Marketing, like cooking, is both an art and science. Every analyst, like every cook, has a different recipe. The quality of the result is in how it satisfies. Similarly the ultimate objective of a marketing strategy is to provide the direction to an organisation to make more money. To fulfil this objective, a sound marketing strategy must be understandable, relevant and actionable.
Segmentation and niches seem to provide a way to do this but most companies have too many segments and niches to manage and this does not work for most organisations. Direct marketing, on the other hand, cuts through the confusion and uncertainty of mass marketing, segmentation and niches and reaches the customer directly.
Hence direct marketing is about focused, targeted communication with a customer to promote the purchase of goods or service at its core. Thus direct marketing is multi-channel, global, sells from anywhere to anywhere at any time, is performance-based, builds relationships desired by customers, is driven by the expressed needs of customers, is customised and targets markets of one or more.
Understanding what makes a customer ?tick? is an essential dimension of direct marketing and involves building and maintaining a relationship with the best customers. It requires knowledge of their needs, their preferences, their attitudes and their behaviour. Satisfying the needs and wants of the consumers is the underlying foundation for an effective direct marketing campaign. Customer needs are often unspoken and when uncovered, can provide significant competitive advantage in the marketplace. It needs to be remembered that customers are not buying products but are buying experiences.
Companies need to identify internal capabilities and external possibilities. The perspective that the business environment is uncontrollable and full of threats should never be adopted. It is essential to identify the knowledge, expertise and unique strengths that the company possesses and which make up its core competencies. An analysis that considers perception versus reality and internal management opinions versus customer opinions can be conducted. The competitors should be identified and fought at all times. Who are the competitors, what are they doing or is your company doing it better than others and at a lower cost and in a different way, helps in building up your company'sperspective and plans.
Database development and analytsts in the ever-evolving age of information technology is no longer just a tool for business but is essential for success. Each customer is a source of unique information and helps to improve the business. Knowing your business and your customers provides you with a ready framework in which you gather information.
Differentiating and positioning strategies are the two means by which competitive marketing offerings can be structured. Differentiation is the marketing strategy of development and marketing is a set of unique and meaningful points of differences that are capable of distinguishing the direct marketer'soffer from those of its competitors. Competitive advantages can be achieved by creating different and consequential offerings of goods, services, promotions, prices and logistical opportunities for the direct interactive customer.
In this book a team of experts in the field of marketing try to dispel common myths and misconceptions about direct marketing while demonstrating its power in a hyper-competitive marketplace, where reaching the right customer with the right message is paramount. Presenting a dynamic alternative to mass, broadcast promotion, the authors showcase proven strategies and techniques for cutting through the clutter, building relationships with customers and reaping the benefits.
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