Two Types of Marketing
The brand marketing method keeps a business top of mind by constantly reminding potential clients about the company, its products, and services.
But branding is a time-consuming and expensive way to market. It requires a company to regularly saturate the market with messages over an extended period of time.
Brand marketing communicates via email, websites, online advertisements, flyers, catalogs, promotional letters, and cell phone text messages. Database marketing and targeted newspaper, magazine, TV and radio ads are used, as well as outdoor billboards.
Brand marketing usually involves large corporations with multi-million dollar budgets that allow for long-term advertising in multiple media channels.
Heavy hitters like automakers, insurance companies, and pizza delivery are some of the obvious brand marketers. National advertising by Geico, Papa Johns and Apple are examples of brand marketing. These companies constantly run ads so consumers will remember them when they’re ready to buy.
Brand marketing is successful, but it takes a lot of time and money.
Smaller businesses simply don’t have the budget to place ads in volume for long periods of time. Therefore, whether rightfully so (or not), for many small businesses, this approach has come to be known as “Spray & Pray Marketing.”
Direct Response Marketing
Direct response is designed to get an immediate response via a direct communication with consumers who may be interested in your product or services.
Ideally, direct response ads prompt a potential customer to take specific action right away.
For example, asking a potential customer to join an email list, call for more information, place an order, or visit a website or social media page.
This method lets you know immediately how effective your marketing is based on the consumer’s response.
Small companies who can’t afford to wait years for a branding campaign to work can use direct response marketing to create immediate traffic.
Characteristics of Direct Response
The following characteristics explain why direct response is different from brand marketing. These aspects show you why it’s the most realistic way for small businesses to affordably reach their prospects.
Direct response marketing is trackable… it gets consumers to perform a specific, trackable response.
When a customer joins a mailing list, you know it.
If someone visits a website, clicks on an ad, or calls for information you can track the response to a specific ad.
You’ll know which marketing works, and which doesn’t.
That knowledge tells you how to spend your advertising dollars. It tells you which ads don’t work so you don’t waste any more money on them.
Mass media brand marketing tries to increase sales without tracking. It raises brand awareness and reach, but it doesn’t give marketers specific data to inform future marketing buys.
People may respond to your ads, but you likely won’t know which one actually worked!
Call to Action Headlines
Direct response marketing always has a compelling message aimed directly at the target audience. The attention-grabbing headlines and copy will request a specific measurable action from the reader.
For example, here’s one from our own website…
Unconverted Leads Follow-Up
When people don’t respond to the second offer, they aren’t ready to buy.
Don’t write them off. Sometimes the buyers’ journey takes a long time.
Stay in touch with undecided consumers. Continue to follow up one or two times a month. You don’t want to annoy them, but you do want them to think of you when they’re ready to buy. Offer your expertise to answer questions and concerns.
Benefits of Direct Response Marketing
The bottom line is that direct response ads don’t just generate name recognition. They are powerful lead-generating tools that target the people most likely to buy your product and services.
When done well, direct response marketing is the best way for small businesses to communicate with potential customers from initial interest to final sale.
Check out this interesting infographic from The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) – in conjunction with Demand Metric showing an in-depth study of direct marketing.
As we can clearly see, email marketing is one of the most effective direct response mediums available today.
Our favorite tool for email marketing… Infusionsoft!
DISCLAIMER: Online Marketing Muscle is an Infusionsoft Certified Partner.