Historically invented to support the dynamics of mail order sales, direct marketing has since proven its effectiveness for any type of product or service. At the service of transactional marketing, in web-to-store for example, as well as relational marketing, through the sending of an annual catalogue, direct marketing includes the selection of the file of recipients, the realization of the support and the sending of the message online or by mail. Driven by what we think we know well, direct marketing can still astonish us. Well thought out and well executed, the best campaigns manage to move us, entertain us and make us act. The state of play…
Definition of direct marketing
The “direct” side of direct marketing carries the idea of a relationship without an intermediary between the sender and the recipient of the message, unlike, for example, a traditional commercial channel where distribution plays a mediating role with consumers (as promoter and logistician as well).
According to this meaning, direct marketing refers to a set of techniques made available to a brand or trade name, which are jointly implemented:
- To recognize by name a rundown of possibly intrigued beneficiaries (qualified document).
- To bring to the consideration of the focused on open a business offer, via mail or advanced methods.
- To remember for this offer the methods for the focused on shoppers to react to the requesting, for instance by utilizing a rebate coupon or by taking an interest in a challenge.
It is hence an immediate trade, a sort of short out correspondence.
The revival of direct marketing
The exploitation of the numerous behavioural data collected by brands and retailers (big data) and the use of artificial intelligence are bringing direct marketing up to date! Targeting, message writing and choice of channel are gaining in prominence, to fit in more and more closely with communication strategies.
The range of distribution channels on offer has also gained a lot thanks to the digital transformation. While traditional vectors, mail and telephone, have not completely given way, digital vectors have proven their effectiveness.
Today, the distribution of a direct marketing campaign can take place through five main channels:
E-mailing, for targeted and quickly implemented actions.
An e-mailing campaign has the advantage of being able to be part of a multimedia perspective, including for example a video, and of being able to generate an immediate response.
SMS marketing, for instant activation actions.
Based on geolocation, a direct marketing campaign by sms is a powerful tool for creating traffic.
Mailing or direct mail, for relational marketing actions.
With the possibility of sending a catalogue, leaflet or sample, the mailing goes to the heart of the households and allows an efficient takeover.
Couponing. By mail or by mailing, or even by sms, the sending of a discount coupon to be used at the checkout is a recognized spring of activation.
The telephone. Implemented by direct approach professionals, telephone canvassing is based on the quality of interactivity. Most often considered intrusive, this technique still has a few followers.
The fundamentals of a successful direct marketing campaign
Regardless of the vector used, the identification and delimitation of the target largely determines the success of a direct marketing operation. The reliability of the composition of the file – in particular the up-to-date nature of the information and the fact that all the necessary contact details are included – must be carefully checked.
The Hamon law of March 2014 relating to consumer rights makes the use of a file conditional on the prior collection of the agreement of the persons appearing in the file to receive a direct marketing type communication (opt in).
In a relational marketing context (I develop a long-term relationship) or a transactional marketing context (I immediately provoke a purchase or a trip to the point of sale), the message and support of the direct marketing campaign are central to induce the behaviour expected from the target audience. Weighing your words and choosing your images carefully determine their impact.
Renewing yourself in the field of direct marketing is not so easy. The use of augmented reality technologies is an innovative creative approach.
The choice of timing and frequency of direct marketing operations clearly depends on the nature of the products or services, the relationship that the brand or trade name has with the target and the vector used.
However, common sense must prevail and avoid saturating the target with an avalanche of contacts. The multi-channel approach (sms + e-mailing + addressed mail) can be a good way to practice redundant communication without upsetting the audience. And taking into account the feedback that requires a break is a must.
The exploitation of the campaign
In all humility, the success of a direct marketing campaign relies heavily on the experience gained from previous campaigns. Precision in the selection of the target, the timely choice of the communication channel and the adaptation of the proposal feed on previous attempts.
The fourth fundamental of a successful direct marketing campaign, even if it has failed in relation to its stated objective, is to properly decode the message returned by consumers with a view to continuous improvement. Direct marketing is a modality of the relationship with its audience. Success is built over time.
All in all, immediate showcasing has had the option to restore itself without losing its DNA of productivity and effortlessness. You currently have an abundance of decision as far as channels and keys to benefiting from your battle.
You should simply begin!