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  1. #1
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    Direct marketing stresses direct communication, measurable factors and testing, and a call to action. It is the focus on testing and evidence based decision making and effectiveness which differentiates direct marketing from institutional, mass advertising or image advertising.

    It's really a different kind of mindset from typical marketing, but one very well suited to interaction design grounded in user testing.

    First off, "know your customer" is not the trite, nice sounding blather it is elsewhere. Because you are not trying to entertain, brand or do anything else but generate a response. And that won't happen with any kind of effectiveness unless you target and profile a potential customer.

    Contrary to popular opinion, rabidly spamming random people with zero interest in the offer is not direct marketing. The goal is a response you intended to get -- not death threats.

    Next, develop a unique selling proposition (USP). A USP differentiates you from the competition and gives a reason prospects should buy from you, not a competitor. The better USPs also fit in a reason to buy now.

    "Fresh pizza delivered to your door within 30 minutes or it's free" would be a USP.

    "We offer web hosting to everyone ...for any reason" is not a USP.

    Benefits, not features, rule. So announcing your feature list, the very same features 90% of competitors offer is quite wide spread, but not direct marketing. A useful rule of thumb for knowing the difference between a feature and a benefit: Features would exist without a single customer. Benefits only happen with use, and achieve a specific goal for a target user.

    Making benefit rich copy as rare as hen's teeth because so few want to admit they can't have 100% market share by being everything to anybody. The trouble is people don't feel you are offering something to them, so such offers turn out meaning nothing to anyone.

    Finally, you have to call for the reader to act. In copy, there is a formula: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. Design can assist your call to action with buttons, form design, and other persuasive design techniques (yes, there is a field called captology or persuasive design).

    Direct marketing for response is much more than an e-cart install, an emailer, or an automated script; it's more a state of mind. One which a lot of developers will find customers -- results driven customers -- respond well to.


    Related:

    Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia (or Build a Website for No Reason) is a good starting point for developing a direct marketing mindset. Most sites use excuses, not reasons requiring a specific objective.

    Five More Principles of Effective Web Design applies the AIDA acronym to web design. The vast majority of designers know how to grab attention ...just not what to do with it once they have the site visitor's attention. Most attention grabbing gimmicks have nothing whatsoever to do with the client or the reason the visitor is on the site. This makes it unlikely such stolen attention will translate into interest, desire or action.

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  3. #2
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    Nice post regarding direct marketing and thanks for sharing.

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the info!

  5. #4
    Junior Member Chris_G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC856
    Making benefit rich copy as rare as hen's teeth because so few want to admit they can't have 100% market share by being everything to anybody. The trouble is people don't feel you are offering something to them, so such offers turn out meaning nothing to anyone.

    No fooling. So many small business owners (heck, even marketing managers at large companies) don't want to face this fact.


    .
    My name is Chris Grayson. You can visit my website at: Art Director Or read my blog at: GigantiCo
    As an Art Director and Website Designer, I use many online portfolio communities, including:
    Chris Grayson at Coroflot Chris Grayson at Krop Chris Grayson at Behance
    I also invite you to follow me on Twitter

  6. #5
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    Nice niche about the Direct marketing, the formula set for marketing may be used in every area after applying by a slide change according to the public habit, environment, etc

  7. #6
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Regarding USP, it's important that before you begin creating a USP, you first define your company's PODs (Points of Difference), as well as Points of Parity.

    Points of Parity are the ways in which your company is similar to competition - they help prove that you are at least on par with the competition in certain areas.

    Points of Difference define the ways in which you exceed or differ from the competition.

    Unique Selling Proposition is a message that states how your Points of Parity and Difference make you a better all-around package than the competition.


    Let's take the pizza shop for example.

    There are two high-end Italian pizzerias within 100 feet of my office (across the street from each other). Fratelli Milano had been there for 4 years, and was a preferred lunch destination for a lot of attorneys and businessmen in downtown Miami.

    Ecco Pizzateca+Lounge then appeared about 6 months ago, and has been taking a lot of Fratelli Milano's business, through marketing and branding.

    Their Points of Parity:
    • Fratelli Milano makes fresh, gourmet Italian food?
      So does Ecco.

    • Fratelli Milano has great-tasting cuisine in the price range of $8.00 to $16.00?
      So does Ecco.

    • Fratelli Milano has a wood-fire brick oven for pizza?
      So does Ecco.

    • Fratelli Milano has quaint sidewalk seating?
      So does Ecco.


    Their Points of Difference:
    • Fratelli Milano is a small, cheaply furnished location.
      Ecco has a large, 2-floor space and spent a lot of money decking it out with refinished antique furniture mixed with modern architecture (VERY hip looking).

    • Fratelli Milano is only open for lunch, M-F.
      Ecco is open for dinner, as well. Fratelli Milano only serves wine or beer. Ecco has a full bar and liquor license, and serves mixed drinks, as well.

    • Fratelli Milano offers nothing other than food.
      Ecco's 2nd floor doubles as a night-club on weekend late-nights. Ecco also sponsors a lot of cool events like Miami Music Festival, Art Basel, etc.

    • Fratelli Milano's servers are mostly Latin.
      Ecco's servers are mostly Italian (from Italy).


    Ecco's USP - "Authentic Italian food PLUS the lounge experience" (http://www.eccomiami.com/). Fratelli Milano doesn't even have a website.

  8. #7
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    Good addition.

    The reason for a Unique Selling Proposition is competitive advantage.

    Pizza is good. But then, it does take a really inventive sort to ruin pizza.

    Also, it doesn't matter how unique you think you are, customers are the sole arbiter. So you propose, the customers decide.

    Another question to ask of your proposed USP is -- if it does turn out to be good -- what's to keep everyone and their brother from ripping it off? That is a tough one.

    The real problem is everyone tries for one big idea. The ideal USP is made up of several interlocking, reinforcing coherent ideas. Much harder to rip off when it's a lot of little things that all have to mesh just so.

  9. #8
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    Nice postings about email marketing.

  10. #9
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    @ smoseley

    Nice research.

  11. #10
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    To my mind direct marketing is rather obtrusive method of promotion and that's why I prefer to use it as rarely as possible.


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