Teaching everything we know to help you earn a living using the proven concepts of direct marketing and solution selling.

Teaching everything we know to help you earn a living using the proven concepts of direct marketing and solution selling.

If success is your passion, subscribe to our Direct2Customers Marketing Community and see for yourself the value of what we offer. FREE to join! 

Here’s the kicker. Using our FREE content will compel you how to blow away the competition. 

For example, In our Library of Marketing you’ll find a massive quantity of writings, articles, papers reports and more just for the asking. All the marketing content is based on learning and doing for people who want to succeed. 

Itoday’s marketing and selling, you need a better understanding of the way prospects and customers act. Always write down some of the actions you observe when you and the team are dealing with prospects and customersStart to build profiles of your prospects and customers. Why? Not everybody responds in the same way. Everyone does not have the same problem.  

People you meet may have similar personalities, but everyone is different. In addition, you have competition, direct and non-direct. If you want to create better marketing and selling, you must learn about your marketplace and record the “doing” that worked and others that didn’t.  

How The Direct Marketing Community Works for You 

1. Library of Marketing. 

As you scroll through the community web site (direct2customers.com), there are many FREE writings that you can request. If you don’t see something you like, send us an email and in a few short sentences discuss your problem or need. I’ll match writings to your request and send it your way.  

Even if you have more questions, I’ll answer as much as I can, once you become a member. The goal is to have members help other members. As writings are requested, I’ll add them to the Library of Marketing for everyone to access.  

2. Looking for a Strategic Marketing Advantage?  

We recommend five key strategies for growth.  Each can be used alone, or in combination, to become highly effective in your marketing communications. 

  • Customer-Centric Marketing 
  • Direct Marketing 
  • Multi-Channel Marketing 
  • Data Driven Marketing 
  • Digital Marketing

3. What is our Custom-Made Marketing E-book? 

When you visit this web page, you’ll find two offers. These two free modules, Situational Analysis and How to do Market Research and Analysis are the favorite modules requested. Choose one and contact us for how to ask and use the questions found in both modules. Gather your team and copy or record their answers and management as well. 

The eighteen modules in our e-book can help you build a better company, marketing and selling. Each module will help you think of better ways to operate your company at a higher level. If you want us to ask you and your team the questions and to analyze your responses, there is a fee, but there are discounts for all members.   

Remember the Rule of Three: Thinking Visually in Threes      
Optional services  
WHAT? 

Direct Marketing Mail Success content is available for companies that want to use it as an advertising tool.  

Our publication, Direct Marketing Mail Success, since 1993, has thousands of articles on Direct Mail, Direct Response, Small Business Marketing Success, and much, much more in our Library of Marketing. The copy is always updated based on current conditions as well as writing new articles. You can purchase a subscription for 4 copies within a year. There is an option to have us design the newsletter or just purchase the content. If there are any questions, please contact us at 800-251-3608 or Mdoc@direct2customers.com. 

WHERE TO FIND US? 

Number One. Our Direct Mail Success Newsletter – is still a quarterly publication, averaging five articles per issue, containing the latest information on Direct Marketing Mail, such as: 

  • Data Analytics 
  • Segmentation 
  • Customer Profiles 
  • Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy 
  • Multi-Channel Marketing Communications  
  • Digital Marketing 
  • Social Media Marketing 
  • Small Business Marketing 
  • Not-for-Profit Companies 

Number Two. MarketingDoc Blog – weekly posts on small business and b2b marketing – subscription pricing is available. 

  • Direct Marketing Techniques and Fundamentals for Social Media Channels 
  • Outbound and Inbound Marketing Programs 
  • Using CRM’s 
  • Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy 
  • Landing and Call-to-Action Web pages 

Locations of other posts by The Marketing Doc – Variety of Guest Posts, Google Blogspot, Constant Contact, LinkedIn, Discussion Groups, and MarketingDoc.net 

HOW? 

Custom articles – Here are many purchase options for you to consider. The most common are: 

  • Update selected content to present marketing conditions, if necessary. 
  • Create new articles for use in a pre-determined market. 
  • Purchase an existing article as is, Copyright assigned to your firm. 
  • Article usage in a blog post for you to customize with your company brand image. 
  • Article usage in a company email for client acquisition or relationship building. 
  • Miscellaneous needs – Let’s discuss your needs and set a goal for the content. 

WHO?  

Marketing Communications Group brings over 35 years of excellence and pride in helping companies and their people reach their marketing and growth goals.  

One of the benefits of social media and content marketing is you don’t have to be large company to succeed.  

