When it comes to marketing, there are two standard approaches: direct response marketing and brand marketing. We all know brand marketing. Think of any slogan meant to elicit responses from the masses. Eat Mor Chikin. Just Do It. What’s In Your Wallet? All of these slogans are overtly tied to a brand and immediately bring to mind that company when you hear it.
But is this the most crucial aspect of marketing? As an alternative, direct response marketing looks to find an actual problem and present a real and tangible solution. Brand marketing offers the same thing to everyone, whereas direct response marketing provides a preferred solution to a specific population. Pretty simple, right?
Brand marketing seeks to create an image or brand. Direct response marketing aims to create a higher return on investment. Both have their purpose. But if you want to track the success of what you are spending your money on, direct response marketing is a wise choice.
5 Characteristics of Digital Marketing
When you are looking to create a successful digital marketing campaign, there are several factors to consider. Whether you have a social media platform or an email campaign, or a combination of mediums, there are important things to include.
- Timeliness – Timing your campaign and making it relevant to your customers’ dailylives is vital. You want your potential customer to feel a connection to your product. If your customers feel connected to what you are selling, they are more likely to purchase what you are selling. You also need to create a sense of urgency. You want your customers to feel they need to act or they might miss out on something they need. If you can clearly articulate a beginning and end, it will increase your customers’ investments.
- Ownership – You need to create a sense of ownership for your customers with your marketing campaign. To do this, you need to make your customers feel empowered and that their contribution matters. Providing an option for customers to participate, which includes direct response, is very motivating. You also want to create resources that are permanent. You do not want your brand name to be dependent upon a social media post alone; you want the idea to endure and continually motivate action.
- Sociability – You will want to provide ways to share content on all your social media networks and encourage customers to use messaging and hashtags. Your customers can be your greatest advertisements. Give them the tools necessary to share your brand. It is also wise to create ways to share specific content, rather than an entire page.
- Transparency – It is vital that your customers feel they can trust you, and a quick and effective way to do this is to show raw numbers for any data, whether that be donations, number of likes or shares, number of attendees, etc. Finding ways to incorporate these figures can be challenging, but is useful where it can be applied. It is also important to report progress towards any goals you have. This idea can also relate to direct response. You can show the customers how others have responded, and if you have a needed number to reach, share that. This honesty will show your audience what activity is happening in real time, rather than what the company wants to see.
- Storytelling – We’re not talking fairy tales and legends, but you do want your customers to connect to something, not just see a company trying to sell them something. Enticing real emotions from people is achievable with a clear and easy-to-understand story. Your customers do not need to know about all the nitty-gritty details; they need to see the big picture, what your aim as a company is.
You also want to inspire your customers and have them feel optimistic about their involvement. Realistic and hopeful stories and messages will persuade people more than fear tactics or over-generalizations.
4 Characteristics of Direct Response Marketing
If you want to start a direct response marketing campaign where customers directly respond, where do you begin? You need to include several key factors need for a successful campaign.
- Call-to-Action (CTA) – In your advertisement, there needs to be a direct call-to-action. Whether you are telling your customer to call, sign-up, buy, email, or any other action, they must understand they are encouraged to do something. This call needs to be obvious, not subtle or subliminal. When a potential customer sees or hears the ad, they will know the purpose.
- Response-Driven – In a direct response advertisement, the potential customer must understand what you expect of them. In a more general advertisement, the tagline might not be intuitive. In the case of Just Do It, the follow-up question might be, “just do what?” In direct response, the customer will know their expected action is to call a specific number or email a particular address.
- Testing – To ensure a successful marketing campaign, you need to be able to test how the particular advertisement performed. In a brand marketing campaign, you might see your sales increase or decrease, but you will not know exactly which markets or channels led to that change. In a direct marketing response, you can track very precisely what is working and what is not. You will be able to target specific audiences based on demographics and be direct with them and what is proven to work with that sector. Then you can test and see if it worked.
- Ample Information – A direct response marketing campaign needs to provide the customer with enough information to help them decide to respond. Because you are going for a more specific and select audience, you need to be sure they understand that what you are offering meets their needs, and they need to be sure how they are supposed to respond.
