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A solution provider, experienced in direct marketing and mail...

Contributing Solution Provider

Just another way to set the table for future customer gains.

How does a company know if it is staged for complete success when it comes to direct and digital marketing? What is a good way to identify gaps in strategy, to repair mistakes that testing brought about and what was learned from the last campaign that made your strategy not as effective?

These are all great questions to ask. Granted you have created testing points, such as response, communication channel tracking and website traffic. If you’re using direct mail as one channel, there are testing methods available from the USPS for a direct marketing mail campaign.

If you have used email and website landing pages, there is data to collect from the email provider, (Constant Contact) and Google Analytics to gather information how your website took part in the analysis.

A young digital marketer may say your website is where you set the rules of engagement, by creating the content and determine the sophistication of the creativity and design. However, that insight comes up short on results, unless you are using your website in conjunction with other channels, such as email or social media. It’s not a stand alone product, but a hub for your marketing communications.

A hub is an acceptable and good point to start engaging, with your audience. Think of your website as the front door to your business. Studying your website data can lead you to test more assumptions. For example, if you determine there is a significant traffic on a certain day of the week or after a timed delivery when using other channels, such as direct mail or email, it’s an opportunity to learn more about that audience.

Your website is where you send all the “clicks” you collect from your multi-channel inbound marketing strategy, such as a blog, social media or other social sources. These visitors (the click throughs) can respond to each message sent, the data you are able to collect (with permission), what you do with the data, and so forth.

Striving for engagement requires a solution.

A great takeaway from website analytics is centered around two direct marketing words; attention and attraction. The copy, design, the communication channel and an offer you make is the attention. Something stopped them – caught their eye to look again.

The eye catcher may be in the copy within the headline or sub header. A short video, a post on social media or simple colorful landing pages can be the attraction. That’s the point where design and creative copy, are needed to make that last push and getting the final word yes.

Here’s the reality check from the above paragraph. It’s all about attention and attraction. These analyzed results are what it takes to make the marketing team better and smarter. Each person on your team has traveled many times down the same path as your visitors. The offer was right on based on how many visitors went to the landing page. One last thought. What stopped the other visitors from moving forward that went to the landing page?

What’s marketing without data and engagement?

Not everyone is a solution provider. What was described is a customer path. Going down that path is a game. It’s a game of clues. People that enjoy games may be just the right type of person for your marketing team.

The simple answer to the header about data and engagement, is a reactive form of marketing, using trial and error, and very little use of digital marketing expertise. It is incomplete. It’s basically a one-way conversation. There is little engagement. It’s a form of trial and error, which is a big waste of your marketing dollars for a small business.

Reactive marketing is just that simple. It’s a yes or a no. Reactive advertising represents what we see on TV, read in newspapers, paper and digital, and what we hear on the radio. Companies using reactive marketing and advertising usually hawk new products or services and use a variety of communication channels to shout and shout it frequently. They hope to spread a wide blanket message, create some awareness to which people will react.

These companies know little about the people receiving the message at the other end, other than some simple demographic or primitive psychographic information. They probably are not sure what their audience wants and don’t know their needs. They don’t know their current audience, it could be a prospect or customer. They collect little or no data.

What they are doing is a simple numbers game. Not like I shared above in our marketing path. However, it is a game. Companies know the price of their product or service, how much it will sell for, how many must be sold to breakeven, and how many sales to make a profit. These companies know buyers are there, so they shout, and hopefully create a demand. Do I have to tell you that it works? But who has that type of budget? AT&T is one quick example.

A solution of any proportion can ignite an engagement.

Engagement represents what we can do with data. As any experienced small business owner or manager know, people have a need and want. Direct marketers know something about customer needs and how to get the attention of potential customers.

Next, direct marketers will need to start building customer profiles to attract customers. Add more communication with people who showed attention in the last message. Try to understand why some people didn’t connect. The ones who were pulled, drawn, enticed, fascinated, or tempted by the message, but did not engage.

The people who did not engage the first time, you need to send a special message of attraction because you want them to feel like a customer.  Whenever you want to communicate with these potential customers, keep collecting data. Offer this enticed segment a special deal, such as two for the price one.

Eventually, your company can show hyper-relevant content that fits their need/want. Some of the people clicking on those call-to-actions for more information will eventually do business with you.

Now you know what a solution provider in direct marketing can do for a small business. They are always on top of problems with the right answers to engage.

Thanks for reading. Questions?

Mike Deuerling

Marketing Communications Group, Inc.





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I have owned and operated a variety of businesses during my thirty plus years as an entrepreneur. Being a SMB, I have engaged with others to learn and understand how each one was operated. I have had an inquisitive mind my whole life. I have an associate degree in science, completed an apprentice program in carpentry, studied design at another college and received a four year degree in Marketing, and added a few post graduate classes as well. SMB's have used direct marketing and mail as their main channel of communications for many years. Now the swing of the pendulum of marketing has led many to the latest trends in digital marketing. Data drives all forms of marketing communication. However, raw data must be analyzed, segmented, profiled, measured and tested to make the data useful to marketing. Great direct marketing mail processing is like peeling an onion. There are many layers you unfold to get your desired results. The process is easy to understand, and once you learn it, you’ll see what the phrase, “a labor of love” really means. If you have a goal to learn more about your customers from each communication, you will see positive results stemming from each subsequent mailing. The people who complain the loudest about their results when using direct marketing mail is usually those that did not follow the process. Not following the process is like the baker who missed using the correct amount of yeast in a recipe for bread. She wasted a lot of dough. Learning and having the techniques and fundamentals of direct marketing is a valuable skill to have today. Direct marketing mail helps a SMB focus more on results while listening and learning what their customers want. What makes me different? I’m motivated to help every one of my customers use the right tools to meet their goals. In the present digital age, marketing coupled with technology is a skill set now in high demand. I have always embraced the use of technology with marketing.