Marketing has a long history rooted in human and societal evolution— ever since people had assets to sell, they’ve been marketing. Over time, as societies and the technologies they use have advanced, marketing has matured to meet new communication styles. By far, the most transformative factor of marketing has been the Internet. Today, the landscape of marketing changes rapidly, and marketing professionals have to keep up-to-date with the best technological tools for reaching customers. With a larger toolbox of marketing technologies, comes the ability to directly communicate with customers.
Direct Marketing and Why It’s Great for Companies
When a business develops an indirect marketing campaign, they are essentially proclaiming their brand’s message to the skies and seas— hoping it doesn’t land on deaf ears. Direct marketing strategies aim to get targeted advertising or messaging in front of a specific customer group. This kind of marketing uses tools, such as CRM data, to directly affect a customer’s buying decision. In its beginnings, marketers conducted direct marketing strategies by sending mail and making phone calls; in the contemporary landscape, professionals use email campaigns and social media.
One of the greatest advantages of direct marketing is that companies can measure consumer response. The measurability of direct marketing allows businesses to accurately assess if their campaigns are working. For example, if you own an online clothing store and offer a discount code, you can use analytics software to see if the customers used the code in their purchase. If the majority of customers are using the code, then it might be a good marketing strategy to replicate in the future.
Direct Marketing in the Modern Landscape
Today, companies that are achieving considerable success are harnessing the power of the Internet and social media to craft effective direct marketing campaigns. Direct marketing channels provide businesses with the most efficient line of communication between a customer and their product— the traditional “middleman” is eliminated. This style of marketing has benefits for a company and consumer alike.
Direct Marketing and Product Experience
A positive product experience is one of the best ways to drive consumer action. Traditionally, businesses created a product experience through the aesthetic of their store. A store that has a certain vibe and ambience can be a powerful force in influencing consumers— choose the right décor and design features and you drive a lot of transactions.
Today, marketers have to work hard to translate the powerful storefront experience to their website. Customers still want the store experience but in a more evolved, efficient delivery. Converting the modern customer requires creating an aesthetic, brand experience on various communication channels. Designing a direct marketing campaign can allow businesses to provide consumers with powerful product experience.
Direct Marketing and Decision Making
In the past, marketers had to guess how well their campaigns were converting. Today, strategies such as, direct marketing, provide companies with the numbers and data to see what techniques are working. The hard and fast numbers are where direct marketing campaigns excel.
When designing a direct marketing campaign, such as, an email newsletter, you can apply a variety of tracking elements that will give you data about how your campaign is converting. This data can be essential in developing a deeper understanding of your customer and the messaging they want from your brand. Additionally, the ability to analyze various campaigns can drive decision making for future strategy. If you send an email newsletter with a specific subject line that converted highly, you might want to use it again in the future.
Direct Marketing and Customer Relationships
Forging positive customer relationships is crucial for a company. If your customer base does not feel a strong connection to your brand or service, you’ll have trouble when new products enter your niche market. The most successful brands are those that develop and maintain relationships with their customers.
With the onset of social media, there are more channels than ever before to connect with your consumer base. Utilizing these outlets to maintain and build relationships will help drive business and conversions. Using a direct marketing campaign, such as an email blast, is a great way to keep your customers up-to-date with the happenings of your business. Since direct marketing campaigns are sent to specific audiences, it is easy to tailor your tone and strategy to drive click-throughs.
Direct Marketing and Consumer Engagement
Broad messaging is a gamble: you might ignite a response with some potential customers, you might not. When you send out an indirect marketing campaign to an undefined audience, you risk not reaching potential consumers— your email could land in the inbox of people who don’t care at all about your product. As a marketer, you want to engage with potential consumers who would be happy to know your company exists.
Using harvested data from an analytics platform is a great way to send a targeted message to a specific audience— your customer engagement will increase dramatically. Analyzing data from CRM software provides an abundance of useful information. From a data analytics platform, you can gain insight into the kinds of people who would benefit from your product and the best ways to communicate with them. If you take the time to look at the hard numbers, you can make effective decisions on how to promote your products.
Direct Marketing and Higher Return on Investment
The goal of every marketing campaign is to increase profits. Direct marketing has a much higher ROI (return on investment) than other forms of marketing. Since you are targeting customers who have an interest in your product, you are more likely to gain conversions. Using tailored strategies increases the likelihood of making a sale to a specific customer.
At its core marketing is about understanding consumer needs. As the needs of people adapt to cultural and technological changes, marketing must also adapt its delivery methods. Today, the consumers are fed information through more outlets than ever before and it’s important that companies communicate in contemporary styles. Direct marketing is a great strategy for communicating directly to your targeted consumer and is effective at driving conversions.
Also published on Medium.