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.

How to Market Your Information Marketing Business So You Get More Sales No Matter What!

Direct response marketing expert Diane Conklin likes to remind business owners of the difference between sales and marketing using this analogy:

It’s always easier to sell if you offer the fish instead of the fishing pole.

Marketing is the ability to create an opportunity and a desire within a prospect to buy your products or services. The big picture is, nobody wants to put forth the effort to catch the fish.

That is what makes information marketing the big business that it is today. The industry is fuelled by the lack of time available to people and a growing desire for work-life balance. As an information marketer, you can meet this great demand by gathering information and selling it in convenient forms to people who don’t have the time to do things themselves.

3 Reasons Why Diane Conklin Loves The Information Marketing Business

1. No other business provides the revenue, flexibility and lifestyle that information marketing provides. Much of the work is home-based, part-time and requires very little start-up costs.

2. Because there is such a demand for information products, anyone can use their own expertise to create a million dollar business within 12 months or less. Information marketing is an emerging and ever-growing field made up of knowledgeable and marketing savvy entrepreneurs who package their expertise into convenient forms such as DVDs, books, e-books, CDs, magazines, websites, teleseminars, webinars, coaching programs, seminars and conferences.

3. There is a market for creating an information marketing business for just about every topic you can think of.

Using information marketing, Diane offers her proven business building secrets including marketing systems that help you effectively market your new business. She teaches all there is to know about using direct response marketing methods which concentrate on getting clients and making sales. And, she helps you measure results so you know which methods are getting you the most return on your marketing dollars.

One of her secrets includes this…

Warning for Information Marketers: Avoid the Common Mistake of Limiting Your Marketing Program to One Marketing Method.

Don’t mistakenly assume that everyone is on the internet. By using a multi-step, multimedia approach you will maximize your profits and ensure stability. Diane recommends using at least three or four sources that deliver great results.

The key is to avoid becoming dependent on any one media type. That way if one of them slows down or dries up completely you will still have new clients, money and sources flowing into your company.

Lastly don’t forget — from newspaper to internet, no matter what the media type you choose, you should always use direct response marketing. It delivers the best results and makes the most money.

How to Get Started in Marketing Your Information Marketing Business Now

Diane is just one of 12 experts in the field of info-marketing who offer real world advice in the new book Start Your Own Information Marketing Business, an easy-to-follow manual that offers steps to building a successful info-business from the ground up. The group’s compilation of tips gives you the tools you need to duplicate their success.

Using Social Marketing Management Techniques to Influence Brand Image

In a competitive world where news now travels extremely rapidly, maintaining a positive image of a brand is more important than ever – and much more difficult to do. This presents a challenge for all the aspects of social marketing – management, moderation and campaign direction.Digital media, fast communication and social networking have changed the landscape for advertising beyond all recognition. Even the most far-seeing science fiction writers did not imagine the explosive growth of the internet, and the ability of the public to comment upon current events and the behaviour of large corporations. Stories spread incredibly rapidly – a mere mention of a celebrity or topic currently in the news will trigger searches to find out what is going on. As always, bad news travels the fastest, and very few can resist the opportunity to have a good laugh at the expense of a corporation.Studies show that the number of people that trust advertising is falling every year, and each new brand problem or scandal worsens the situation. It will take some time for the British supermarkets to recover from the horse-meat scandal, although the country’s small local butchers are reaping the benefits.With trust in advertising becoming increasingly difficult, how can brands improve their image and build new markets? One answer is to open and maintain communication channels with current and potential customers. This is where an efficient social marketing management strategy is essential.The social presence of a company needs to be up to date, honest, identifiable and influential. This last parameter is the most important. The challenge for the social marketing management team can be summarised as ‘how can I influence a community where I have no control over what is posted?’ Ways to do this include:¬∑ Find and influence the right people¬∑ Moderate the conversation¬∑ Act quickly to solve problemsFind the InfluencersIn the offline world, becoming an approved supplier for a big organisation is one of the main ways to gain a large amount of business. That means gaining the approval of the person who influences the purchasing decisions. For brands marketing directly to consumers online, the same analogy applies – if someone influential likes and uses your product, there will be a high chance that others will follow suit. These ‘influencers’ are the people to target.Finding the influencers means not only locating the right people, but also being in the right places. Technorati’s latest survey of the social network landscape consulted about 6000 people who are regarded as ‘influencers’. The report shows that consumers see blogs as a very important part of their purchasing decisions, second only to the brand sites themselves. However Technorati also found that only ten per cent of the average digital marketing spending is allocated to social networks, with more than half of that used on a Facebook presence. So it appears from the report that marketing funding is not being directed to the influential blogosphere.There are also analytical methods of finding the influencers. For example, algorithms have been run on Twitter to track followers and re-tweets, especially when there is a hot topic of the day. Some interesting results have come to light from these studies, showing that many of the most popular people on Twitter are not always the most influential. While celebrities may have the highest number of followers, they may not actually be exerting the most influence.Moderate the ConversationMonitoring and moderating what is said about and to the brand remains the cornerstone of social marketing. Management of the conversation, responding to the public and appearing to be honest and approachable are all simple maxims that can make all the difference to how a brand is perceived.The detailed techniques of content moderation vary between the sites used. It is important to achieve a balance between managing the content and stifling the debate. At the least, open forums and sites should be protected against spammers, obscene postings and other forms of inappropriate content. Beyond that, it will be necessary to decide whether the site should be moderated pro-actively (all postings approved in advance) or reactively (postings only checked when flagged as inappropriate). This decision is also affected by the budget available.Act Quickly To Solve Problems – and continue to actRecent events provide a good example of how an apparently perfect campaign can suddenly hit controversy, for completely unforeseen reasons. The brand managers at Nike may be rueing the day that they chose the slogan ‘I am the bullet in the chamber’ for their campaign featuring Oscar Pistorius, the athlete accused of murdering his girlfriend with a gun. The advertisements were swiftly removed as the story broke, but they remain featured on news stories about their removal. In some ways these news stories give the advertisements more coverage than the campaign itself.This shows that removing inappropriate content is no longer sufficient, especially when it is virtually impossible to delete something from the internet once it is has been posted. In these situations, it is vitally important for a brand to make pro-active statements and to be honest about what is happening. This is the best approach to reassure customers that the company is not trying to cover up unfortunate events, and to retain a feeling of transparency and integrity.Some days after the event, Nike have now taken further action to suspend their sponsorship contract with Pistorius, but have also stated that they are monitoring the situation and believe that he should be afforded ‘due process’. It is not their role to examine and assess what has happened, and this statement shows that they understand that. The fact that they did not immediately suspend the contract also gives the feeling that they are thinking before reacting. This considered response shows them in a good light and may even bring in more business.While quick reaction is important, careful postings are even more important to avoid inflaming the situation. ‘Careless talk costs lives’ said the World War II slogan. This could be adapted now to read ‘careless posting costs sales’. While it may appear possible to remove unwanted postings or content, this is not always the case. As noted above, information now propagates so rapidly that any unfortunate comments could be taking on a life of their own in minutes or less.It can be seen that influencing the image of the brand is more of an art than a science, although there are many tools available to help. Frustratingly for marketers, it is true that the most successful marketing campaigns are driven by the consumers. The role of social marketing management is to help find the key to these successful campaigns, and then to manage them once they are up and running.