Consumer Direct Marketing

Consumer Direct Marketing is the form of marketing in which the consumer is the direct target of the communications related with products and services. In this age of Information explosion there are various channels for advertising directly with the consumers and this is the prime reason for increasing popularity. Cell Phone Text messaging, email, interactive consumer websites, online display ads, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, and outdoor advertising are some of the main mediums of Consumer Direct Marketing. Marketing messages emphasize a focus on the customer, data, and accountability.

Characteristics which distinguish Consumer Direct Marketing are:

1. Messages that are addressed directly to the customer and/or customers. This relies on being able to address the members of a target market. Address ability comes in a variety of forms including email addresses, mobile phone numbers, Web browser cookies, fax numbers and postal addresses.

2. Seeks to drive a specific “call to action.” For example, an advertisement may ask the prospect to call a free phone number or click on a link to a website.

3. Emphasizes trackable, measurable responses from customers – regardless of medium. Direct Marketing Channels:

A. Email Marketing:This is the most common and reliable medium of Direct Marketing.

B. Online Tools:This channels targets people who are using internet very frequently

C. Mobile phones:SMS and MMS are main mediums of marketing by mobile phones.

D. Telemarketing:Contacting customers by directly on mobile phone is also very common tool.

E. Coupons: Coupons are used in print and digital media to elicit a response from the reader. An example is a coupon which the reader receives through the mail and takes to a store’s check-out counter to receive a discount.

The main advantage of marketing is that marketers can know the results of their marketing since he receives the response directly from the consumers. In traditional advertisement such measurement is impossible. Measurement of results is a fundamental element in successful marketing. The Internet has made it easier for marketing managers to measure the results of a campaign. This is often achieved by using a specific website landing page directly relating to the promotional material. A call to action will ask the customer to visit the landing page, and the effectiveness of the campaign can be measured by taking the number of promotional messages distributed (e.g., 1,000) and dividing it by the number of responses (people visiting the unique website page). Another way to measure the results is to compare the projected sales or generated leads for a given term with the actual sales or leads after a direct advertising campaign.

Direct Marketing Pros and Cons

The following are forms of direct marketing: Do you remember being given a flyer by someone just outside a train station, advertising a local company recently opened? Do you remember getting some letter from a company listing its line of products that you may be interested in? Do you remember getting a phone call from someone acting as a sales agent, advising you of new offers from a company?

As the name implies, direct marketing is sending information directly to consumers, without the need of so-called middle men, to advertise one’s products or services. In this way a company directly communicates with consumers. It has been around for quite some time, and shows no signs of slowing down. With emails and mobile phones, we have now seen a new form of direct marketing – receiving emails and information texts.

The strategy does have a lot of benefits for the company and consumer alike. The company can target its audience, hence save money on advertising by focusing on its niche. It also allows the company to build and maintain a good business relationship with its customers, as the company can also use the data it gathers from its direct marketing campaign to improve on current services, or perhaps add another one that may have been recommended by a customer. Letters sent to customers usually allow them to write something, either a reaction or a suggestion, sent back to the company. Direct marketing also lets companies get the quickest results for its campaigns as the information are sent directly to customers who reply within a specified time.

Direct marketing does have its share of disadvantages. Many people don’t like the idea of getting ‘junk mail’ or ‘junk texts’ from marketing companies. Instead of winning customers over, some companies risk alienating these same customers. Also, the fact of how they got the customer’s email address or mobile number becomes an issue. Some people see this already as an invasion of privacy. Companies also send out letters and sometimes even product examples to potential customers. With the rise in environmental awareness nowadays, some are saying that this form of marketing takes its toll on nature as it adds to the waste produced annually. There are also some places which ban the distribution of fliers and advertising in the streets. This limits the reach of companies using this strategy.

Direct marketing as a form of delivering information to the market about a company still remains a good way to reach out to potential customers.

Check this out for more information on direct marketing and niche marketing.

Direct Marketing Automation – Your Most Reliable Marketing Strategist

Marketing Automation is an evolving concept and that’s why it does not come as a surprise that only a few marketing companies are actually using it. There are, of course, many companies waiting eagerly to climb the bandwagon, so it is a probability that we will see a decent surge in the number of companies and marketers using the direct marketing automation concept in the coming year.

Modern marketers exposed to the evolving technologies and advanced tools in marketing believe that marketing automation would be at the core of marketing activities of businesses of all types and sizes, in the not-too-distant future and they could be spot-on in their assessment. Marketing automation can be used to bring together tactics, technology, strategies and software to automate and streamline tasks that are repetitive, saving marketing professionals time and effort. Direct automation software can also be used for accurately monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and initiatives.

Create Winning Strategies and Tactics

It is commonsense that strategy and tactics are key elements of a successful marketing campaign. Strategies help create the main framework and provide marketers the big picture. Tactics involve the implementation part of the marketing plan. These two elements must work together in synchrony for direct automation to produce results.

Automation tools must be customized to make an impact on every business, depending on the size and nature of operations of an enterprise. It must also be suitably tweaked to meet individual marketing strategies. However, some elements of marketing automation are constant to all. These include generation of quality leads, conversion of leads to sales, increasing revenue, nurturing prospects for future use, and personalizing the experience of customers. In many ways, marketing automation focuses beyond direct sales.

Helps Nurture and Develop Long Term Relationships

Marketers believe that by using the right marketing software platform, they can nurture human relationships more effectively. Nurturing long term relationships is central to effective marketing.

Marketing Automation works through the process of automated tracking and monitoring of individual prospects on the company’s website. The marketing team can use the various automation tools to decipher prospect’s interests, needs and goals. It provides marketers the input needed to create personalized campaigns based on user behavior. Direct marketing automation tools can be used to create enticing offers that are sharply relevant to each individual prospect.

With the best automation software, you will be able to collect data about prospects which can help in grouping them based on their common interests, behavior and demographics. The segmentation of customers is a much desired marketing activity because not only does it save marketers time but also helps take the guesswork out of larger marketing campaigns. Management of campaigns can become easier and the campaigns can become more focused and effective.

Direct marketing automation tools are being effectively used for monitoring social media campaigns. Its growing popularity stems from the fact that automation is easy to use, affordable and has the ability to create strategies that can be long term winners.