Here are a few tips you can use to grow along with business marketing changes.
A customer recently called me to answer a few questions on the use of direct marketing techniques that I envision in the future. I asked, “Do you mean tomorrow?”
One of his customers read an article from the co-founder of LinkedIn, Allen Blue, writing that direct marketing ranks high on the extinction list. All types of marketing are very subjective and depending on how your customer feels when they receive your message, it’s hard to predict. In the long range view of ten to fifteen years, how people buy can be totally different.
I can feel the pain that Mr. Blue may be experiencing, if any at all, only because many marketing messages are wasted on people who have no interest. Pick up a magazine. Turn on a radio. Watch a TV program. How many ads do you see? How many are relevant to your needs?
With all the data capabilities direct marketers have at their disposal, aiming the marketing message closer to the bull’s eye becomes easier than ever before. Recently searches on Yahoo for information on a vacuum cleaner lead one to many, many pages. Days after the search whenever Yahoo is opened, there were ads for vacuum cleaners. And you thought the NSA was creepy.
For example, my first company was an advertising agency. Our biggest suppliers were newspapers, magazines and typesetting. A few years of operation as an ad agency let us know the industry was changing. We changed our operations and personnel from an ad agency to a marketing firm. It also was the company’s entrance into the world of direct marketing.
Just like anything else, direct marketing has and is still evolving. Direct mail was the king of direct marketing. Now direct mail is one of the many channels a company can use to reach their marketplace.
Precision targeting to prospects is truly one-to-one marketing. Add personalization with the right data and it’s much easier to communicate using relevant messages that really have value to the receiver of your message.
Mail has been called snail mail. That’s changing as well with better automation and the use of the mandatory Intelligent Mail barcode starting in January 2014. Faster service, cheaper mail costs and even tracking for the analytical minds now entering marketing will make mail more competitive.
Anyone following this blog knows how important direct marketing is when using it with other communication channels, but especially in Social Media. The more channels a company uses to connect, there is a better return on investment of your marketing dollars.
As each generation grows and moves into the workforce, count on more changes.
A company needs to focus more on obtaining as much information as possible on prospect and customers. These are people who are at the center of your marketing core. Find out what they want, how they want it, and use their preferred communication channel to reach them. Store all data in a contact management system.
No matter what changes occur in marketing, you’ll know quickly and learn it from your customers. Until that change, Customer-Centric Marketing is a company weapon of choice to grow a business.
Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers… cater to them, listen to them and react to them. The results will amaze you.
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