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Does Direct Marketing have a place in your Marketing Strategy?

posted July 1st 2014, 8:09 pm by Scott Hartig

The short answer to that question: Yes.

Or more accurately, probably. The rationale that goes into answering that question most precisely is more complicated, but we’d like to give you a hand at figuring it out for your company.

The age of direct marketing is certainly not over. Some examples of effective direct marketing: billboards directing cross country travelers to a family dining experience, radio ads explaining the special event happening this weekend for all new home buyers, postcard mailers with a coupon sent to all local houses announcing the grand opening of a new coffee shop.

If you’ll notice, though, all of those examples were directed for a specific, targeted audience. You need to know your audience. We can’t say it enough. The number one reason direct marketing efforts fail is because the question “Who am I trying to reach?”  was never answered. That question must be the very first question you ask before embarking on a marketing campaign.

Use that answer to fuel the strategy of your campaign. Know what kinds of marketing works well for them and what doesn’t work so well. Research trends so that you won’t be making trial-and-error guesses so completely on your own. You’ll save time and money by learning from other companies’ past mistakes.

Secondly, think about your overall marketing strategy well ahead of time. The year-end is a good time to reassess your plans for the new year, but any new quarter works, too. Today is the start of the second half of the year, so take time to reassess your demographic. Are your clientele in the same group you thought they were three months ago? Discuss your current and future goals. How will your direct marketing campaigns help you to reach your goals?

The point to discussing your marketing strategy well ahead of time is that by doing so, you remove the guesswork. When an advertising company approaches you and asks if you want to pay for placement in its catalog, you’ll have an answer on hand. You won’t need to hem and haw about it because you already know how ad placements fit into your marketing strategy.

Maybe the majority of your customers are commuters, so you focus on billboards and radio ads, appealing to drivers on I-43 who listen to soft rock. But maybe your target audience is a group of stay-at-home moms. If that’s the case, billboards on the way into the city won’t be nearly as effective. Direct mail postcards targeting home with young children might be a better route.

The key to direct marketing—and any marketing, for that matter—is to meet your customers where they are. And if they happen to be at I-43 every morning, go ahead and meet them there. But don’t waste your money on direct marketing that isn’t being seen by your right audience. Figuring out your target demographic can be a challenge, but, trust us, it’s well worth the time.

If you’re struggling to figure out the role direct marketing has in your overall marketing strategy, shoot us an email at [email protected]. Strategy is one of our favorite subjects, and we like to help.