For any business, marketing is an essential means of getting the word out about a product. This could be done in an assortment of ways. Big businesses will necessarily have a different means of marketing compared to smaller firms. Not only will the big guys have more funds in order to maintain public awareness of its products, but their established reputations require less elaboration as to what these goods and services are. If you’re a small business, you might be intimidated by this knowledge, of large companies having much greater media artillery and clout. You can nonetheless level the playing field to a certain degree, through the proper use of direct marketing.
Direct marketing is the soliciting of one’s goods or services through ‘direct’ means. This includes telemarketing and e-mail marketing. You are probably thinking, “Oh I hate telemarketers! And I loathe spam!” but don’t shut your mind too quickly on the matter. After all, the use of the telephone or the use of e-mail per se are not wrong. Right? You may have bad experiences with certain styles of sellers, but this does not mean that you could not apply this kind of marketing in a more dignified manner.
Firing off spam and dialing random numbers is really not a way to do business, not just because of the bad will that it fosters, but because it is an inefficient use of your resources. It is not really what direct marketing is about. What you have to do is gain access to a database of telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of people who are likely to be interested in your product. There are legal and non-intrusive means of doing this, all with your intended client’s prior consent.
By targeting a particular crowd or group for your niche market, you have a better ‘batting average’ when it comes to favorable responses. When a potential client bites, you then have to handle things in an even more direct manner. If you are hiring several people to man the phones or computers, make sure they are well trained not just to rattle off details about your products, but rather to listen to what this customer-to-be wants or needs. A customer who is explaining to you that he mainly uses a printer to produce company handouts for immediate disposal will be turned off if you go on ranting about what wonderful color and precision your laser printer model is capable of. You must not lose sight of what direct marketing is all about – ‘tailor-made’ solutions.
We have looked at both telemarketing and spamming primarily because these are what give direct marketing a bad name. As you can see, it’s not as bad you think it is. But there are other means of marketing not yet considered. There is the use of coupons or leaflets, either dropped off in mailboxes or handed to you near the vicinity of an establishment. And infomercials are also considered under this category due to their ‘Call Now!’ nature.
Direct marketing is about being as direct to the customer as can be. Not only can you provide exacting standards according to your customer’s specifications, but you can learn more about your market as a whole, which translates to buyer satisfaction and increased productivity and profits.