When it comes to Direct Marketing Campaigns: Practice what you Preach

Written by Dharminder Biharie
Business Development Manager
Xerox Graphic Communication, The Netherlands

Self-Promotional Direct Marketing Campaign
Would you like to be helped by a surgeon who flunked out of med school? Or a dentist with extremely bad teeth? Or how about a social media guru with only 10 connections? I can’t imagine that prospective customers would be lining up to be helped by an amateur surgeon, an inept dentist or a clumsy self-made social media guru.
The same applies to direct marketing. Having the skills, knowledge, and expertise to implement a successful direct marketing campaign is great – but there comes a point where talk must turn into execution. How do you show prospects and customers that your business is capable of transferring that knowledge and delivering a campaign with tangible results?
Time to execute.
I see many companies struggle to propose and sell cross-media campaigns to their customers. When I ask them how many times they have executed a proper cross media campaign…too often I get the response ‘none’. That’s a shame. If you sell direct marketing campaigns, I strongly advise you to use your own sales skills, eat your own dog food, and impress your customers with your own brilliant direct marketing campaign. The reasoning behind a self-promotion direct marketing strategy is quite simple … because nobody wants to be helped by… yes, you guessed it, the infamous amateur.
Simply put, a client is much more willing to place their trust with a successful, proven business model. If your company’s self-promotion campaign is delivering results beyond expectations, tout it. Your own results are a great starting point to promote yourself and your business. This will also help you catch the attention of your prospective customers.
But proceed with risk. You must realize that every minuscule hiccup has the potential to drive prospective customers away from your offerings. A QR code leading to a page not optimized for mobile may not be forgiven, as well as a faulty PURL or pages that are ultimately illegible on mobile devices. Every click and any negative distraction will not help your cause. It is therefore imperative to extensively test your campaign with a target sample group, capturing and measuring the responses and optimizing as appropriate.
Success is the Foundation of Persuasion.
Cross-media campaigns, or campaigns with multiple touch points carry a certain ‘cool’ factor. They resonate with customers, stay in the forefront of their minds, and leave a lasting impression. A successful campaign generates more buzz (think free advertising) – especially in the world of social media we live in today. If you find a lot of positive tweets and your campaign has yielded a substantial number of likes, then consider your efforts well done. This, in turn, offers you the opportunity to further market your company’s services and capabilities by creating a web promotion, success case or sales presentation complete with metrics, images, and examples of your campaign’s success. Your self-promotion campaign has now provided a first-hand illustration of your capabilities, knowledge and expertise…a persuasive power boost for sure!
And be sure to realize that the power of your campaign (and the future campaigns you implement for your customers) extends beyond the screen. Results can’t always be measured purely by analytic software. The most significant metric is the impression your messaging has left in the mind of your customer, inspiring him or her to act. When done successfully, you will be known by your customers as, yes, the trusted provided of direct marketing services, rather than the amateur.
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Dharminder Biharie is a Business Development Manager with Xerox Graphic Communication in The Netherlands. To get in touch with Dharminder, please contact Dharminder.biharie@xerox.com, + 31 (0) 6 2020 499 42.

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  1. Will January 26, 2013 -

    Great article! I agree, I think for a marketing campaign to be a success, you can’t rely on a one prone attack strategy. You need multiple attacks. From a mail-shot in the post, through to a telemarketing campaign and social media.

  2. Lisa January 30, 2013 -

    Direct Marketing techniques are and always will be more complex than most people think or understand. There are different elements of direct marketing and what techniques are useful for your business to put into practice. There are elements such as, profiling and targeting aswel as many other aspects.

  3. Mark March 5, 2013 -

    Good article. It is great to read that people in the industry are actually encouraging us to do this for ourselves. If we are willing to sell these types of services to others without ever having done it ourselves, it is kind of hypocritical. Nothing is as irritating as getting e-mail invitations and newsletters from the mailing industry! I know about budgets adn costs but it seems strange that the industry doe snot even utilize its services to solocit attendance and business. I know of organizations who have dropped memberships as a result of this practice so others do take it seriously!

  4. Dharminder Biharie March 6, 2013 -

    Hello Will, Lisa and Mark,

    Thanks for your feedback. It’s amazing to see how companies are struggling to promote themselves, but there is no question that promotion will definitively help.

    And don’t forget: with the world utilizing digital communications more and more, you will see less mail in the mailbox. The good news is: less is more! They key, however, is breaking through the clutter and producing a good direct mail piece. With less “competitors” in the mailbox, a good piece will truly shine. I think this is a big advantage for all the companies offering services to help design and produce DM.

    Use this to your advantage and highlight with a ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment). You will find success with your (DM) business.

    – Dharminder

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