Our goal:  providing consistent timely content and assist you by responding in a timely matter that really counts. 

Your goal: Know your target customer. You have closer and more frequent contact with customers.Your customers want solutions/answers to their questions, and if you can offer them more and better ideasyou are a solution provider. 

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! Your time is truly appreciated.

Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at your Direct2Customers community.

It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?  Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-250-3608

   

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020 J. Mike Deuerling
Be More Creative and Strategic in Marketing and Sales Promotions…

Be More Creative and Strategic in Marketing and Sales Promotions…

which lead to many benefits in the overall growth of your company and employees.

What are the top five strategies in our direct marketing community?

When evaluating existing marketing and selling programs, we always find a variety of solutions and ideas to enhance company growth. There are leadership skills that come with creative marketing strategies. And we all know the importance of leadership.

Selecting the best strategy or using a variety of strategies is common, but first do your homework. Just as you can’t fit your feet in a shoe size smaller than yours, you need strategies that work well with management, your team, and your targeted market.

I have used five battle tested strategies, from the past and in today’s digital landscape. There are a variety of strategic names, such as a game plan or master plan. In my world of marketing and advertising, creativity is prominent.  The art and science of marketing tend to lead one to build creative strategies.

I made a presentation in 1993, at a business trade show in Chicago, on how to use creative strategies in direct marketing mail with one-to-one marketing, and relationship marketing. These were creative strategies in this era showing results in marketing programs and tactics.

The good results were also the importance of gathering customer data and analysis to add some strength to a firm’s strategic marketing plan.

Our five strategies of importance are in no particular order. However, the customer always comes first.

A customer-centric marketing strategy

The customer is at the center of your marketing universe. Therefore, all your products and services must meet their needs and requirements. Not just in the beginning of a purchase, but every time the customer makes a purchase. People don’t buy products or services–they buy solutions.

If you Google customer-centric marketing, you will uncover a ton of definitions. To keep it simple, I’ll use the following information that hits on a few high notes based on experience.

Customer-centric marketing means to fulfill all the needs and wants of each customer with a desire to help them reach satisfaction and doing it all with a smile. If you want to experiment with the principles of customer-centric marketing, you need to learn the “how” from your customers, one-on-one.

  1. Learn as much as you possibly can about all your customers and prospects. Even the ones who may only purchase on an irregular schedule. For example, ask them how they use your product or service? How did they make a purchase decision?
  2. Share your product and service features and benefits with your prospective market. Give them a taste of what you offer. This will lead buyers to more ideas on how to use your products or services. Consider using the benefit from your company being a solution provider. Working closely with your buyers to design a special service or product that is very beneficial to them.
  3. Treat your customers with value added, no cost services.  This is one benefit that no one forgets.
  4. As you learn more about each customer, keep fulfilling their needs and wants to exceed their expectations. A happy customer leads to collect more marketing data. More data can lead to better advertising results.
  5. And when customers are happy, they give you testimonials. Testimonials are a great addition to your marketplace communications and especially customer service and the selling team.

Why use a direct marketing strategy?

You need a customer-focus mentality to see and understand why your customers buy or not buy. There is nothing better than weaving a direct marketing strategy and its many tactical choices to reach, attract and sell more to your target market audience. In one word, AWESOME! 

Direct marketing is also an interactive system of marketing and selling using two-way communication in your marketplace. Effective direct marketing uses more communication channels to get a measurable customer response and enables you to record and analyze event data.

The direct marketing strategy, as coined by Lester Wunderman in the 1950’s, “is advertising directly to the consumers mailbox with less competition.” An advertising message, sent to a consumer, provides a direct path to the person’s mailbox, with less noise from the competition.

For example, the United States Postal System is moving toward digital, but not at the expense of direct mail, but using it with direct mail. (See the post Informed Delivery from the USPS.)

Why a use multi-communication channel strategy.

Multi-communication channel marketing enables you to use a variety of communication channels to reach your customer and your customer responds. For example, direct mail, e-mail, landing pages and numerous channels in social media hit their target market with good results.

The customer is the center of your universe and all your products and services must meet their needs. Many times, more than not, it’s wise to make sure your database used for prospects and customers in your marketplace records, show what channels are used and by whom. People don’t buy products or services – they buy solutions.

Why A Data Driven Marketing Strategy?
May I quote, according to Fospha, “Customer Data Platform Specialists,” director Sam Carter stated that:

“Without fully integrated customer data, businesses are unable to fully engage their customers and drive conversions at sustainably low cost, retain customers and build brand loyalty.” 2016 publication. By the way, this is still true today.

