Direct Marketing: The Business of the 21st Century

Direct marketing is truly the preferred business of the 21st century. Why? We are quickly discovering that we cannot rely on the standard of working for someone else, so it only makes sense that we would look to other resources to change our life. I am going to share with you more about direct marketing, how it works, and why people are turning to it for their livelihood.

What is it?

So, what is direct marketing? This type of marketing is no doubt different from what you are used to. The reality is that direct sales are what make a difference in the lives of others, from the perspective that you can sell to folks directly. People love being served and they like knowing that if there is a challenge with something they have purchased, that they can come to you directly for help.

Direct marketing is simply marketing something directly to an individual, and in some cases it can be a business. It doesn’t matter what the product is as long as it’s something that is needed by whomever you are marketing to. Over the years, this has been referred to as network marketing and even MLM, or multi-level marketing, which receives criticism from many people due to how it works, and how folks get paid.

The reality is that there isn’t anything wrong with direct marketing, and the truth is that if you are marketing a real, viable product that people need, then you have a business. Those who are encouraging you to recruit others without a product or service of value, are involved in pyramid schemes and should be avoided.

How it Works

Now that you know more about what direct marketing is, how does it really work? This type of marketing is actually rather simple, in that it includes a personal decision to sign up, get training for the product and service you are providing, make sales and also recruit other people to do the same. The more sales you make and the more people you recruit, the more you will get paid.

Direct marketing means that you yourself are marketing to the public. This can be done by traditional methods such as advertisement via radio, newspaper, or television. In these current times these advertising strategies are known as offline methods. Now that we are in the 21st century, marketing is changing, meaning that most of it is now online. This not only makes it easier to market to those you already know and have as customers, but you are also going to be able to market to those you don’t know more effectively by using the internet.

Imagine that now you have all of the opportunity in the world before you, and you don’t do anything with it. Shame on you, because this is why most folks who get involved in direct marketing DON’T make any money. Because you can now use the internet to make yourself known, you will be able to market to billions of people versus only a handful.

What’s Next?

Now that you know how you can make direct marketing work for you, are you ready to get involved? You can make good money in direct marketing, and it’s very satisfying.

Now that you know what direct marketing is and how to make it work effectively, you can get involved. It gives you the opportunity to earn money which is proportional to your efforts and build a rewarding and profitable business.

Benefits and Challenges of a Career in Direct Marketing

Internet or Direct marketing may be a new term in our dictionaries however it is not a new concept. Direct or Internet marketing is ‘the’ way to send a message to the customer directly through various channels that eliminate the middle men or indirect means to interact with the customer. This has been done since marketing began albeit in undefined ways and now with the advances in technology, Direct/Internet marketing has become the most preferred way to reach the customer directly to promote a product, a service, a company… a message.

Direct marketing is a preferred way of knowing how the intended product PR message is faring with the masses because the responses can be quite immediate. That is why with the increasing competitiveness in businesses and the need to reach out to the customers in a more effective manner, a career in direct or Internet marketing is a very rewarding. Everything depends on marketing and whether a product will sell or not and whether the masses will pay heed to a social awareness message or not, depends mainly on how well it has been marketed.

With the way the world is growing closer… not smaller… closer due to the internet and the ease of being able to find any sort of information online or through other channels like the mobile phone, emails on the internet, advertisements, and many more; sending a message to them directly is not a challenge. What could be better than actually communicating with your customers? The only challenge is that with many direct marketing strategies being used, people thinking of a career in direct marketing may have to resort to their creativity quite often and having that is definitely a plus.

Many people think that direct marketing is not an honest field to have a job in and that is mainly because many big and small companies and even individuals have misused the power of interacting with customers directly and flooded them with constant interactions. This has left a bad taste in customers’ mouths and most of them don’t like being contacted anymore. This makes the job quite difficult… but not impossible.

The thought that a career in direct marketing is not a good idea is right and wrong, based on where you’re looking at it from. If you plan to succumb to the unethical ways for short term but immediate profit by flooding the customers with constant messages and emails, then direct marketing may not be for you however, if you are creative and have a knack of creating relevant and quality communication, then direct or Internet marketing may just be the thing for you because that is what it is all about; effective communication.

With the amount of knowledge we can share today and the level of understanding we have towards various cultures, various age groups, and their demands, direct marketing is the best way to promote a product or a company and used effectively, this can be a very strong tool that may be difficult for the competition to beat.

If a person is interested in pursuing a career in direct or Internet marketing they need to find schools to make sure they learn the right tricks of the trade and understand the basics of this amazing phenomenon. Communication and a basic understanding of how the human mind gets motivated are the two very important tools for a direct marketer however a few other things that will be good to know are:

  • Mass media
  • Behavior change therapy
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Marketing and communications

There are many more courses out there… you just need to find them and make the best of them to be a successful marketing person.

Direct Marketing Systems For Business Success

If you are not getting the sales you want, effective direct marketing systems are probably not part of your marketing toolkit.

Marketing Effectiveness

Mass marketing methods used to work, but these days, traditional marketing to mass audiences is very wasteful. In his book, Permission Marketing, Seth Godin claims that, on average, we are subjected to around 3,000 marketing messages each day. The message we need to understand from this situation, as marketers, is that it is becoming far more difficult to get our message through to our market, because the clutter of marketing messages makes it almost impossible to attract attention.

With the effectiveness of mass marketing methods having deteriorated over the years to the point of relative ineffectiveness that they have now reached, the most important strategy for us in marketing has become identifying and targeting our most receptive audience. Marketing now needs to be up close and personal to be effective. It does not matter how good our message is and what media we use, if we are not directing our communication to someone who is desperately hungry for our product we stand little chance of success.

