The next step in direct: a more compelling way to connect

How KSG's custom video messaging solution is doubling DM ROI

Pandemic pivots have seen many companies re-evaluate their longer-term marketing mix in light of our stay-at-home ways, and the allure of a direct channel to consumers has become a critical opportunity for many brands.

Canadian organizations rely heavily on direct channels to drive sales, donations and customer engagement. Global market research firm IBIS World reported that telemarketing was projected to see revenues of $1.6 billion in Canada this year, and direct mail was on track to reach $1.3 billion. However, both categories are stagnating, as outreach increasingly needs to be more useful, bespoke and engaging, to make an impact.

But given how much time people are spending in their homes now, it’s not surprising to see marketers reexamining direct. “These are established, effective channels,” says Andrew McRae, SVP and co-founder at KSG. “They spur consumer action, but they are ripe for innovation.”

That brand opportunity led Toronto-based KSG to design a new direct video platform that adds a much-needed human touch to direct mail and telemarketing, pushing these important channels into the future.

KSG has been investing in new video technology for the last year, leveraging the company’s expertise across both experiential and direct marketing. The company dug into the learning from its 17 years experience delivering real, human brand interactions for partners ranging from Primus Communication to barbecue maker Napoleon, to develop elevated direct solutions that can meet consumers’ heightened engagement threshold.

KSG’s new fully customizable video platform features real brand reps speaking directly to individual consumers to deliver bespoke offers, calls to action or other messages tailored to the customer.

For a recent demonstration, KSG President and co-founder Neil Spivack set up a hypothetical campaign for a telecommunication brand. “Their first-party data would show which services an individual customer would have,” he says. “If they had cable and internet but not home security, for example, we would take that data, create a home security message specifically for that customer, give it to a brand rep that we hired and managed, and then have that rep record and distribute the videos.”

Spivack recorded a demo video to show how easy it is for brands to create assets that are more personable and relatable than direct mail’s “your name here” scripted communications. The video was shot, vetted through KSG’s system and delivered to a mobile device in less than an half an hour.

“We can kick off video delivery for a full campaign in as little as 24 hours,” says McRae, adding that the more robust the brand’s data, the more personalized and relevant the videos can be.

“And their ecological footprint is so much better than standard direct mail,” Spivack adds. “When you account for how much paper is printed, processed, mailed and likely thrown out, and how much oil and gas is consumed with mail delivery, our option has drastically less impact.”

KSG’s innovations seem to be getting strong results. “Average direct mail response rates float around 1%,” McRae says. “We’ve seen responses to our customized videos as high as 8%. And we’re just getting started.”

KSG is the Toronto-based leader in experiential, staffing, direct, retail and F2F marketing.