At a ClickZ’s webinar, August 23, 2017, Maximize Your Customer Data, a definition of personalization is defined as, “communicating differently with a customer based on their characteristics, to optimize customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value.” Also still true today.

 Plus, according to McKinsey, personalization can result in a sales uplift of 10%, and increase return on investment on marketing spent by a multiple of eight. Without data management, everything else you build in your marketing model, is wasted.

The analysis of data will help one to determine isolated trends, regions, or time periods to compare with your other data from previous campaigns.

Designing solutions for your small business and b2b marketing is three-fold.

  • To attract and retain buyers,
  • using end-to-end visibility into all marketing and selling campaigns, and
  • from impressions to revenue.

This can easily combine data from various sources to get new insights about your marketing and advertising tactics.

Why a Digital Marketing strategy?

There are different types of customer profiles, behavior, and competitors. Designing solutions for your business to attract and retain customers, and gain visibility into all campaigns, from impression to revenue is extremely valuable. When your strategy enables you to easily combine data from different sources to obtain new ideas, value is generally recognized.

Develop and create a marketing and selling campaigns, driven by your customer data and paid‐search strategies, is measured by key performance indicators (KPI) you create.

In a small business and a b2b company, you can start to learn to increase your proficiency in social advertising, use Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Determine if your competition and other companies in your industry use digital marketing and learn why and how it is used.

A small business and b2b marketing and selling fact remains that those who “have a need for what you have to offer must be aware of what you have to offer.”

Summary

In many ways you can see it pays to have a strategic creative marketing and advertising approach in all your marketing and selling communications with your target market. Think of your strategic creative marketing plans like a good home-made recipe. What I mean is, you use a little strategy and a bit of another, to stay in the know about your customers and target market.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! Your time is truly appreciated.

Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at your Direct2Customers community.

It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?  Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-250-3608

 

 

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020 J. Mike Deuerling
Creating Effective Direct Marketing Copy is More Important Than Ever Before

Creating Effective Direct Marketing Copy is More Important Than Ever Before

The goal of writing great marketing copy is to get people into taking action. 

Like buy my product or service.

The more you address specific human elements that motivate your audience, the greater your chances of moving them into action, calling, e-mail or buying.

So, what moves people, besides a big truck?

  • People cannot resist a bargain. People seek pleasure and satisfaction. People like exclusivity. And some are even moved by greed.
  • People seek to improve themselves. They want to save time. People seek security and safety.
  • People seek power, stature, fame, flattery from others and inside information. They are often envious, revengeful and proud.
  • People want to make money, save money, save time, stay healthy, become more knowledgeable, increase their status, boost their prestige.

This is a never-ending list as we try to understand the human mind and how it relates to purchasing your products and services. You need not attempt to solve the human condition in every direct marketing copy you write. But it’s recommended to learn continuously about your customers.

What you need to do is think carefully about what you sell, to whom, and how best to make them want to act.

It’s a complicated activity and, at the same time, it is easy. Your direct marketing must lead people to consider worthy opportunities to improve their personal situations. Train your mind to react to them.

It becomes much easier when you take the time to keep learning more about your customers and provide products and services that exceed their expectations.

Some of those expectations may even be in the preceding paragraphs. It’s all about learning and doing.

Thanks for reading. Ideas or questions? Mdoc@direct2customers.com.

 

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020 J. Mike Deuerling
Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

but you must mine your lists and categorize each to get the shiny gold you want!

Today’s customers, prospects, sales leads and so-called contact list of maybes can be reached using a ton of tactical marketing channels daily. 

The glaring question most people search an answer for “Which marketing channel is the best one for us to use?” The best answer may be all of them. What channels do your customers respond to? All your contacts in your databases control the marketing communication they use in their company. 

Trying to look for gold in a stream by your house or office is probably crazy. Sending a message using a marketing channel your contact does not respond to, email for example, is like waiting for a sunrise on a stormy, cloudy day. Time wasted is lost. 

Fortunately, today’s databases can process a host of data, using a variety of options to reach the right customer using their preferred channels of communication.  In addition, there are a variety of niche segments to consider, so an open mind may be your best option. 

Here is a list to help you get started and to assure your team is headed in the right direction.   

IDEA: Put a value on your corporate database so it is not viewed as an expense.   

