Reach More Customers With Direct Marketing

Direct marketing, including direct mail, telemarketing and email marketing, is the most traditional and cost effective form of advertising. While television and radio advertisements have the ability to bring in a lot of business, they are expensive and cannot target an ultra-specific audience. Direct marketing, however, has the ability to focus on a specific group of people and present them messages tailored distinctively for them.

Direct marketing encompasses the traditional method of direct mail, as well as telemarketing. Email marketing is also a very low cost method of advertising that is sent to consumers directly. In an effort to cut down on waste and build a customer base, direct marketing requires a significant amount of research. Defining your target audience will help you streamline your message and send materials directly to those folks, instead of blanketing a region with the same, generic message. This research is an ongoing process, and should be constantly tweaked as a result of the response you receive.

The goal of direct marketing is simple: Turn people into customers through a series of advertisements that peak their interest. Peaking their interest can be a challenging task. Direct mail can be seen as “junk mail” and thrown out before it is even fully read. How often have you received “junk mail” and thrown it out before reading it? Think about what it would take for a piece of direct mail to grab your attention and cause you to read it. Put those characteristics into your direct mail. In order to grab the attention of a perspective customer, you must make your direct mail stand out. Use a simplistic, yet eye-catching, design and copy that is compelling and inspires the reader to take action.

It is easy to send out a mass email or mass direct mail campaign that encompasses a wide area of people with a picture of your product and it’s price. However, this is not the most effective way of direct marketing. Research must be done to tailor your advertisements to a select group of people. Let’s say you’re in the electronics business. About 150 of your clients and people who give feedback either in-store or online are people who regularly buy surround sound speakers. Shouldn’t your message to them specifically target their interest in surround sound speakers? Finding a group of people who show interest in a particular product makes it easy to craft a direct mail or email advertisement that peaks interest and inspires people to become either first-time or repeat customers.

The next time you are trying to figure out how to reach more people and increase your bottom line, consider the proven effective strategies of direct marketing. Putting time and effort into the proper research to craft an advertisement that is compelling will surely pay off in the long run and significantly increase your profit margin.

Marketing Plan: Why All Small Businesses Need A Solid Plan!

“Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.”Lester R. Bittel

Recently, I offered a marketing plan review as a door prize for a local business group. When I approached the winner to exchange information, she whispered that she didn’t have a written one; she had it stored in her head. She then asked it a marketing plan was even necessary.

Should Your Small Business Have A Marketing Plan?

Absolutely! In fact, as a small business consultant, I’ve encountered numerous clients who repeatedly make the same mistake… failing to have a plan ‘business or marketing’ in place.

In a recent survey, I asked 200 respondents, ‘of the many issues facing their businesses, what common road blocks hindered their business growth.’ An overwhelming 32% said ‘No Marketing Plan’ was a potential reason for lack of sales and growth.

Why Marketing Plan?

Well, a marketing plan is a road map that details a route you should take to successfully promote and expand your business. It is critical to the success of a business, in fact, to all businesses! If a small business wants to achieve its potential, a marketing plan must be implemented!

Marketing is more than just ordering business cards or creating a flyer, it’s how you communicate with your current and potential clients. It is important to get your name out in the business community and differentiate your products and services from that of your competitor. If you don’t market your products or services, how will people know that you are a serious business owner or worse, in business? With a marketing plan, you will have a game plan in place.

A marketing plan is an integral and valuable tool for determining success of your business and the overall direction that your product or service should be taking. It should:

  • Clarify the impact and results of past marketing decisions.
  • Elucidate the external market that a company is competing.
  • Include deadlines for meeting those targets.
  • Prepare a budget for all marketing activities.
  • Set objectives and provide path for future marketing efforts.
  • Require accountability and measures for all activities.

6 Key Components of a Marketing Plan

Market Research

Gather information about your target market to include competition, business and industry environment.

When researching, answer the following questions:

  1. Who are your customers?
  2. What do they want or need?
  3. What is important to them?
  4. Who are your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  5. What is your businesses environment, locally, regionally, and nationally?
  6. Is your industry doing well?

Target Market

Potential customers who have issues that or problems which your products or services can fulfill. Generally, people in this segment possess common characteristics and a relatively high tendency to purchase a particular product or service. Included in a target market are demographic, geographic and psychographic characteristics.

Executive Summary

A brief summary which includes the main points of the plan; generally shared with people you approach with your plan, such as investors or lenders who may want to read a synthesized version to determine if they are interested in it before taking the time to read it in depth.

Situation Analysis

The evaluation of operations to determine the reasons for the gap between what was or is expected, and what has happened or will happen.

SWOT Analysis

A formal outline to identify and frame a company’s’ growth opportunities; SWOT is an acronym for an organization’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats.

Marketing Strategy

A process that allows a company’s to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Budget

Estimates tied to specific allocation of revenues. A budget is required to have a successful marketing plan.

  • Yearly marketing budget
  • Expected return after investment
  • Breakdown of expected expenditures

In conclusion, as you can see, a marketing plan serves as your roadmap. It is critical for the success of your business. If writing a marketing plan seems a little intimidating, click here for FREE tools to help you.

The Attraction Marketing Concept

Have you heard of the term “attraction marketing” along your travels before? Many people have come across this concept and tried to implement it into their business, unfortunately with little to no results. In today’s post, I’ll be taking a closer look at attraction marketing in the hope that you can yield some positive results from implementing the concept into your online business.

