When you start thinking about a new marketing campaign, is your focus on achieving a direct response? In a marketing environment in which a concentration of effort often understandably falls upon achieving the best Return On Investment (ROI), some within the industry have fallen into the trap of assuming that ROI can only be achieved via direct response marketing.In this article, we’d like to take a closer look at why this simply doesn’t appear to match reality: in truth, a single piece of marketing activity rarely exists within a vacuum. Although it’s true that direct response marketing can often be the final piece of the jigsaw in producing a sale, it’s rarely the only step involved within the overall journey.
Before a prospective customer or client takes the all-important final step of handing over some money, they first need to be assured that you are able to offer precisely what they want. Demonstrating that this is the case involves more than simply having a great pricing strategy. There are numerous elements to consider, but ultimately that prospective customer needs to buy-in the values and ethos of your brand. In short, they need to believe in what you offer.
How can you establish the conditions that make such a scenario more likely? As in daily life, it’s all a question of relationships. If you already have a relationship with an individual, then they will be building an awareness of what you can offer and they will also be far more likely to trust you. That positioning is critical, since it’s far easier than trying to sell to someone who has no previous knowledge of what you provide.
With this in mind, we can begin to build a picture of when direct response marketing works and why it sometimes doesn’t. Attempting to get a response based on first contact with a potential customer is incredibly difficult because you don’t have that established relationship in place. Why would they choose to buy from you? In these circumstances, it’s a case of marketing in the wrong way.
Where direct response marketing can be incredibly powerful, of course, is in helping to seal a deal on the basis of an existing relationship. Building up brand awareness is vital and should form a central part of your strategy. Think about your potential clients when creating an awareness campaign. The point isn’t to dazzle and sparkle by talking all about yourself but rather segment your customers and deliver a personalized message that really connects with them and speaks to what they need.
Reflecting on the overall context, it might be said that there really is no such thing as “direct response” marketing. There is just one big marketing mix that takes an individual from knowing nothing about your brand to being a paying customer.