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What is Direct Marketing?

What is Direct Marketing? Why your business should be using Direct Marketing!

Direct Marketing envelope

Direct Marketing is the process of marketing to your customers without an intermediary between the seller (you) and the buyers or in other words your customers.

Direct Marketing then as a simple definition is sending your marketing message directly to you audience or buyers. This is important because when comparing large brands that use mass media marketing channels like TV, Radio and Newspapers or Magazines can afford to run and sustain marketing campaigns whereas most Small Medium Businesses can not.

Mass Media Marketing works with a high frequency or exposure to the message(s) over a sustained period from a single brand or sub-brand. This is why it is generally to expensive for Small Medium Businesses (SMB) to use mass media. This is why Direct Marketing offers a great opportunity for SMB’s to create great marketing and even better marketing results than some larger organisations may experience without the large expense.

The great thing about Direct Marketing is that there are more benefits to be had with Direct Marketing and a Direct Marketing Plan to identify them than trying to run mass media advertising. With an identified direct marketing plan or even a tactical marketing plan using direct marketing techniques your business can create great marketing communications that drive response and really do increase sales.

Compared to the limited mass media approach of TV, Radio and Newspapers whereas, Direct Marketing offers your business a broad selection of ‘Channels’ or communication methods to deliver your direct marketing message to your customer. Importantly the communication will be direct and there are no intermediaries between your message and your target audience which may be a consumer or a business.

Hence the terms Business to Consumer (B2C) or Business to Business (B2B). So, depending on your audience you can choose a variety of direct marketing communication tools like;

  • Direct Mail
  • Internet Marketing (Websites, Micro-sites, Search Engine Marketing)
  • Email Marketing
  • SMS and Mobile Marketing
  • Catalogue and leaflet marketing (commonly referred to as junk mail marketing)
  • Telemarketing
  • Direct Selling (A sales force which can also referred to as Face to Face Sales)
  • Fax Marketing campaigns

With a well planned direct marketing campaign you can include a single channel or even combine them. By incorporating different channels such as; an email, website, direct mail and a phone number to call to order or arrange a meeting that campaign has become and integrated marketing campaign.

By linking in several direct channels your not only creating a consistent message to the prospect or customer but allowing for multiple preferred means of contacting the customer and providing easy access for the customer to ‘close the loop’ and get back to you.

Direct Marketing also employs a very important method to get your customers to act, to do something, this is known as a “call to action” in your marketing message you may ask your customer to “call now on 1300 Number” or “redeem this coupon in-store” there are many different ways to create a Response with call to actions.

The key is that Direct Marketing can provide insight and real numbers about how effective the campaign was. This is done by tracking the responses to your email, calls and visits to your website against the number of converted customers into sales. And from here we can calculate the Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI, ROI) for every dollar invested returned an increase of “X” dollars in extra revenue.

One very key area in direct marketing, which was championed by Seth Godin back in the early 2000’s, is the importance of Permission Marketing. Direct Marketing can be a very successful marketing strategy but if it is used to “carpet bomb” existing and potential customers too frequently and they had not requested the communications then this fast becomes ‘Junk Mail’ and that is the last thing a great Business or Marketer wants.

Why is junk mail bad?

Clearly their is an obvious quick answer, if you did not ask for it then it is junk. But a more important answer for business is it is wasted investment and a poor use of marketing capital. If your messages are ending up in the bin then that is your marketing budget and potential the long-term health of your brand which you are also binning.

So, why permission first?

Seth says, that when you have permission to have a conversation with your customers, because they have asked you to send information to them. Then your business has permission to engage and build a rapport with that customer through ongoing communications, as long as they want to receive them! And this is what every good marketer knows, in fact the top of the list response to what Seth asked thousand of marketers is “Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.”

So, direct marketing + relationship can = great marketing outcomes. But you have to manage your customers and take their requests for opting in and out of communications seriously. This is why it is so important to also manage your customer data with a marketing database. And in fact most if not all direct marketing activities require database marketing capability.

So, this should be a pretty good overview of Direct Marketing and some of the tools and communication channels you can use. Integrati Marketing Consulting knows that Direct Marketing works. Direct Marketing Melbourne, think Integrati Marketing, we have marketing consultants and email consultants on hand to help your business with your customer dialogue programmes and integrated marketing services.

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