“The medium is the message.”
Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
In the early 1960s, the noted communications scholar Marshall McLuhan put pen to paper and used that maxim to describe the primary effect of communications media…and it still holds true today
If you’re a 30-year old plus reading this, you’ll certainly remember those halcyon days: no ‘likes’ or ‘share this with your friends’ tags on a webpage. No Twitter, 140 character limitations or a call out to your followers offering an immediate reaction to an experience or seeking advice on a purchasing decision.
Much like McLuhan’s coined phrase, direct marketing still has a strong foothold in today’s marketing communications environment. It still offers a number of ways that one can get in touch with a target and offer services. By using the principles of direct marketing along with a social media or digital marketing plan, you can go a long way in boosting the all-important return on investment (ROI).
How so? These three key points can help you put together a plan of attack.
Track Your Traction. With your direct marketing efforts, you can easily trace who is utilizing your materials or offers. In other words, simple coupon or bar codes can help you determine how effective your campaign has been. Those same principles can be applied to a social/digital marketing plan by using similar redemption codes that can be tracked using web analytics, offering depth and breadth to your data and can help improve your future direct marketing endeavors.
Get Branded. Direct marketing offers a tangible way to present your brand to clients. It may sound old school, but people still want to be able to feel and touch objects…sort of like reading a newspaper instead of reading an article online. In fact, recent studies have shown that despite the social media explosion, the vast majority of conversations take place offline, not online. That doesn’t mean you should abandon any notion of using a digital plan – it just means you have another avenue to reach out and touch someone with your direct marketing efforts.
What’s the Frequency? Direct marketing has long offered some frequency in scheduled rollouts for marketing messages. But just how frequent? Perhaps not frequent enough. However, composing a message for your target audience still requires direct marketing strategies in your social/digital efforts.