Put Brand in Its Place
So how can direct marketers support the brand promise, tone, voice and position while making direct marketing deliver to the bottom line? Use these four essential principles of brand-supported direct marketing as guidelines.
1. Direct marketing is a selling process, not an entertainment event. If branding, positioning, enlightening or entertaining helps to close a sale, fantastic. But, as soon as it hurts performance, reduces response or increases cost, you need to remember why you run direct campaigns in the first place. When looking at a branded piece, ask yourself: Is the offer presentation crystal clear? Has the brand concept gotten in the way of the offer? Has the brand platform or, for that matter, product features impinged on delivering a compelling reason to respond today?
2. Build direct marketing plans around ROI goals, not vague messaging or branding objectives. Direct mail should create immediate and measurable action with each event. By generating a lead or making a sale, the action can contribute directly to ROI. While positive shifts in mindset contribute to sales, it’s difficult, at best, to assign an awareness increase to an ROI deliverable.
If you don’t hit your ROI target, future budgets won’t be allocated. If you don’t get your budget approved, your job is at risk. By focusing on ROI, you also will force yourself and your staff to establish proper performance standards for every element of the campaign.
That’s why your direct marketing plans should include different measurements than a typical marketing communications plan. They must set the following targets, which tie into ROI well before creative development begins:
* drop, e-mail and/or call quantities;
* revenue and unit sales targets
* response rate targets;
* closing rate or qualified lead targets;
* target lead quantity, allowable cost-per-lead;
* system/lead infrastructure constraints; and