Why Outsource Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing is practically the most important way to improve your business in acquiring more customers. However, before you can achieve this, you will need to delegate your marketing strategy to the professionals. This will give you more time to focus on other aspects of your business. Instead of focusing on trying to keep up, focus your efforts on things that require your expertise as the owner and leave the other to the experts.

You probably think that outsourcing to a marketing company would be expensive and it would be better to just do it yourself. But the truth is outsourcing will save you money, and not just that there are other benefits of outsourcing your marketing strategy that make it more advisable:

· Experience – when outsourcing your marketing you can take advantage of the knowledge of best practices found within a marketing agency, a consolidated group of experts. Outsourced agencies will have experience in a variety of marketing operations and will understand what works best for businesses like yours. You will be buying into their wealth of expertise.

· Flexibility – outsourcing your marketing is much more flexible than hiring staff and can be suited to your needs. For example, if your business is experiencing a “boom” stage, a larger budget can be injected into a marketing agency when required. Whereas, if you are going through a “bust” stage, marketing budgets can be reduced quickly to suit your business and you are not tied to a long-term company employee.

· Professional Service – when outsourcing your marketing investing in a marketing professional is sometimes the best thing to do because you may not be getting all the benefits that are possible. Is the person being creative, strategically minded, customer centric, a professional graphic designer, knowledgeable in web development and aware of marketing legislation? You will probably not find these attributes entirely in one person, so when you are investing in a marketing agency you will have access to a team of individuals who specialize in each of these subjects, allowing you to get more value for your money.

· Time Saving – with outsourced marketing, you are also likely to save a lot of time. Instead of sourcing, interviewing and training potential marketers, you can gain access to a team of professionals as passionate about your brand as you are.

· Cost Saving – outsourcing is cheaper than the cost of hiring a full-time professional, and it allows you the benefits of an entire team of experts on an as-needed basis. This saves you company money and time that can be used for other tasks

· Full Access – with the right team, you will get complete access to all your data and the services provided by the marketing company. There will be no hidden fees and the service will be provided with total transparency. This allows the company to run automated without having to worry about marketing initiatives.

Conclusion

Investing in a marketing agency will not only save you time and money, but also allow your marketing activity to become bespoke to your business and give you access to a team of experienced marketing professionals.

Powerful PR Lessons from Successful Direct Marketing Techniques

Direct marketing–including catalogs and Internet sales–is a $1.85 trillion industry in the U.S. that accounts for 7 percent of total U.S. sales, according to the Direct Marketing Association. Direct marketers make their money by understanding exactly what customers want and giving it to them. Here are five key public relations lessons to learn from direct marketing:

Target your message

Successful direct marketing is targeted. It gets the right offer in the right format to the right people who have an interest in or a need for a manufacturer’s product. Direct marketers spend millions of dollars creating and refining mailing lists and subscriber profiles to find just the right consumers to buy their product.

Direct marketers don’t try to be everything to everybody. They use their budget wisely to reach only the people who are their best prospects and reach them frequently enough to encourage new sales and spur repeat sales.

How targeted is your message?

Do you write your brochures, advertisements and radio commercials with your typical customer in mind? Is your message telling them how they can solve their problems, achieve their dreams, or meet their needs? Direct marketers know that customer benefits outsell product features. Targeting your message to your most likely buyers will make the best use of your budget and yield the most sales.

Test your message

Direct marketers base their ad copy, list purchase, media buys and graphic design on research and industry information. Testing is a basic part of successful direct marketing. Direct marketers will take two versions of an ad–one with slightly different copy from the other–or two different lists, or two different regional versions of the same magazine–and run their campaign tests. All the research in the world can’t substitute for testing. Research gives you a theoretical answer. Testing validates your theories in the real world.

Many business owners give up on marketing if their first ads don’t send customers flooding into their stores. Or they abandon advertising in a magazine if one ad doesn’t make the phone ring. Direct marketers know that it is often the message–not the medium–that needs to be adjusted to speak more persuasively to the customer. Don’t be too hasty to give up on a whole type of advertising because one effort did not bring a crowd. Change your ad, re-write your mailing piece, adjust your list and try again. When the right message reaches a receptive potential customer, sales happen.

Change your definition of success

Direct marketers are patient. They understand that testing is essential to capture sales. But they also have a realistic idea of success. Depending on the size of the campaign, the type of product and the break-even cost, some direct marketers consider a response of 1 – 5 percent to be very successful. They know that large percentages aren’t realistic.

A campaign’s success also depends on its purpose. Some offers are made just to generate leads in order to build a better mailing list for the next offer. Those campaigns are focused on screening out non-buyers, not necessarily on selling product. Getting 1,000 names of people who are interested out of a mailing of 10,000 people on a list might be very successful under those conditions.

Make sure you have defined success in a way that is realistic and based on solid criteria.

Tailor your offer

Direct marketers know that the magic is in the way the product is offered. Are you selling closet shelving–or an organization system? Is your product an air cleaner–or a way to reduce indoor air pollution?

