In this article, which is part of our series about direct marketing, we focus on the objectives of direct marketing. These will vary from one organisation to another, but there are some core underlying objectives which are common.
Raised Brand AwarenessA primary objective of direct marketing is to raise awareness. Even if a campaign doesn’t lead to a sale, raised awareness is still a positive outcome. The increased awareness may well lead to a future sale when the prospect or existing customer is in higher need of buying the goods or services. Here are areas in which a direct marketing campaign will raise brand awareness:
- Its direct nature – Due to being direct, this type of marketing will raise awareness and build customer loyalty. Where the preferred direct marketing channel is known, the organisation should target marketing to this preference. As the marketing method is direct, it will be noticed by the recipient.
– A direct mail flyer tangible (customers like having something they can touch) and will be read
– A telemarketing call will involve a conversation
– A direct email will be read (and is classed by many as safe and an old, familiar, favourite marketing technique)
- Multi-channel approach – Direct marketing is especially effective when a multi-channel direct marketing approach is adopted. The sum is generally more than the parts, so investments in several channels, e.g. direct email marketing, telemarketing, and printed direct mail are likely to leverage higher returns than investments in an individual channel. Part of the reason for this is the heightened customer awareness due to experiencing marketing information from various sources.
- Integration with indirect marketing – Direct marketing campaigns can be successfully integrated with indirect marketing approaches (e.g. TV, radio, etc.), which are also good for raising brand awareness.
Improved Customer Relationship ManagementThe outcome of a direct marketing campaign needs to be a winning solution both for the organisation and the customer. Here are the ways in which direct marketing improves CRM (customer relationship management):
- Improved customer satisfaction and retention – Successful direct marketing initiatives will improve the customer experience and are likely to lead to customer retention. Examples could include personalised marketing as well as the use of discount coupons and vouchers.
- Treating each customer as an individual rather than part of a mass market (indirect marketing) – Direct marketing by its nature is direct and targets at an individual level. By doing so it treats each customer as an individual rather than mass marketing (e.g. TV, radio, every door drop mail, etc).
Sales/ Lead GenerationOne of the main targets of a direct marketing campaign is to generate sales and leads. As we’ve said, it’s important all parties win, so campaigns need to be fair to everybody. Here are some ways that direct marketing campaigns generate sales and leads:
- New lead generation – A proportion of the database marketed to will naturally respond to the campaign and by doing so generate leads for new customers.
- Generating trial orders – A proportion of the database marketed to will also generate trial orders of products and services. This is a target of many campaigns as it could lead to regular repeat ongoing business.
- Reacquiring lost customers – Some direct marketing campaigns will target past customers considered “lost”, a good outcome would be to acquire these customers as once again active.
- Upselling, cross-selling, and repeat selling – Many direct marketing campaigns aim to:
– Upsell: This aims to sell to an existing customer upgrades and add-ons to a previous buy to make the overall relationship more profitable
– Cross-sell: This aims to sell a related product or service to an existing customer who has previously bought another product or service from the organisation
– Repeat sale: A campaign may target repeating a previous sale. This is particularly the case when generating:
§ Charitable donations
§ Renewals (e.g. insurance)
§ Subscriptions (e.g. to a magazine or to a member organisation)
Provide ROI that is Measurable
Naturally, as a result of all of the increased sales discussed above, any organisation would want to attain an ROI and, even better, one that is measurable:
- Increased profitability – Following the campaign, sales and profits should grow. Direct marketing has a good track record in providing the increased profitability targeted.
- Verifiable results – Tracking and monitoring techniques can be put in place to measure the outcome of projects. For example:
– Marketing postcode: Use of a postcode which is only used to monitor postal responses from a specific marketing campaign
– PURL: A personalised URL, which is only used to monitor campaign responses
– Telephone prompt: For telephone orders, a telemarketing operative could ask, “How did you hear about us?”, and the response monitored as a part of the measuring process