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.

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.