Direct Marketing – Brand Identity Guru Tips

If your company doesn’t have a direct marketing program in place, a direct marketing agency can create one for you. A direct marketing company provides small to very large customizable ranges of business-to-business and business-to-consumer direct marketing options sure to fit your needs. From database creation and maintenance to data analysis and creative program execution, a direct marketing company can take any existing direct marketing program, or a lack of one, and develop a highly efficient direct sales machine for your company.

A good direct marketing company employs experts in each aspect of direct marketing who have proven time and time again they have what it takes to create a successful direct mail campaign and turn your existing unorganized data into a powerful computer-readable customer database.

The goal of any successful direct marketing program is ultimately a positive effect on your bottom line. Good direct marketing programs are proven performers that will give you an edge over your competition. The direct marketing expertise and capabilities that a good direct marketing company offers will turn your direct marketing expenditures into successful investments.

Look for a company that has years of target market research experience ready to work for you. They will uncover who your best customers are and develop a direct marketing campaign that will get them to respond.

They should know how to impact behavior, get results and form the basis for long-term relationships with your customers and prospects.

Direct marketing abilities should include:

– Direct response advertising

– Customer relation’s management

– Data management services and data analysis

– Media planning, media buying and complete direct marketing campaign management

Seven HUGE Tips to Direct Marketing that gets results

Successful direct marketing takes planning and strategic thought…

1. Know your goal: What do you want your direct marketing to accomplish? What kind of impression do you wish to leave? Do you wish to inform your prospects about your product or just make them aware? Recently, Brand Identity Guru was asked by a client to expand its direct marketing efforts, so we created a direct marketing piece to showcase our client’s most attractive points. That direct marketing piece now accounts for 30 percent of the client’s new business.

2. Research: Don’t just have a list. Learn something about your customers so you can speak to them better. Discover their hot buttons, so you can push them.

3. Plan properly: The best direct marketing campaigns work along with PR, traditional advertising, brand strategy and efforts by your sales force. Ultimately, each piece is part of a larger total company campaign and should work together.

4. Be relevant: Direct marketing efforts should offer something your clients might want to buy.

5. Be conscious of details: Find the name of your primary contacts, and make sure you spell them right in the items you send to them. Even the best direct marketing piece is useless in the trash.

6. Be consistent: Use a series of pieces that speak to your customer’s needs. Don’t know what they are? Ask. Usually, December is not a good time because mailboxes are already overcrowded. Brand Identity Guru suggests waiting until February or another month.

7. Follow up: If you don’t follow up, the results of your direct marketing efforts could crash to a halt. Initiate a conversation with people on your list. A phone call a week or two after your mailing is a great idea.

Direct marketing is a powerful tool to capture your prospects’ attention and orders. If your direct marketing includes an attractive offer, imagine what the results will be. Throw in a brand-centric foundation and you have a direct marketing effort even more powerful than the sum of its parts.

Direct Marketing Systems For Business Success

If you are not getting the sales you want, effective direct marketing systems are probably not part of your marketing toolkit.

Marketing Effectiveness

Mass marketing methods used to work, but these days, traditional marketing to mass audiences is very wasteful. In his book, Permission Marketing, Seth Godin claims that, on average, we are subjected to around 3,000 marketing messages each day. The message we need to understand from this situation, as marketers, is that it is becoming far more difficult to get our message through to our market, because the clutter of marketing messages makes it almost impossible to attract attention.

With the effectiveness of mass marketing methods having deteriorated over the years to the point of relative ineffectiveness that they have now reached, the most important strategy for us in marketing has become identifying and targeting our most receptive audience. Marketing now needs to be up close and personal to be effective. It does not matter how good our message is and what media we use, if we are not directing our communication to someone who is desperately hungry for our product we stand little chance of success.

Target Market

Can you describe your ideal customer? To effectively target your customers you need to be able to describe the ideal customer in intimate detail. To more effectively communicate with your target market, you need to know the physical and geographic elements that describe your ideal customer, what makes them tick and why they like your product. Having identified our target market, we now need to find out how to communicate our message. This element has two aspects: what is our message and what media we use to deliver it.

Message

Our message to our market must achieve a five things:
1. Attract the attention of our target market by addressing a specific need
2. Present an attractive solution to satisfy the particular need
3. Present proof that our solution is the best
4. Create an urgency to seek the solution now, and
5. Motivate action to obtain the solution.

Our message need not necessarily be delivered in a single communication, although if it can be effectively done in one hit, only use one hit. However, for many products or services, a series of communications may be required to effectively deliver the message. Our direct marketing system is what we need to design to deliver our message appropriately. Our direct marketing system will comprise as many steps and methods as we need to work our way through these five stages of acceptance.

