First a definition. Q: what exactly is direct marketing? A: it is any form of marketing that advertises to a selected group or groups of people. For example by buying or renting a mailing or emailing list of people or businesses and sending them a marketing proposition on a product and/or service which from the list selection means they are more likely to respond.
The idea is simple. It is to send an attractive proposition (often accompanied by an offer) to those most likely to be interested in it. Classically, direct marketing asks the reader to make a ‘direct response’ – to buy the product or service being advertised, or to indicate interest in it. For example an upmarket conservatory company might mail a list of wealthy homeowners with information about a new conservatory range, offering free conservatory blinds as an incentive to buy. The mailing list would enable them to target their message where it is likely to be well received. The medium (in this case letter and leaflet in an envelope) gives them the space to show off their product and explain it in detail.
So direct marketing enables you to target your message and it can give you the space to explain your product(s) or services in detail – an advantage if you are selling something new, or complex. But there’s more. Crucially, direct marketing also allows you to calculate the cost of the campaign, the percentage of responses, hence the cost per response and the return on the initial investment. It is accountable – allowing you to discard the inessential and build on what works.
The advent of digital marketing added new media and marketing stages to the direct marketing process. You could advertise something via Facebook, for example, use the clicks to build a list of interested leads, then send the more information and an offer that would (hopefully) clinch a sale. Or you could turn a tube poster campaign into a direct marketing campaign by asking commuters to respond via Twitter.
For all these reasons, direct marketing makes perfect sense for many businesses, particularly those whose budgets don’t run to press or TV campaigns. But there are many who fight shy of it. So what is holding them back? Some confuse direct marketing with pure direct mail and assume it’s always got to be about letters and leaflets in envelopes. Others mistakenly cite high entry costs while many are simply turned off by the technology and terminology. We can all understand press, TV and emailings. But affinity analysis? Geocoding? Merge and purge?
As direct marketing experts with years of solid experience, Two Lizards can not only help companies to understand direct marketing techniques and processes, but can shape bespoke strategies that fit their business targets and budgets, often thinking beyond the classic direct mail pack in an envelope.
Whether you are B2C or B2B based (and we are very much at home with both), we start by looking at your sales process. Who are your customers? How can we find out more about them? Who influences their decisionmaking? How long does the purchasing decision take and is it one-stage (buying immediately) or more than one stage (acquiring more information, then making a decision)?
We look at your competitors, their processes and their advertising, the sector in which you are operating and any special issues attached to your products.
Our recommended strategy includes all these factors and more. And the medium or media at the heart of that strategy may not be direct mail at all. We have created take-one campaigns for targeted outlets, 3 or 4-stage postcard mailing campaigns, purely digital campaigns and campaigns making use of a combination of printed direct and digital media.
We can also look after your database development and database management – working with some of the UK’s most expert practitioners to establish and grow your customer base.
As ever, our unbeatable experience in print production (and the specialist intricacies of direct mail print production) gives your business a key advantage, enabling us to guarantee you value for money and smooth, timely project management.
So if you are interested in the potential of direct marketing for your business, but have been hesitating to put a toe in the water, or you are already a direct marketer but want better, harder hitting results, email us or call us on 01403 731 028. We guarantee you a geek-speak free conversation that can open your eyes to the business advantages of this flexible and cost-effective medium.