Direct Marketing – Innovation in a multi-screen, multi-device world
In an age dominated by the Internet, social media and email, it is tempting for marketing executives to believe that the whole concept of Direct Marketing (DM) has had its day and should make way for the new, shiny world of digital media consumption. This may be a view shared by many but, is it true?
DM as part of the marketing mix
The reality is that DM is just as useful a marketing tool now as it ever was, provided it is used as part of a more comprehensive marketing strategy and, sometimes, adopts some digital characteristics.
Take for example the marketing undertaken by charities. Daytime TV is littered with ads trying to squeeze money from a sometimes unwilling public; parallel, full page ads appear in popular print media and occasionally, SMS texts may even be sent.
However, envelopes – the most basic form of DM – will also simultaneously drop through the letterboxes of a carefully targeted group of individuals, the contents mirroring the subject matter of the TV ads and the message contained in the printed media.
DM by email – effective or not?
Using email as a form of DM is cheap. However, according to one consumer marketing agency, 83% of people now use an email preview window, causing email open rates to continue to fall. Some ISPs and autoresponder companies will also block emails if sent too frequently, do not have a reliable ‘unsubscribe’ link or do not specify a genuine sender address.
Emails used as DM can be positive, however, especially if the prospect has bought before. Rail and airline companies will often send promotional emails to existing customers, but usually only as part of a larger, sometimes time-limited overall sales process.
Finally, is the following statement true? “young people expect digital marketing; older individuals, usually the ones with a higher disposable income, do not” One thing for certain in marketing is not to make assumptions as they are usually wrong. Mine the data and test the campaign thoroughly before releasing in full.
The tangibility of true DM – priceless and unique
When someone receives a luxury brochure, a well produced sales letter or a printed invitation to take up an exclusive offer, if it interests them at all they will probably hang onto it; for a while at least. They will see it often, as it lies on their desk or table. They may discuss it with others. However it affects them, they will think about that letter, brochure or invitation; consciously or otherwise. They are already well into the sales funnel.
That is the true power of tangible DM; it puts something of value into people’s hands, quite literally. That can never be achieved by using TV, printed media or email marketing – most of which is forgotten almost as soon as it is seen, read or received.
Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2C, Direct Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 20 8293 8550
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