Directing marketing is a marketing strategy that uses direct contact with potential clients to market a particular product or service to target consumers. These can use personal contact, or even commercial mediums of communication such as direct mail, electronic mail or telemarketing. It is an attractive form of marketing because it cuts the costs spent on expensive media advertisements, such as print, radio and television campaigns.
For marketers, direct marketing is especially appealing because it is one form of marketing wherein a company can accurately and reliably measure the response of the public to their campaign. If you sent out half a million direct mail advertisements about your pet store's product offerings to pet owners in Ohio and received 10,000 positive responses, you can say with confidence that your direct marketing campaign led directly to these results.
The potential rewards of a successful direct marketing campaign far outweigh the effort that goes to creating it. Launching a direct marketing campaign is not easy, but is fairly manageable if done systematically and rationally.
As with any marketing campaign, the first step is to know your product and make it stand out in the market. For instance, there are a lot of pet stores scattered all over the United States. You need to consider what makes your pet store in Ohio unique. How will you build customer loyalty?
The next step is to identify your prospects. This step is of particular importance in direct marketing because you will send your product's message to each person or business entity within this prospect list. If your selected market is too broad, then you might spend too much on a market that won't have positive responses. If it's too small, and you might be missing other buying prospects.
Building a prospect list relies extensively on third-party sources of data, a number of which are found in the United States, that provide names, addresses and telephone numbers of consumers. Other sources of data may come from contests, online registrations and other activities.
Once a database of prospects is compiled, you can then proceed to analyzing the data to come up with a final list of prospects that you determine would most likely be interested in your product. If your pet store specializes in custom-made clothes for dogs, then you might want to exclude Ohio residents who do not own dogs in your prospect list.
Finally, you need to determine the form of communication you will use to deliver your product's message to your prospect list. Examples of commonly used means are direct mail, e-mail, telemarketing, leaflet marketing, and direct response TV marketing. If you intend to use telemarketing, it is important to know that there are people who react negatively to unsolicited phone calls. On March 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the National Do Not Call Registry, which gives United States consumers the capacity to limit telemarketing calls they receive. By 2007, 72% of Americans have reportedly signed into the registry.
At the end of the day, while there are plenty of communication lines available for direct marketing, the success of any campaign still goes back to the three basic P's: product, prospects and placement.