Our initial direct marketing messages must be directed towards generating leads by attracting the attention of the people in our market who have the need our product addresses. It will depend on the maturity of our market as to how much work we need to do at this point. For new products, lead generation may require considerable work to educate the market about the existence of the problem before you can present your solution. For more mature products, a need is often very apparent.

Once we have attracted attention, our aim is to get those people to identify themselves as having the particular need, so that we can turn our efforts towards lead conversion. This is achieved through the final four steps of our direct marketing system. The scepticism that exists in the world today means that you have to work hard to get your market to accept your product is the best solution to meet their need. You must be careful how you make this claim. It must be believable and acceptable.

We all tend to procrastinate and put off taking action to the last minute. You need to overcome this inertia by creatively communicating reasons to “do it now.” Using the concept of impending loss is the most effective method to achieve urgency. This can often be achieved through communicating scarcity and the risk of missing out if immediate action is not taken. This could also be achieved with the risk of a price rise leading to a perceived loss of the price difference if the purchase is left to after the price rise. However, there are many other ways to communicate urgency and it is best to be creative rather than use tired and unimaginative methods that customers may see through and regard as mere techniques to get them to buy now.

The most important element after getting this far is to motivate action to buy. Many marketing communications are weak at this point. Many ads we see promote a product and do everything else right, but leave out the call to action. Subtlety is an ineffective marketing tool. You need to tell your customers what you want them to do to buy your product.

Media

The final step in developing our direct marketing system is to determine the appropriate media to use. Many people make the mistake of thinking about media first and then developing the message. This often happens when you have an advertising sales person pressuring you to buy space in their media. This approach leads to poor or worse, zero results. When you have identified your target market and developed the appropriate messages, the decision about media is much easy to work out. Often, it will depend on how easy your target market is to reach. You need to use the most efficient means of attracting the attention of the people most ready to buy. In lead conversion processes, you may use a combination of direct mail, internet (email and web sites), or personal selling approaches, again depending upon the ease of reach.

Conclusion

One vital aspect of developing an effective direct marketing system and a huge advantage over traditional marketing approaches, is the ability to test your system before you commit enormous amounts of money to it. Mass media marketing is expensive and unaccountable. Direct marketing systems give you the ability to measure results and track your return on investment. You can trial your system in small quantities before you roll it out to a larger audience. Eventually, with the right fine tuning, your direct marketing system will deliver predictable results. You will be able to plan your expenditure and schedule your marketing program to deliver the sales volumes you need at any time. Ultimately, your direct marketing system should deliver you all the sales from the most preferable and profitable customers that you would ever want.

The Significance of Direct Marketing KPI

When you are developing direct marketing KPI, there are inevitably a lot of factors to consider here. First of all, you have to remember that the number of KPI to use should be limited, to avoid further confusion when it comes to the interpretation and analysis of collected data. As with KPIs that are used in other industries and for some other purpose, less is actually more.

With that being said, let us move on to direct marketing, more specifically, direct mail marketing. Now, it is a common practice for direct mail marketers to collect marketing response data. This is essential towards the objective and effective comparison of the different direct mail design and content. Collecting marketing response data is also needed when you aim to assess the different creative approaches, offers, templates, and other aspects that have strong influence on the success of your marketing campaign itself. This way, whatever campaign you hold in the future, you will have real-time results and conclusions that you can use as basis for whatever move you make.

Now, more often than not, direct mail marketing companies also prefer to use benchmarks that are just of the average in the industry. But why not go for broke here? Why go for just the average? Just think about it for a second here: the average benchmarks would actually be the ones that are commonly used by the many companies in the industry. Thus, you are able to get a more objective point of view here. The average should then be used when you aim to analyze just how effective and efficient your marketing program is.

However, you also have to remember that there are certain factors that have strong influence on benchmarking statistics. Take for example the direct mail medium or type that you are using. There are actually different types that you can choose from, which include brochures, booklets, newsletters, and even business cards! Even the relationship that the company has with its customers can also be a factor of strong influence here. The very profile of the company itself is also on the list. Thus, it is an imperative to use benchmarks that are of the average in the industry in establishing direct marketing key performance indicators.

But if you want to go for the more effective method, then you should consider going with email marketing instead of the traditional form of direct mail marketing. When it comes to postal direct mail, your response rate is actually a bit limited here. This would depend on the percentage of people or recipients who respond to your marketing campaign by calling the number that you leave, or by physically visiting your store, or by sending back a business reply card of some sort. However, with email marketing, the response rate is not that limited at all. With email marketing, the recipient or the potential customer need not physically visit your store at all. This is already a huge plus in terms of convenience. Also, all the recipient has to do is just reply to the email itself, or better yet, join the mailing list or the very service that you are offering.

Still, direct mail marketing remains very cost-effective in terms of attracting new customers. And if you have the proper direct marketing KPI implanted for your system, the figures will certainly become more promising for your marketing campaign.