Direct Marketing – One of the Most Effective Forms of Marketing Today?

Direct marketing can be said to be one of the most effective forms of marketing today. This is because by this method, products are ‘directly marketed’ to a potential customer either by a telemarketer or salesman. This type of marketing has been around for quite a while but in the recent years numbers of such people carrying out direct marketing activities has increased by a large amount. Companies whether large or small find that this form of marketing brings them a lot of customer because of the ‘personal touch’ that is associated with it. You too could probably testify to have actually bought at least one product that was marketed to you in this manner.

Does this type of marketing work for everyone?

If you are a business owner looking to employ these marketing techniques, whether or not direct marketing works for you would depend on what kind of business you run and who you want to target. It would also depend on other factors such as resources and how much you are willing to spend on it. You would also need to consider what type of marketing you wish to take up.

The types of direct marketing could be categorized into several types. Firstly, telemarketing, where products are promoted by calling potential customers. Secondly, email marketing and thirdly direct mail marketing. Other forms could include infomercials, distributing flyers and advertisements in magazines.

Simply using these marketing techniques however will not get you the desired results. It takes time and a lot of hard work to get customers to actually purchase your products. You would therefore need help with good marketing solutions.

Finding good direct marketing solutions:

Several websites offer great help regarding this type of marketing solutions. For these marketing solutions to work effectively you would need to be aware of the issues that you are facing with your direct marketing activities. This could include poor customer satisfaction, delayed response, low level of sales and so on. Once you identify the problem you will be able to employ the direct marketing solutions that would help you deal with it the best.

If you are not satisfied with finding these marketing solutions on your own however, you could also turn to a good, reputed direct marketing agency that will provide you with all the help that you need to ensure that you have a good marketing plan and that you see results of these marketing solutions.

Direct Marketing Offers Flexibility Plus Support

Hundreds of thousands of people in North America work either part or full time for some type of direct marketing company. “Direct marketing” refers to selling something, either a product or a service, directly to consumers. This kind of selling “by-passes” the typical retail venues, like a physical store. Direct marketing companies also rely most heavily on word-of-mouth to promote its products rather than commercials, newspaper/magazine ads, etc.

These companies recruit independent sales representatives to promote and sell their products. This kind of selling typically occurs within the home of a customer who agrees to hold a “show” or a “party”. The party host/hostess then invites a group of friends and acquaintances to hear about the product or service. The independent sales representative describes and demonstrates the product or service that he/she is trying to sell to guests.

The independent sales representative usually earns a commission, or percentage of the total amount of sales for a show or shows. Every direct marketing company is different, but typically an independent sales representative earns somewhere between 15 and 25 percent of the total amount of sales that he/she generates.

The goal of direct marketing, aside from making sales, is to keep the chain of sales going. Independent sales representatives try to generate new business during these in-home shows. They may offer the host/hostess a bonus product or a small commission for any new shows that are booked by guests at the party.

The biggest benefit joining up with a direct marketing company is that independent sales representatives are able to choose their own work schedules. They are almost always free to sell as little or as much as they want to (although the parent company may offer strong incentives to reach certain sales targets). There may be a minimum monthly sales quota to meet in order to remain “active” with the company, though there are many companies that don’t have a monthly quota.

Direct marketing is one of the most popular and simplest ways to work at home. Independent sales representatives have the benefit of a parent company which offers training and sales advice. They also have opportunities to work for extra rewards over and above the commission check for meeting sales targets. Cruises, trips and cars are commonly offered to top sales representatives.

You don’t necessarily have to be the world’s best sales person to be successful at direct marketing. You probably have what it takes if:

* You enjoy socializing and meeting new people.

* You are self-motivated.

* You really like the product(s) or service(s) that a particular company offers. “Avid customers make the best sales representatives” is a very common mantra in direct marketing. If you already enjoy and believe in the product, you won’t have to worry about sounding like you’re making a phony or contrived sales pitch.

* You like to challenge yourself.

Direct marketing allows the independent sales representative to be his or her own boss, yet still have the support of more experienced mentors. Some people choose this kind of work as a part time or supplementary income. Others work it into a full time, sustainable and livable income. Either way, direct marketing is an excellent way to make money at home.

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.