  1. Match your products or services to customers’ and prospective customer’s wants/needs. You want your data to give you a summary of your customers’ buying patterns. Knowing customer data will help you customize offers for use in any marketing channel. If you’re looking for an increase in answers, you may find gold in these channels.
  2. Select new list purchases that fit the profiles of existing customer data. Use your Website landing pages in conjunction with an email newsletter you send regularly. 
  3. Maximize personalization in your customer channel selection communication and more than one offer. This is a proven method that increases response. Address your customer by name, title and add additional data from their last purchase date. You may want to add a discount or another offering that will pique their interest.
  4. Provide ongoing interaction with customers, especially the ones receiving your email newsletter. Out of sight is out of mind. Your goal is to stay in touch with your customers to learn their preferred communication channels. Be careful. Too much too soon could shut down the lead spigot.
  5. If there is no preferred communication channel, start the conversation using direct marketing mail. Make an offer of value on a landing page on your website. You want to gather some additional data, creating an awareness that triggers consideration and beginning to build your brand awareness and customer loyalty.
  6. Pinpoint timing and frequency of promotions. See who responds and at what time of the year. Use the results to spread offers to your customers and your prospective customers. Make sure to collect the results and add it to your data. Some large companies with a diverse customer base use a special customer event once or twice a year to help fill the sales pipeline.
  7. Measure response and be responsible for results. Direct marketing mail is measurable. More than any other medium, it can be evaluated for its impact on a specific goal. When results are not satisfactory, go back and learn what went wrong.
  8. Collected customer data will help to determine offers to share with others in your lists. If a customer makes a request about your marketing enter it into your company data fields. As you test different offers and promotions, compare the responses of each to see if some produce better results than others. Most important, listen to customer suggestions for future deals!
  9. Demonstrate that your customers are valuable assets. Check your customer data and customer service data for ideas such as having a workshop, personal presentations of new products, or a customer rewards/sales incentive program. These programs have a history of building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
  10. Show customers you care about their opinions. Conduct a customer satisfaction survey through direct marketing mail. Add an offer to increase the rate of surveys. If you hear back from inactive customers, you can tailor an event or promotion to bring them back to active status. If you have a sales team, train them to ask questions and learn what you want to know 

Always remember that a clean customer database is a quality database. Quality customer database results are valuable business tools that in turn is a quality asset for your business. When you communicate us.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate comments and ideas for future articles.

Marketingdoc      Mdoc@direct2customers.com

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020 J. Mike Deuerling
Valuable Pointers That Will Help You…

Valuable Pointers That Will Help You…

navigate the course of marketing and sales using personalization!

When it comes to direct marketing personalization, is your database or CRM, last usage date from the previous decade. You are not alone.

Is your database of customers and prospects a hodge-podge of, well, just names? You are not alone.

It’s easy to end up having egg on your face embarrassing yourself and your company. Bringing about a response that is entirely opposite the one you were hoping for is about as popular as a bee sting on one’s backside. You’re still not alone.

Target the right market.

Ultimately, the key to eliminate direct marketing waste is to target the right people at the right time with the right messages. Personalization assumes that you know something about the people to whom you are mailing, emailing, or sending to a landing page and so on. It’s an effective way to keep customers spending their money on your products and services.

As data increasingly becomes more accessible, most marketers are looking for ways to make it more scalable and actionable in order to better target prospects in various stages of the buying journey. If you are a small B2B company, more than likely the cost for purchasing big data is way beyond your marketing budget.

However, consider, small B2B companies are usually closer to their customers. Therefore, if sales will communicate with your marketing team, work with them, and share their data, will they work together? Maybe. Depending on your CRM or database.

“CRM is over 30+ years on and salespersons still hate it.”  

Customer Think, Thomas Wieberneit, July 9, 2019

We are now over thirty years after the first CRM tools were introduced, initially as helpers for the sales force. Our first encounter was with a software program called ACT! As you can imagine the software was limited, but a few tools existed such as addressing and adding notes from the sales team was a good start for anyone’s sales force.

According to MarketingProfs, organizations that align sales and marketing, are seeing more than a 30% increase in sales. 

Personalizing your content marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. So, quit thinking it’s a waste of time. When it’s done right, it can be the most powerful persuader in your efforts to influence customer behavior and building better relationships.

On the other hand, doing personalization badly is worse than doing no personalization at all. Fortunately, you can avoid those bad outcomes by getting into personalization slowly, step by step. If you are not sure about the personalization, test it with customers you know well who’ll give you the best feedback.

Customer data is the fuel for achieving previously impossible levels of personalization with a customer-centric strategy. Personalization is the key to keep your customers engaged.

