There are two methods of marketing a company’s products. Direct Marketing and Indirect Marketing.
Indirect Marketing uses newspapers, magazines or on-air advertising. By using it you can reach many thousands, even millions, of potential customers. Its main disadvantages for the small or medium size company are that it is expensive, you don’t know who's seeing your advert and you can’t test market it on a small scale.
With Direct Marketing you are in complete control. You choose who gets your message and then target it directly to your chosen market using fax flyers, mailshots, emails, telesales calls, or any mixture. This is much more cost effective as it allows you to test and measure the response to see if your advert is working.
Just as there are two types of marketing, there are two types of advertising. Brand Advertising and Direct Response Advertising.
Brand Advertising is used by big companies to build and increase awareness of their brand. Smaller companies beware, unless you have lots of money which you are happy to lose - avoid Brand Advertising.
Successful small or medium size businesses use Direct Response Advertising and then only with the specific aim of generating a good, clear response. The type of response they want will vary depending upon the type of business they are in and their overall marketing strategy. It may be for an immediate purchase, it may be for someone to get in contact and ask for a brochure, or to visit their website, etc.
The great advantage of Direct Response Advertising is that you can very quickly tell whether it is working. It either produces a response or it doesn’t. The response can be measured and used to check that your advertising works - and if your advertising isn’t working - STOP IT - and stop throwing your money away.
It is absolutely essential that you test and measure all your advertising !!
On every campaign the very least that you need to know is what the response was to your advert. From that, how many of these respondents were converted to sales. Then, what those sales are worth to you? From this figure, deduct the cost of the campaign to see how profitable, or not, the campaign was for you. You can then decide whether to step it up, alter it, or stop running it.
Building your company’s sales success through direct response marketing is fairly straightforward. Be innovative and continually test new marketing strategies on a small scale. This could be a direct mail campaign, a new fax flyer, a letter to your existing customers, an email, a two week telephone campaign etc. etc. You test small, then you measure the results. What did it cost? What revenue did it generate? If it wasn’t profitable, you’ve learnt an important lesson and move on. If it was profitable, you roll it out and make it an integral part of your marketing mix.
The above is a distillation of the excellent marketing advice given by Chris Cardell. To get a complete understanding of direct marketing techniques, read the complete series of articles at cardellmedia.com