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If Marketing isn’t “Direct,” Why Bother?


It must be "Way Back Wednesday." This is our very first blog post from 2017. But, what was true then is still true today. You gotta B Direct.


There's more to direct than … well ... direct. At B Direct, we're proud of our direct marketing heritage. But, too often people assume we're a direct mail agency. We are. But, there's more to us than direct mail. 

Just like there's more to direct marketing.

Direct marketing is media agnostic. Any advertising medium can be direct if it follows one or more simple rules:

1. Is it targeting a specific audience segment or individual?

2. Is it making an offer?
3. Is it giving people a way (and a reason) to respond?

If you're spending money on marketing that isn't targeted, that doesn't make an offer, and that doesn't ask for a response, we're really sorry. You're wasting that money.

Direct marketing is an approach and an attitude. It's communicating a specific "give/get" ratio.

"If you (our audience) give us something (your time, your effort, your money), you'll get something you want (value, convenience, success, food, shelter, love, happiness)." There's a transaction implied or spelled out. The advertiser is asking for permission to start a marketing conversation.

That word "permission" is important. People are busy, easily distracted, and hyper-sensitive about their privacy. As marketers — especially direct marketers — we need to respect the audience. Give them a relevant reason to stop, to pay attention, to keep reading, and to take action.

Here's an example from the B Direct archives …

Our client, an online printer, was running regular full-page ads in a variety of design publications. But, they weren't generating any orders. The ads were colorful and clever. They listed all the company's products, and services. They effectively put a stake in the ground in terms of the client's brand. But clearly, they were missing something.

They weren't direct.

We kept the attitude of the old ads, but added a few tried-and-true direct marketing elements. Like, an offer and multiple ways to respond (in this case, via phone or online). We also replaced product features copy with benefits copy, emphasizing great quality at great prices, and our client's fast-turnaround.

Taking a direct approach to brand ads paid off. The ads generated hundreds of "Free Samples Kit" requests, and the conversion rate for those responders was a whopping 80%. The client saw enough of an uptick in business (after several consecutive flat months) to open an additional facility.

Bottom line. Don't be afraid to be direct. B Direct.
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