At a sesson of Direct
Marketing Days in Singapore, a friend of mine made a presentation that
included the statement that there are really only five things you do with
- Get new customers.
- Keep the customers
you now have.
- Get those customers
- Cross sell to your
- Encourage your
customers to come back for more!
If you believe this
(and I do), it quickly becomes obvious that your message must be sent
to the right audience -- that is, the list you use for direct mail, the
magazine or newspaper selection, the right audience for broadcast, the
best possible list for telemarketing.
Selecting the right
audience is the most important part of the direct response marketing program.
Dull creative, a weak offer and sloppy production don't help. But even
with these strikes against you, if you get your message to the right people-business
or consumer -- at least it has a chance of working.
Vice versa is not
true. Award winning creative, a strong offerthe best you can make-superior
production all goes for naught if you aim your message to the wrong target.
Target marketing-direct marketing-is like diving 75 feet into a bucket
of water. It hurts when you miss!
To help you hit your
target, here's a laundry list of 11 thoughts to remember, select from
and use them as fitting. They are not ideas for you to adopt, rather they
are for you to adapt for your particular and special needs:
define and refine your market, your audience, before you begin your creative
processes. Define all the geographic areas (belts) and "graphics"
in the beginning. Make certain your reference materials and statistics
are no more than 12 months old. Know your audience.
segmentation to a target audience can work many times. Categories
should be specific, such as electrical engineers vs. just engineers; fast
food restaurants vs. all restaurants; trial lawyers vs. all lawyers; home
builders vs. general contractors; dentists vs. the health care field,
andindependent insurance agents vs. those company specific.
The same goes for
departments within companies. If you want to communicate with a personnel
department, make certain your message indicates that is your audience.
that business marketing and consumer marketing are different.
Also, remember that in both you are talking to peopleindividuals-not companies.
Talk to your audiences, all of them, as people. Talk to them "one-on-one."
a doubt, a name is better than a title-but only if it is the right name!
If you do not have a name, or are unsure of the accuracy, use a title.
Title addressing can and does work, for both business and consumer marketing.
titles when you change industry or level of contact. Talk to
your audiences in their own languages. Don't talk down; don't talk up.
Talk to them eye-to-eye. Using the correct titles for a specific industry
group will let your audience know you took time enough to care.
6. Know that
you have scores of selections and options. Be innovative in your
selection of best audiences. Go to more than one source. Mix and match
until you are comfortable that you have the best combination. Then roll
it out and keep on testing!
7. Buy the
best list, not the biggest or the least expensive. The best list
will get you the best results Anything less won't work as well. Your successes
will come because you talked to the right audience, not because you talked
to lots of people.
8. Don't be
concerned about duplication on your mailing list. In most situations
duplication won't hurt. In fact, it might help. Your audience will grow
because your package will be routed to others. This is not always true
for consumer marketing, but it most certainly is for business. Measure
results in orders, not numbers of packages mailed, nor number of dupes.
Only orders count.
9. Know who
does not respond and find out why. If you can, change, correct,
enhance and hit that group again. And again. If not, drop them and go
on with others where your success ratio is higher. You will not get a
hit every time.
10. In the
beginning, plan to track your results in the end. Make it measurable
from Day One. Make certain all the research you've done up front gets
measured on the back-end. Know what you want and need to know to assure
a profitable program ... and then measure against those goals.
11. Try old
ideas now ... save new ideas and try them in the future. There
is no such thing as a bad idea, just ideas whose time haven't come. Bring
back the old audience ideas you've had in the past but haven't tested,
and try them. Re-test those that came close to working. See if you can
get them on track. And don't throw away ideas you have now just because
they don't fit today.
Add color. Salt and
pepper. Turn it inside-out. Upside-down. Backwards. Over. Add, subtract,
multiply, divide. Give your "new" idea the old college try Do
it again. Mix 'em Match 'em. And do it again.
By selecting from
these 11 "rules," you'll do a better job of selecting the right
audience. Good Marketing!