Direct Marketing Write For Us – Direct marketing encompasses a vision of marketing that puts the customer at the centre of the strategy and uses all its disciplines, both Above the Line and Below the Line, but always to identify prospects and foster a response between the company and the consumer. Customer.
By providing an alternative definition, we can also say that Direct Marketing is a form of interactive marketing that allows establishing personalized communication adapted to micro-segments or even individual people (in the digital age, digital communication, one-to-one dialogue is viable). It uses all known media and communication channels, constantly analyzing the results’ profitability and each action’s profitability.
Direct Marketing is precise, flexible and profitable
How to know what is direct marketing and what is not direct marketing
The truth is elementary; you only have to include a form of response; for this reason, the teleshopping ads that I like to use to explain how to build a correct sales message are direct marketing.
Let’s see how to build an excellent direct marketing ad:
- Put the problem in context with examples
- Solution Demonstration
- Final offer and Call to action
- Incentives, accelerators and purchase guarantees
Is digital marketing always direct marketing?
Definitely not. The term digital marketing covers all advertising and marketing strategies that can be done in the electronic or digital environment. Within the digital world, we can determine that interactive marketing is direct marketing because it is a form of marketing that seeks relationships and answers.
As I explained above, it will only be when it includes a response mode or a ” call to action “. If it does not have it, it is not, such as a video ad on TikTok or a bumper ad on youtube.
History of Direct Marketing
The direct marketing concept was first launched by Lester Wunderman at a conference in New York in 1961. Still, it became widely used thanks to the magazine’s change of name from The reporter of direct mail advertising to The reporter of Direct Marketing. In other words, it all started with direct postal Mail to encompass a more significant concept from that moment on.
In Spain, in 1977, the mail-order and direct marketing association, today is known as digital, was established as a result of the evolution of interactive and digital marketing. The digital age, direct marketing is emerging, facilitating the possibility of speaking with the client and not only with the client.
Big data provides us with enormous data that allows us not only to adapt communication and the experience to each of us but also to predict our behaviour. Variable costs are minimized, and personal communication tailored to the needs of each individual is made possible. Take the case of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica as an example.
It’s also important to note that customer relationships change when they become an active part of your integrated plan. Consumers become prosumers on the internet, facilitating long-term relationships by being an active part of your communities and even creating your product.
We can say that today the term Direct Marketing has evolved into the concept of Direct and Interactive Marketing.
Characteristics of Direct and Interactive Marketing
We define that to be direct marketing, it must have these characteristics:
- The interactive two-way communication system between the company and the client
- Use all existing media, including TV.
- Aimed at both customer acquisition and customer loyalty and increased value of them.
- It can and should be measured by generating data at all contact points, «Touchpoints».
- Manage transactions and sales at any point of contact.
Critical Areas of Direct Marketing
Direct marketing mainly focuses on some of the critical areas of the business:
- Identify and qualify current and potential customers
- Keep the database updated and save all possible data related to the interaction between the client and the company
- Integrate communication to establish an effective dialogue
- Manage the customer life cycle, improving the value of the customer
- Establish two-way communication channels on a stable and recurring basis
Advantages of direct marketing
Direct marketing today is the most used form of marketing, thanks to digital marketing. It provides a series of advantages that make it the best option in interactive and digital media:
- Mass segmentation capability
- Allows customization thanks to segmentation reaching one-to-one communication in the digital age
- Allows you to create clubs for the best clients
- It allows for measurement and control of all the results
- It allows to control and measure distribution channels and, therefore, sales.
- It allows us to learn from our clients thanks to their answers, even non-answers
- It allows testing to find the best tactics and creatives.
- It generates data, and that data becomes decisions.
How to know if Advertising is Direct Marketing: differences between advertising and Direct Marketing
Simply, any action with a means of interaction or response is direct marketing.
It is widespread to mistakenly associate direct marketing only with postal marketing. But direct marketing uses all means of communication to find answers. In fact, we can say that it has won the battle against one-way advertising because if we look at TV today, all the ads look for solutions “Download the App”, “Place your order”, and “Buy.”
Thanks to the Internet, direct marketing has reached its peak because, thanks to the use of new technologies, the ability to measure results and create personalized services tailored to the client but at low cost has made this a strategic way of understanding marketing today. Nowadays, the most popular and many times it is also defined as online marketing.
That is why I often think an excellent digital marketer must understand and study direct marketing concepts to create interactive marketing strategies integrated into the digital environment. And that most of the time, they are seduced by tactics but forget about the process.
You may also be interested in a Master in Digital Marketing
The 5 Variables of the direct and interactive marketing mix
While in the traditional marketing mix, we talk about the 4Ps of the marketing mix (product, price, place -distribution channels- and promotion), in direct marketing, we talk about 5 key variables:
- Database: We accumulate customer knowledge through their interactions and responses in the database, and we segment. It is the foundation for the planning, execution and measurement of marketing actions.
- Offer: it is the complete value proposition that we offer to the client consisting of product/service; price; payment methods; positioning; risk reducers; incentives, and purchase accelerators.
- Creativity: it is the graphic expression of the offer
- Media: these are the channels through which we will distribute the request.
- Customer Service and Fulfilment: these are the operations necessary to manage responses and provide customer service to their questions, doubts or complaints. It is crucial and has to do with order processing or Telemarketing, among other processes.
The new PVPC of the marketing mix
We compete globally, and products and services are becoming increasingly commoditized. It is difficult for us to understand the advantages of one product over another. This digital marketing strategic planning system will help you find a way to commoditise your product.
- Parity: in a globalized world, products are becoming increasingly undifferentiated. Your product must compete on par with the rest of the market: price, features, channels, communication and service. If you are not on par with the rest of the products, you cannot directly compete.
- Added value: it is necessary to break parity by offering added value to the customer with advantages or differences that your competition does not have.
- Personalization: As we talk about direct marketing, personalization is an element of the strategy and a key component of differentiation. Building one-on-one relationships.
- Community: in the digital world, it is necessary to take advantage of the forces of your customers’ society and empower them, offering them communication and contact tools to create a community and delight them with the evangelization of your products. The consumer becomes a prosumer, and it is something that should not go unnoticed by brands.
Traditional disciplines of direct marketing
The most important disciplines that encompass direct marketing are:
- Direct Mail: nowadays, email marketing. Undoubtedly the best known
- Direct Mail: any form of advertising and/or communication with a response medium
- Direct response surveys
- Data Base Marketing or Data Analytics: nowadays, it evolving into Big Data.
- Data Mining: in direct marketing, we have already used clustering, chaid, profiling and neural networks in the last century. For example, I created a descriptive typology analysis project called “Microvision” and a predictive one called Geoconsumption, which included Geomarketing and micro marketing.
- Customer loyalty: rewards programs and gamification.
- Marketing one-to-one: direct marketing seeks to create relationships 1 to 1.
- Interactive marketing seeks to create relationships with interactive media such as Digital TV or the Internet.
- Relationship marketing is marketing that wants to create lasting relationships with the client. It is generally supported by customer loyalty or by creating a community with social networks.
- The sms or WhatsApp marketing: it is a form of direct mail through this channel
- Conversational marketing is the marketing of conversations through chatbots and human agents.
- Catalogue sales: it would be an analogue eCommerce, and it still exists.
- Electronic commerce: it is a digital catalogue sale.
- Social Media Marketing: as long as it is good and seeks to create conversations.
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