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Diverse marketing campaign contributes to huge Census return rate

Draftfcb, a New York marketing firm, was summoned by the U.S. Census Bureau to help lead a massive nationwide campaign aimed at ensuring optimal returns on 2010 census reports. Working alongside other companies, Draftfcb coordinated the overall initiative, which included 210 individual media plans across a number of different population sectors.

Of principle concern was getting returns from rural or hard-to-reach areas of the country, including some that may mistrust the government or be impervious to modern advertising.

"Versus 2000, the point of view of all the communications shifted from the government telling you to fill out your form, to people in effect saying, 'This is our Census,' is in our hands," mentioned Jeff Tarakajian, group management director for Draftfcb, to Direct Marketing News.

The campaign itself involved a wide range of marketing platforms, incorporating web and print resources, as well a translation of the Census Bureau website into 59 different languages. Upon completion, it garnered a 72 percent response rate from Americans. In addition, the relatively fast turnaround contributed $1.6 billion in savings, due to unspent labor costs.

The success of the marketing campaign highlights the value of diversifying marketing resources and initiatives. A well-rounded campaign is the most effective way to reach a wider target audience.

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