Direct Marketing – The Future of Advertisement

In large part because of the ever-evolving internet, direct marketing has become an increasingly popular sales method. This form of marketing is essentially an alternative to traditional advertisement strategies. Most of the companies that utilize these traditional methods pay for mass exposure in the form of television and radio commercials, newspaper ads, and by constantly running widespread internet advertisements.

When executing traditional marketing strategies, companies are simply appealing to the masses and hoping enough potential customers see their advertisements. Direct Sales Marketers operate in a vastly different manner than the aforementioned.

I’m Still Not Sure What Direct Marketing Is…

This strategy of marketing involves a salesman that brings their product right to you. Instead of hoping that the right demographic of customers is exposed to their massive advertisement campaigns, direct salesmen target specific customers and their specific needs. For example, if a direct marketer is representing a sugar loaded energy drink, he first determines who in the market is most likely to purchase the product and then targets those specific individuals.

Trying to sell a group of elderly woman at a Red Hat Club meeting a case of energy drinks is more than likely a waste of your valuable time and theirs. If the marketer sets up sales meetings with college students or young adults, he is far more likely to succeed in the selling of the product. If executed correctly, direct marketing has proven to be a fruitful industry time and time again.

It Sounds Like a Fun Career. How Can I Get In?

Direct marketing is a very unique career choice. Those involved in this industry are usually independent from the companies they represent and are self-employed. Self-employed marketers enjoy freedoms that most other members of our workforce dream of. When you don’t have a boss, guess who determines work hours? You do! People that have chosen this form of employment do a considerable amount of their work online and are able to work from home in the comfort of their furry robe. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this sector, there are a myriad of different products you can represent.

Does This Form of Marketing Pay Well?

Independent direct marketers are in complete control of their financial destiny. These entrepreneurs aren’t held hostage by a salary cap like other sales positions. Having access to a sales career with unlimited earning potential is close to unheard of. Product dependent, direct salesman are generally compensated well for their work. As in any entrepreneurial leap, a direct marketers income is entirely dependent on his quality and frequency of work. There is a phenomenal amount of money to be made in this industry.

A quick way to rise amongst the ranks of successful direct marketers is to establish a strong online presence. By blogging daily and running marketing and ad campaigns, you can gain validity in the eyes of your constituents and, more importantly, the eyes of your potential customers. This form of marketing offers a rare opportunity for self-employment and limitless mobility.

If you’re an entrepreneur or salesman at heart, direct marketing may be just the career you’re looking for.

Direct Marketing Techniques – Profiling and Targeting

Direct marketing techniques have over recent years become more sophisticated in order for businesses across many sectors to be able to compete with the best or to at least maximise their potential client base. Direct marketing techniques have not become more sophisticated in terms of making drastic changes, but the way in which certain aims and objectives are approached. Profiling and targeting is just one of those direct marketing techniques in which the approach has changed over recent years.

Companies that undertake direct marketing campaigns have had to change due to other marketing techniques being not only very popular, but also very competitive. For example, over the past decade or so, on-line marketing has become one of the most used marketing methods, but at the same time it’s the most competitive and can cost a fortune to ‘get noticed’ on-line; not always the case, but is a regular occurrence.

What does Profiling and Targeting enable Businesses to Achieve?

Profiling and Targeting enables businesses to target certain types of people; class, background, interests, gender and so forth. This certainly helps businesses to target individuals or groups of people that are more likely to be interested in the service or product that the business is offering. For example, SAGA, who specialise in services and products for the over 50’s group would not be maximising their marketing campaign if half of their leaflets were distributed to home owners that are under 50.

Therefore, there is much less chance of the marketing budget being wasted. Even though a business may profile and target their clients in a professional manner, this does not guarantee a successful direct marketing campaign. Other elements of the campaign must also be enticing, relevant and stand out from the competition I.e. a company should brand their products, services etc so that they appeal to the market in which they are trying to target; you would not have a dull looking leaflet if you are promoting holidays abroad – it just doesn’t work!

Whereas, if the leaflet stands out and appeals to the correct target audience, then there’s more chance of maximising your profits or achieving your overall aim of the direct marketing campaign.

How Does Profiling and Targeting Work?

OK, so once you’ve decided upon the type of marketing technique(s) e.g. leaflet distribution, there are certain aspects that need to be analysed on an in-depth basis – no stone should be left unturned, after all it’s your money that could not only be wasted, but leave you with the impression that your campaign didn’t work for the wrong reasons.

These are the steps in which you need to take when it comes to profiling and targeting effectively: –

  • Quality Assurance through planning – aspects such as identifying your target market (social class etc), decide on the number of leaflets you will distribute are determined at this stage.
  • Targeted Marketing Solutions – Understand your customers; look at the demographics of similar existing customers.
  • Geo demographic targeting – some direct marketing agencies will use software that targets customers demographically and can be the difference between a very successful and not so successful campaign.
  • Analyse statistics – ensure that statistics used from data bases are analysed in-depth so that opportunities are less likely to be missed and acted upon.

Direct marketing agencies that provide targeting and profiling services should be able to give you a good insight and understanding of what is required and the steps that would be potentially best to follow.

Procedures must also be followed but also flexible when needed to be i.e. agencies should be able to adapt to problems/issues in order for your business to gain maximum exposure.

