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Bridging the Digital-Physical Divide: A Deep Dive into Programmatic Direct Mail

Much like the title of the recent Oscar-winning film, consumers these days are “everything, everywhere all at once” when it comes to media and advertising. From social media and short-form video platforms to more longstanding avenues like radio and physical mail, engaging audiences at key touchpoints necessitates a greater focus on “hybrid” marketing channels that give businesses the best of both worlds.

PebblePost’s CEO Jacob Ross recently joined Symphonic Digital’s Performance Marketing podcast to tackle “The Rise of Hybrid Channels” with host Steffan Horst and discussed these burning topics.

“The thing that’s exciting to me is some incredibly fast-growing channels that I would call hybrid channels,” Jacob said. “They’re reinventions or reimaginings of traditional advertising channels.”

From why diversifying channels puts marketers ahead of the crowd to envisioning the use of hybrid channels in a post-cookie world, here’s a full recap of Jacob’s thoughts on the podcast.

The Convergence of Traditional and Digital Channels

In an age where digital mediums are often hailed as the be-all and end-all of marketing, Jacob explains how Programmatic Direct Mail offers a different approach that combines traditional direct mail with digital strategies.

Programmatic Direct Mail —a marketing solution that is as inventive as it is effective- hinges on understanding that consumer behavior is not linear. People often toggle between online and offline spaces multiple times before making a purchase decision. PebblePost captures this multifaceted journey by sending relevant physical mail based on the consumer’s digital behavior. As Jacob elaborates in the podcast, a consumer’s online activity informs a personalized piece of direct mail, seamlessly merging digital intent with a physical touchpoint.

This approach offers a critical advantage: it engages the consumer in their own comfort zone. Traditional digital ads can be invasive, popping up uninvited on various screens. On the other hand, direct mail risks getting lost in a pile of letters. PebblePost, however, takes the invasiveness out of digital advertising while adding a layer of relevance and timeliness to offline, physical media.

Engaging with the consumer on where they are also offers flexibility in the transaction process. Whether the consumer chooses to complete their transaction online, offline, or through a call center, the brand can easily record it and share the data with PebblePost for analysis. This adaptability is another example of how the company has been astute in its understanding of shifting consumer behaviors.

What’s more, brands that have partnered with PebblePost have seen success with incorporating custom QR codes as part of their offerings, thereby enhancing the measurability of direct mail—a traditional medium typically hard to track. 

Optimizing through A/B Testing

With Programmatic Direct Mail, the attribution window may be longer than with digital, but that doesn’t mean you can’t conduct tests to optimize performance. You can still engage in A/B testing different offers; the focus will need to be more selective and concentrated on the components that will make a tangible difference. 

This surgical approach to testing showcases the need for a keen understanding of how to balance the capabilities of digital and the nuances of traditional mail. It emphasizes that while the means may differ, the end goal remains consistent: to provide value to both the consumer and the brand.

Future-Proofing and Final Insights

In an era where cookies are crumbling, so to speak, the necessity for a more stable, privacy-compliant solution is becoming increasingly important. Jacob shares how brands can get ahead of this by working with partners that offer a proprietary data asset. For instance, PebblePost’s Graph comprises consumer intent, identity, and transaction data. This asset is central to the company’s ability to offer addressable, relevant marketing without relying on cookies.

It integrates data from over 500 brands and every household in the U.S., amounting to billions of data points each month. This robust data architecture ensures the company isn’t vulnerable to the evolutions in browser privacy policies that could potentially cripple cookie-dependent platforms.

To cap it off, if a brand prefers to integrate with third-party measurement providers for more specific metrics or functionalities, PebblePost readily accommodates this through partnerships with companies like Rockerbox, Neustar, and Measured.

In conclusion, Programmatic Direct Mail and partners like PebblePost represent the future of hybrid marketing—blending the tangible impact of traditional direct mail with the analytic rigor of digital strategies. Its deep-rooted philosophy aligns seamlessly with its operational methods, ensuring that brands can optimize marketing spend while still providing highly personalized, effective touchpoints for their consumers.

For those keen to delve deeper into what PebblePost offers, get in touch today or check out the full podcast episode here.

Free Guide: PebblePost's Guide to Programmatic Direct Mail

Download our short guide and learn the who, what, why, and how of Programmatic Direct Mail.

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