Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

Power Direct Marketing article INDEX

7 Siblings of Marketing

One of the "fun" things I get to do is present Marketing, Direct Marketing and Sales seminars.

A second "fun" thing is making these presentations with others. Friends in the business.

One such friend is John Coe. John is a B-2-B guru. And a database marketing expert. An unusual combination. Not many folks doing what John is doing.

Another nice thing about John is he is a nice guy! He and I have enjoyed working the platform in such places as Omaha, Nebraska and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Recently we did a gig in Phoenix, Arizona.

The title of our current offering is different"; The 7 Siblings of Marketing!

John "discovered" there are 3 DM phrases...Direct Mail, Direct Marketing and Database Marketing that drive this business. i.e., "The 3 DM Brothers".

The other half of this "discovery I made. It talks the 4 key areas that allow the first 3 to work; the right Target Audience...the Offer...Creative...Media. "The 4 DM Sisters".

When we present this seminar, not only do John and I have a grand time - the audiences have responded warmly. We're clearly on to something with this truly new approach to a basic collection of topics. So, I decided it was time to put the words on paper. Thus this article.

Let's begin with "The 3 DM Brothers" and Direct Mail. There is no doubt mail has been around a while. We read in the B.C. era of history of mail being delivered. In the USA the first post master was Benjamin Franklin ... in the 1700's. And today literally billions upon billions of mail packages arrive in mail boxes around the globe.

Direct mail was the foundation of what we now call "direct marketing". Clear documentation shows mail being used to sell "direct" in the last quarter of the 19th century by companies doing the same thing today..

There are many reasons why direct mail has worked - and will continue to work as a marketing tool. When you have a clear set of objectives - such as ...

  • to get new customers
  • to keep the customers you already have
  • to upgrade your customers to the next level
  • to cross-sell your customers another product or service
  • to build loyalty with frequent communications and offers of value to your customers, and
  • to urge all your customers to return to you again and again, to come back for more of what you offer.

When you have a focus, a direction, direct mail can be "the" tool.

The second DM of "The 3 DM Brothers" is Direct Marketing. Direct Marketing is an umbrella phrase. Just as advertising, sales promotion, public relations and merchandising is a base term, so is Direct Marketing.

Direct Marketing has 4 primary characteristics;

It is action oriented. You are suppose to DO something. Call or fax the number. Fill-in and mail the coupon or application. Visit the store or trade show stand. "Do" is the key word in this description.

It is measurable. You count the action that happens. How many send in the  coupon. How many phone or e-mail or return the fax. How many call the toll-free number off the television commercial. You measure the action you create.

Direct Marketing is a persuasive medium. It persuades you to take action.

It "sells" you on being active ... on doing something. It is not passive.

It is more than image or awareness or image ... although it may be all those things. And, it is "hard sell", vs. soft sell pubic relations or passive advertising.

It is a $ales discipline. It either makes the sale or leads to the sale. It may happen quick at a retail location, or take a loooong time for a major business transaction. Bottom line is DM sells! Here is a laundry list of just some of things Direct Marketing does;

  1. gets your message direct to your marketplace, your buyers
  2. puts a response card on your desk
  3. sends traffic to your store, your shop, your restaurant
  4. gets your coupon offer redeemed
  5. sends a fax to your order desk
  6. puts a check in the mail
  7. completes an application form
  8. accepts a credit card order
  9. gains you a visitor at a trade show
  10. gets a donation for your cause or activity
  11. drives a prospect to your web site
  12. generates a telephone, or
  13. gets you an E-mail response
  14. supports your advertising, PR, sales promotion, merchandising
  15. builds on-going relationships with your prospects & your customers,
  16. and much, much more.

No matter you r marketing objective, if you truly want to do it, you can most likely use Direct Marketing to help you.

The third DM of "The 3 DM Brothers" is Database Marketing. A horrid term, obviously created by our computer friends. Not a friendly term - yet, not something to shy away from.

Here is my simple definition of Database Marketing;

The gathering, saving and using of knowledge about your prospects and customers, for their benefit and your profit.

Let's look at the key words in this definition. The first is using. Do not save "stuff" you cannot use. Just because it is easy and rather inexpensive to save data, think what you can really use. Today, for instance, saving E-mail addresses is probably a wise decision ... even if you are not planning on using them immediately.

The next key word is knowledge. Please note it is NOT information. We are all drowning in information we have so much of it. Yet, we are starved for knowledge. As it is what we know and use that will prove the difference between good and great.

