Direct marketing is an approach rather than a channel and can cover a broad range of media including direct mail, email, mobile, online and even ATL. What typifies this approach is a focus on the consumer, the intelligent use of data and the intention to drive a specific responses. With response and data at the heart of the approach direct marketing can be far more accountable than other marketing channels and it has the ability to deliver a clear ROI. However, direct marketing can achieve a broad range of brand objectives beyond purely driving sales, including increasing brand affinity, creating word of mouth and recruitment.
Far from spelling the end of direct marketing increased activity through social media and other digital channels has only increased the power of direct marketing through the enrichment of consumer data. However, with an increase in data it can become far too easy for marketers to ‘drown’ in the amount of data they hold on consumers – or indeed not be collecting the right data. It’s essential brands have a clear strategy on how they will capture, hold and deal with consumer’s data. They should develop a clear segmentation strategy which is essential to develop data driven insights that can greatly improve direct marketing results.
Testing and learning is essential for successful direct communications, be that via email marketing campaigns or testing various DM creative. Communicator tirelessly strive to maximise our response rates and ensure we’re constantly testing and tweaking creative and formats to get the best ROI for our clients. This is achieved through an in-depth understanding of how consumers interact with creative and different media. Direct marketing campaigns are rapidly evaluated and learnings fed back in to future campaigns.
It’s important direct marketing is not seen as an isolated discipline but is truly integrated within the broader marketing mix. Closely aligning direct communications with ATL and social strategies can greatly improve results. This integration requires joined up thinking at the start of campaigns and the ability for agencies to work closely as a team to deliver the brand objectives. Communicator are experienced in working as part of a team of agencies able to pull together with all stake holders to meet brand objectives, whether this be through sales promotion, direct or experiential marketing.
The future of direct marketing is bright and embracing new routes for consumers to directly respond back to brands is key. As mobile internet use has grown, so has the ease in which other media, not classically used for direct response, have been embraced to drive direct sales or drive consumer interaction. This trend will only continue ensuring that a strong understanding of consumer response and how to deal with this will only become more important for brands.