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Direct Marketing

In the modern age of technology where we buy things online, conduct conversations over cell phones and even have relationships on the internet, there are still few things as powerful as connecting on a personal level and talking to customers one on one. Avant Communication can help you to garner the results of direct marketing.

How is direct marketing different?

Direct marketing, as the name indicates, is marketing that reaches consumers directly. In other words mainstream media is substituted for a more direct approach. The advertiser chooses the individuals whom they would like to reach and then strategically targets them with direct marketing material. The responsibility of direct marketing material is to encourage a direct action from a person. Typically, it would want someone to request additional information or make a purchase and encourage them to do it immediately either by directing people to visit a website, call a toll free number, fill out a coupon etc.

What constitutes direct marketing?

Direct marketing can take on many forms e.g. customer care lines, catalogues, coupons, door drops, in-store sampling, door-to-door demos or creative gift boxes. Most of the time your direct marketing campaign will contain four primary elements: 

– First there is the offer 
- This is followed by enough information so that the consumer can decide whether they would like to act 
- Next is a clear “call to action” 
- Finally the consumer is provided with a means of response. Often they are given multiple options e.g. a toll free number, a link to a website or an e-mail address.

What are the benefits?

It can be more cost effective – depending on how and where you roll out your direct marketing campaign, it is considerably cheaper than choosing mainstream media such as TV and radio. Less wastage by targeting the specific individuals, organisations or neighbourhoods that are relevant to your brand you are ensuring that your advertising-spend is focussed on the people who matter. While a medium such as television can be very impactful you are also likely to speak to many people who are not your actual target. 

Valuable leads While many of the people you reach with your direct marketing campaign might not be ready to commit to a sale right away, they are often willing to sign up for more information. Once you have an e-mail address or a telephone number you have the ability to follow up these leads and build the potential consumer’s trust. Studies have shown that it can take 9 to 15 interactions with your brand before a person commits to a sale. By following up on these valuable leads you can convert a potential buyer into a sure customer. 

After-sales service Because you know who your customers are, it allows you to continue following up to make sure they are satisfied. Perhaps they even have suggestions on how to improve your product or service. This is how you can build trust and loyalty to cement a long-term relationship. Tracking With your direct advertising you can track the efficacy of every piece you send out, by asking people to quote a specific discount code or directing them to a unique e-mail address. This allows you to see which offers were more popular and allows you to do something similar or tweak your existing campaign. 

Research – Data can be collected on different markets and segments as well as individuals and their individual buyer behaviour. This information can be useful in future campaigns and strategies.

How is direct marketing changing?

Direct marketing historically referred to direct mail, but as the world has evolved, so has this genre of advertising. Today you’ll even find direct marketing on the television in the form of the popular infomercial. Infomercials are those TV ads that feature products and urge viewers to immediately call a certain telephone number in order to secure a unit. More recently, direct marketing has moved onto the internet. As an example of how direct marketing works on the internet, we can look at an airline. Customers book tickets directly with the airline over the internet, completely circumventing intermediaries like travel agents. The airline captures data such as the customer’s name, telephone number and e-mail address, and this can be used for marketing research, a loyalty scheme or to inform the customer of upcoming promotions and new flight destinations.

How can direct marketing be self-sustainable?

To get the most out of your direct marketing campaign the key is to set up several interlinked marketing processes. An example could be to (1) send out discount coupons that require a name and telephone number from the user. You can then (2) call this lead to tell them more about your products and direct them to your (3) call centre or (4) website for more information. The key is to remember that response shouldn’t be measured only in terms of sales. True engagement may take time. As we said before it can take between 9 and 15 exposures to your brand for a window shopper to turn into an actual buyer. The first visit to a store or website, the first text response each can be just as important as, and critical to, the first sale. 

An effective direct marketing strategy looks at attracting, maintaining and nurturing potentially profitable customers. The best way to do this is to incorporate a number of activities into your strategy. By following the steps of the direct marketing cycle you may experience unprecedented business results. They are as follow: 

1. Generating leads
2. Building trust
3. Converting into sales
4. Profiling customers
5. Growing relationships
6. Getting referrals (new leads)

And then you’ll start back at number 2. Each time you work your way through the direct marketing cycle it will yield a list of referrals. These leads are a welcome addition to the prospects that your other lead generation techniques will generate, and ensures a constantly growing database of potential customers.

How can Avant Communication help you?

We believe in direct marketing that garner results. Whether it is to make the phone ring, drive people to your website or store, or get the stock off your shelf, we are there to give you the solutions you need. Our direct marketing campaigns have helped clients to get the traffic they need to make their businesses succeed. We are ready to hear from you.