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5 Ways to Think Direct in New Media

May 2, 2012 By Holly Mason
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New media bring an almost daily flood of new tools for direct marketers to manage. And while consumers are happily embracing the next way to connect, marketers can be left feeling overwhelmed—and out of touch.

The challenge for marketers is the same, just more daunting than ever: How can businesses stay top-of-mind in a world where mindshare is increasingly limited?

1. Be honest. To clarify your marketing, start with some simple (but potentially difficult) questions. Is our brand still fresh? Do we stand out among our competitors? Are we connecting with the consumer on multiple levels? Are we talking with them or at them? And ultimately, are they buying our goods or services?

2. Get specific. Your business probably has a vision and a mission statement. But the rallying cries of many companies are never heard outside the company walls. To bridge that gap, your business needs a clear positioning statement. Rather than trying to be all things to all consumers, positioning helps businesses become the only thing to the right consumers. It takes self-awareness and a good deal of trust in the notion of an ideal consumer. It takes laser-focus. It often means alienating some buyers who probably weren't a good fit in the first place. And for businesses that can effectively position themselves in their markets, it absolutely works.

3. Riches in niches. As consumers narrow their interests, they expect their favorite companies to do the same. More and more often, the lines between segments are being defined by shared attitudes more than mere demographics. For some companies, that means aligning themselves with fewer customers—as opposed to broadening their stance or their offerings. A business that can best meet the needs of a highly specific target group can win instant loyalty—and even compensate for lack of mass appeal or volume by charging a premium price.

4. You control the channels. With a clear understanding of your company and your audience, you can choose the most effective media to communicate your message. It's still a balancing act. But now, it's between elements you can manage and measure—your objectives, your resources and your customers' desires.

5. Don't react. Respond. Anyone who talks about one "perfect" medium is missing the boat. For most marketers, there's a time to tweet and a time to send snail mail. Each tool has its own potential, and the best marketers know how to manage the right mix.

 

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