About a week ago I saw an article in Adweek that one of my favorite social media networks, Instagram, will be incorporating advertising in their photo-sharing platform. This is not surprising since Facebook recently took ownership of Instagram and it was only a matter of time before some elements would crossover.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this. If you have an Instagram account, you will see that it has a different feel to it in comparison to Facebook. It is a picture-based social sharing platform which I think encourages its users to be more creative and selective in their photograph postings, descriptions, and of course, #hashtag usage.
These elements have actually made me recently prefer Instagram over Facebook. Nonetheless, as with Facebook, advertisement pop ups and public “Likes” on posts and articles can be impersonal and somewhat intrusive but it is rather effective. I have been influenced to look at new products and local establishments because of this form of direct marketing, and many businesses have found that using direct marketing through ads on social networking sites have been successful.
The fact that advertisements are slowly integrating in social networking platforms shows that direct marketing has not gone away. What it has done is transformed itself alongside the consumer lifestyle changes in technology, buying habits, and social interaction. Traditional direct marketing methods that have been popular before such as direct mail, cold calling, and TV ads have faced modifications in their execution due to the ever-changing marketing environment.
So what is a marketer to do to shift their direct marketing efforts to cater and align with today’s consumer? Though there isn't a single answer to address this, fortunately, there are several ways to that a business can formulate a good solid direct marketing mix that works for this generation.
Here are 4 ingredients for a successful direct marketing mix recipe:
1. Find The Alter Ego For Your Traditional Direct Marketing Efforts
Even though the traditional routes for direct marketing are changing, it doesn’t mean that your marketing efforts need a complete overhaul. Though the execution methods are evolving, general direct marketing concepts can still be maintained. Finding the alter ego of traditional direct marketing methods can help a marketer transition his or her marketing efforts to fit the modern-day consumer.
- Direct Mail - Alter Ego: Lead Nurturing Email Campaigns
- TV Ads – Alter Ego: YouTube Commercials and Ads
- Cold Calling/Telemarketing – Alter Ego: SMS/Text Marketing
2. Think Outside The Box
Traditional direct marketing campaigns are still alive and kicking and by now, every business knows that having a robust social media presence is necessary to survive in the marketing world. This makes being creative and standing out from the rest more important than ever. At the end of the day, it is always about the consumer remembering the product, brand name reinforcement, and getting a consumer to becoming a loyal customer because of it.
3. Analyze & Adjust
Marketing campaigns can often times have the all the right elements but with the wrong results. Leveraging data based on customer activity with direct marketing campaigns, allows the marketer to see if their efforts are focusing on the right group of consumers and with the right marketing method. So it is important to analyze each and every campaign to its fullest. If it’s not working, then something needs to be changed!
4. Create A Marketing Roadmap
Today’s marketing environment is all about creating a harmonious union between all marketing channels. It is important to create a marketing roadmap that ensures that all marketing channels support one another and encourages leads to take the desired results.
For example, an email sent out to a consumer has links to the business website and social media pages, which can take a consumer to a landing page to purchase a particular product or service.
There are many directions your direct marketing efforts can take you. However, applying the right elements and taking into consideration the four basic ingredients mentioned above will help guide you in achieving your marketing goals.
For more information on how you can keep on top of the marketing game, take a look at our HubSpot partnered ebook on 20 Marketing Trends For 2013 & Beyond.
Until Next Time...