Introduction to Direct Marketing
Direct marketing Benefits, as the name suggests, is a form of marketing wherein a company touches base with the customer and receives direct feedback from the customer for its product or service. Moreover, since the response is almost immediate, it’s considered to be more reliable, which is perhaps a necessity in this fast-changing world. Companies nowadays want to be more in sync with what the customer demands; hence they have resorted to a new type of marketing known as Direct Marketing benefits by the effect of which companies want to ensure that they are the customer’s first preference.
Some Ways to Use Direct Marketing Benefits Effectively
Marketing is the key that unlocks the immense potential that businesses have to offer. Organizations are quite particular about their sales and marketing division because of their proximity to the clients. It is their feedback that helps them in making more suitable products that customers need and prefer.
For ages, companies have been relying on direct marketing benefits tricks and promotions, and in this new age of e-commerce where businesses have shrinking margins and technology has made life simpler, it becomes all the more imperative for the companies to stay in touch with their customers to get the hang of the customer’s nerve, to understand the customer more n more properly.
There was a time when companies use to dish out a product and expect the consumers to use it.
Now it’s the other way round; companies have to be on their toes throughout and keep doling out products based on customer expectations and preferences and keep reinventing older products to suit the present requirements.
Some ways of using direct marketing types:
- Telephone marketing
- Direct Response TV
- Brochures / Coupons
- Facebook / Twitter
Direct Marketing Advantages and Disadvantages
Given below are the advantages and disadvantages mentioned:
1. Email Direct Marketing
One of the most popular and long-standing forms of direct marketing is email or direct mail. Sending mails to your preferred set of customers is one of the oldest methods of letting customers know of your presence. It helps to build new customers by letting them know what product or service you offer, to reminding you already build customer base about your presence or just increasing your customer loyalty by giving some freebies over the mail upon the click of a button. Emails, no doubt, are the most basic way to touch base with the customer, but it is very essential to understand whether your target customer is actually being contacted or not. Just sending unsighted emails to anybody and everybody on your list would not fetch you the desired results; in fact, they become infuriating for the customer to the point of losing the customer base.
Such unwarranted emails normally form a part of the junk mail or spam folder of your customer’s email account. Hence it is very essential to understand your target customer and send the emails to those whom you believe might respond to your quest. The best way out is to filter your database and segregate it basis certain aspects be it age, profession, or income level, categories that you think would be essential in creating that formidable list of clients who you think would really be interested in your product or service.
E-mails can also be used to find out and analyze a new product or service you are about to launch in the market. Direct marketing benefits through emails are like that Launchpad wherein you can get the hang of how the customer would react towards your product or service. A small group of consumers can be sent a mail to try a new service or product furthermore;, you could even imply a direct response technique wherein the recipient of the mail has to click on a button or fill in some form of code if he/she is interested in the product or service.
In those ways, it becomes easier for companies to keep track of how many people are interested in their offering since they get an immediate, measurable response which helps them in analyzing the data received.
2. Telephone Marketing
Another common method of using direct marketing technique is through telephone calls. Making a telephonic call can help you understand the response towards your product or service almost immediately.
The conversion rate, no doubt, is quite marginal since you have to make a lot of calls to achieve the desired results. A rough estimate states that out of every 10 calls made, 7 might show interest in your product, 5 would be ready to meet you face to face for the demonstration, and finally, 1-2 may be converted into sales.
But utmost care should be taken while making direct telephone calls for the sake of direct marketing benefits. Proper telephonic etiquette should be taken care of, be polite in your conversation, ask the customer whether it is a suitable time to talk to them and whether they would not mind sparing a few minutes of their precious time in listening out to your product offering, along with this also ensure that the list that you decide to call upon should be free of any DND numbers.
Customers nowadays are very particular about their privacy which makes it all the more imperative that you first sort out your list so that you give a call to only those people who do not mind receiving sales promotion calls. Mobile phone users across the globe have increased drastically, with the current statistics estimates that there are over 5.6 billion people using mobile phones. Keeping this fact in mind, companies are resorting to sending text messages to customers so as to inform them about their offerings. Short Text Message or SMS is another way of doing direct marketing benefits that have been used by many companies to create an interest and curiosity about their product or service.
