Friday, April 2, 2010

U.S. Census Does Its Marketing Math

Have you filled out your Census form yet?

Of course you have. ;) Yesterday, in addition to being April Fools' Day, was also Census Day. Perhaps you knew this because of all the 2010 Census ads you’ve seen or heard.

Without a doubt, this has been the most far-reaching, demographically segmented and integrated marketing campaign we’ve ever seen for the big count.

The thinking is that, dollar for dollar, it’s cheaper for the Census Bureau to do more marketing and advertising than it is to send people door to door to do interviews. In the words of the Bureau:

“For every percentage point increase in the 2010 Census mail-back participation rate, the Census Bureau saves about $85 million in follow-up costs with households that failed to return their forms.”

Of course, it remains to be seen whether this year’s additional effort actually pays off in the final numbers for 2010.

But the hypothesis is supported by years of marketing results. It’s often more cost-effective to use a range of marketing communications platforms—including TV, radio, social email, direct mail and more—than it is simply to put those good ol’ feet on the street alone.

So what about for your business? Are there ways in which you could be operating more efficiently by supporting your sales staff through better marketing communications efforts?

Count on it.

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