How to Combine Digital Marketing and Direct Response
Now that you understand the benefits of direct response and digital marketing, how do you combine them? How do you use digital mediums to reach those customers who want what you are offering? Direct response is an incredibly useful approach, and when combined with digital marketing, it is a sure-fire way to generate more customers and increase revenue, all without investing a large amount of capital or time.
If you already have an advertisement campaign that includes digital marketing but have not added in direct response, you are missing a crucial segment. Many ways that have proven fruitful in combining digital marketing and direct response from social media to email to offline campaigns with digital components, like a video card.
If you want to add value and increase the chance a customer clicks on your link, or opens your email, you have to personalize your content. For this to be successful, you must rely on data. There is a multitude of data at your hands from analytics to statistical modeling. Data will help you bridge the divide between you and your potential customers and will help you focus your money on those customers most likely to respond. You will want to find the appropriate level personalization, rather than seem too intimate.
If you want to combine digital marketing with direct response in a successful way it is best to see them as compliments. Both these techniques can work together to grow your product and name. Your digital ads are meant to inform customers and get your product out there, whereas direct response ads are intended to elicit a response from those customers.
Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing
When you create your advertisement, there are some grave mistakes you need to avoid. You don’t want your ad or message to end up in inbox hell. Especially when you are planning a digital marketing campaign with direct response, certain things will tank your ad from the beginning.
- Marketing Without Metrics – It is vital to understand the metrics associated with each marketing activity. Specifically, when you are using direct response, it is crucial you pay close attention to the market you are trying to reach and the best way to get them to respond. If your target audience is men over 65, a completely digital response might not be the best option. You must understand the purpose of your marketing initiatives as well as the goals you want to see fulfilled.
- Marketing in a Silo – Whether you have poor communication within your marketing team and to other departments, or you make decisions without input from current as well as potential customers, you can make serious mistakes without proper communication. You will want to create shared goals between departments or groups based on your overarching plan. Have weekly updates between groups to eliminate any drop off in communication. Also, you will want to be sure you have solid communication with your customers whether it be through running surveys, researching data, phone calls, or emails, all of which can easily be done digitally. Even after the product is established, you will want to be sure you are on top of satisfaction or disappointments from customers.
- No Audience Segmentation – This idea is critically important with direct response and digital marketing. There are so many demographics out there, you should not treat them equally. You will want to segment your audience so you can have more targeted messaging. Having a pulse on each segment can increase your conversion rates and revenue and give customers a better experience, making them more likely to remain loyal to your brand.
- No Process for Experimentation – A great way to ensure success in your digital marketing campaign with a direct response is to start with a minimum budget that will get you enough data to analyze results. That way, you will know whether to eliminate the current route if it isn’t working, how to optimize and enhance it or scale it up if it was a huge success.
- “Spray and Pray” Marketing – The approach of creating a marketing campaign without correctly targeting distribution and optimizing based on metrics is rarely successful or productive. When you are building your digital marketing, you have to analyze the population that would benefit from seeing it, rather than sending it to everyone in your list. You will waste time, money, and resources.
- Too Much Selling, Not Enough Nurturing – When you are creating your direct response advertisements in your digital marketing campaign, you will want to avoid merely selling your idea or product. If you are consistently selling to people who might be more interested in learning, you will lose customers. If you create valuable content that matches with the interests of your target customers, you will be able to establish a relationship. After you have this relationship and built trust, you should introduce the direct response.
- Set It and Forget It Marketing – If you are relying on automation software, or if you set your homepages and leave them alone for long periods of time you are missing out on capital and customers. Marketing is more than campaigns and launches. Daily marketing streams need regular attention. Rather than focusing on increasing traffic, increase the conversion rate across your digital marketing by enhancing and optimizing the content the customer sees. You cannot set up a direct response and not monitor it. If you have a link to subscribe to emails, you have to follow that and ensure you are updating your email list.
As you can see, digital marketing and direct response go hand in hand. Incorporating direct response into your digital marketing campaign is crucial. You will miss out on increased revenue and potential customers if you fail to encourage their response and possible involvement. If you are looking for help in incorporating these together, check out Romain Berg. We have years of experience and genuinely motivated staff to keep your business on the right path. You don’t have to figure it out by yourself; the internet is a big world. With the right team behind you, you will avoid common mistakes and pitfalls.