Direct Marketing Company
Choosing a direct marketing company
A direct marketing company can provide a comprehensive marketing solution for your company or products and relieve you of this pressure. Unless you've got qualified in-house staff to deal with marketing it can be an effective solution to let the professionals take your campaign on board. It frees up your time for the day-to-day running of the business and should provide a better return on investment than a DIY campaign.
However, you'll need to choose the direct marketing company you decide to work with carefully. Look for personal recommendations or long-established companies with a good track record. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions - not only are you going to pay the company for their services, you're going to have to pay for the campaign - and you need a return on this investment.
Start your search by deciding exactly what it is you want your campaign to achieve. This way you can speak to company directors with a firm set of goals in mind and expect realistic answers on how they might achieve them. Ask the company how long they have been established and if they subscribe to best practice models for the direct marketing industry.
Analyze the company's past and present performance by asking them to describe recent successful campaigns. Don't be afraid to ask them if you can contact the clients involved for references. If they've got nothing to hide they'll be happy to pass on the numbers.
Before you get down to campaign logistics ask the direct marketing company what they know about your particular industry or service. A good company will be prepared and have done some research on your market and its possible niches.
For maximum returns you'll want a cross-media campaign. Question the direct marketing company on what type of campaign they would plan for you in each medium. Beware of any company that suggests an online campaign only, they may just be glorified list brokers, or experts in search engine optimization (SEO) only.
Ask if your account will be handled by an individual or a team. For maximum returns you need copy writers writing your mailings and designers working on the layout. If you're planning an international campaign ask it the company has international specialists who know the regional markets.
Ask about SEO for your website and how the company plans to drive meaningful traffic and qualified leads to your site. Clarify who is going to deal with mail outs and responses - will this be your responsibility or will the direct marketing company handle it all? If so, how are they going to do this?
What kind of feedback can you expect from the company once the campaign is in motion? Ideally you'll want regular reporting and an interpretation of results so that you understand all the statistics involved. If possible make sure you'll also get a return on investment analyzes so that you can see exactly how hard your money is working.
Choosing the right direct marketing company is a critical factor in any campaign. Ask plenty of questions, look for people who are passionate about what they do and how they can help your brand, and make sure you get the best service you can afford. You can bet your competitors certainly will.