If you're living in Chicago, you've no doubt become acquainted with the phenomenon known as "Chiberia." Subzero temperatures, powerful wind chills, and inch upon inch of snow, have bared down on the city since December. Needless to say this has impacted many industries and their productivity. However, direct marketers who utilize integrated campaigns can still flourish during this weather debacle.

Direct marketing is all about delivering relevant information to a targeted audience in order to gain a measurable response. By developing integrated campaigns, direct marketers can deliver this information through multiple channels to drive response.

Think about your experience during Chiberia. It's cold and miserable outside. Either you're braving the elements to make it into the office, or if you're lucky, telecommuting from home. Either way, you're probably not in the best mood to sift through your inbox, or the pile of mail on your desk.

This is where direct marketing efforts can break through. Utilizing direct marketing best practices such as personalization, since of urgency, unique layout/design, etc. allow communications to stand out from the pack. Integrated campaigns increase the success of this by targeting the audience through multiple channels. For example, sending a direct mail campaign in conjunction with an email campaign increases the likelihood of your audience opening your communication.

Multiple means of communication are just the beginning of an integrated campaign though. You want your audience to respond, but how? Having a mail-in form or a phone number to call is great, but let's take it a step further, and drive your audience to a PURL or landing page branded with your campaign creative. The reason behind this, is that it provides a more detailed informational bridge for your audience. This can help increase the likelihood of follow-through action from your audience. PURLs are effective because they take personalization further that a traditional landing page. PURLs may include personal information such as customer name, offer code, account number, address, etc. It all depends on the data you have available. If a lack of compelling data is an issue, a traditional campaign branded landing page works just as well.

Inevitably, a number of people will fall off from taking the final action after visiting the PURL or landing page. Maybe they're running home before the snow gets worse, and they don't want to miss their train. Or maybe they weren't ready to take action at that time. Whatever the case, wouldn't it be great to give subtle reminders about the page they just visited? Incorporating retargeted banner ads into your integrated campaigns can do just that. Retargeted banner ads appear on other web pages, once a person has visited your web page and left without taking action. Retargeted banner ads are a great way to remind an audience about the offer they just left, and drive them back to your web page.

So there you have it. By using integrated campaigns, you've communicated to your audience through multiple channels, and provided an informative and personalized way to respond. And they didn't have to get out into the cold to do it. That makes you a Chiberia hero. The example listed above is just one idea of what an integrated campaign can look like. What other channels can you think of to incorporate into your integrated campaigns?

To see some examples of integrated campaigns check out the below links. (If you check out my portfolio, I worked on a few of these :-)):
Jacobs & Clevenger - Cruise Control
Jacobs & Clevenger - Friends and Family
Jacobs & Clevenger - Mercedes Benz
Jacobs & Clevenger - Renewals
Jacobs & Clevenger - Mobile Banking