Direct Marketing + Internet Television + Social Media = Most Promising Direct Marketing Mix
Direct marketing is about to see a real explosion in business opportunities that are just emerging at the crossroads of traditional direct marketing, the internet television phenomenon and social media.
When too much information is out there, individuals turn to their friends, to their social networks for suggestions and advice.
The new media channels that have been emerging in the last year are two are providing the near-perfect platform to engage consumers on an equal level while engaging them into becoming true brand fans.
Social networks talk the language of every day people. The language of the market. "Did you see that?" "Oh, I bought this one and it is really not that good. Don't go to that shop."
That is why traditional, hyped-up, glamorous, traditional marketing fails more and more on its mission, while costing increasingly more to those still using it.
There are other ways.
What is yet missing are not more sophisticated tools, but a better understanding of the paradigmatic shift that that the new marketing approach requires. It is so radically different from the past, it is no surprise many established marketers are having such a hard time with it.
But the data collected in the report I am bringing you here today, seem to support a few things that should help those resisting change and re-evaluation of their process to chew on some interesting data (for once not from the US).
Conversations, need to replace standard marketing communications and they need to be focused more on listening and extracting the insight that customers can provide so well.
Engaging on a one-to-one level, is the mystical riddle that each and every single online marketer will need to come to grip with. Unless you can see how it is indeed very possible to establish a direct conversation with each and everyone of your customers, your marketing future may not be too rosy.
Marketing will need much greater pathos, emotion, involvement and "true performance" abilities than the ones requirede today by standard marketing and promotion approaches.
Marketing that works will be increasingly an offspring of some great sharing performance.
Here some useful data, as kindly provided by Giles Baron of Experian, that pin down more precisely how European individuals are changing their relationships and attitude toward their media/ marketing counterparts.
iTV Most Likely To Generate Direct Purchase
New consumer research from the DMA (Direct Marketing Association), sponsored by Experian, has found that iTV is the most powerful medium in driving a direct purchase, despite it being the least experienced of all media, while mobile messaging is one of the stronger performers in prompting consumers to seek further information.
Interactive TV is joined by field marketing and email marketing to form the top three direct media in generating a purchase while television and radio ads, customer magazines and inserts lead the field in generating retail traffic.
Telephone calls, interactive TV and mobile messaging are most likely to result in respondents seeking further information.
The DMA Participation Media Report
The DMA Participation Media Report, conducted out by the Future Foundation, explores the consumer's actual experience of direct marketing using an innovative diary approach.
The research was conducted in two parts - 2000 people were questioned via face-to-face interviews about their attitudes towards communications and their actions as a result of receiving direct communications.
All those who were interviewed were also given a direct communications diary to compile, in which they noted down the occasions they received direct communications from companies over the course of one day and how they responded.
Unsurprisingly the report shows that growth in internet access has increased across all demographics as confidence in the medium grows and access costs decrease - including an increase in the number of people accessing internet services at work. This may be one of the factors that lies behind findings showing that the majority of purchases made in response to email marketing were at work.
This combined with the growing number of consumers using laptops, PDAs and mobiles has created an 'always on' consumer.
Victoria Bytel, head of research at the DMA, says:
"This constant access to information and marketing certainly strengthens the direct marketing principle of segmentation and targeting.
The blurring of work and personal space means that marketers need to work harder to utilise time and place to tap into the mindset of the consumer."
- Communications received by consumers via email have grown by over seven per cent to 17.5% since the last research was undertaken in 2005.
- Consumers recorded that emails peak mid morning and are predominantly received from the retail sector, home shopping and travel and leisure industries.
- The research shows that positive responses to email marketing have also increased by 3.1%, indicating a growing acceptance and appreciation of the medium.
- For the first time since the research began, the internet has overtaken mail order for purchasing goods. This reflects the increase in the number of consumers describing themselves as 'hectic', with timesaving and flexibility cited as the main benefits of using direct marketing as a way of purchasing goods.
- However, catalogues remain an important reference tool for consumers with many being used alongside the internet as a means of purchasing goods.
- Online banner ads were included in the research for the first time. They made up 3.3% of all communications noted by consumers with the research showing that people are most likely to pass information about banner ads on or ask for information as a result of seeing them. Again, perhaps demonstrating the blurring of work and home boundaries, positive responses rise when viewing banners ads at work however it is not known if these are for work or personal use.
In general, the research indicates that most consumers (75%) feel overwhelmed by the number of marketing communications they receive although they remain happy to pick and choose between them (70%).
Although the percentage that feel overwhelmed has increased by 10% since 2004, the willingness to pick and choose between messages has also increased by 10%.
"As the number of communications grow, consumers have become better at filtering information. People are able to de-sensitise themselves from content but in doing so they also disconnect from the brand.
To avoid becoming wallpaper, marketers need to work even harder to make communications stand out."
Strategic Marketing Advice
Raman Gupta, Director of Consulting for Experian's Integrated Marketing division, comments:
"The research findings simply underline the fact that in order to successfully cut through marketing white noise, brands need to take three steps to deliver marketing relevance."
- "It's a given that today's consumers are cash-rich and time-poor.
- Therefore, engaging with people on a one-to-one level needs to be the touchstone for any campaign.
- Communications have to be powered by customer insight to build a deep understanding of each customer and prospect's preferences and behaviours.
- Brands also need to apply the same vigour to the digital marketing world as they to do in the offline environment.
This means taking a robust test and learn the approach to determine the strengths and weaknesses in every campaign, gaining valuable information which can then be used to create a multi-channel strategy that strikes a chord with each recipient."
"Finally, marketing campaigns need to be executed in a clinical fashion. To do this, marketers need to use all of the tools at their disposal -from technology to marketing skills -to establish profitable relationships for both the brand and consumer.
Smart marketing is about relevant marketing and ensuring that every pound invested yields the highest return."
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