Business Marketing Plan For Direct Marketing

Your business Marketing Plan now moves on to Direct Marketing which good ol’ Wikipedia defines as ‘a form of advertising that reaches its audience without using traditional formal channels of advertising, such as TV, newspapers or radio. Businesses communicate straight to the consumer with advertising techniques such as fliers, catalogue distribution, promotional letters, and street advertising’. Not forgetting Websites, e-mail marketing and e-commerce online purchasing.

Reading Material

I would suggest that before you throw yourself wholeheartedly into spending your entire promotional budget on that fat, glossy brochure or fancy flyer that you do some simple background reading first. You need to think your direct marketing campaign with the respect that it is due. Consider it’s role within the whole of your business marketing plan. Remember that direct marketing is a ‘numbers game’ and you need those numbers to work in your favour.

I would recommend reading the following:

Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing by Drayton Bird

And to see how direct marketing slots into your overall campaign take a look at Powerful Marketing On A Shoestring Budget: For Small Businesses by Dee Blick

Specialist Support

If you're starting up your small business marketing plan probably won’t be able to afford third party support but what you will require is the services of a worldly-wise designer and a cost effective, quality conscious, reliable printer. If you have taken note of my previous article on networking as part of your marketing strategy and have joined your local Chamber of Commerce or business networking group then you will be a few rungs up the ladder in terms of making direct or recommended contacts for both designer and printer. Nevertheless apply the basic business principle of getting 3 (or more) quotations for your work. Make certain that you see examples of both the designer and printer’s past work and get the designer/ printer to come up with a few suggestions (at no cost to yourself) of how they might approach the job of presenting your business.

Another way is to ‘go walkabout’, as our Australian cousins might call it. Keep your eyes peeled for ideas, the look, the feel, the style of other people’s promotional material. Contact the individual or companies involved in producing your favourites. If the information isn’t readily available then call the people that the flyer, brochure, POS (point of sale) material is about and ask them. You’ll be surprised at how helpful some people can be.

Talk numbers with your designer/ printer. How many, how much, how long?

Tie in these numbers with your budgets from your business plan. Do your sums and when you do take into account the following:

The generally accepted response rate for a direct mail campaign is between 2 and 3%. (A recent study by The Direct Marketing Association of 1,122 direct mail campaigns showed an average response rate of 2.61%). This low figure can be attributed to the fact that  

  • 270 is the number of direct mailing pieces received by the average person each year
  • 44 is the percentage of direct mail received that is thrown away unopened each year

You therefore have to therefore make certain of the following:

  1. You have carefully target marketed your audience (link)
  2. You have made the best presentation of your business with your material (this includes any envelope or covering letter)
  3. Have a message of a ‘call to action’ i.e a discount, BOGOFF (Buy one, get one free), free gift, free membership etc.
  4. Have the contact all formats – phone, e-mail, address, website - and how to buy methods shouting loud and clear throughout your printed (and website) materials.

See Also:-

The First Steps In Your Market Planning Strategy
Definitions Of Marketing
Preparing Your Small Business Marketing Plan
Marketing Plans Stage 2
Small Business Marketing Strategy
Sample Marketing Plan – SWOT Analysis
Marketing Plan Example For Price And Brand Positioning
Outlining For Budgets
B2B Marketing

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