It seems these days that not a week goes by without some flashy new digital tool or trend emerging that promises to revolutionize marketing as we know it and provide unprecedented ROI. Marketing leaders understandably are keeping a wary eye out and considering how these novel tactics and systems could affect their market and their bottom line. But while it’s important to be always looking ahead for what’s next and planning for the future, it’s just as crucial that you don’t turn your gaze away from traditional strategies that are less trendy but still potent ROI drivers like direct response.
In an increasingly digital world, it’s easy to overlook older marketing channels like direct mail or DRTV. After all, these aren’t the glamorous, innovative outlets that will impress your colleagues and trick your stockholders into thinking you’re staying ahead of the curve.
And who reads “junk” mail, anyway?
A lot of people, actually. In fact, as digital marketing blindness grows and ad blocking becomes more prevalent, direct mail remains one of the best ways to get the attention of your audience; delivering response and engagement rates as much as 30 times greater than popular digital channels like email and SEM. The immediate ROI isn’t always the best; well-developed direct response campaigns don’t come cheap. But if your bigger-picture strategy hinges on direct, reliable engagement with customers, there are few better tactics available.
The Missing Piece of Your Omnichannel Puzzle
The ultimate marketing approach is an integrated campaign sealed by a direct opportunity to respond, convert and buy. Imagine; a prospect sees your ad on a billboard, then again on their favorite social media network. The next day they receive a direct mail postcard and email with similar messaging and an offer. Finally they’re compelled to convert when hearing a direct response commercial on the radio during their commute or during the TV program they watch every week.
In fact, direct response often works best when it’s accompanied by advertising, branding and demand generation campaigns both online and off. Regular exposure of your products and brand to your core audience means they’ll be warmed up to the idea of responding immediately when they encounter a direct response prompt online, over broadcast channels, or in their mailbox.
It sounds simple and powerful–and it is. But setting up the systems and campaigns requires supreme vision and oversight (potentially from a direct marketing executive search). Extensive marketing analytics recruitment needs to occur for effective database development and management. Coordinating messaging across all channels while enabling personalized, highly relevant experiences to your target audience poses a tremendous leadership challenge. Empowering your business with the tracking and attribution capabilities needed to run an effective direct response operation and calculate its ROI is a technical and organizational headache. And you’ll likely need to develop a responsive, well-trained call center and customer support system that’s always ready to act and sell when a prospect is ready to convert.
Not Exclusive to Traditional Media
Direct response principles aren’t just for traditional marketing channels like direct mail or radio advertising. In fact, they can and should be carried over to digital avenues from social to email to web design and more.
If your digital and mobile marketing efforts haven’t been delivering the results you want, it might be time to take a more direct approach. Consider bringing a new perspective to your innovative digital team with direct response recruitment targeting professionals with classical direct response training. This is a discipline that has been tested, honed and refined for decades now; take advantage of the lessons professionals in the field have learned and apply them to your digital campaigns.
Reaching the Most Wealthy Demographics
Direct response tactics tend to perform particularly well with seniors and the Baby Boomers that are rapidly joining their ranks–who coincidentally also happen to control a disproportionately large amount of the population’s spending power.
Image from Response Mine Interactive
These older generations tend to respond very positively to direct response messaging on all channels. They read mail more often than younger generations and are more likely to take action on broadcast direct response ads–especially those played during talk shows and news segments.
If any part of your audience falls into the Boomer/Senior generations, direct response recruitment and implementation should absolutely be a key consideration.
Finding Direct Response Expertise
Direct response is one of the most mature marketing disciplines still in widespread use, and as such there’s not a shortage of experienced professionals in this field. The good news is that the expert you need is probably out there somewhere; but that doesn’t mean finding them will be easy. That’s part of what makes a partnership with experienced direct marketing recruiters so valuable.
Direct response talent tends to find steady work and is entrenched in agencies and marketing departments that have long made historical use of direct marketing tactics. That means most relevant talent–at least the A-players–will be already employed and typically not looking for work. To get the real difference makers, you’ll have to go out of your way to find them and attract them away from their current job and to your opportunity.