Back in the day when GEICO was mainstreaming almost every real-life and online platform, you probably remember their commercials. Most of them used to end with the ‘Call Now’ tagline. GEICO also had a dedicated direct marketing campaign where almost every other commercial ended with a ‘Call Now, 15 minutes mat save you 15% or more” prompt.
That’s just one example of direct response marketing from the past.
We can also refer to Budweiser Clydesdale horses ads. They were an example of a ‘what is direct marketing’ category commercial where the company wanted you to remember the brand name. The next time you are looking to chug down a keg of beer, Budweiser is what you should be shopping for.
In both of these instances, the companies want viewers to respond immediately to the ads. That’s what direct response marketing is, or at least how it used to be like during the past 10 – 15 years.
The modern state of direct response marketing involves Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and website-based ads where there’s a ‘Buy Now’ or some form of contact us button – followed up with a lead conversion process.
‘Click the ad to buy the product’ is the latest mantra for anyone looking to delve deeper into the realm of what is direct marketing in 2021.
To add more to the ‘what is direct marketing’ examples, let’s take a look at some of the relevancies from the age of Web 2.0 & Web 3.0 standards:
• Email Marketing
It has replaced the conventional postal mail these days. The idea is still the same – i.e. alert leads about the upcoming product launches, discounts, or anything that needs attention. There’s always hope for nurturing those leads into converted customers from a long-term perspective.
Email marketing is great for not only maintaining a hefty list of active contacts but also ensuring that majority of the email receivers are your return customers. In a worst-case scenario, email marketing can be invasive. Therefore, abstain from sending too many emails.
Your usual array of webinars these days talks about any random product in hopes of converting customers. These webinars are hosted by subject matter experts so that people can be convinced about the unique selling proposition of the product at hand.
For best conversion, make sure that you are identifying an issue, delivering valuable content, and helping the people who have joined your webinar. If you take care of all three variables, conversions will happen on their own.
• TV Commercials
Also known as infomercials, they’re those late-night TV commercials that focus on one product for up to an active run time of 30 mins, or so.
While some may argue that infomercials don’t have the same effect on the audience anymore, they can still convert if executed the right way. For instance, take all the products online and label them with the ‘As Seen On TV’ label. Bring in social media influencers to talk about the product, and presell by posting reviews. The results are long-term, but they eventually follow the trickle-down effect sooner than later.
Podcasts are another fine example of ‘what is direct marketing. They are a dated concept, but pretty much relevant to the direct marketing industry because of the value-driven content.
Joe Rogan does podcasts; everyone knows about him, and the guy has a cult-like following on multiple social media channels. The point is that podcasts can work if the people doing the discussions are subject matter experts, and have something of value to add.
Lastly, we have got Digital Marketing and all there is to it, as another example of direct marketing. People use Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram to send the word out about different products & services.
For the best conversion, anything that’s being promoted or sold through social media channels is bundled with the social commerce function. The latter is a variant of quick commerce where people can buy products directly from the social media’s online marketplace page, instead of opening the brand’s website in a separate tab.