Direct Marketing Techniques – Profiling and Targeting

Direct marketing techniques have over recent years become more sophisticated in order for businesses across many sectors to be able to compete with the best or to at least maximise their potential client base. Direct marketing techniques have not become more sophisticated in terms of making drastic changes, but the way in which certain aims and objectives are approached. Profiling and targeting is just one of those direct marketing techniques in which the approach has changed over recent years.

Companies that undertake direct marketing campaigns have had to change due to other marketing techniques being not only very popular, but also very competitive. For example, over the past decade or so, on-line marketing has become one of the most used marketing methods, but at the same time it’s the most competitive and can cost a fortune to ‘get noticed’ on-line; not always the case, but is a regular occurrence.

What does Profiling and Targeting enable Businesses to Achieve?

Profiling and Targeting enables businesses to target certain types of people; class, background, interests, gender and so forth. This certainly helps businesses to target individuals or groups of people that are more likely to be interested in the service or product that the business is offering. For example, SAGA, who specialise in services and products for the over 50’s group would not be maximising their marketing campaign if half of their leaflets were distributed to home owners that are under 50.

Therefore, there is much less chance of the marketing budget being wasted. Even though a business may profile and target their clients in a professional manner, this does not guarantee a successful direct marketing campaign. Other elements of the campaign must also be enticing, relevant and stand out from the competition I.e. a company should brand their products, services etc so that they appeal to the market in which they are trying to target; you would not have a dull looking leaflet if you are promoting holidays abroad – it just doesn’t work!

Whereas, if the leaflet stands out and appeals to the correct target audience, then there’s more chance of maximising your profits or achieving your overall aim of the direct marketing campaign.

How Does Profiling and Targeting Work?

OK, so once you’ve decided upon the type of marketing technique(s) e.g. leaflet distribution, there are certain aspects that need to be analysed on an in-depth basis – no stone should be left unturned, after all it’s your money that could not only be wasted, but leave you with the impression that your campaign didn’t work for the wrong reasons.

These are the steps in which you need to take when it comes to profiling and targeting effectively: –

  • Quality Assurance through planning – aspects such as identifying your target market (social class etc), decide on the number of leaflets you will distribute are determined at this stage.
  • Targeted Marketing Solutions – Understand your customers; look at the demographics of similar existing customers.
  • Geo demographic targeting – some direct marketing agencies will use software that targets customers demographically and can be the difference between a very successful and not so successful campaign.
  • Analyse statistics – ensure that statistics used from data bases are analysed in-depth so that opportunities are less likely to be missed and acted upon.

Direct marketing agencies that provide targeting and profiling services should be able to give you a good insight and understanding of what is required and the steps that would be potentially best to follow.

Procedures must also be followed but also flexible when needed to be i.e. agencies should be able to adapt to problems/issues in order for your business to gain maximum exposure.