Direct Marketing Strategy
Planning a direct marketing strategy
Regardless of the size of your company, planning your direct marketing strategy is one of the most important things you can do. If you're running a small company making sure your marketing budget is spent correctly is a key responsibility and your ability to maximize the return on that investment is linked to a few key areas explained below.
Knowing your audience
Every marketing manager lives in fear of a campaign that just doesn't hit the mark. Highly targeted campaigns are the best option when you've only got a small amount of money to spend on your direct marketing strategy. When handled correctly they can generate an attractive return on investment and make a big impact. Spend time researching your target audience, and don't waste money planning a campaign for anyone outside your niche.
Making it slick
Once you know who your target customer is you need to plan a direct marketing strategy just for them. In larger companies an account director works with a copywriter and designer to come up with a targeted campaign, but smaller companies just don't have the specialized staff to do this. However, if you want your campaign to deliver, you've got to think about what to include and how you want it to look. You may even want to consider employing a copywriter or designer if the budget allows for it. That initial first glimpse of your direct mailing, coupon or email can make or break your campaign, so make sure it looks good.
Costs vs. return
Determining a budget and sticking to it is another key consideration for any direct marketing strategy. Consider what you can afford to spend on the campaign and how the money will be best spent. You also need to consider how soon you need to recoup the costs of your investment. Research your options, look at statistics for campaign costs and expected returns and let these factors influence which medium you should choose for advertising.
Choosing a medium
Traditional direct marketing techniques such as mailshots and telemarketing are proven to work, but if your target audience is younger and more mobile, and your product or service more dynamic, you're going to have to consider e-marketing. Using email, sms messaging and the Internet to get your product or service into the minds of your customer can be a fast and efficient way of generating business. Again focus on your target audience and let them dictate which medium is best.
When it comes to direct marketing timing is everything. Tying your campaign to a seasonal, cultural or one-off event can have an enormous impact on your returns. Charities looking for donations should plan their direct marketing strategy for a time of year associated with making charitable donations. Sports manufacturers should look to link their campaign with major sporting events and food manufacturers or retailers should link campaigns to major cultural celebrations. Having a firm link with events in your customers' lives will guarantee a better return on your investment.