How cool would it be to have prospects lining up to get at what you have to offer, instead of having to chase them for their cash? That’s what attraction marketing is all about, it’s simple, yet very effective strategy that can elevate your business onto a whole new level.

Attraction Marketing Concept:

The concept of attraction marketing begins when you lead with value, instead of with your products, business or opportunity. Your goal is to position yourself as an expert when people come searching for what you have to offer. You then aim to provide value to that person above everything else.

People come online each day in search for experts, mentors and/or authority figures. When you came online to make money, did you search for an authority figure to learn the ropes from?… it’s called mentor shopping. You need to position yourself as a leading expert in your field and have people searching for what you have to offer. The truth is though, attraction marketing is a skill that must be learned, but, if you do put the time into learning and implementing this approach to marketing within your business, you will skyrocket your income with very minimal effort.

The Basics of Attraction Marketing:

The basics are pretty straight forward in theory. In practice though, it can be a little tricky for most marketers, simply because the whole concept of giving value before looking for anything in return is alien to them. Your number one goal should be to ALWAYS provide your prospects with value. Anything else is just going to get in the way. Think of all the big name marketers out there at the moment. Are they providing value? Are they fulfilling a need? Are they experts in their niche? Do they over deliver? Have they got raving fans willing to buy their next product as soon as it’s released?

When your goal is to help people get what THEY want, you will see the very same thing being attracted into your life/business. If I sell a crappy product, I can be sure that customer is not coming back. If I give advice that’s useless and helps no one, I can be sure I will not be attracting people to come listen to what I have to say. I know this all sounds very simplistic, but let me tell you, most marketers out there are looking to make money. Their goal is nothing more than that… and they’re failing big time.

I would much rather give incredible value away for FREE to help people get to where they need to be. Only then can I expect them to come back to me for more advice/services further down the road. Think about the power of this. People are naturally attracted to authority figures and people they know can help them. This is why attraction marketing is very important in your online business. If you are just like every other marketer out there selling products, you will find it very difficult to rise above the noise and stand out from the crowd. You MUST have people searching for what you have to offer, instead of YOU searching for them. Imagine that, having people actively searching for what you have to offer… what a contrast to how I see so many others doing it.

If you provide enough value to people they will come back, tell their friends/family and share your stuff within their social communities. People love to buy stuff, they just hate being sold to. Just give them what they want and over deliver every time.

Important: Attraction Marketing is NOT just about providing great products to your prospects. It has a lot more to do with “YOU” as a person. You need to be a person that others are attracted to. Like I mentioned earlier, people look to authority figures for guidance. You must position yourself as that authority figure. If people trust you, they will listen to you, follow you and buy from you over and over again.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Marketing

The Term marketing basically refers to informing about the value, use, benefits and advantages of the product to the customer or buyer. Marketing is divided into 2 categories direct marketing and indirect marketing.

It is very important for every business in today’s world to know how to market a product it does not matter if you are selling a hair pin or an airplane you have to market your product. It’s not going to sell itself.

What is direct Marketing?

Direct marketing is basically a system where once the goods are manufactured and ready for use they are sold directly to the consumer by using different marketing methods that connect the buyer to the manufacturers goods directly, and there are no middle men involved.

This is done by connecting to the consumer directly using different modes such as Telemarketing, Email Marketing, SMS, Social Media marketing etc.

Advantages

From the point of view of the customer or consumer the advantage is that it does not increase the price of the product that they are buying, compared to products that are not marketed using direct marketing techniques. This would involve a price rise due to commission from retailers and wholesalers

From the point of view of the manufacturer it gives them exact and proper feedback about their product in terms of customer reviews as they are communicating with the consumers directly and do not have to depend on information from retailers or any other middlemen involved.

Disadvantages

The disadvantage of direct Marketing is that most people do not like to be approached directly by people who want to sell them something. In other words people hate to be sold too, but they love buying. They feel they will find out about a product when they want to buy it.

From the point of view of the Marketing executive or Marketing Manager they prefer these Methods of direct marketing because you are not wasting any energy, time, or money as they are reaching out to the potential customers directly.

How to use Direct Marketing?

If you are interested in using direct marketing techniques for your business then here is a list of a few methods and how you can use them.

Email Marketing

In today’s world everyone uses emails to communicate thus sending out an email directly to the person is a very effective way to market, but you have to be careful of not spamming them. You should have permission from the person to email them with offers. You can do this by asking them if they are comfortable in providing their contact information so you could send them an email. But you should remember to always allow them an option to unsubscribe or stop the emails.

Telemarketing

This is one method of direct marketing that most people do not like a lot, or do not prefer as they feel they shouldn’t be disturbed anytime of the day asking them if they are interested in buying or using a service or a product. So the best option is to record a voice mail of the offer and send it out to the user and they can block or accept the call according to their wish.

SMS

Another method of direct marketing which is very useful in today’s world is sending out a bulk SMS to a list of potential customers this is better than telemarketing as the customer does not get disturbed and can check the text message later when he feels like.

According to me direct marketing is very effective and useful. But in order to do that you have to build a good relation with the customer before you start sending out any products or offers that they could purchase.

I’d like to help you if I can. I had a great time writing this article, I hope you enjoyed it. I look forward to being in touch with you again soon.