Direct Marketing: Go Where Your Customers Are

Direct Marketing: Go Where Your Customers Are

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An ever-increasing number of South Africans are spending their time on digital platforms or online, while time spent on TV, print and radio – the go-to channels for previous generations – is on the decline.

This only makes direct marketing campaigns (e.g. SMS and email marketing) more worthwhile, as it becomes increasingly difficult for advertisers to reach audiences through traditional channels.

And it’s not just the rise of tech savvy, always connected millennials who account for changing customer behaviour, says Grant Fleming, CEO of Leadify. Digital has become the first stop for older generations as well, who are no less inclined to carry their smartphones with them at all times.

Related: POPI Proof Your Direct Marketing

In 2016, almost 70% of South Africans browsed the internet on their mobile phone, which means they’re most likely receiving emails on their phone too.

Online and on their devices

According to Forbes, mobile devices are generating an on-the-go consumerism, becoming shoppers’ most valued companion for researching products and then using electronic coupons at point of sale.

Digital marketing specialists, Mediavision, say that today’s consumers decide which communication methods they prefer. The onus is on brands to choose the channels that best suit the types of interaction they are seeking.

The best approach is to be direct and focused in all communications, and don’t make big promises that overhype your offer, or are dependent on impossible-to-meet terms and conditions. Your customers should feel that they received a real benefit by responding to your message, as this will make them more likely to respond positively again in future.

The value of customer data

The aim for brands should be on mining their customer insights to improve their relationships with customers, enhance their product and service offerings, and increase responsiveness.

For those running direct marketing campaigns, this means being able to respond to an expression of interest right away.

Related: Direct Marketing: Permission is Key

Getting direct marketing right

Much like TV advertisements don’t all hold the same appeal and effectiveness, not all direct marketing campaigns are created equal either. Going where the consumers are (online and on their mobile devices) is the first step.

Intelligently targeting the correct demographic, and reaching potential customers in the right way, is pivotal.

Knowing your intended audience for a particular offering – for example, whether they are male, female, old or young – largely determines whether a direct marketing campaign will succeed or fail. It also determines whether your marketing budget is being effectively used to generate new sales, or simply being wasted on the wrong audience.

Keep coming back

Direct marketing campaigns share one trait with their TV and print counterparts, in that they are not meant to be run as once offs. Rather, these campaigns should promote relevant offerings throughout the year.

The downside to the fact that consumers are now constantly on digital channels is that their attention span is shorter than ever and it has to be captured over and again. Therefore, direct marketing is most effective when it is viewed as an ongoing marketing tool, rather than a once-off initiative.

Grant Fleming
Grant Fleming has held senior management positions at leading tech, mobile and ecommerce companies. His current role is CEO of Leadify, an automated sales fulfilment channel that helps B2B and B2C brands and businesses turn internal IP into income. He drives the productisation and enhancement of this intelligent SMS and email platform allowing users to customise campaigns, control costs, performance and revenue and eliminate duplicates, overlaps, retargeting and bounce rates. Since launch in 2015, Leadify has processed over 1 billion marketing messages.