Strategy’s, such as direct marketing and customer-centric are used with today’s technology, and the vehicle’s that allow you to deploy your customer message in a variety of channels they prefer. You want each customer to feel your marketing message is personal, every product recommendation right-on and the timing is always impeccable.

Critical Pointers that will help you navigate the world of marketing and sales personalization.

Are you aware which specific companies are currently in-market to buy your product? Wouldn’t it be easier to sell to them if you already knew who they were, what they thought of you, and what they thought of your competitors? Any good direct and customer-centric strategy focuses on people and the delivery of a message that will resonate. Personalization is one key to keeping your customers engaged.

  • Accuracy.

Probably, the single most critical element when it comes to personalization. There is nothing more unbelievable than mail or in other communication channels, when your message arrives and personalized incorrectly. Receiving such mail or email, is an immediate turn off for many businesspeople. Consequently, do everything in your power to get your information right.

When you’re not sure about a name or spelling or any variable data it’s best to use personalization in moderation or as in a testing mode. When you make a mistake once, maybe it’s only a typo, and you may be forgiven. But when you make the same mistake multiple times, in the same correspondence, your error is blatant, and a relationship comes to an end.

  • Data tools.

Start with good data and good information. Check and double-check your facts, verifying spelling and accuracy of names, and every piece of variable information in all your communication channels including in your direct mail piece and other communications channels.

  • Today, personalization is not a name and other contact points.

Personalization is more than a name. When people think about personalization, they usually always think about names. Personalization can include any information that could be helpful to your marketing and sales activity. Obvious fields could be features and benefits of your product and services.

  • Keep adding and updating data.

Continually add to the good data you already have. Every time you and your sales team communicate with a client, use this opportunity to learn more about their business. Add what you learn to your database.

  • Go slow with prospects.

Don’t overuse personalization with prospects. When you use too much personalization too soon, you’re apt to lose prospects to the never-ending round trash can to never be seen again.

It stands to reason that you would know more about clients and customers. But when prospects get messages from you that include information that is totally wrong, you’ll never have a chance to do business with them.

  • Alternative personalization. 

Use personalization alternatives. If you’re not sure about the variable data you have, try personalizing your message in ways that do not rely so heavily on using the prospect’s company name, products and services. This “generalized personalization” helps take the guesswork out of direct communication when personalization in direct mail was so prevalent.

A good use of color can eliminate any negatives one may feel when you neglect some important personalization.

  • Do not overuse personalization.

Yes, this happens all the time. Use personalization in a natural way. Don’t overuse personalization in such a way that it seems every paragraph has a personalized message. It’s a turn off and makes people think you’re scamming them when using email or other channels.

  • Know when to capitalize.

Watch out for capitalization in personalized data. It’s a sure sign that what you’re sending really isn’t “personal.” Convert your data to upper/lower case. Examine the copy one record at a time, if necessary. Otherwise you might get Ibm instead of IBM. Or Mcduffy instead of McDuffy.

  • Be Careful with abbreviations.

Watch out for abbreviations in personalized data fields. It’s a sure sign that your personalization isn’t really personalized but a mechanical function. In the real world and in a truly personal communication situation you’d probably write out the word “Suite.” When it appears in the address as “Ste,” it’s a sure give-away that it’s not personalized. Even color may not help in this situation.

  • Personalization is powerful.

Once you start using personalization, you’ll discover that it is a powerful tool, and that you’ll want to get better at using it. The key is to determine ahead of time all the fields you’ll really need in your database. Use a database structure that allows for substantial growth potential.

  • Personalize just right.

Personalize only what needs to be personalized. When people begin utilizing a variety of communication channels, personalization in their sent materials, tend to personalize everything, at every opportunity. In a real one-on-one letter, you probably wouldn’t use the person’s name in every single sentence. You’d use it sparingly and perhaps for an effect. So, carry this practice into your use of personalization for direct marketing and use restraint.

That also means to target the right accounts. Ultimately, the key to eliminate any digital marketing waste is to target the right people at the right time with the right messages. Intent data paves the way to do just that. FYI, “Intent data” is online behavior-based activity across the internet (not just on your website) that links buyers and accounts to a topic. (Intent data is on our publishing schedule for fall.)

Summary

Personalization pays. Personalized reply cards and letters almost always out-pull non-personalized direct mail as well in email and other communication channels you may select. But you need a guide and a good guide cannot only show you if it’s right for you but can help you learn how to best use it for your situation.

Thanks for reading. I can be reached at Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800.251.3608

 

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020 J. Mike Deuerling
All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove