Has Marketing Changed?
Many may think they are seeing marketing change right before their eyes. But don’t make the mistake of thinking the essence of marketing has changed. Sure, the ways to communicate have expanded, with Social Media and other channels that have evolved. And businesses now have more information, than ever before, about who their customers are and how they behave. However, the basics of marketing remain the same. Five years ago Adam Gershenbaum came up with this definition of Marketing:
Marketing is learning, anticipating, listening, engaging, contributing, compelling, submersing, innovating, capturing, captivating, motivating, inspiring, responding, adapting, personifying, influencing, converting, conversing, differentiating, through various methods, vehicles and mediums. Marketing is learning, anticipating, listening, engaging, contributing, compelling, submersing, innovating, capturing, captivating, motivating, inspiring, responding, adapting, personifying, influencing, converting, conversing, differentiating, through various methods, vehicles and mediums.
This definition still applies today and probably always will. Use a mix of the best channels to communicate. For instance, Google is a big user of Direct Mail to reach Small and Medium Sized Business owners. This segment does not have time to be online and emails are rarely effective as the initial way to contact them. A unique mail piece can cut through all the barriers and land right in the hands of the specific person you want to reach. After that point you can then followup with other forms of dialog.
1.) It’s still all about the data. If you have a good, accurate list, you are more likely to succeed. If your list is bad, it does not matter how great your communication is—it will fail to resonate and therefore not be relevant. Spend a disproportionate amount of time on your data/lists. It will pay you back handsomely.
2.) Think in terms of niches. Effective direct mail is rarely homogeneous. Thus, you have to vary your copy and design based on the segments that emerge from your database analysis.
3.) Test your offers and messaging. Most marketers ignore this directive, and their results suffer. Remember, direct mail is a copy-driven medium. Copy that the target audiences can relate to will be the most effective.
4.) Evaluate what your competitors are doing and take note. Again, many marketers seem to operate in a vacuum and ignore what is working and what is not from a competitive intelligence vantage point. Understand, to the best of your ability, what differentiates you from your competitors and then exploit your Unique Selling Proposition.