Messages are sent either to new customers from the database or to the customers who have already bought products from you. Information about the new product or service is sent through SMS; the customer’s response helps companies comprehend whether their product has been accepted or not. Along with informing about the new offering, companies also provide options for discounted purchases to the customers in case they further their purchase from them by inserting a certain code right away.
SMS marketing, like other ways of direct marketing, helps you unlock the immense potential that this form of direct marketing benefits has to offer by measuring the response you receive as far as your product or service is concerned almost instantly.
3. Direct Response TV
Direct response tv is the new age method of using direct marketing benefits. You must have noticed led screens at most of the eating joints with commercials running on them. They aren’t the normal commercials you have seen on your tv screens; these are specially prepared commercials for the target audience, popularly known as infomercials which target a specific group of people. Most restaurants are full of families or youngsters, which are catered to through these infomercials.
The companies can also decide to run which commercials to be played at what time of the day; for example, in the morning and early afternoons when it’s mostly college students who visit the restaurant or food joint, they can play certain specific commercials which would be of services or products that would interest the youth and at other time play commercials targeted for the family at a later part of the day when families normally visit the place.
Brochures or coupons are used by many companies to create awareness about their products. Its use is not only limited to smaller and newer companies but to old and established companies as well. To substantiate with an example, you must have noticed many nearby pizza companies providing you with brochures or flyers of their offerings. Some companies also offer coupons for the purchase of a certain pizza with others offer them for free or a certain amount of discount on your second or third order. This technique of providing freebies or discounted items comes under direct marketing.
This strategy has also been applied by various beauty parlors or even automobile workshops wherein they provide you with free coupons for a few services and a discounted price for other services. This way, they cajole you to visit their store once and become a part of their customer list if you like their services. Brochures or coupons can be given to your neighborhood homes in case your place of work is located near a residential society or could be handed over to the people in the parking lot if your office is located in a marketplace.
Moreover, any service or product that targets students should be handed over to them outside a college or some famous food joint where the students hang out; for a service targeted at women, the coupons should be mostly distributed at houses or some other places where women normally visit.
Say, for example, for a beauty service provider, the best place to provide brochures would be either at the target audience home or a daycare center and vice versa for a daycare centre’s advertisement, the coupons could be delivered at the beauty care provider.
Facebook or social media has immense potential when it comes to delivering the desired results. With near about 3 billion internet users across the globe, the power of the internet and social media cannot be ignored. Every day a large number of people are being connected to each other via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube; the internet has surely opened new doors for advertising for companies.
Many newly built companies are using the power of social media to create awareness about their offering. With the numerous mobile apps built every day, the companies find it easier to entice customers to download their apps or visit their websites for a wonderful customer experience. How many times have you noticed a new app being sold on your Facebook page or your Twitter handle? Companies these days are using such smart techniques to get in touch with their customers.
The best part is that they are already aware of your demographics; hence this is the sure-shot method of email direct marketing compared to sending emails and SMS or making telephonic conversations. The best part is that by downloading an app, you give a direct response to the company about your likability of the product or service offered by them.
Email direct marketing is the new age of marketing; with the boom in the usage of internet users across the globe and e-commerce mushrooming, it becomes imperative for companies to have more hands-on information about their target audience, which perhaps direct marketing benefits helps to attain to a larger extent. Unlike older versions of advertising and email, direct marketing and direct marketing types like television commercials and billboards where the exact effect of the companies’ effort couldn’t be measured, this is a way in which response is directly received by the company.
Moreover, direct marketing benefits are cost-effective also, which makes it all the more a viable option in these days of shrinking margins. Its effect is far-reaching and involves lesser hassle and time. So next time you receive an email or message from a company, don’t just brush it aside to spam; you never know the company might be inviting you for that purchase with a discounted coupon inside!!.
This is a guide to Direct Marketing. Here we discuss the introduction and direct marketing advantages and disadvantages respectively. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –
- Email Etiquette Rules
- 10 Best Tools of Direct Marketing
- Marketing Cloud Training
- Offline Marketing Campaigns