Blanket online direct marketing, on its own, is neither cost-effective nor sophisticated enough to engage today’s customers, argues The Think Tank’s Liam Bateman who will be speaking at RIBA Insight’s Consultancy Days in November.
It needs to be combined with other activities, on- and offline, to optimise your return on investment.
Direct marketing has gone through many changes in recent years with new online opportunities and more sophisticated segmentation of data. The boundaries are becoming blurred; what does direct marketing now include? How do the various digital channels impact on other marketing channels? Where does it cease to be one marketing technique and become direct marketing?
This blurring around the edges has become more extreme with the introduction of online relationship marketing, or social media marketing, which has now pulled public and media relations into the mix.
The importance of direct marketing has increased in the last two years as budgets have been squeezed and margins cut. Its targeted nature has provided levels of accountability and quantifiable return that other activities cannot match, and as a consequence has led many companies to switch from press advertising to communicating directly with existing and potential customers.
Online direct marketing presents many new opportunities, but is it cost effective? Businesses that switch to online marketing often do so because they perceive it to be less costly, with its promise of reduced print and mailing costs. Online direct marketing can be a better route to take when budgets are tight, however it’s less costly for a reason. Response rates from electronic direct marketing can be very low.
Online direct marketing serves a particular purpose and needs to be combined with other activities to optimise return on investment. Blanket direct marketing alone won’t engage customers used to being flooded with marketing messages. Multiple touch points, where your customers have the opportunity to interact with your brand and products, combined with strong messaging and a reason to believe, are essential in cutting through the fog of marketing activity. It is the suitability of media and message to your audience that is crucial to developing a good relationship with existing and potential customers, not putting all your eggs in one basket for budgetary purposes.
Combining and integrating marketing channels will have the greatest impact on coverage and response.
Liam Bateman will be discussing this, how social media marketing complicates matters and more at the RIBA Insight Consultancy Days in November. Click here for more information.