Marketing has changed forever. Competitive rivalry is intense and corporate America is feeling the pressure. Companies are rethinking the balance between localization/globalization, product focus/customer focus, online/offline and growth/profitability.
At the same time, consumer impatience is at an all time high as they are attacked from every angle. Stop, look, listen, even smell – marketers are everywhere and hitting hard. Unfortunately, too much “throw it up against the wall” marketing has created disenfranchised, disengaged customers rapidly becoming savvy cynics.
Brand and direct response marketing have long been cornerstones of successful advertising. On their own, each contributes an important piece of the marketing puzzle. Brand is every aspect of the relationship a company has with its customers. A strong brand is a long-term asset that drives mind share and influences decisions to try, repeat and remain loyal to a product or service. Direct response is a data-driven discipline that encourages immediate consumer interaction through a creative call to action. It gets personal, generates leads and produces sales. Both are intimately tied to growth and margin.
More and more the line between these two disciplines is blurred. Marketing no longer depends on traditional silos such as branding, direct response, advertising and communications. The pace of change – technological advances, demographic values, regulatory oversight and product commodization – demands an integrated approach that achieves integrated goals.
Brand direct is a way of combining brand messaging with the tools and techniques of direct response. It means opening up a dialogue with consumers and carefully tracking the conversation. The result is consistent, branded communications that encourage interaction from prospects and ultimately increases sales and creates a better customer experience. Here, the tools and techniques of direct response marketing (data-driven, measurable consumer outreach) converge with brand advertising (unique point of distinction that commands preference and shifts demand).
6 Success Factors of a Brand Direct Approach
Forward thinking marketers recognize the importance of a brand direct approach. To get there, it takes an understanding of six critical success factors:
- Break down traditional marketing “ownership” silos
- Negotiate an integrated approach (budgets, priorities, responsibilities)
- Leverage data and analytics to support a combined effort
- Include all aspects of online, offline and social platforms
- Adjust the brand creative process to reflect different needs
- Extend across entire customer lifecycle from acquisition to retention
Direct response can continue to stand alone to generate leads and, brand advertising can continue down a path of building awareness. However, marry the two and the result turns more prospects into customers by having a productive, one-on-one relationship with consumers across the customer lifecycle.
For more information see TOP 10 HEALTHCARE TRENDS: 2014