Paradysz/PM Digital recognizes the need for marketers to conduct business in an intelligent way while remaining sensitive to the tremendous losses recently brought on by Hurricane Sandy. Our most recent report, The Marketing Impact of Natural Disasters, provides marketers with channel-specific research and insight on performance impact, historic benchmarks, consideration of marketing dynamics unique to natural disasters, and recommendations on how best to move forward to maximize efforts and strengthen preparedness for future events.
Our assessment and recommendations are drawn from over 20 years of tracking performance data and monitoring the impact of external factors on direct response efforts. Less than a decade ago, monitoring suppressed zip codes and delivery issues were the panacea for nearly all direct response marketers reacting to a catastrophe. Today’s multichannel environment requires much more complex considerations to be accounted for across Direct Mail, Email, Paid Search, SEO, Social, Display, and Insert and Print Media during these types of unforeseen events.
Below are 5 takeaways for every consumer marketer to consider with regard to Hurricane Sandy and other future natural disasters:
- Have the Right Data – All marketers need to be sure they have access to strategic, actionable data – undeliverable zip codes, insert distribution dates, inventory levels, etc. -- in order to efficiently and effectively react to unexpected circumstances in a timely manner.
- Expect Lower Response – As over 20% of the U.S. population was affected by Hurricane Sandy, we expect to see results impacted across the board. Past performance history shows a potential 5%-15% short-term decline in direct mail response. While online holiday retail sales are still predicted to be up close to 12% in 2012, some early momentum has been lost.
- Expect a Rebound – The number of affected consumers typically changes significantly within 3-7 days – sometimes even faster. For Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. population impacted fell from 22% to less than 1% in roughly a week.
- Assess All Creative – Marketers must ensure that they are being sensitive in their messaging to both affected and unaffected areas. This includes not only looking closely at upcoming campaigns, but also reviewing other creative assets like existing web page content, standard customer communication, recurring ad copy, etc.
- Reach Out to Others – Helping those affected by disaster is always the priority – a natural part of being human and being part of a community. A similar dynamic is true of your business. You also have a supportive community. Talk to fellow marketers, vendors, industry experts, and your Paradysz/PM Digital client services representative to share experiences and gather insight and advice.
Read more in the report The Marketing Impact of Natural Disasters, recently published by Paradysz and PM Digital.