Target Market

Can you describe your ideal customer? To effectively target your customers you need to be able to describe the ideal customer in intimate detail. To more effectively communicate with your target market, you need to know the physical and geographic elements that describe your ideal customer, what makes them tick and why they like your product. Having identified our target market, we now need to find out how to communicate our message. This element has two aspects: what is our message and what media we use to deliver it.

Message

Our message to our market must achieve a five things:
1. Attract the attention of our target market by addressing a specific need
2. Present an attractive solution to satisfy the particular need
3. Present proof that our solution is the best
4. Create an urgency to seek the solution now, and
5. Motivate action to obtain the solution.

Our message need not necessarily be delivered in a single communication, although if it can be effectively done in one hit, only use one hit. However, for many products or services, a series of communications may be required to effectively deliver the message. Our direct marketing system is what we need to design to deliver our message appropriately. Our direct marketing system will comprise as many steps and methods as we need to work our way through these five stages of acceptance.

Our initial direct marketing messages must be directed towards generating leads by attracting the attention of the people in our market who have the need our product addresses. It will depend on the maturity of our market as to how much work we need to do at this point. For new products, lead generation may require considerable work to educate the market about the existence of the problem before you can present your solution. For more mature products, a need is often very apparent.

Once we have attracted attention, our aim is to get those people to identify themselves as having the particular need, so that we can turn our efforts towards lead conversion. This is achieved through the final four steps of our direct marketing system. The scepticism that exists in the world today means that you have to work hard to get your market to accept your product is the best solution to meet their need. You must be careful how you make this claim. It must be believable and acceptable.

We all tend to procrastinate and put off taking action to the last minute. You need to overcome this inertia by creatively communicating reasons to “do it now.” Using the concept of impending loss is the most effective method to achieve urgency. This can often be achieved through communicating scarcity and the risk of missing out if immediate action is not taken. This could also be achieved with the risk of a price rise leading to a perceived loss of the price difference if the purchase is left to after the price rise. However, there are many other ways to communicate urgency and it is best to be creative rather than use tired and unimaginative methods that customers may see through and regard as mere techniques to get them to buy now.

The most important element after getting this far is to motivate action to buy. Many marketing communications are weak at this point. Many ads we see promote a product and do everything else right, but leave out the call to action. Subtlety is an ineffective marketing tool. You need to tell your customers what you want them to do to buy your product.

Media

The final step in developing our direct marketing system is to determine the appropriate media to use. Many people make the mistake of thinking about media first and then developing the message. This often happens when you have an advertising sales person pressuring you to buy space in their media. This approach leads to poor or worse, zero results. When you have identified your target market and developed the appropriate messages, the decision about media is much easy to work out. Often, it will depend on how easy your target market is to reach. You need to use the most efficient means of attracting the attention of the people most ready to buy. In lead conversion processes, you may use a combination of direct mail, internet (email and web sites), or personal selling approaches, again depending upon the ease of reach.

Conclusion

One vital aspect of developing an effective direct marketing system and a huge advantage over traditional marketing approaches, is the ability to test your system before you commit enormous amounts of money to it. Mass media marketing is expensive and unaccountable. Direct marketing systems give you the ability to measure results and track your return on investment. You can trial your system in small quantities before you roll it out to a larger audience. Eventually, with the right fine tuning, your direct marketing system will deliver predictable results. You will be able to plan your expenditure and schedule your marketing program to deliver the sales volumes you need at any time. Ultimately, your direct marketing system should deliver you all the sales from the most preferable and profitable customers that you would ever want.

Choosing The Right Network Marketing Products

Your choice of network marketing products is one of the primary considerations that needs to be undertaken when considering a network marketing business. Today there are nearly 5,000 MLM companies in operation today. Of those companies the majority offer products in the health and wellness market place.

So how do you determine which network marketing product is the most suitable for your long range goals?

The first consideration that needs to be evaluated is market demand for the product. Does this product have a natural market demand on its own, or would you need to also educate the market place about the existence of such a product? It is obviously much easier to sell a product that already has a an identity in the market place. For example the average person on the street can immediately recognized why they might need a degreaser, mineral makeup, synthetic motor oil or gold and silver coins. (all are offered through MLM companies); however, they might be a little more uncertain of why they might need an Acai berry juice, or other lesser known health supplement. If there is going to be consumer education involved in the retailing of your product, you need to realize that your business will take additional effort.

The next consideration is marketplace viability. Consider the competition in the market place. Are there equivalent products in local retail establishments, and if so how does the pricing of your product compare? If there is an equivalent product in the market place, does the brand carry enough recognition to overcome the price and availability issues? For companies like Avon, Mary Kay, Fuller Brush and Amsoil this has not been an issue. They have developed sufficient brand loyalty and following in the market to overcome the issues of competition and availability.

The next consideration is market place demand for your product. This should first be evaluated in your own life. Is this a product or service that you currently use or would use? Next consider the patterns and habits of those around you. Are they likely to use these same products and services? The higher in demand a product or service is, the easier it will be to find a market for that product or service.

The primary consideration when choosing your network marketing products is your belief in them. If you do not believe that your products are the very best and do not have conviction in sharing that belief, then you may want to consider other options. Your belief in a product, supported by your own experiences and testimony creates a compelling reason for others to try those products as well.

Finding the right product for your network marketing business is a key first step to your long term success.