There’s no question that many of the world’s top brands still need (and continue to use) offline marketing in their advertising mix. Meanwhile, even the biggest spenders on print materials have a large foothold in the digital space.

The question is never going to be whether it’s one or the other. Instead, marketers are asking themselves: How much of each is right for our brand, and how do we find that sweet spot?

At &THEN 2018, DMA will welcome reps from three of America’s most recognizable brands to offer insight on how they juggle online vs. offline marketing. Attendees will get a chance to hear how AARP, American Express and Comcast are finding the right balance.

Searching for the Holy Grail

With the question of digital vs. offline continuing to vex decision-makers, the perfect mix has become something of a Holy Grail in the industry.

In the case of Comcast, the telecom giant has continued to send out mailers advertising new promotions and offers for new customers. However, this approach will be wasted when existing customers get offers they can’t use.

Instead, the company used mailers to improve its brand image in recent years. “We’ve heard you,” Comcast’s flyer read. “And we’re working hard to change your experience for the better.”

With complaints about the company’s customer service increasing, Comcast decided to try an approach that would allow people to read something at their leisure. Once they had their attention, they also included a pitch to upgrade services.

A Look at the &THEN Panel

Along with a Comcast representative, attendees at the &THEN session will hear how AARP and AmEx approach their very different client bases. Both brands are among the most ubiquitous when it comes to materials found in the mailbox, but they have taken different approaches to the rise of digital marketing in recent years.

Debora Haskel, vice president of marketing and corporate communications at IWCO Direct, will lead the discussion. Based on her time at one of the largest providers of direct mail in North America, Haskel will be able to provide insight on how clients’ ideas become actual mailings – and which brands come back for repeat orders.

While definitive answers will be hard to come by, marketers could very well make headway in their respective searches for the Holy Grail.

As Alan Sherman, a VP at IWCO Direct, said in late 2017, anyone can run a siloed multichannel campaign. The winners in this game use the top tools at their disposal – from the direct mail file to IP addresses and social IDs – to make informed decisions.

This article is brought to you by &THEN, DMA’s annual event. Click here to join the leaders of the marketing community and advance your data and marketing mastery in Las Vegas, October 7-9.