Are You Missing Out Revenue From Direct Response Marketing?
Digital marketing is becoming a staple component of the marketing arsenal of almost every company today’s Internet age.
This makes complete intuitive sense.
People have started spending a sizeable amount of their time online, so it offers a good real estate to build your marketing base upon.
However, there is one mistake that companies and marketers are making in heaps – the choice of excessively branding online as against indulging in response based marketing.
A huge amount of time and resources are flowing to build a brand on social media with almost negligible real ROI.
Does this mean Internet marketing is ineffective?
Internet marketing is one of the fastest and most economical ways to grow your revenues.
The limited effectiveness many brands observe is a problem that lies in the approach their digital marketing team adopts.
More often than not, marketers are adopting brand building over direct response based marketing.
There is less of strategy and more of go with the flow that is the norm.
This is the answer to why it is probably not working.
Let me make my case with the basics.
The Dominant Branding Approach in Digital Marketing
Branding today has become a complete buzzword, and without understanding its relevance and role, companies are investing sizeably in branding with only feeble revenue results to their credit.
Every day, an enormous amount of branding content to keep up with peers is published on social media to earn brand recognition, engagement, but very often it reaps results from a really broad, non-targeted audience.
Even if there is a targeted audience, there often lacks a robust mechanism to move the prospects further down the marketing funnel.
In other words, once people are made aware, there is no set up in place to compel them to take next steps, to move them from prospects to buyers.
In that case, there is negligible benefit earned from the branding expenditure incurred.
What is a better way to go about it?
A Result Oriented Way Forward: Direct Response Marketing
As opposed to branding, direct response marketing aims at gaining a measurable response from the prospect.
This can be in the form of collecting contact details, or getting a phone call and so on.
For example: Having a details collection form for an advertisement on social media
Direct Response Marketing is not a format that is restricted to online marketing.
It can be done in other formats as well such as television advertisements at night that provide a phone number you have to call on, updating a visitors book in trade fairs etc.
It is also important to note that other formats do work, which is why you see those commercials on television, those stalls in fairs continue to this day.
A less commonly accepted truth – Most businesses require only direct response marketing to grow their business.
How to decide between Branding & Direct Response Marketing?
Now comes the question of how to decide whether your focus should revolve around branding or direct response marketing.
The best way to come to the decision is through 2 ways, enabling an understanding of your primary product and keeping in mind your business scale.
1. Understand your product
Except for mass B2C goods or FMCG goods, general brand awareness is not essential for every business to grow.
For instance, as a company selling a social media scheduling software, you don’t require to be known to everybody. There is no use of a doctor or an apparel retailer knowing about your product.
Even if you only brand to the target group, they are only going to care so much.
What you need to do is make them cross the awareness stage with involvement with a free trial/ demo.
On the other hand, if you are a company like Amazon who has almost everyone as a prospective buyer, it makes sense to invest in branding. Once people talk about it and the brand name becomes big, word of mouth will automatically drive sales.
2. Understand your scale of operation:
Companies that are big with really large marketing budgets can afford to spend heavily on branding.
Even though it is inefficient for them, they still manage to compensate for the same with their huge word of the mouth driven sales, robust supply chain management, and deep market penetration.
They are actually the only ones who can afford to brand.
For instance, large real estate builders advertise on all forms of print media and heavily brand on social media too. It is extremely costly, a large number of people see it, but only a negligible portion respond to them.
Their repute is what brings customers to them and drives their sales. They invest in branding only to conserve their reputation.
However, if a small brand does that, their efforts are clearly equivalent to a wasteful expenditure.
People would simply see and forget.
With a limited budget, it makes sense for them to chase aggressively only those who care.
As a small company aspiring to be big, you cannot simply copy what the big ones are doing. You have to grow your way up there. What works for them at that stage is not necessarily what will work for you now.
This requires a strategic method in your marketing plan construct.
Most marketers fail at this very step.
If you have any additional insights from personal experience, please share in comments below.