With the internet a ubiquitous part of life and countless nontraditional marketing methods available, many business owners focus on marketing through nontraditional means. This has led many to speculate that direct marketing as well as traditional marketing measures are obsolete. However, there is a place in many small businesses for direct marketing. Here we will look at what direct marketing is and how you can make it work for you.
Direct marketing is a form of marketing that bypasses normal media and instead focuses on communicating directly with the customer, as the name suggests. Instead of general ads in billboards, magazines, and on television, a direct marketing campaign might include fliers and street advertising. Successful direct marketing speaks directly to the customer and includes a strong sense of brand and a call to action.
There are several advantages to direct marketing that are particularly attractive to small business owners. First, these campaigns tend to be less expensive. Larger media campaigns through traditional avenues tend to be prohibitively expensive, but they have another huge disadvantage: it is difficult to tell if you are getting your money’s worth.
This leads us to a second advantage of direct marketing: it is much easier to track. Because you can give a specific phone number or landing page in your advertisements, you can easily tell which type of advertisement and even which wording is the most effective.
A third advantage of direct marketing is that it actually tends to be most effective, especially for new businesses that have not yet developed a strong brand. In fact, it is a good way to begin to refine your brand message and figure out exactly what appeal your business holds for your customers. Direct marketing is very upfront, offering customers a product or service that they need and making it clear that they ought to buy it immediately. While there is room for a strong brand presence, it is secondary to the call to action.
Last, there are such a variety of direct marketing techniques that a small business is free to find the one that suits them best. Direct mail and leaflet marketing may work for more traditional customers, while telemarketing and email marketing are better suited to a technologically savvy young customer base. There are almost as many types of direct marketing as there are small businesses, and creativity is a definite bonus in this area.
Is direct marketing right for your business? It certainly is an excellent way to begin a small business marketing plan. Cheap, effective, and straightforward, direct marketing is an attractive option. In many ways, you are beating your competition to the punch, selling to your customer before they even know that they need your products or services. However, it usually is not enough marketing on its own. In order to continue growing your business and moving toward success, building a strong brand is critical. Consulting a logo designer and a branding consultant will allow you to create a business brand that will appeal to your customer whatever the marketing method you choose.