With so much focus shifting from traditional to digital channels, you may ask yourself whether you’re actually a direct marketer. Since direct marketing is a practice that’s channel agnostic, even if your focus is primarily on digital marketing, it’s likely that you may very well be a direct marketer. To be certain, consider these 10 signs that point directly to direct marketing.
You’re a direct marketer if you:
Obsess over lists. Creating and maintaining customer lists tops your to-do list on a daily basis. You’re in contest turmoil over how best to balance list purchase with organic list growth. You have lists for prospects and customers by segment and a finely honed process for moving them to more appropriate lists as they move through the customer lifecycle.
Love data. Big, small, first-party, third-party—you don’t discriminate. You collect as much data as you can about your customers so you can segment and target them with precision, craft the perfect message, determine the optimal channel mix, and measure marketing performance.
Use testing. Every campaign, website design change, subject line, and promotion is subject to testing Control groups, A/B and multivariate testing, and more are staples in your marketing processes. You just sit back and watch your results improve as you hone your messaging and design, and dispatch the top performers to the rest of your customers or into the broader market.
Measure your results. Fear marketing accountability? Ha! You live to track the performance of your marketing initiatives and campaigns, measure outcomes, and use that information to make improvements to future marketing efforts.
Live to optimize. The data, testing, and measurement are all about one thing: optimization. You optimize your channel mix, timing, segments, and anything else you can to perfect your marketing strategy and improve your marketing performance.
Segment your customers. You don’t create just a few basic customer segments; you build personas, segment customers in multiple ways. Your segments have segments. And as a result, your targeting hits the bull’s eye with the right message or offer to the right customer.
Learn from customers then act. You seek customer knowledge from direct channels like surveys and branded customer communities and indirect ones like social conversations. You track customers’ behaviors and interactions via transactions, email opens and clicks, and digital body language. And then you take that information and use it to inform your segmentation, targeting, messaging, and more.
Trade value for data. Sure, customers are happy to provide you with information about themselves—for a price. More masterful at enticing customers than Monty Hall, you determine what that price is and make an even exchange; offering a discount or unique experience in trade for invaluable customer insight you can use to better reach, target, and serve those customers in the future.
Drive action. The point of direct marketing is response, and your campaigns and communications get high-value prospects to convert by making a purchase, and get customers to repurchase. What’s more, your finely honed, targeted messaging gets engaged customers to share their good fortune in purchasing your brand with their social networks.
Acquire and retain high-value customers. You use your focused approach to capture the attention of the right prospects and maintain the loyalty of existing customers—perhaps not in equal measure, but certainly in a continually optimized mix of acquisition and retention efforts. And your obsession with lists, data, and segmentation help you concentrate your efforts on the prospects and customers who matter most to your organization.