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How Keeping Up With Industry News Can Help Any Business – Even Direct Marketers

Last night after a good meal and some pleasant family time I found myself with a spare and very rare hour to myself. As I debated between taking a nice aromatic bath or reading my backlog of industry newsletters, my thirst for knowledge won out.

For someone who has spent more than twenty years in marketing and client services, I never turn away the chance to find out more about direct marketing. It never ceases to amaze me how companies and advertisers are able to find new and unique marketing methods to directly market to both businesses and consumers. That is why spending time reading industry news is part of my daily job.

Industry articles, newsletters and whitepapers are wonderful tools. Anyone in business can benefit from reading them. Remaining stagnant with your industry knowledge only serves to allow your clients to look elsewhere for the help they need. And you would have only yourself to blame. You expect your doctor to constantly keep abreast of new and cutting edge procedures and medicines. Why not do the same yourself?

Recently I was reading a paper by Robert Bly entitled “Secrets of Successful Business to Business Direct Marketing”. He makes some interesting and thought provoking testaments thanks to his many years in marketing. In one section he expounds:

“The business buyer is an information seeker, constantly on the lookout for information and advice that can help the buyer do the job better, increase profits, or advance his career.”

I cannot disagree with that. Direct marketing business to business is very different from direct marketing business to consumer. Drip marketing is very effective when marketing to a business as most will purchase a product or service after a long period of research. Consumers however are impulse buyers and one offer is all they need to see before whipping out the credit card. Where we disagree however is when he states:

“Don’t be afraid to write long copy in mailers, ads, and fulfillment brochures. Prospects will read your message – if it is interesting, important, and relevant to their needs.”

Sorry Robert, but most purchasing agents and company owners that I have dealt with over the years are consumers at heart. They purchase needed materials and services the same way a consumer would: what gives me the best value for my money. Directly marketing to them with an overload of information will have them tossing that mailer in the trash or deleting your email with the click of a button.

Whether a company uses direct marketing to attract another business or a consumer, always make sure your advertising makes the recipient want to know more. Show them where they can find out by directing them to a website, opting in through an email or responding with a return reply card. THEN send your brochure or booklet full of information.

When using direct marketing to a business, always be professional, knowledgeable and concise. Grab the buyer’s attention and lure them into finding out more. Your bottom line will thank you for it.

There are many more pieces of information in Robert’s report that have me thinking. Direct marketing experts like him are a wealth of knowledge. I have many more articles yet to read too. Who knows what I might still learn. If I do I will be sure to share.

How To Make Your Marketing Strategy Work

1). Make the purpose clear
37Signals has made the art of simple in software, simple in pricing, simple in use, simple in hiring and the clear purpose the business exists. Take this extract from their stated values “Useful is forever – Bells and whistles wear off, but usefulness never does. We build useful software that does just what you need and nothing you don’t.”

2). Define the Marketing strategy, Work with it and don’t just state it
The first step in bringing your strategy to work is to figure out what it really means to you. Many people would look at 37Signals software maker and discover that their marketing strategy is to develop functional software with low cost and deliver in several versions with a 30-day free trial. A quicker check would show their actual marketing strategy is simplicity in everything.

3). Turn it into a mantra question
So, if you’ve developed a marketing strategy and now realize you can bring it to life by way of a defining characteristic, you might be wondering how to drive it deeper into the organization.

The only way for your real business strategy to flourish is to make it an integral aspect of everything you do. The simplest way to do this is to use it as the leading question for every service, product, staff, customer, marketing decision and process. The questions you must ask are: Does this product inspire? Does this decision keep fun alive? Is this process simple? Does this new hire value community? Is this pricing convenient?

4). Produce strategy scorecards
In addition to creating the key word question, teaching how to think with strategy and using strategy filters for decision making, you have to find ways to keep real strategy working in day to day activities of your business.

One of the best ways to do this is to turn strategy thinking into a game. Create scorecards that reward people for thinking, employing and acting with marketing strategy. If, in the case of a company where entertainment and surprise are the major characteristics of market strategy, bonus points could be awarded for taking action that exceeded a customer’s expectations, or for chairing a meeting that was both fun and productive.

5). Build strategy filters
In order for your marketing strategy to reach full potential, it must be the filter your entire staff uses for their work with each other, advisers, suppliers and clients. It is good to build a process that staff members can use when planning a project or even action step. This simple process lets them to view anything they choose in the light of strategy impact and either change course or know for certain that they are taking real strategy action.

Lots of start-up tries to decide the perfect business strategy to use to market only to discover that the market does not require the model they are about to use. Any business plan for that matter, is little more than a guess and I believe that your best chance for getting that guess right is to build your business model.

This assumes the role a fully developed market actually should play in determining the direction of an organization. The fact is, most people, if they consider marketing strategy at all, stop at a core message, identity elements and perhaps a sales proposition and call it a strategy.

A marketing strategy is how you plan to use the resources available to you to build an ongoing case that your business, products and services are the obvious choice for a narrowly defined ideal customer. If you accept this expanded view of marketing strategy, then I would suggest you answer the following questions in an attempt to measure where your strategy stands today, and where it could go if you understood and integrated it fully as your business model.

Direct Marketing – Proven Ways to Promote Your Products and Services

Direct marketing is a proven success for many organizations to promote their products and services to millions of customers worldwide at once. The major advantage of this kind of marketing is that it can reach a larger amount of customers with the least expense.

Many organizations are using this kind of direct marketing strategies to promote their newly introduced product or the aspiring service that they have come up with. There are many direct marketing networks available today with the high expansion of internet. Many organizations are able to send their emails to a larger number of people through email and advertise their products or services whether the customer likes it or not.

However with these kinds of marketing networks available, it is a known factor that in some countries there are some legal laws which are there to prevent these kinds of direct marketing being used as direct marketing networks. In some email service providers the option of “spamming” is available to report spam of an unwanted advertisement.

There could be some advantages for the customer as well. For instance the advertisement sent to the customer could just be what he/she was looking for and would therefore tend to make an immediate response. There are added advantages for the direct affiliate marketing network as well. For instance, they could keep a track of the responses got from the customers and maintain a database of where they have found the best responses from. They can therefore make a promotion within that state or country to sell their product. This is especially advantageous before spending loads of money to advertise and promote a product.

The most common method of direct marketing networks is junk emails. This is where the marketer will send junk mails regarding their new CD’s or any other product. These mails are of the posted forms. Leaflets could also be sent through this method. The other type of a direct marketing network is the form of telemarketing. This is where the marketer directly calls the customer and promotes the product or service. Then you have email marketing and voice mail marketing as well. These forms are also commonly used in direct marketing networks available today. Some other lesser know forms such as door to door marketing are also involved, which will take more investment on the marketer therefore getting less attention from organizations.

With all the pros and cones from both the organizational aspects and customer aspects, direct marketing networks have increased and expanded in their sizes and are somewhat been able to make an impact in the business world today.