The fact that we’re asking if direct marketing is ‘still’ effective should give you a hint that this form of marketing has been around for a long time; a very long time. Indeed, it was the only form of marketing during the centuries when business people were called merchants because its basic definition is selling a product or service directly to the customer. You’re sending the customers your marketing messages directly. Effective direct marketing campaigns use a strong call-to-action (CTA) to get customers to act upon a message or an offer. It’s a type of advertising where there is no middleman, and it’s a targeted form of marketing.
Forms of direct marketing
In this age, direct marketing can use telemarketing, voicemail, email, or door-to-door selling. Other common forms of direct marketing include:
- Targeted online display ads
- Phone calls
- Text messages
The goal of direct marketing
Sometimes marketing techniques might only be used to create an awareness or inform the consumer about a product or service. In such cases, you’re just educating the people you’re marketing to. Direct marketing mainly has one goal, and it relies heavily on CTA. The goal is to make a sale. Today, customers have become much savvier, and do their homework before making any type of purchase. So, they might not be ready to buy immediately but via direct marketing, the marketer is directing the consumer to take an action. Watching a video, sharing a post, visiting a site, making a phone call, downloading something are all types of CTA that direct marketing might want you to take.
Why is it still effective?
Targeted audience: For starters, mass advertising is presented to everyone; those who want and don’t want your product. Direct marketing is presented only to people who are assumed to have an interest or need of your product. This is based on gathered information about consumers.
Utilize limited resources: Direct marketing can work better for smaller-sized companies because their resources are limited. Whatever resources you have, you want to make use of them in areas that will produce results. Advertising specific products, services, special offers and events means you are controlling the message, the offer and controlling where and how you want to advertise.
Test your marketing: You can test drive a product or service on a sample of your audience, giving you the opportunity to see the results and feedback before committing your marketing skills to a full blown campaign. You might find that you’re not receiving the response you were expecting. This will allow you to tweak your method or message or delivery.
Branding: Small businesses tend to view branding as something reserved only for big businesses and very large audiences. But by simply creating a cohesive plan with an experienced Direct Marketing Company to handle your campaign, you don’t have to do it all alone. They will use their techniques, provide offers for your targeted audiences and combine all the assets to get yourself a recognizable branded product.
Cost effective: Because you’re in control of much of the marketing, this kind of marketing is cost effective. Email marketing or phone calls are samples of marketing that even the smallest of businesses can afford.
Personalize for a better response: Effectiveness means reaching your audience with a personal touch. Direct mail or email can be addressed to a specific person, and include details like order history. Addressing the recipients personally offers better ways for businesses and organizations to connect with customers. Everyone likes to be treated specially, but it also gives you the means to know your customers better.
Measure results: This marketing has its own ways of tracking and measuring results. Tracking will tell you just how many customers you’ve reached, responses received, and how much money you’ve spent per person. Also, when it’s time to test a new product, you’ll be able to know what product appeals to which types of customers. All this means you can measure how effective your direct marketing campaign is by determining your return on investment (ROI.)
Though it has its own challenges, for many businesses, direct marketing is a comprehensive form of marketing that gets results. From direct mail to phone call conversations, it allows you to target customers with accuracy. You’ll also be able to stay in touch with old customers who actually generate much of your business, while making new customers. You can promote special offers or events and let your targeted audience know about your business in a cost effective way.