What is direct marketing?
To give the most helpful definition of direct marketing (Also known as direct response marketing) or DM as its known, I think it’s good to set a baseline of what it’s not.
The type of marketing that most of us know is known as mass marketing, depending on who you talk to it can also be known as branding. In other words its goal is to get as many people as possible familiar with the company and its products.
This type of advertising or mass marketing is designed to keep the company in front of you with warm and fuzzy, award winning ads and commercials. You will see this from major brands such as Ford, Dell Computer or even Pepsi.
This type of marketing is expensive and not intended for results to be tracked.
What makes direct marketing different?
DM is designed to talk to someone specific, make a specific offer and ask for a specific action. This action can be an email response, call a 1 800 phone number and of course make a purchase.
The main elements of a direct response ad are as follows:
- It has a headline with a compelling clear benefit
- It’s intended to reach a specific prospect or customer who has specific needs or wants.
- The call to action or CTA is specific and explicit. In other words it is directly asking for a response.
- The offer to spur the call to action has motivating features such as urgency, scarcity, a limited time or even specific terms and conditions to complete the purchase.
Who can benefit the most from direct marketing strategies?
As your firm’s marketing process unfolds the key benefits of a direct response marketing program is that it is trackable and measurable. For most entrepreneurs marketing budgets can be tight. A DRM program can help you invest in your business the most profitably by tracking and making adjustments to the feedback you get from prospects and customers.
As your understanding of direct response marketing improves, it is actually an exciting part of running your small business because you are mining your customer database for the most likely offer that will be profitable. There is no more guessing you are making offers that have a high probability to earn money based on the actual actions your prospects and customers take that get measured and improved.
With your business is online or off-line today’s savvy marketers demand their marketing budgets and campaigns are targeted, customer focused communications. The better you are able to measure the results the more reliable you can track your return on investment so you can spend that time and money where it can make the most impact to your revenues.
How to apply direct marketing to your business.
we live in a world with multiple channels of communication, which means multiple opportunities to ask a prospect or customer to take action. The strategy known as multichannel marketing is an organized effort on your part to interact with your market through as many relevant sources that make sense for your business.
Some of the tools you have available are of course in person, telephone, text messaging, social media, search engines, direct mail, email and of course the Internet more specifically your website.
The Internet by the way whether you are online or even off-line is giving us the most amazing direct response channel ever created. Never in history has a small business owner had the opportunity, at such low cost, to directly interact with potential customers. It’s an amazing time we live in.
If you don’t believe that to be true think about the cost of a stamp for every email you send out. I think back to the days when I first started in business and can’t tell you how many stamps I licked. We are living in a very exciting time for marketers and entrepreneurs.
Direct marketing recap.
It is the interactive use of multiple channels of media to stimulate an immediate response in such a way that it can be tracked, recorded, measured and stored in a CRM database for future use.
The basic purpose of any direct response marketing campaign or program is to get a measurable response that will produce an immediate customer segmentation or ultimate profit. In order to create a measurable response, there must be an offer – as we said a call to action.
Small business owners should embrace direct marketing for the sole purpose of maximizing limited resources to grow your business. This method of building your business, both attracting, capturing and growing a list of customers is most efficiently done through direct response marketing.