Prospects and customers are different. Similar, yet distinctly different. One set can buy from you, the other has. They must be treated differently. Even all customers are not created "equal". They too must be treated different.

Benefit for your customers and prospects is the next major word. If there is no benefit in being on your database, in sharing my personal and business data with you, then why should I, the consumer, do it? Make certain you offer a reward in exchange for "membership" on your database.

Profit is not a 4-letter word - every company is suppose to make a profit. For without profits NOTHING else can, or will happen. Remember as you build and use your database to think bottom line profits.

Let's move on to the second half of The 7 Siblings of Marketing ... "The 4 DM Sisters". And begin with your Target Audience.

40% of your marketing success will be determined by getting your message to the right audience. If you do all else well and send your message to people who do not care or cannot do business with you, your entire marketing, direct marketing and sales program is a waste.

Quick story. Recently I received a truly magnificent correctly addressed direct mail package. Jumbo envelope with enticing teaser copy front and back. The front had 3 windows. One with the address box, the next with a "credit card", the last with "stamps".

Inside was a 4 page 3 color illustrated letter, well written. A flyer. A decal of the organization. A small advertising specialty "gift". A response device. Everything was in order.

Yet, this package, to me, was "Junk Mail". Why? Because it was all about a fishing association. And the last time I went fishing was never! Wrong audience. Make certain your message, no matter how you send it, is to people who can buy what you sell.

30% of your marketing success is your offer. What is an offer? An offer is a reason for me to make a decision in your favor, and to do it now. An offer is more than features and benefits. It is an extra, a bonus, an incentive, motivation to take action ... and to do it now. An offer is to encourage behavior so you receive a response, a reply, an order, some action.

An offer is key to your direct marketing profit and loss. Without an offer you are, without an doubt, leaving money on the table. No matter what it is, anything is better than nothing. Sure, we have learned certain approaches work better than others - yet nothing is full proof. And nothing is always ... or never. Try and try again and again. Test, and then do it again.

An offer can be rational, or "thinking" in nature. For products that take planning, are a consideration sale, something to do with money, this may be the best approach. Or an offer can be emotional or "feeling". This works best when your product/service appeals to taste or sight or feel.

For example, buying a new car for the family is an emotional decision ... paying for it is thinking. Emotion is opening a savings account for your grandchildren. Thinking is putting away money for your retirement. Thinking is buying uniforms for your warehouse staff. Emotion is sending chocolates to your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.

So, there is an overlap - there is no right way. Know what you are doing when you create an offer for your audience.

Although we spend a vast amount of time on it, create accounts for only 20% of your marketing success. That is not to say it is not important - it is! Yet, without the right audience and a sound offer, grand creative goes to waste. Total waste. See my fishing story earlier for confirmation.

Before you prepare creative, ask - and answer! - 6 questions;

What is your product, what is your service, what is bought?

Why does anyone buy this product, what is the reason it is bought?

Who is the person who buys? Is there more than one "buyer" or decision maker or influencer? Who are the people?

How is your product bought - through what process?

When is the buying decision made - is timing important?

Where is your product bought - the channel of distribution?

And are there options on where?

When you know the answers your creative will be better.

Media is worth 10% of your marketing success. Meaning your channel of distribution of your message. Direct mail, catalogues and inserts are each a communication, usually through the post or a private carrier. Each is a major marketing distribution point.

Telecommunication tools of telephone and facsimile is another. Print tools of newspapers, magazines and newsletters still another. And then there is broadcast, with radio, television and audio and video tapes. And today we add the World Wide Web and E-mail to our options.

It is easy to go on and on. In-store take-one displays. Outdoor adverting posters. Bus and train cards.

The real question most often isn't what media to use - it is what NOT to use. As frequently several choices are equally profitable. Most often you run out of time and money before you run out of options of how to get your message to your right audience.

The next question is frequency - how often should you be in the marketplace? I do not know. And it really does depend. I do know that NONE of us (including me) talk to our audience as often as we should. Repetition of your message will build your reputation. Whatever your frequency, do it more!

Well, that's it. The 7 Siblings of Marketing. The 3 DM Brothers" - - Direct Mail, Direct Marketing and Database Marketing - each that drive the business. And the "The 4 DM Sisters" -- the right Target Audience...the right Offer...Creative that sends the offer to the audience ... and Media that carries the message.

Good Marketing!

Power Direct Marketing article INDEX

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