to tune into the games. Streaming, online or mobile, or choosing to watch the games at a pub or bar is making it trickier to track the specific number of viewers so far in the tournament. However, it gives advertisers more ways to reach consumers. In MediaMath’s World Cup Infographic, they outlined trends to watch during the tournament. Some of the best ways to reach fans were on streaming sites such as and sites where people can easily check scores, such as We will have to wait until a final winner is decided and the games conclude, to see how the numbers from this year’s tournament compare to 2014 – who’s final match alone had 1.013 billion viewers. But for now, as media consumption trends change, advertisers need to stay up to date on the plethora of ways to reach fans, beyond cable television.


Digilant’s FIFA 2018 Digital Advertising Infographic covers who the consumers are, social media trends, how the content is consumed and by who, and more!

Download the full infographic here and don’t forget to share #DigilantData.

Interested in learning more about the impact on retail during the World Cup? Check out Part 4 of our FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic series here.



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