Using direct marketing means reaching a specific target without having to go through an intermediary. The success of this strategy is based on the transmission of a tailor-made message that encourages the interlocutor to buy the product or service offered. What is the principle of this approach? What are the objectives? How to properly identify your target? How to create an impactful message? What types of channels can be used to achieve this strategy? Focus in this article…
Direct marketing: definition and objectives
Direct marketing encompasses all sales and communication actions carried out without an intermediary to reach your target. These actions are carried out interactively and person to person, hence its other name: one-to-one marketing. Such a strategy makes it possible to obtain a positive and rapid reaction.
For this, you must have a database with different detailed data about your target contacts, which can be organizations, prospects or customers. From this list of contacts, you can create segments of consumers to whom you will offer promotional offers that meet their needs. The target’s profile is taken into account to personalize the interaction. In some cases, it can be created individually to make the marketing campaign successful.
With precise targeting, you increase your chances of reaching your target, and establish relationships with prospects who can become your customers. As for your contacts, they benefit from relevant content that meets their needs.
The principle of this strategy
In 1961, publicist Lester Wunderman coined the term “direct marketing” for the first time. This strategy, which aims to improve the customer relationship with your target contacts and ultimately to develop your business, has become more democratic over the years.
The principle of this approach is thus to create a direct relationship between prospects or customers and the company. In order to lay the foundations of relational marketing and carry out their operational marketing strategies, more and more companies are resorting to direct marketing actions. In some cases, it is combined with the marketing mix to maximize the chances of successful campaigns.
The implementation of such a campaign depends on the combination of different elements:
- The communication medium : The choice of this element depends on the target audience and the type of content to be broadcast. It constitutes the solution by which the company contacts the consumer;
- The offer : it can be a service, a product or an expression of interest concerning an event, offered to the prospect as well as to the customer;
- The possibility of direct response : from the proposed channel, the prospect or customer must be able to respond to you directly without having to go through another channel;
- The database : it contains all the information collected on prospects and customers, necessary to adapt the offer to each target.
The different direct marketing channels
The tools used for this strategy can be new or old. With the rise of information and communication technology from the 1900s, businesses can now choose from the many channels available.
The new channels
New digital channels are developing and gaining great success from the beginning of the 2000s:
- The mobile-marketing : with about 30% of email addresses changing every year, the coupon solution is proving to be practical. It consists of using mobile phone numbers to send them. These coupons generally present a discount coupon at points of sale, a call number, a link to an order form, a contact form, etc. They can be sent in the form of text messages. Other coupons also come in the form of QR codes, flash codes, and are included in the store card, for example;
- The social and digital marketing : various digital tools are used to disseminate the messages. Here it is about using social networks, websites, mobile apps, blogs, emails and online videos.
- The online advertising : it is used to push the prospect or the customer to take action;
- Email marketing or emailing is the simplest and cheapest tool among the many channels used to contact your target directly.
The old channels
The old tools or traditional channels have proven themselves over several years and continue to be used in the direct marketing strategy.
- The interactive kiosks constitute terminals where the customer or the prospect can buy the products or services. He also has the possibility of obtaining information there;
- The phoning, telephone calls or telemarketing, consists of marketing services or products using the telephone;
- The boxing encompasses the various personalized ads and offers sent to target contacts’ mailboxes.
The objectives of direct marketing
To develop a successful campaign, you must go through 5 phases of direct marketing:
- Target identification;
- Developing the message;
- Selection of communication channels;
- Automation of the marketing campaign;
- Monitoring and analysis of results.
Like all other marketing strategies, its goal is to increase sales, retain customers and win new customers. Given that it is a question of providing a response to a strategic need and obtaining a rapid and well-determined reaction from the target, marketing actions are carried out in the medium or short term.
Depending on the company’s expectations and the level of interaction, this strategy also aims to:
- Collect various information in order to develop a database;
- Increase the company’s market share;
- Obtain an appointment or an opinion, a visit to a store or to a website;
- Take better care of the management of dissatisfied customers.
In general, the main objectives of companies remain to obtain new customers and to retain those who are already part of their clientele.
Get new customers
To turn your prospects into customers, you can offer them to test a new product. With a temporary promotion or early access to a product, you also have the opportunity to capture their attention. Thus, in addition to informing your prospects of future and current promotions, company news and new products, you have the possibility of converting them into customers.
Build customer loyalty
To encourage your current customers to continue buying your services or products, build loyalty by offering them gifts or discounts. Thanks to such an approach, they feel privileged, because they are valued.
Create an impactful message
Your message should encourage him to perform the requested action. At the same time original, relevant and impactful, it highlights the values of the brand, its assets, its services and its products. In your message, you can offer a bonus to receive after the action, a reduction, an invitation to an event, a service or even a product through a detailed presentation, for example.
To satisfy the customer, make sure that the opportunity presented or the promise conveyed through the message is fulfilled. It is indeed for this reason that the interlocutor will immediately take action.
Use marketing automation
In order to be well organized and react in time to the response of interlocutors, many companies use marketing automation. Which consists of automating various tasks using suitable software. Thus, the prospect or the customer receives personalized messages each time he performs the requested action. Emails or SMS are then sent automatically thanks to a prior programming of the tasks according to the time of the interaction, the profile of the target and the behavior of the prospect or the customer.
Follow up and analyze results
This step is essential to evaluate the ROI of the campaign, estimate the budget necessary to acquire a new customer and retain your customers. This operation can be carried out using KPIs or performance indicators in order to identify the weaknesses of your strategy with a view to improving it.
To determine the objectives achieved, you must compare the expected results with the results obtained, in particular the number of responses obtained, sales made, or appointments signed.
Direct marketing makes it possible to contact a prospect or a customer without having to go through an intermediary, to build customer loyalty and convert your prospects into customers. Both used in BtoC marketing and in B2B marketing, this approach requires bringing together many elements for the success of the campaigns. After having clearly identified your target, make sure to obtain their contact details, create a personalized and relevant message that you will send using a suitable digital or traditional tool. Automation as well as monitoring of the process will be useful for you to retain the customer and obtain a return on investment.