in Uncertain Economic Times
By Chris Wagner
direct marketing uses targeted messages and timely results to
In today’s difficult economic climate, where unemployment
rates continue to rise and consumer spending power continues to
fall, a company’s marketing efforts can be the difference between
keeping its ship afloat or watching it sink under the crashing
waves. But with traditional mass marketing campaigns it typically
takes months before you can really see if the campaign is working;
which could mean months of wasted time and resources if it is not.
So what’s the trick to finding marketing success without wasting all
that time to test campaigns?
The answer is to move away from a mass marketing approach and
look at targeted, one-to-one, multi-channel direct marketing.
During challenging economic times especially, quality wins out over
quantity. One-to-one direct marketing campaigns provide your
customers with a personal touch that is customized to fit their
needs, wants and lifestyle. Direct marketing also provides
benchmarks to measure success quickly – because the effect of a
direct marketing program is more easily measured. This allows you
to make strategic decisions much more quickly, and provides you with
the assurance that your dollars will be invested in high-return
companies do not have the resources or expertise to begin a direct
marketing campaign, because it is a new endeavor for them and
marketing is not a core competency. In this case, it would be worth
considering outsourcing marketing efforts to a direct marketer that
has experience working with highly targeted consumer groups in many
different markets, and utilizing the latest technologies to get
messages out. While it might sound expensive, a good direct
marketer can generate a high enough return on investment to actually
pay for the program, and then some.
Based on your
needs, a direct marketing company will come up with several
solutions and channels that can deliver you the highest forecasted
ROI possible. They can provide you with a full range of services to
support new customer acquisition, existing customer retention
(including customer care and technical support), existing customer
share (upgrades, cross-sells and frequency increase), customer save
strategy and customer win-back initiatives.
In addition, the
direct marketer will offer several different functional channels for
contacting a customer in a one-to-one interaction, such as inbound
and outbound teleservices, e-mail and internet marketing including
personalized URL’s, and individually customized direct mail pieces.
The outsourcer should also utilize business intelligence to help you
target intricately selected audiences for acquisition programs and
identify attributes of your existing customers through demographic
overlays, predictive modeling and data enhancement.
The end result is
that your customers and potential customers will get your
personalized message the way they prefer to receive it at the time
that is best for them – drastically increasing the chance of a
While navigating your marketing efforts through this down
economy can seem like sailing through rough waters, a direct
marketing outsourcer can serve as a lighthouse to guide you safely
to your customers. The days of mass acquisition programs, where the
entire database is marketed the same way, are coming to an end.
Companies need to adapt in these changing times, or they risk being
Chris Wagner is Vice President of Commercial Marketing of InfoCision
Management Corporation, the second largest privately held
teleservice company and is a leader in customer care services,
commercial sales and marketing for a variety of Fortune 100
companies and smaller businesses. InfoCision is also a leading
provider of inbound and outbound marketing for nonprofit, religious
and political organizations. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio,
InfoCision operates 30 call centers at 12 locations in Ohio,
Pennsylvania and West Virginia. InfoCision has been named one of
the top ten best employers in Ohio by the state chamber of commerce.
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