How IKEA Successfully Integrated Its Direct Mail with Digital Channels


How-IKEA-Successfully-Integrated-Its-Direct-Mail-with-Digital-ChannelsThe words on every marketer’s lips these days are multi-channel marketing (MCM). This means the use of a combination of channels for reaching your target audience, and it works well when it incorporates traditional methods of direct marketing. As part of IKEA’s comprehensive integrated marketing plan, the furniture giant recently set out to “re-invigorate” the mailbox by leveraging digital channels.

Direct Mail/Catalog Portion

The direct mail portion of the strategy consisted mainly of IKEA’s famous print catalog, which was condensed into a series of “mini-catalogs” each highlighting a specific area of the home. This made the content more manageable and enabled IKEA to send out more frequent mailings without overwhelming its target audience with too many campaigns. It also provided the chain with the chance to present multiple special offers, discounts and promotions over a period of time, instead of cramming them all into one or two mailings. This also kept up awareness and encouraged more frequent Internet sales activity.

Lead Generation Portion

Of course, in order to have consumers to whom it could send catalogs by direct mail, IKEA needed to constantly generate new leads. This was achieved by in-store and digital distribution of the catalogs and other offers, the option for customers to sign up to receive special offers by mail and the social media and email marketing portions of the strategy.

Social Media Portion

The company made full use of social media marketing by:

  1. Creating Facebook events for each new store building site and inviting local community members to the open house
  2. Implementing a social “check-in” option at the various departments in its stores. Users who checked in with Foursquare received tips and products of interest pushed directly to their mobile devices, and a badge after checking in at 75% of the in-store locations. Needless to say, the act of checking in provided IKEA with powerful intelligence on that customer segment, as well as providing users with the option to sign up for the mini-catalog direct mail campaigns.
  3. Creating “in-house” videos of families shopping for IKEA products, with the employees helping to assemble the products. The videos were then published on IKEA’s USA YouTube and Facebook pages.

Email Marketing Portion

A bi-weekly electronic newsletter was created that highlighted:

  • USA product information
  • Worldwide sustainability efforts
  • Recall information
  • Products destined to be discontinued
  • Design tips
  • A client-designed space

The primary purpose of the social media was to get users to sign up for the email newsletter, and the primary purpose of the email newsletter was to get sign-ups for the direct mail print catalog.

Implementation Success

So, a brave new campaign for a brave new world. Did it work? IKEA’s yearly summary for 2013 shows profits increased from 27.6 billion Euros in 2012 to 28.5 billion Euros in 2013. That’s fair evidence that something is working. We’re ready to bet it’s their big-picture approach to direct mail that’s helping to achieve it.

Image source: Direct Marketing News

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