Even the way the price is stated makes a difference. If you’re having a sale, is the price half off, fifty-percent reduced or two for one? Direct marketers know that different ways to say the same thing get different responses. Make sure that your offers are tailored to what encourages your customers to take action.

Know your customer

The most important lesson is to understand your customer. Find out what the customer is really purchasing when he buys your product. Direct marketing success happens when in-depth customer knowledge is used to tailor an offer, create a targeted, customer-oriented message that is tweaked and perfected through testing, and that produces profitable results.

Even if your business doesn’t currently use direct marketing, you can apply its wisdom to your public relations process to increase your business success.

The Basics and Benefits of Direct Marketing Lists

Direct Marketing lists are essentially databases filled with contact details, such as names and addresses of consumers or individuals at businesses, which can be used by companies of all sizes to send out promotional information. Direct marketing lists can be both email and postal address based, and will be made use of by all sorts of organizations and businesses for a variety of purposes.

The Basics of Direct Marketing Lists

The type of information that you can send out to prospects on a direct marketing list is limited only by your budget and your imagination, but in general there are two reasons why your company might want to undertake a direct marketing lists-based campaign:

To Generate new Sales – direct mailing promotions, coupons, vouchers and details of new products and services can help to generate new sales and secure new customers or clients.

To Build and Develop your Brand – keeping your current customer base informed about your company with shareable and relevant content can help you build your brand as well as encourage customer retention and recommendations.

The Benefits of Direct Marketing Lists

Although there are some instances where direct mail marketing or direct email marketing is not appropriate, provided a campaign is targeted and created properly there are all sorts of benefits associated with it. Many surveys have shown that customers and business owners are still happy to receive information and marketing collateral via the mail, particularly since it is generally regarded to be less intrusive than some other forms of communication. If you have a good marketing list, you can also be sure that the prospects on the list are happy to be contacted and receive information from your company, so they are already interested in what you have to offer them. Direct marketing, provided it is carried out properly, is a targeted and precise way to contact and communicate with the customers and clients that your company needs.

When you undertake a direct marketing list based campaign you are basically physically putting your messages and communication directly into the hands of your potential clients or customers. Yes, this information may not always be read but if you put the effort into creating a good impression with the information you have a much greater chance of it being read, absorbed and actioned upon. You can generate interest in your campaigns by adding in little extras, such as coupons or money off vouchers. This is a great way to reward current customers too, since it shows them that you appreciate their loyalty to your business and its brand.

Thanks to the virtual simplicity of direct mail campaigns, you also have a lot of freedom to really customize the information that you are sending out as well as the ability to target particular groups or individuals. Create campaigns based on the needs and requirements of potential customers, and address them as individuals rather than a mass of potential purchase. You can choose any way to communicate your messages too, from brochures and newsletters to something a little more quirky such as postcards. The more inventive you are with your communication the more likely they are going to be noticed and absorbed.

An additional benefit of direct marketing methods is that they are some of the simplest methods of marketing and promotions to track and measure. When running a direct mail campaign you can really see just how effective they are for your business or organization, even by doing something as simple such as tracking the number of enquiries that have been generated by the campaign or even totalling up the number of promotional vouchers that have been sent out and subsequently used.

Direct Marketing Vs Direct Sales – How to Leverage Your Selling Power

Direct Marketing – is simply marketing that goes straight to the consumer. This can be done through direct mail, flyer distribution, email etc. as these are all forms of direct marketing. However this method should not be confused with direct sales.

Direct marketing delivers your message right to the consumer directly unlike other forms of brand advertising like radio and television etc.

Direct sales on the other hand delivers the message to your consumer also but through personal interaction. While this can be a very confusing concept to understand a rule of thumb for separating the two is when there is actual personal human interaction between you and the customer then it is direct sales not direct marketing.

Conversely many companies hire a sales force to deliver their marketing message to the marketplace via telemarketing and knocking on doors. In that case its direct marketing for the company and its executives but its direct sales for those talking to the customers.

This confusion of direct marketing vs direct sales causes two major problems. If you are the sales person your trying to make sales with no marketing and if your the owner of the business your sales reps are going to have a harder time making sales simply because you are not following the proper process.

Direct Marketing Drives Direct Sales

Picture yourself driving a manual stick shift car with 6 gears. It would be quite difficult to start a car in 3rd gear and if even if you did it would drive improperly the whole way because the original process was incorrect.

Compare this example: you send out a postcard or a flyer with your offer on it that’s first gear. Your customer responds and you collect their information that’s second gear. You or your sales reps call them back to schedule an appointment that’s third gear. They see or hear the presentation that’s fourth gear. They buy that’s fifth gear. Getting the referrals is 6th gear.

In essence direct marketing should handle at least the first 2 or 3 steps in your marketing process. The direct sales process should pick up where your direct marketing left off. What marketing medium you use is not only up to you but it’s dependent upon what audience you are trying to reach different consumer markets will receive information through different mediums.