Badger Group’s Sally O’Brien fills us in on the latest technology in direct mail marketing.
Thysse interviews Badger Group President, Sally O’Brien, about her industry expertise.
Last month, Thysse finalized a partnership with another family-owned print and marketing services provider from Fort Atkinson, WI. In the weeks following the big handshake, Badger Group staff has been busy settling in to their new home at the Oregon campus and giving the break room Keurig a hefty workout. With the transition now well under way, we stole a rare free minute from Badger Group president, Sally O’Brien, to tap her expertise in direct mail and campaign planning tools and get a read on what it means for our clients’ bottom line.
Thysse: Can you tell us a little bit about Badger Group’s history and what brought you to the industry?
Sally: Growing up, my family always had a close connection to the print industry. My father bought Badger Press, Inc. in 1975, then located in Jefferson, WI. I worked there throughout college in various production areas and, after a few years working as a music therapist, returned to accept a full-time sales role. The work was something that instantly clicked with me. I really connected with the clients – I think that’s been the most rewarding piece all along! I love helping people come up with solutions to make their business better. In 1990, Badger Group built a new facility and moved to Fort Atkinson. I became President in 2000, expanding my role and responsibilities, but I’ve always focused on the customer side of the business.
Thysse: Badger Group started as a commercial printer, and, similar to Thysse, ended up expanding into a breadth of other areas as customer needs evolved. What other services does your team specialize in?
Sally: We wanted to add more value for our clients, and make their marketing dollars work harder for them. We added digital marketing components to direct mail to increase their exposure and ROI. This omnichannel marketing approach can be created on a campaign level, or on a broader level using marketing automation software to engage audiences over time. We also create web-to-print storefront portals that enable clients to easily order and fulfill marketing materials within their organizations.
Thysse: Can you describe any recent projects that have been particularly effective print campaigns? Or how your marketing services are continuing to evolve the perception of what a printer provides?
Sally: We recently won a ‘best of’ category through Great Lakes Graphics Association (GLGA) for a unique self-mailer we produced for Madison College. They wanted an interactive piece that prospective students would spend time with once they received it in the mail, so we created a design with multiple folds and flaps that needed to be opened to reveal the content. We incorporated multi-channel digital follow up in their direct mail strategy as well, which resulted in an incredible response rate. They got a ton of extra exposure that they wouldn’t have gotten with just the direct mail piece.
Thysse: The Badger staff joining the team are experts at applying the latest technology to boost direct mail marketing efforts. What can you tell us about Mail+ and why should businesses consider it?
“STATISTICS SHOW THAT 80% OF ALL SALES ARE MADE BETWEEN THE 8TH AND 12TH CONTACT.”Sally O’Brien, Badger Group President
Sally: This means you need to be reaching your audience multiple times to successfully engage them and convert into a sale or action. Using Mail+ adds multiple digital components to your direct mail campaigns to extend your reach across many different communication channels – keeping your message and brand in front of your target audience. It’s a really cost effective way for companies to boost their direct mail ROI.
Thysse: How would you explain marketing automation and its benefits to a company who’s never used it before?
“YOU CAN ENHANCE RESULTS OF DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGNS BY AN AVERAGE OF 23-46% THROUGH INTEGRATED MARKETING STRATEGIES.”Sally O’Brien, Badger Group President
Sally: Any company or organization that is looking to grow and fill their sales or lead funnel can benefit from marketing automation. It takes time and planning on the front end to create and implement a marketing automation program. But – once in place, this data-driven, omnichannel marketing campaign works behind the scenes to send out content based on actions taken and qualify leads based on past behaviors. This data is collected, managed and stored in a digital dashboard and can also be linked directly to your CRM for a seamless transition of information.
Thysse: Can you explain the importance of customer data in helping businesses reach the next level of brand awareness and engagement?
Sally: Data is king – you need accurate, detailed data to best attract and engage your audience. The more details you have about your audience the better you will be able to push out relevant content. If you’re looking for a good prospect list – the more you know about your current customers the better chance you have of finding ‘look alike’ audiences to create great prospect lists.
Thysse: What insights can companies gain about their customers by using the marketing automation analytics dashboard?
Sally: Digital dashboards help you manage the activities happening within your campaigns. They allow you to do things like:
- Predict and confirm when the direct mail piece is delivered so you can be prepared for new calls and online leads
- Track phone calls that were a direct result of your campaign
- Tell you how many unique visitors came to your website, how many digital ads were shown and how often they were clicked on
- Track email open rates to know who is interested in the content you are creating
- Gather survey data collected from personalized URLs. The data can also be reviewed and used for future actions
Campaign tactics can be tweaked during a campaign based on what kind of results you are seeing on your dashboard – giving you the best possible chance for success.
Thysse: What is the biggest challenge companies face regarding their marketing efforts?
Sally: The average person receives more than 2,900 marketing messages a day – across multiple communication platforms. That’s a lot of competition for your message to stand out, engage and create action. Organizations need to use multiple communication channels to make sure their brand and message is reaching their audience. These communications need to be personalized so your audience finds value and takes notice.
Thysse: Is there anything else you would like to share about Badger Group’s partnership with Thysse?
Sally: Jason [Thysse President] and his team have the same values as our Badger family. Both being family owned and operated businesses, we care about our employees and are able to recruit and retain great team members. In both organizations, customers come first. I needed to be sure that my clients would feel completely comfortable that their needs would be well taken care of with this partnership. This past year with the pandemic, we often heard things about being ‘in this together’. I believe that this partnership will make us ‘better together’ with our expanded teams and services. I trusted Jason and his team from the first time we met and am excited about what the future will bring!
About Badger Group
A family-run business since 1975 and a WBENC-certified Woman-Owned Small Business, Badger Group is a print and marketing services provider specializing in data-driven, cost-effective, targeted direct mail communications. As of June 1st, Badger Group staff became a proud member of the Thysse family and looks forward to providing clients with an expanded range of services and capabilities.
Thysse is an ever-evolving brand experience provider built by three generations of visual communication specialists. We like to say Thysse is “Where you go with your brand,” and provide innovative solutions to back that statement up. We are a design, printing, specialty graphics, and manufacturing company at our core, but we also offer imagination and the tools to customize your project to find the right solution every time.
For questions about the services mentioned in this interview, get in touch with us through our contact page and ask for more details.