Telemarketing Lead Generation and Other Direct Marketing Services

Promotional marketing makes it easier for you to reach possible clients and invite them to your company event, but it is not enough. Do not overlook traditional direct marketing services when developing your company’s promotional campaign. Direct marketing techniques are still as effective today as they were years ago. You will get better results when you address your clients directly.

Educate yourself with traditional direct marketing techniques you may want to use. A company offering professional direct marketing services will help you execute your marketing plan flawlessly. You can increase your responses significantly through the following methods.

Telemarketing Lead Generation

The most difficult part of traditional direct marketing is gathering fresh contacts. The Internet makes it easier to make your information available to the widest audience. Not everyone will check their emails, though. You must use Internet marketing strategies with traditional advertising methods to acquire the most desirable results.

Using telemarketing for lead generation purposes increases your response. You will see as high as 30% increase in registrations for your event. Following up regularly on these registered participants will give you a minimum of 60% increase in your attendance rate. Remember that your sales prospects increase if you convince more people to attend your business event.

People respond more to telemarketing because they talk to your company’s representative directly. They can ask questions and make clarifications on the spot, which helps them make more informed decisions. They will also be more open to providing additional information once you’ve built trust. Telemarketing lead generation is a great way to start building your contacts.

Direct Mail Promotion

Sending hard copies of your promotional materials is another method professional direct marketing services provide. Brochures, informative newsletters, posters and invites to your events are some examples of materials you can send potential clients via direct mail. These contacts may be from your provider’s market research, your existing subscriber list, or from the telemarketing lead generation campaign.

Direct mail works because your target customers will have something tangible to use as reference. These materials will serve as a constant reminder of your brand, your products and services. It is also more difficult to ignore these packages once they are there. This is in comparison to email promotional materials, which you can easily overlook with a click of the mouse button.

Direct Selling

Out of all the direct marketing services, direct selling is the one you will be most familiar with. You see it everywhere you go – in the malls, on the streets, even in your own home. You will promote and sell your products and services to potential clients face-to-face. You can do this directly by approaching each client one by one or visiting their homes. More companies choose the indirect way, where they either showcase their products in business conventions and company-sponsored events or they display their products at public markets and wait for clients to approach.

This is effective because your potential customers can see what you have to offer. They can inspect your products thoroughly or ask about your services directly without having to go through a representative. You can tell people what your brand is all about more accurately than any representative.

Remember that no marketing strategy is effective on its own. Combine these traditional marketing techniques with modern Internet marketing methods. You will observe your sales prospects increase over time.

Direct Marketing Is a Proven Method That Delivers Positive Results

Direct marketing entails a variety of advertising methods that are used to contact existing and potential customers via mail. Thanks to online marketing, owners now have additional ways to reach clients without purchasing expensive postage stamps.

Previously, direct marketing was limited to sales letters, postcards, and telemarketing calls. Now, businesses can take advantage of websites and blogs to acquire subscribers. Using collected email addresses, owners can send advertisements via email, social marketing networks, electronic newsletters, and Web advertising.

Innovative technologies have made is much easier for businesses to get connected with customers and deliver personalized advertisements. For instance, personal emails and digital newsletters can contain each recipient’s name, together with exclusive offers created especially for them.

Customized ads are a powerful way to get the attention of customers and can influence their purchasing decisions. Customization software can be used with cross platform marketing endeavors such as email, Web, and video marketing.

It is imperative to monitor results of each type of direct marketing campaign. Owners that make use of several strategies may find it advantageous to employ a marketing consultant. Professionals can assist owners with learning how to interconnect each strategy and monitor results.

One method that is becoming very popular is personalized online video advertising. These types of videos can be customized for every individual that views the ad. This provides a unique interactive experience and is a great way to let people see how innovative your company is.

Currently, only a handful of companies provide interactive video advertising, but it is likely to become more prevalent in the near future.

Another fascinating development is personalized websites. This technology automatically inserts visitors name or location at the website. Any time customers visit the site their name is inserted into the sales copy. Personalized business websites are a great way to collect information about each visitor’s buying habits. They are also ideal for companies that conduct online consumer surveys.

These methods do necessitate developing a database of opt-in subscribers. This can be achieved by providing a newsletter subscription form on websites and blogs; giving away complimentary reports that require people to subscribe; hosting a contest; or asking people to supply their email address in direct mail advertisements.

One of the greatest benefits of direct marketing is it is relatively easy to determine results. For example, if a company mails out 100 postcards and 10 people respond then owners realize they are getting a response rate of 10 percent.

The same is true for calculating response rates from Web marketing. If 100 people visit a website and 10 people subscribe to the newsletter, survey, contest, or offer of a free report, the response rate is 10 percent.

Owners that are inexperienced with direct marketing often find it helpful to enroll in a marketing training course or work with an experienced consultant. It is vital to comprehend how to fully participate in this style of marketing in order to obtain the greatest return on investment.

The Direct Marketing Association reports that approximately 55 percent of advertising funds are spent on direct marketing. In 2011, businesses invested over $160 million in direct advertising campaigns which resulted in close to $2 trillion in sales. Obviously, this form of advertising works, so owners would be wise to make good use of it.